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Language Log

Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017 - 1:24 p.m.

I think I have to admit that that sort of thing my mom did-- does-- is abusive. I don't want to oversell that, as in the grand scheme of things, it's several magnitudes away from the kinds of abuse that happen. And it is just one small aspect of her. I would not characterize it as an abusive childhood in general, or her as an abusive person, but I think I can say that certain things she did were abusive. And remain so. I think being very clear about that, at least to myself, is important in managing her around my children.

1. Trying to shut down behavior that makes her uncomfortable by making a person feel bad about themselves for doing it.

2. Gaslighting me by telling me I am self-centered when I stand up for myself or my children. It has left me genuinely questioning my intuitions and I default to assuming that I am just an inconsiderate asshole and probably the other person is right. Historically that has not been a great strategy for me.

3. See that bad thing that happened? That is YOUR FAULT. FEEL BAD. you should feel bad about yourself because you are the sort of person who caused a bad thing to happen. You should try to be a better person.

4. Other people should feel welcomed all the time! Their mild desires are more important than your strong preferences. Don't be self-centered. You are not #1. Why do you think you should be # 1 all the time?

I do #3 to my kids a lot. I am going to stop.

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