Human brain having human problems here. Since my mom has come in town to visit, I have gotten coaching on her several times. I have a few unintentional thought models that have created a lot of awareness, but I am still getting “triggered” when she “should’s” on me, especially when there’s patriarchal overtones to it that she believes is fact.
This morning, she said, “You should go to church.” Then, the other day, she says, “You should sleep in the same bed as your husband. It’s not good for a marriage to sleep separately.” For my husband and I, it’s temporary, and we like our reasons for it. We have a 4-year-old who co-sleeps and my husband is a light sleeper, so I co-sleep with our daughter during the work week. We all get more sleep that way. But my mom doesn’t see it that way. And, then, it’s ironic because she has slept in the same bed w/ my dad and now they’re divorcing after years of fighting and my father’s marital & financial infidelity coming to light. Mother shares stories about friend’s kids who are not “successful” by her (and society’s) standards. The list goes on.
I see that her thought model is from a place of care. She thinks she’s helping and caring by providing advice to me to “fix” my situation, which to anyone else would not see as a problem — but ugh! I still get so annoyed and irritated with her words. I can tolerate it when I see her once a month or every few months, but this has been almost daily since she’s been staying with us.
I know that our “difficult” people and situations can be our greatest teachers. And that it’s our thoughts about them that make them difficult for us. There’s a lesson here I guess that I’m missing since my feelings of annoyance and irritation and my reaction keep coming up. If she was anyone else, I suppose I wouldn’t be as bothered because I know that person will leave. But this is my mother, it makes the situation worse if I tell her to leave or stop talking. (which again, I realize is a T)
I recognize that I have a manual for her — thinking that moms shouldn’t give unsolicited advice. That she should be reassuring.. not nit-picking. But that’s who she is. How can I accept her for that.. while not getting annoyed? I have people-pleased her most of my life.. she has lectured and should-ed on my siblings and me for most of our lives. I was so ready to get out of the house.. and now she’s here for who knows how long.
C: Mother says words.
T: Ugh, I don’t want to hear this.
A: I judge her, don’t see the advice as “caring”, argue with her, turn away from her after a while, tune her out, go into fight or flight mode.
R: I don’t hear her.
I’m not really sure what else to do with this. I know what this is creating and that I’m reacting from emotional childhood. I’m having challenges finding an Intentional T that resonates for me. Thankfully, with thought work, I handle our fights better. I would like to stop getting “triggered” by her (or, rather, by my T’s about her). Help!