Author Topic: "That's really not true" (religion)  (Read 6267 times)

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JeseC

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2013, 04:42:09 PM »
You don't have to go to the extreme of cutting off contact, but you can just not talk about that specific subject.

That's sort of the worry, actually.  My mother does not handle "not talking about this" very well.  I could probably write several ehell entries just on that subject!  Let's just say not talking about it causes as much drama as talking about it.

TurtleDove

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2013, 04:44:04 PM »
You don't have to go to the extreme of cutting off contact, but you can just not talk about that specific subject.

That's sort of the worry, actually.  My mother does not handle "not talking about this" very well.  I could probably write several ehell entries just on that subject!  Let's just say not talking about it causes as much drama as talking about it.

Right, which means that unless you cut off contact with your mother, you are going to have to accept that there will be drama about this. You cannot change her. 

peach2play

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2013, 04:47:35 PM »
There is no solution that will not cause pain.  You can come clean about who you are and deal with the fall out, or you can keep silently seething every single time your mother disparages your religion.  Her emotion is selfish and borne of a deep fear that you will not make it into her "heaven".  Weigh the pros and cons...will it hurt less to tell her or to live with the years of keeping my mouth shut?  You will have to face the monster under the bed known as your mother.  You can do it and it will hurt a lot less than emotionally cutting yourself over and over listening to her disparage your very core.

Mental Magpie

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2013, 04:54:32 PM »
I also think that misleading mom about a major aspect of OP's life, even if it means hiding it kind of passively, probably violates a major aspect of both their religious beliefs.

Who is talking about misleading OP's mom in any way?  Refusing to discuss it is not being misleading, it's refusing to discuss it.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Mental Magpie

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2013, 04:56:31 PM »
You don't have to go to the extreme of cutting off contact, but you can just not talk about that specific subject.

That's sort of the worry, actually.  My mother does not handle "not talking about this" very well.  I could probably write several ehell entries just on that subject!  Let's just say not talking about it causes as much drama as talking about it.

Right, which means that unless you cut off contact with your mother, you are going to have to accept that there will be drama about this. You cannot change her.

Which drama is worse?  Her not listening to what you have to say, trying to bully you into conforming to what she wants, or her being upset because you refuse to discuss it?  I know I would choose the latter of the two any time.  That, or you cut contact.  I'd still go with refusing to discuss it.  So what if your mother won't take that well?  That's something she'll have to live with for butting in to something that doesn't concern her.  You are not responsible for her emotions.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

JeseC

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2013, 05:10:51 PM »
You don't have to go to the extreme of cutting off contact, but you can just not talk about that specific subject.

That's sort of the worry, actually.  My mother does not handle "not talking about this" very well.  I could probably write several ehell entries just on that subject!  Let's just say not talking about it causes as much drama as talking about it.

Right, which means that unless you cut off contact with your mother, you are going to have to accept that there will be drama about this. You cannot change her.

Which drama is worse?  Her not listening to what you have to say, trying to bully you into conforming to what she wants, or her being upset because you refuse to discuss it?  I know I would choose the latter of the two any time.  That, or you cut contact.  I'd still go with refusing to discuss it.  So what if your mother won't take that well?  That's something she'll have to live with for butting in to something that doesn't concern her.  You are not responsible for her emotions.

I think I would at least need to limit it to phone/skype contact.  If I actually visit I have to rely on her for transportation.  It's not like her trying to push me around will stop if I don't talk about it - usually it just makes her angrier and more convinced that she needs to set me straight.

TurtleDove

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2013, 05:13:42 PM »
I think I would at least need to limit it to phone/skype contact.  If I actually visit I have to rely on her for transportation.  It's not like her trying to push me around will stop if I don't talk about it - usually it just makes her angrier and more convinced that she needs to set me straight.

