I need some advice about my relationship with my mom
December 31, 2011 11:02 PM Subscribe
I need some advice about my relationship with my mom. I'm moving back close to home soon and I was wondering if you guys had any advice on how to deal with an illogical religious person. Or more specifically, how do I reason with her to foster a better relationship?
posted by graphitix to human relations (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Here's some background
I grew up in a super restrictive house. My mom and my dad were immigrants from South East Asia. My mom was a devout roman catholic from a young age and read the bible alot and went to mass, etc... When she went off to nursing school, she converted to Pentecostalism. Then she got married and immigrated. I don't really remember a lot about how she acted when I was 0-6 years old or so, but from what I remember she was extremely religious. She believes in all the charismatic stuff, like speaking in tongues/healing/prophecy. She would force me to "speak in tongues" with her and claimed she could prophesy. A lot of her friends would call her to pray over the phone and stuff. I saw a lot of crap starting to happen in the church we went to so I became really cynical.
My mom would regularly get in fights with my dad. She accused the pastor of being demon-possessed. If me or my Dad tried to reason with her, she would accuse us of being demon-possessed. She would "rebuke" us and would ignore what we were trying to say. Our church had reserved time for members to give a "testimony" or basically talk about whatever they wanted to for a short time in the middle of the service. My mom would use this time to not-so-subtly blame the pastor or talk about an issue that she had fought with me about during the week. When the pastor would speak, she'd interrupt him by "speaking in tongues" and "rebuking" him. Eventually, that pastor was let go because of some trivial issues that were exaggerated into a scandal.
Afterwards, my mom continued to exhibit this illogical behavior in our family. She said stuff like church picnics were not holy, she wouldn't let me see friends. She'd accuse my dad's mom of being a witch and casting a curse on our family. At the same time, she would fast all the time. My dad would get angry because she wouldn't eat anything. She still does this and now she's rail-thin. She'd pray for roughly 6-7 hours a day while running a bible study. Also, she would not cook very often or help us with school. I was raised pretty much by the TV and the microwave since my Dad was always busy with work.
I went away to university (thank god), developed social skills, and eventually got a job elsewhere in the country. I don't talk to her very often, and if I do, I get angry because I can't reason with her. She would prophesy stuff to me about my future, none of it would come true, and it would only add fuel to the fire. I've accused her to her face of being a bad mom and ignoring her children. Her response is, "Oh god will take care of everything" or some trite bs like that. When I was a kid, I guess I didn't realize how bad I had it sometimes since I was isolated. But lately, it's been really pissing me off and I'm starting to hate her even more.
My Dad knows that she has been acting stupid for a long time, but he won't deal with it. His advice is to just accept it and ignore the crazy stuff she spews. This new years, when my dad told her I was moving back, she didn't call me for a week. When I asked her about this, she said she was preparing a speech for her bible study. I got angry because this was a perfect example of her priorities being completely jacked up.
How do I fix this relationship? Does anyone have any experience of dealing with someone like this?