An Email From Mom
This summer we plan to go to the States to visit family, and as usual my mother wants to monopolize all of our time. I just received an email from her lovingly offering to pay for my daughter’s ticket and explaining how nice it would be to have us stay at her house and how much she wants my children, especially my daughter, to stay with her. Really, nothing my mother ever offers comes with no strings attached. She is a master manipulator and she is all sweetness and light until you dare oppose her.
I feel like the walls are closing in on me. I feel pressured to say something to her, but I’m afraid of the fall out because we will not be staying with her, and will be staying at my husband’s parents’ house, which is not okay with my mother at all. She’ll use her usual “What about family,” speech in which she will completely lose sight of the fact that my husband’s family is family. I’ve been here before and I just don’t see a way out of this.
So of course I ask the question “What would someone who loved themselves do?” The answer is simple; someone who loved themselves would politely and lovingly inform their mother that they will be paying for their own tickets, and that they will be staying at their in laws’ house and that their children will stay with their mother at some time during their visit if their mother can respect their decisions and be pleasant when they come to visit her, if they decide to visit her.
I’d love to be able to say that. I’d love to be in a space in my life where that will be possible. However, this is easier said than done. I have a lot of fear where my mother is concerned, and rightly so, she is my mother. She raised me to fear her and to obey her, and to agree with her. She raised me to understand that she will withdraw her love the minute I even think of defying her, and my need for her love and approval is so deeply ingrained in me that I would rather abandoned myself and my family to keep her love. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it is true. I have so much work to do.
Until next time, I wish you all the very best.