Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Don't Think I Should Trust the Chameleon , Even Though It's Acting Friendly.

I have noticed in recent months, ever since I moved into my house, that my mom hasn't quite been herself lately. Her old domineering personality seems to have faded away, and she's actually in some ways acting like, well, a mother.....

It's bizarre, she kept her normal personality all through the rebuilding of the house, but now, she seems to be somewhat not only treating me like an adult human being (which is something she was incapable of before, I always felt like I was more of property than a son to her), but she's acting like I'm her equal, it's bizarre, and I can't help but question her motives. She's gone out of her way to help, even helping to take care of "Happy Horse" even though she used to be scared of large dogs, and is in fact mildly allergic to them.

I distrust her motives in all this, and I wonder what's with her chameleon act, because she has always been a master manipulator, and haven't trusted her since I was a child, and for good reason.

 This is the same woman who slapped me around as a child, barricaded the door when I tried to move out several years ago (and threatened violence against me, and said I would deserve it if she did), forced me to go to a college she probably knew was a scam, just so I wouldn't have the time to work and earn enough money to leave, and was so psychologically abusive and controlling when I was living with her that it damn near drove me to the point of suicide.

Not only all that, but remember my recent (and still ongoing) series on my father's mental health issues when I was a teen? One detail I left out, (and don't know why), is that she was actually going to divorce him at first during this time, the only thing that kept her from doing so was the fact that I made it clear that if she left him, I would do everything I could possible to convince the judge to let me stay with my dad. Though it's an understatement to say that US courts have a heavy bias toward mothers in divorce cases, I was about 13 at the time, and the court would take notice that I was heavily campaigning to go with my father and wonder why (and I would have told them).

So if you want to call me bitter, unforgiving, and mistrusting, then fine, because you're right, and I feel like I have good reason to. She only truly cares about herself, and what she wants, she's a sociopath, to put it bluntly. I have no clue what's behind this campaign of trying to act all nice.


Jack Schaap, former pastor of FBC Hammond,
Indiana (now serving prison time for sexual abuse)
Maybe she's scared I'll cut her out of my life completely. My sister left when she was 17 years old to go to college in Indiana (unfortunately, it was owned by a cult, but that's a whole other blog post). It took my sister until about the time she was 26 or so to fully convince my mom to butt out of her life, and it took not speaking to her for about 10 months, and then later making clear that she would never see her grand kids again to get the point across.

I don't see how she would think that in my case, though. I'm broke, I need all the help I can get, since I'm paying off debt that I owe to her, and that's straining my budget heavily each month. There's got to be something more behind this, but I don't know what it is, I don't think she's capable of changing, to be quite honest. Do people like this ever change?

Despite her good demeanor right now, I still don't think she the core of who she is and what she believes has changed. She has never apologized for anything she has done in the past, or shown any signs of remorse, none whatsoever. She's still as fundamentalist as she always was, and from time to time, whenever something regarding homeschooling is mentioned, still stands by her decisions in that regard. I doubt if I came out now about being agnostic, that the consquences would be anything good, or even neutral.

I really don't think she has changed at all....

17 comments:

  1. Do you ever worry about your family stumbling onto your blog?

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    1. I assume you're not familiar with the character Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory?

      Bazinga! ;)

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    2. your blog is biographicall, though. Even if I didn't use my real name on my blog, anyone who knows me well will know it's me.

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    3. @ Lana. Oh. I was assuming, especially since you never show pictures of yourself, just images of the kids in southern Asia, and places that at the very least, your last name was a pseudonym.

      Yes, there's a lot about my life that I say here that could ID me, but I do my best to be vague with some details of people and places, and I change names in series where I'm talking about the people around me, like the Undercover Agnostic series.

      My mom and dad are completely tech illiterate, and don't have a computer/internet, and have no desire to start learning. I'm fine there. As far as fundie friends go, I doubt they go on Google looking for atheist blogs.

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  2. Being nice when losing the person seems possible is a very common tactic of abusers and also people with borderline personality disorder, if you have any thoughts about if that might apply here...

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    1. The typical abuser "I'm so sorry, take me back!" kind of pattern?

