Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sore spot

A paraphrased email from my mom:
"I have to give you some advice as your mother... stop wasting time dating the wrong men, you should be able to pick out a guy who can fulfill you already so you can build the life you need. Live in a nicer place too so you feel like a mensch and surround yourself with positive people. You need to feel you're a good catch! And if you want a baby, you need to go for it already, there is someone out there who wants these things too! Love you!"
I KNOW she just wants to help me but this is the least helpful way to do it. It only makes me feel like a failure in her eyes, all shmucky-like. That awesome self-esteem she wants me to build, well, it tanked right after reading that letter.

I don't know how to respond. "I want some of those things too, mom," I want to say. "It just hasn't happened yet. Maybe it will never happen." What if it never happens? I wrote to a friend, "I made peace with that. How can I get her to be at peace with it too?"

If you want to help someone, say, start a business, you listen to them. You help with the details, maybe, or the questions, but you don't know those until they're opening up to you.

You can't just state, "Run your own business already!" and expect that to be enough.

Advice for the depressed often runs along these lines. "Snap outta it!"

"Why thank you for that enlightening advice, I struggled with this for ages until you just said that!"

I get that my mom loves me, that her heart breaks for me, that she wishes she could celebrate life milestones with me but all an email like that does is further shut me down. Who could possibly reveal their deepest vulnerabilities after reading that? "I don't know why it hasn't happened, mom, maybe I'm doing it all wrong. I'm trying though, I really am. You always said do your best but somehow my best isn't working here."

She says nice things too sometimes, that she's proud of me for being a decent person and having a good job, etc., which I love and appreciate but this is a sore spot for me. It hurts to have it poked.

1 comment:

  1. Took me a long time to sort out how to respond to things like that from my parents. They never learned to not say things like that.
    I think it's a generational thing. At least you know she loves you...