Thank you for the mostly thoughtful replies. I had to wait a day to post this because there’s a limit for new members. I guess my initial comment should’ve been more specific. I don’t need counseling and didn’t come here for support, just information. I was curious if what I experienced is normal for people raised as Catholics. Sorry if this wasn’t the right place to enquire.
Whether or not it was technically or legally or morally abuse, it felt like it to me. In all those years Mom never once asked me if I believed in God. Maybe belief was so easy or logical for her she assumed it was the same for me. I was too afraid of her fierce conviction to volunteer the information, and if I had, I’m quite certain she would have become even more relentless and determined. I couldn’t just make myself believe. The only thing I can compare it to is hypnosis. I tried, twice, to be hypnotized to help me quit smoking, and both times they gave up on me, insisting that I didn’t really want to be hypnotized.
When I was living on my own Mom would ask if I was saying my prayers and going to church, if I was still wearing my rosary and scapular (we’d been required to wear those at all times) and would make comments like “it breaks my heart that you’re abandoning your faith”. A completely honest answer would’ve been “I’m sorry, but it was never my faith” but that would’ve been rubbing salt in the wound.