Author Topic: Well I grew a spine!  (Read 4803 times)

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suzieQ

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Well I grew a spine!
« on: October 18, 2012, 07:26:20 AM »
I posted earlier about difficulties with my Mom always comparing any bad situation I am in with other people, and telling me how good I have it. This morning, after waking up AGAIN thinking of all the past memories this behavior brings up, I emailed her and told her flat out not to do it again. I was polite, but firm. I'm not brave enough to say it to her face, but at least I grew a spine and did get the information to her.
I'm rather proud of my new spine and relieved that I shouldn't have to deal with this again (she's clueless, not mean and won't bring it up again).

Bethalize

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 07:29:22 AM »
Applause! Well done.

Did it feel great?

suzieQ

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 07:34:17 AM »
Applause! Well done.

Did it feel great?

Actually it felt nerve- wrenching at the time, but is feeling great now that I have some applause :) Thank you!

JenJay

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 07:50:59 AM »
Congratulations! The first one is always the hardest.  :D

Sparkle Star

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 08:12:46 AM »
Wow, well done!
I'm so pleased for you - and it's an inspiration to those of us still trying to find ours!  :)
Love, dance and chocolate fudge cake - what more do I need?

weeblewobble

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 09:19:40 AM »
Congratulations.  I am very proud of you.

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 09:55:38 AM »
Did she reply to the email? Since you opened the door, you'll have to speak to her directly about this at some point - probably sooner than later.  Here's to a continuing growing spine.

TootsNYC

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 10:09:31 AM »
I'm not so sure this was the most polite thing to do--and I'm not in favor of emails for emotionally charged topics, actually.

I also think you're VERY optimistic in thinking that you'll never have to deal with this again.

Your mother's strategy for dealing with her daughter's unhappiness is of long standing--it's clearly been meeting some emotional need for her for decades. She's not going to "flip the switch" because you've sent an email out of the blue.

In fact, she's probably going to feel very attacked, and now you'll *also* have to deal with the fallout from that.

The one thing I had wanted to suggest earlier is that perhaps you *tell her specifically what you need from her* when you complain to her.

I find that when people express their unhappiness to me, it can come in a tone that implies "you should fix this!" And for a mother, that impulse would be extra strong, even if the tone weren't implying that.

And since the thing you're unhappy over is not something she can fix (add to that the trigger of knowing she left you down earlier), she pushes the whole concept away.

If you can decide what it is, very specifically, you want her to DO and to SAY, then you can train her. "Mom, I don't need you to fix it--just tell me you feel bad for me and pat me on the arm. That's all I need, really."

Provide a pathway for her to travel--she may not be able to figure out what it is, exactly, that she's supposed to do with your unhappiness.



Giggity

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 11:38:25 AM »
Just out of nowhere, she gets an e-mail saying, "Mom, I hate when you do this, don't ever do it again"?

Ouch.
Words mean things.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 11:40:49 AM »
Just out of nowhere, she gets an e-mail saying, "Mom, I hate when you do this, don't ever do it again"?

Ouch.

Other than not being face to face, how is that any different than a just out of nowhere discussion on it?  It may hurt, but it has to be said.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Giggity

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2012, 12:14:07 PM »
I don't do out-of-nowhere discussions. I discuss when the problem occurs.
Words mean things.

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2012, 01:16:49 PM »
And there's a time and place for such discussions.  When the hurtful comment/incident occurs.  And in person.  Not later. And especially not over email.  Not everyone attaches the same emotion to such comments/incidents. 

To OP:  Good luck. You probably started a war with your approach.  I hope it works out in your favor. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2012, 02:15:26 PM »
I think it is actually acceptable to bring up the situation later. Absolutely.

Now, it's true that if you deliberately bring up something touchy, it might seem "out of the blue." When you're doing it in person, you are much more likely to explain the context, etc. So there *is* an "easing in" that gets done.

But if you do it in person, there's an investment you are making--by being present for the immediate fallout, by seeing the other person, by giving of your time and attention, by looking at them with your eyes, by physically being present--that can soften the blow.

Sending the message by email has no such investment by you. And so it hits like a fist.

suzieQ

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2012, 03:03:38 PM »
It went well - Mom called and we talked but she didn't mention the email, which is what I asked of her.
It was not out of the blue, it followed a very painful get together last week, that I could not address at the time it happened - it was too painful and it took me a long time to build up the courage to address it. After yet another nightmare because of the memories her comments brought back, I decided this was IT and time to make it stop.

It may have been an "ouch" for her. But it has been an "ouch" for me every day for a week because of all the memories it dredges up.

There will be no war - we both had a nice conversation and ended it with "I love you" from both sides. And she may very well forget and do it again, she has been doing it my whole life, after all. But I can just point back to that email and say "I asked you not to do this" and the reason was explained in the email.

ncmom22

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Re: Well I grew a spine!
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2012, 04:59:03 PM »
I like that phrase!  Grow a spine.  Congratulations!