The point is, you can't change her.  You can only change you.  You can either cut contact with her or not let her disapproval of you bother you.  Continuing to do the same things will lead to the same results.  Don't let her push you around.  Or do let her push you around but then don't complain that she is pushing you around.  Does that make sense?  You seem to be confident that your mom won't change but hopeful that you can nevertheless make her change - you cannot.

nuit93

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2013, 05:14:20 PM »
Is not visiting or having contact with her an option?

Mental Magpie

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2013, 05:20:46 PM »
I think I would at least need to limit it to phone/skype contact.  If I actually visit I have to rely on her for transportation.  It's not like her trying to push me around will stop if I don't talk about it - usually it just makes her angrier and more convinced that she needs to set me straight.

The point is, you can't change her.  You can only change you.  You can either cut contact with her or not let her disapproval of you bother you.  Continuing to do the same things will lead to the same results.  Don't let her push you around.  Or do let her push you around but then don't complain that she is pushing you around.  Does that make sense?  You seem to be confident that your mom won't change but hopeful that you can nevertheless make her change - you cannot.

I agree with TurtleDove.

So what if she's angry?  So what if she is more convinced she needs to set you straight?  What does that mean other than she'll try harder to bring it up and you can just keep refusing to discuss it?  You are not responsible for her emotions.  She may eventually stop trying to push you around (though it could take years) when she realizes you won't engage over it and that she will get nowhere; and if she doesn't?  So what?  She keeps trying to argue with you about it because you keep trying to argue back.  Stop arguing back, stop discussing it; do not engage.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

JeseC

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2013, 05:23:24 PM »
I think I would at least need to limit it to phone/skype contact.  If I actually visit I have to rely on her for transportation.  It's not like her trying to push me around will stop if I don't talk about it - usually it just makes her angrier and more convinced that she needs to set me straight.

The point is, you can't change her.  You can only change you.  You can either cut contact with her or not let her disapproval of you bother you.  Continuing to do the same things will lead to the same results.  Don't let her push you around.  Or do let her push you around but then don't complain that she is pushing you around.  Does that make sense?  You seem to be confident that your mom won't change but hopeful that you can nevertheless make her change - you cannot.

I agree with TurtleDove.

So what if she's angry?  So what if she is more convinced she needs to set you straight?  What does that mean other than she'll try harder to bring it up and you can just keep refusing to discuss it?  You are not responsible for her emotions.  She may eventually stop trying to push you around (though it could take years) when she realizes you won't engage over it and that she will get nowhere; and if she doesn't?  So what?  She keeps trying to argue with you about it because you keep trying to argue back.  Stop arguing back, stop discussing it; do not engage.

I mean she'll get in my face, refuse to discuss anything else with me, refuse to stop talking to me about it even if I don't respond...you get the picture.  It means she'll bring it up multiple times in a day and lecture me for 20min about how rude and disrespectful I'm being if I don't respond.  It means I won't be able to watch TV or get breakfast without her coming out to talk about it.

I don't know what to do.  She's not a bad mother overall, she just gets really upset over a few areas, and once she does get upset it's impossible to get her off of it.

TurtleDove

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2013, 05:25:51 PM »
I mean she'll get in my face, refuse to discuss anything else with me, refuse to stop talking to me about it even if I don't respond...you get the picture.  It means she'll bring it up multiple times in a day and lecture me for 20min about how rude and disrespectful I'm being if I don't respond.  It means I won't be able to watch TV or get breakfast without her coming out to talk about it.

I don't know what to do.  She's not a bad mother overall, she just gets really upset over a few areas, and once she does get upset it's impossible to get her off of it.

OP, I believe you that your mother is difficult.  The point is that you cannot change her, you can only change YOU.  If she makes your existence miserable in her presence, don't be in her presence.  You are giving her power over you.  Either stop giving her power, or accept that she will be this way and learn to smile and nod.

Mental Magpie

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2013, 05:30:28 PM »
I think I would at least need to limit it to phone/skype contact.  If I actually visit I have to rely on her for transportation.  It's not like her trying to push me around will stop if I don't talk about it - usually it just makes her angrier and more convinced that she needs to set me straight.

