Thursday, April 18, 2024

DEAR CHRISTINE: Deeply hurt by mum’s harsh words


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Dear Christine,
I am writing to you because I am becoming fed up with my mother’s hatred towards certain communities in Barbados. I am a student of the University of the West Indies and I’ve been brought up through the entire school system of Barbados. I couldn’t be happier from the way society treated me as a kid to a young adult now in my 20s.
I understand my mother may have some issues going on in her life, but she becomes very hurtful to me at times.
I like to believe I am a good child. I never do anything wrong like drink, smoke or party. The most I do is go to see a movie with friends, and I rarely stay out after midnight because I know she worries and likes me home around then.
Every child makes their parents mad once in a while over something, but it often passes in a day. But, Christine, any minor thing like not washing the kitchen sink or making a logical statement of correction turns into a bloodbath. She begins to curse and says she wishes I was never born.
I do understand she said these things because she was angry. But sometimes when we are getting along, laughing and enjoying each other, in a blink she is at my dad and me. We put up with it just to keep the noise level down in the house.
What hurts me most is that when she verbally attacks me, she brings in my friends and girlfriend. She never once took time to learn any of their names even though I spend time with them. And they are good, decent young people.
Mum is driven by what she reads and perceives in the media as negative things about her and her religion. When she speaks about my girlfriend, who comes from a different religious background, she negatively comments on her religion and family, making totally stereotypical statements that are quite inaccurate.
She often threatens to call my girlfriend’s family who have nothing against me and have only respected me and my religion. They have never done anything to offend anyone in my family and always send gifts and food whenever my family holds certain events.
I do understand mum’s worries about me in a mixed-religion marriage, but who’s talking about marriage? We are young; we don’t care about marriage or anything.
But mum keeps insulting my girlfriend’s mother, saying the family is luring me into a “trap”.
She keeps saying these things without knowing anything, and it hurts because my girlfriend and I are about our education and just having innocent fun along the way. All we do is spend time studying, eating and going to see movies. Our relationship is a very casual one.
My mother doesn’t trust me, and that hurts me a lot because, unlike my older sister, who partied hard and smoked. I do neither.
My mum should trust me. I think I’ve earned it, even if just a little. I just don’t get why she is always mad at me.
I sometimes feel like crying inside because I know I’m a good child to my family, always helping when needed.
But my mother just hates me now for no good reason. She claims she cares, but I am starting to think she really doesn’t.
I wish that things weren’t always about her and that she would ask me how my day was or what matters to me.
– Please Help
Dear PH,
It is clear your mum has unresolved issues concerning your birth, and she needs to deal with these and not take them out on you.
Your situation also demonstrates what can happen when parents don’t take time to communicate with their children and try to get to know them, as well as their friends.
Based on what you said, you are trying to be a decent young man who happens to have a girlfriend from a different religion. Both of you are just enjoying each other’s company and trying to make it through university – nothing else.
Your mum’s prejudice is based on the fear generated by stereotypical beliefs. That will only be altered through time and positive experiences.
You said in the unpublished part of this correspondence that you don’t verbally express yourself well.
I suggest you write a letter to your mum outlining your thoughts on her attitude. Ensure your father gets a copy at the same time and the three of you have a session on this.
You should explain to your mum that you are trying to be the type of child every parent would be proud of and the least she can do is to try to understand you.
And you should specifically ask your dad for more support.
I hope this helps.
– Christine


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