Monday, February 15, 2010

The things we inherit

I talked to my mom on the phone for a while last night - li9fe of course aren't so easy for her right now. She is struggling with how my step-dad is handling their situation, which is far from a new scenario for the two of them.

My step-dad is woefully passive - this has been an issue for him for a long time. My mom is as in-your-face as you could possibly get, particularly when threatened.* She is also controlling and very opinionated about her way being the right way to do almost anything. So she is struggling not only with an insecure financial future but with a husband who isn't handling things the way she would. And it is starting to make her insane. Luckily she knows well enough to try and stay out of things; my step-dad doesn't need my mom bossing him around. He needs to work this through for himself. If he is going battle his conflict-avoidance the effort has to come from him, not my mom. She knows this, but she is also frightened and frustrated and trying to deal with all of these emotions without exploding.

So we talked, and I tried to be helpful. But mostly it made me think about D$ and I and yesterday's post.

I hate it when my mom acts controlling and self-righteous and I've seen how damaging it can be when that behavior goes unchecked. But I am, if nothing else, my mother's daughter. I am controlling and opinionated and generally think that people should do things the way I would do them. And, surprise surprise, I spend a lot of my time struggling not to project that behavior onto D$ (failing more than I would like). A lot of the stress of our current situation has come from this; from my struggles to respect and appreciate D$'s ways of working, thinking, and planning instead of jumping all over him for not doing what I would do.

At least I recognize where it comes from. At least I can see how this affected my mother and her relationships. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to use this information to help myself let go a little, to recognize that my way is not the only alternative to the highway.

*I am also sort of a nut job when threatened, although I am more of a nut job when someone I love is threatened. There are many examples of this, but my favorite is when I was in sixth grade and tried to beat up an eighth grade boy on the bus for calling my sister fat.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, becoming our mothers... *sigh* Having the insight to see when you are behaving like her is a HUGE step in the right direction. I'm still trying to get to that point. Wish me luck. :)