The point is, you can't change her.  You can only change you.  You can either cut contact with her or not let her disapproval of you bother you.  Continuing to do the same things will lead to the same results.  Don't let her push you around.  Or do let her push you around but then don't complain that she is pushing you around.  Does that make sense?  You seem to be confident that your mom won't change but hopeful that you can nevertheless make her change - you cannot.

I agree with TurtleDove.

So what if she's angry?  So what if she is more convinced she needs to set you straight?  What does that mean other than she'll try harder to bring it up and you can just keep refusing to discuss it?  You are not responsible for her emotions.  She may eventually stop trying to push you around (though it could take years) when she realizes you won't engage over it and that she will get nowhere; and if she doesn't?  So what?  She keeps trying to argue with you about it because you keep trying to argue back.  Stop arguing back, stop discussing it; do not engage.

I mean she'll get in my face, refuse to discuss anything else with me, refuse to stop talking to me about it even if I don't respond...you get the picture.  It means she'll bring it up multiple times in a day and lecture me for 20min about how rude and disrespectful I'm being if I don't respond.  It means I won't be able to watch TV or get breakfast without her coming out to talk about it.

I don't know what to do.  She's not a bad mother overall, she just gets really upset over a few areas, and once she does get upset it's impossible to get her off of it.

So what?*  She comes out to talk about it and you refuse to talk about it every single time.  She will eventually grow tired of it, and if she doesn't, so what?  You can either keep engaging her, get sniped at about contradicting her, and keep getting frustrated that she won't hear you out; or you can stop engaging her and only have to deal with her trying to hound you about it, learning to accept that you cannot change her.  Which one is worse?

*Why do I keep saying so what?  Well, for one, it's something I always ask myself when I want something to go one way but deep down I know it won't.  What's the worst that can happen if your mom is upset?  She's upset, she's annoying, but that's it.  So what if she gets upset?  There's nothing you can do to change that and it is not your responsibility to maintain her emotions.  The other reason I keep asking it is because there isn't an answer to it.  I feel like you just keep making excuses because a) you want to change her but won't accept that you can't, and b) and you're afraid of change and something that may be hard to do.  Try it.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Lynn2000

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2013, 05:40:57 PM »
So, for 51 weeks of the year, you are free to practice your religion without interference--unless your mother starts haranguing you over the phone, in which case you may just have to hang up. Right? But then you go to visit her for a week, and you're dependent on her for transportation to your place of worship, so the religion thing is going to come up. Maybe there's even some dietary restrictions or private rituals you have to practice while a guest in her home, such that you can't participate fully in the meals she's prepared or do whatever spontaneous activity she comes up with. Is this accurate?

First, I would ask your religious leader if there are any temporary exemptions you can use when staying with your mother. Some religions/denominations have them. Or there's some way you can make up for it later. That would be the easiest way out, if you felt comfortable with it.

Second, if a guest knows their host is uncomfortable with their religious practices and will object to assisting in any way with them (even driving them someplace or serving certain foods)... I think it would be best to avoid being a guest of that person. Could you stay in a hotel for the week instead of your mother's house, and use public transportation/cab/rental car to get around? I realize this would be a big change if the usual thing in your family is staying with family, BUT it might be worth making that wave, if it means fewer instances of conflict with your mother. Then you can tell her what times you'll be available to do stuff with her, and during the other times, attend to your rituals, eat your special food, etc..

There will still be conflicts, of course. She may bring the subject up in general, or you might encounter snags like... she wants to drink some wine and watch a movie, and your religion prohibits drinking alcohol. You might be able to get out of some of those things by saying you just "don't want" to do XYZ, because you just "don't feel like it," rather than invoking a religious prohibition. You can try other methods mentioned already, like, "I'm not discussing this with you" and beandip. And, if you're staying somewhere else with your own transportation there, your ultimate weapon is to just walk out the door if she gets too unbearable.

