Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?







Friday, June 24, 2011

Are We On The Same Planet?!?!



I was checking in at my Mother's house the other day, and she was
telling a room full of us that her former brother-in-law, her sister's
husband, had died. She didn't know the details because her sister
had left a message about the information.

She added: "I don't know why she would even bother to call me
and tell me that. I told her years ago that I don't care anything about
him; she was stupid for calling me."

This prompted Mom's roommate to foolishly speak up. "Now that's
your sister! Why wouldn't you have compassion for her?"

Mom launched into a nasty diatribe with jaw clenched and face
hardened;" SHE'S TO BLAME! SHE WAS STUPID! IT'S HER
FAULT THAT HER KIDS SUFFERED ALL THAT PAIN AND
MISERY...THAT MAN WAS A MENACE, AND SHE INVITED
HIM INTO THAT HOUSE TIME AND AGAIN. SHE BROUGHT
 IT ALL ON HERSELF! NOBODY MADE HER DO IT! SHE
BROUGHT IT ALL ON HERSELF!"

Initially, I had a "What the ?!?!" moment, wondering who this crazy
person was to be casting stones at another person in such a situation.
She still had "Pop's" ashes on the damned mantle in revered honor,
16 years later.

Slowly I turned....Step by step....I eased out of the house and
smiled politely as I bade hasty retreat.

It was much more than lack of compassion or being overly
judgemental. Much more.

I have already learned the eternal frustration of contradicting my
mother. I know I will not change her opinion. I know she does
not care about my opinion, even when she is wrong and knows
it. But this was an especially bad situation.

She sat there completely oblivious to the words that she was
speaking. Yes, Uncle Clayton had been a bully and a tyrant
and a drunk. He had abused those 5 cousins of mine in
unimaginable ways. My Aunt was foolish for letting him back
in repeatedly. But that situation only differed from our household
in one way; Everybody in town knew what was going on in
THAT house. Mother had hidden our secrets very well. And
continues the hiding and pretense to this day.

So was this denial? Nobody can be THAT deep in denial,
can they?
Nobody is that oblivious, are they?
She knows...she just can't cope.

Her pain, guilt, embarrassment, shame, etc are too much, and
she has shut down her mind to avoid it. She deflects or projects
 on others, making their 'sins' great while ignoring her own. It's
a common enough thing, even over minor issues. Makes sense
one so volatile would bring about equally vociferous protestations.

We all have different standards for others than we do for ourselves.
It's a byproduct of a self-centered society and an "Every person
for themselves" world.

Auntie has always been considered a disgrace by my Mother
because she is not well educated, has lived in poverty, and has
clung to a man and allowed her life to fall apart IN THE
PUBLIC EYE. She voices her thoughts openly, feels her
emotions regularly, and wears her heart on her sleeve. She is
also a reminder of the past that my Mother always wanted to forget.

But for all of her faults and weaknesses, my Aunt doesn't
deserve to be trounced when she is truly hurting. No one took
my Mother's grief over her husband as opportunity to say "Well,
I guess it was the only way to get you to leave him."

Regardless of how it occurred, my Mother's view of her own
existence is greatly in conflict with reality. I wish I could state
that my own view of self was not similarly flawed.....but a
discerning clue tells me otherwise.

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