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    2. I have to agree with Lana here Sheldon. Keep your wits about you, it is a classic trait of abusive people to be nice until they reel you back in again.

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    3. It makes me wonder when the facade is going to crack. Probably when I come out, I suppose. ;)

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  3. Old habits are so engrained in people like this that it's rare to see real change. DO NOT let your guard down. She may well want something from you.

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    1. It makes me wonder what she's up to.

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  4. I never went through anything that extreme with my mom, but she did some crazy stuff and really drove me nuts. At some point I decided to just be prepared to stop talking to her if necessary. When she was cool to me I responded in kind and when she was nuts I just didn't return her calls. (I'm sure distance helped). Eventually she got the picture and mellowed out, it did require my not coming home for christmas one year though. I would say keep your guard up, but if she's nice be nice back.

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    1. I wish I had about 500 miles of distance......

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  5. " I would say keep your guard up, but if she's nice be nice back."--good advice, specially the last part.....

    It does not matter if your mother has changed or is capable of change... What matters is have YOU changed? Do you now have the power/confidence to say no to manipulation, abuse...etc? or do you still see yourself as the helpless victim? You have the power to change how you see the world. So, instead of focusing on others start working on yourself.

    CM

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    1. I doubt that I have the confidence......

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  6. " a gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials"---Seneca
    Sometimes we only know our inner character when we are tested---yet, we CAN choose/decide what traits we want in ourselves...one can choose to err on the side of compassion and mercy or choose anger and suspicion.

    As I understand it, you chose to leave fundamentalism because its worldview was full of anger and suspicion towards everything/everyone. Did you not come to the conclusion that you wanted to shed a simplistic good/bad way of seeing and try for a more complex, nuanced and real way of understanding life? If so, you need to see human beings in all their complexity---no one is all good/ all bad....we are both--and our motivations and intentions are variable from one moment to the next.
    So figure out what you want for yourself, and work on your inner character....because changing your self is something that is within your control. (....and take your time with it because its a lifelong project)

    To be on the side of compassion and mercy does not mean one needs to get stepped on. (though Christianity seems to encourage this idea with the whole "turn the other cheek" doctrine)---regardless, it does not have to be an either/or choice. One can be a nice person and yet be firm and faithful to our inner character and principles.

    CM

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    1. "
      As I understand it, you chose to leave fundamentalism because its worldview was full of anger and suspicion towards everything/everyone. Did you not come to the conclusion that you wanted to shed a simplistic good/bad way of seeing and try for a more complex, nuanced and real way of understanding life?"

      Well, there was about 100 different reasons, questioning theology, diving deeper into the Bible and looking at it in a whole new light (and seeing how awful it can be at times), started leading me out, when I started seeing how toxic it really was, the fundamentalist culture, and the destruction it causes in people's lives and society, pushed me over the edge to unbelief.

      "If so, you need to see human beings in all their complexity---no one is all good/ all bad....we are both--and our motivations and intentions are variable from one moment to the next."

      Sometimes, I feel that contrary to what Christianity says, some people, especially those who abuse others are beyond saving, seems very cynical, but that's the way I feel anymore.

      "To be on the side of compassion and mercy does not mean one needs to get stepped on. (though Christianity seems to encourage this idea with the whole "turn the other cheek" doctrine)---regardless, it does not have to be an either/or choice. One can be a nice person and yet be firm and faithful to our inner character and principles."

      That's a lesson that fundamentalism has yet to learn. They keep calling anyone who dares to speak up about abuse in churches "bitter", and in that world, there's few things worse than being called bitter. It's a way to shut up people, make them feel that they should not only forgive, but go on living as though it never happened, and not take steps to protect themselves and other people.


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  7. "Sometimes, I feel that contrary to what Christianity says, some people, especially those who abuse others are beyond saving, seems very cynical, but that's the way I feel anymore."
    ---I agree---(apart from the toxicity of such a mindset) I would say most people are beyond "saving" from the outside---this is the reality------people only change if they want to---but change requires too much effort. The first step to change is an acknowledgement that the status quo is not right. ...............however............
    ----the basics of living is---to do what is right and refrain from what is wrong---which also means to support others who do right and refrain from enabling those who do wrong.....in this way we may make a small bit of difference in the world.

    CM

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