So this is going to be a small vent. Living in south Alabama limits me as far as social connections go. I'm sure other people have had a similar situation happen to them, so here goes. I'm disappointed in my mother. There was a time where she seemed to be a very progressive person, and it rubbed off on me. But I feel like she has done a complete 180 here. It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly when this shift happened, but I'm going to say around 4 years ago, maybe 3. My mother had an extremely hard life growing up. She was the youngest of 4 kids, and was raised in a single parent household. Her dad left the family in Germany when they were all young, went AWOL, and didn't contact them for the better part of 15-20 years. My grandmother struggled to support them, they ate sugar sandwiches, and went to bed hungry quite often. She herself struggled to support both of us when my father left to do whatever he was doing at the time. So anyway, that's the small story of her life. Now to the main part. I went over to her and her husband's house to cook today before I went to work. I heard her and one of her friends discussing politics and religion together (eww). So she makes this off the wall comment about how people that are poor are that way because they are lazy and have no work ethic. Now, I'll be the first to say that a lot of people are poor because they are lazy, but all?! She then goes on to trash every single democrat that has touched politics for the last 50 years, even though she voted for Bill Clinton and Hillary when she tried to run. So, this threw me off slightly. She then goes to voice her support of the republicans because of their "Christian" values and their support of capitalism. Alright, so at this point I'm in complete shock at what I just heard. I can't comprehend in the slightest what happened to her. She married a doctor, who is a diagnosed narcissist by the way, and just completely ignores every single thing that defined her up until that point? My mother is the hardest working person I've ever known, and that's not me saying it because she is my mother. I worked with her for awhile, she's a total slave driver. She has had some kind of "religious awakening" that somehow ignores all the aspects of Christianity that says help the poor, and instead just enjoys stepping on their heads while they are drowning so to speak. It hurts me very deeply. This isn't my mother. She was caring, wanted to help people in any way she could regardless of what it was. I don't know if I should confront her about any of it, and try to talk to her to figure out what happened. But it is absolutely killing me on the inside, watching her go down this path. She used to love to read scientific magazines, and now today I showed her a picture of Mars that Curiosity took, and she told me it looks like Earth after Yahweh's judgement. I was speechless. If any of you have any ideas about how I could approach this and try to maybe help the situation, I would be more than happy to listen. Or if you want to chime in with a random comment, that's cool too. Thanks for reading the wall of text!
Wow! I don't know what to say. If it were my Mom I think I'd just talk to her privately sometime and ask, very non-confrontationally (is that a word?), "Is everything okay Mom? You just haven't seemed like yourself lately." If she asks why, I would just say something about it seems like your views on a lot of things have changed, and I was just wondering if something happened that would cause that. ~ Melinda
I think Melinda has a good solution there. I agree.
my situation parallels yours quite a bit. my mother has become a super conservative, accepting the ideology of her new husband. she voted for Obama in '08, and now she thinks he's the devil. just so you know what i'm dealing with, here's a text he sent me last nite:
"Obama doesn't care about jobs, he hopes the economy crashes like Europe. That's his model, socialism and government handout dependence. You know states have been told to plan for insurrection, right?"
after i advised him to lay off Drudge for a few weeks, he responded with:
"no, i will start watching out for drones though. you might want to also."
this is my mom's husband. he's an Obama birther, so she's an Obama birther. it's frustrating, but there's really nothing you can do. i've tried to show her how she's being lied to, and point out these lies in the emails she forwards me. i always ask her "do you like to be lied to so someone can try to influence your opinion?" ultimately though we have to accept our family for who they are, even if we don't like it.
It truly is a shame though, to watch it all from the sidelines. I guess I'm just overreacting. Maybe it will pass one day.
It's been a while since you posted this-I think maybe your mom fell into a situation where she was influenced to believe that this is what she needs to do to be safe and productive in life-maybe by someone in particular or the community she lives in-and she has listened to so much of their dogma that she is, in a sense, brainwashed. You have to be careful how you approach someone who has this mentality-they are apt to become angry and hostile when you refute their new beliefs. I think showing someone that the people who are influencing them are dishonest in a gentle way and letting them come to terms with it themselves is the best approach. Good luck.
For some people, they get real defensive when you simply say "you've changed". They want to know how. Tell her, and then she may want to know what you're noticing. Or, it could backfire, and she'll say "for the better, I've seen the light, etc." That was just my initial thought after reading your post. I recently silenced my mother when i told her that catholics accept evolution. My mom is curious, but won't take that extra step. I understand how it feels like a loss. The old mindset that you knew is gone; it's like you're dealing with another person, or trying to get sense back into them.
When people grow up in a religious family, they have a vulnerability to going back to religion in later life.
My mother's father was a Baptist minister, and she grew up with religion all day. She said some days she had to go to 5 church services per day.
She then became an atheist, and we grew up without religion except maybe once a year on Easter Sunday. There wasn't atheist or anti-religion rhetoric in our family - religion was just not around.
Then much later, she developed a New Agey religion based on the Course in Miracles, talking with Jesus as a kind of self-therapy/spirituality. I don't know how literally she takes it - but then, religion is mostly like that, a kind of make-believe that doesn't stop.
She is a very abusive woman and I stay away from her. I saw this on her website. There was a lot of talk on her website about "letting go of rationality" etc. To her it apparently feels like growth or moving beyond the first immature rejection of her upbringing.
Matthew, I understand a little of what you are going through. After my mom married my step-dad she changed into a completely different person. It took time for that change to occur. It has gotten to the point that I don't even talk to my mother any more. Oh Well! Life goes on with or without you.
I've become popular today. I usually just hop on here to read the forums and see what's going on. I've since moved away, and live in Bonn, Germany now. It's a nice change, and I'm out of the bible belt. Feels great! I still talk to my mother, I just ignore anything that comes close to religion or politics from her, and it seems to have worked out.