As others have said, you have to decide what you want. Your mother changing so that she respects your choices and beliefs is something that may not ever happen, and something that must come from within her. However, removing yourself from a hurtful, frustrating situation is something you can control, if you plan for it in advance. And that may be as good as it gets.

One other suggestion. If you think your mom's spiritual leader might be open to encouraging tolerance of other faiths (particularly your new one), maybe you could talk to them. In my area lots of different religions are trying to do things together, educate each other about their practices, promote tolerance and diversity, etc..
~Lynn2000

gellchom

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2013, 05:45:40 PM »
Okay, well, in light of your last post, it seems that she will not rest, or let you rest, until she gets a lot off her chest.

So, let her.  Be like the woman on a bicycle who was pedaling so fast to try to outrun a thunderstorm, and finally realized that if she just stopped trying to run away from it and let it pass over her, it would soon be gone. 

She really, really needs to feel that you've heard her out on this.  Do you have to?  No.  Is it the shortest route to getting past that?  Very likely yes.  And this is an important subject, and you're her daughter -- not just some stranger she is trying to meddle with.  It's really not so unreasonable for her to want to express herself to a pretty thorough degree.  Remember, there may come a day when she gets involved with, I don't know, some sort of business thing that you fear may be a pyramid scheme or something, and you're going to want her to listen to you.

So maybe you can say something like, "Mom, I can see this is really, really bothering you, and you have a lot you want to say to me.  And I want to listen.  But I get frustrated when we go over and over the same ground, and anyway, this subject deserves more than quick over-the-breakfast-table or during-the-commercial talks.  So let's get out our calendars and find a time when we can have a quiet lunch [or whatever you want], just the two of us, where I can really listen to what you have to say, and you'll have time and no interruptions.  And then we won't keep going around in circles and driving each other crazy.  Okay?  How does Tuesday morning look?"

Get it?  Forget about trying to explain your religion to her just now or asserting your autonomy.  Just LISTEN.  You don't have to agree or obey or promise or change.  But listen.  Forget about trying to avoid hearing what she wants to say; in fact, you'll need to be sincere in your offer to listen, and then do it.  I don't mean listen in the sense that if she says Religion X kicks puppies, you have to agree with her (although I'd avoid the pointless argument, just get past it fast).  I mean listen to her FEELINGS.  Let her know you truly heard her.

Not only is that a good idea for any relationship, if you do it, THEN you will be in a much stronger position to say, when (inevitably) she starts at you again, "Mom, I know you're only speaking out of caring, but this really is wearing on me, and we aren't going to get anywhere new.  I really did hear what you had to say when we had that four hour lunch last May, and I really do appreciate your concern.  But now it's enough; any more isn't going to change anything.  Please, let's not waste our time together going over this same ground again."

But all this presupposes that you actually want to have peace here.  Are you more interested in having a battle and winning it?  Many people are, and it doesn't make them bad people.  You seem not to like the advice you get from posters who tell you other than "cut her off" or "get in her face."  We don't know her; you do.  So it's not like we can say "preserve the relationship at all costs" -- how do we know whether you should do that?  But people here are trying very hard to help you, and I think that the reason you're not getting what you want is that your objectives still aren't clear, at least to us.  You need to think about and clarify -- not for us, but for yourself: exactly what is it that you want to achieve?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 06:10:26 PM by gellchom »

MerryCat

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Re: "That's really not true" (religion)
« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2013, 05:49:11 PM »
OP, I would suggest not staying at your mother's when you visit. That way, if she starts getting in your face you can pack up and leave. And yes, stayin in a hotel will probably cause drama too. Explain to your mother in advance, preferably over the phone or email,  that it's either a hotel or no visit. If she starts drama hang up and disengage.

 You may have to skip a couple of visits, but I bet after a couple of years of not seeing you she'll come around.