Having the chastity talk with mom...(sorry, it's long)


#1

I grew up not only hearing about why I should be out there having sex from the media, but also from my parents.

My dad and older brother always told me that a relationship wasn’t serious, wasn’t dating, if I wasn’t having sex with the guy. See, according to them, the relationship is primarily about sex and secondarily about anything else.

My mother, on the other hand, respected my decision to remain chaste… as long as I agreed to take birth control, which I wouldn’t because I saw taking birth control as a cheap cop out, and because having taken it once I already knew that it would only make my menstrual cycles even more painful and drawn out.

Yet she always told me, it’s not a shameful thing to sleep with a man. Sex, she would say, is supposed to be a natural thing. And just in case I got “carried away” in a moment, I should be on the pill, just in case.

But, having read Crystalina and Jason Evert’s work in Pure Love and Pure Womanhood, I decided that I liked what they had to say because it seemed to make the most sense to me and filled me with a sense of being worth something more than a man’s sexual approval.

Now my mother is breaking up with her third husband, and I can’t even count the number of failed relationships she’s been through.

So when she and I were out together at an open mic. event for my nineteenth birthday, she was crying and was a real mess. It really scared me for her.

She was crying because she feels she’s failed in yet another relationship, and even worse, this time she’s failed to protect four of her children (my siblings) from an abusive man.

He’s not allowed to come back to the family until he can prove he’s taken anger management classes (thank God). CAS came up with that rule - otherwise, she’ll lose the kids (which terrifies me - I can’t bear to think I wouldn’t see my siblings anymore).

So I tentatively brought up chastity. I gave her my copies of Pure Love and Pure Womanhood, and I talked about things like oxytosen(I deffinitely spelled that wrong, please correct me!) and why a woman should remain pure.

I also noted that my grandmother, her mother, was single for ten years after splitting with my grandfather (who was also an abusive man), stopped drinking and smoking, spent the time learning about herself.

I mentioned that maybe ten years was necessary, as a few months between relationships seemed to only mean that one would enter the same relationship again and again with different partners, bu the same or similar scenarios.

I don’t feel like it was enough, though. She gives me this look, like she’s just humouring me. I don’t know… how do I make her understand?

I don’t want her to think that I think I’m better than her for being pure, because if she were pure, I wouldn’t be alive, nor would five other beautiful people, all of whom I love deeply.

But somehow I think that’s what she’s thinking… I think she feels judged, but I just want to help her. I don’t want to lose my mother completely, I don’t want to see my siblings grow up distrusting and hating men like I did, I don’t want to see her constantly hurting herself and allowing men to hurt her like this.

How do I get her to understand? What more, besides praying, can I do?

in faith,
Saoirse


#2

I don’t know.

My own mother was married six times. She was always dating and looking for someone to fall in love with.The trouble was that she always picked the worst men to have an emotional reaction for.

I never could convince my mother that she shouldn’t be constantly looking for a new man.:frowning: She would even try and get my kids to tell me that they wanted a granddad.

On the plus side though at least your mother heard you through. My mom simply errupted at me when I tried and discuss such issues with her.

It is possible that your mom will mull over your words and come to a similar conclusion as you. Perhaps you just need to give her time.

By the way you have my sympathy. I know how difficult it can be to have a mother who is in and out of relationships. My mother started a weird cycle with her children. SHe would get us excited about her latest male friend, and help build up our affection for him, only to break up with him. If he was a nice guy we never saw him again, because mom didn’t want anything to do with nice guys. If he had some sort of mental problem then we saw him all the time.(My mother liked the loosers)

It was like being abandoned over and over again. Not a pleasant way to have a childhood.:frowning:


#3

What an incredibly brave and admirable thing you did!!! You are very courageous! Maybe she was just shocked and had never really heard those words before. My first reaction was that she must really be thinking, 'can this really be my child? can such wisdom come from someone who I’ve taught so differently?'
I am SURE your words would have had a deep and profound affect.
I myself was abandoned by my first husband and I know what it’s like to feel lonely and want someone to love you. But when you have a faith in God, you trust that He will make up for what you don’t have and He does.
Does she believe in God?
I was alone for 6 years and was ok with that and then met another man that seems to have turned out almost as bad as the first!
I think I would rather have been alone than to have to go through another breakup again, and I certainly won’t be looking for another.
But some people pin all their hopes for happiness in a relationship and cannot be happy out of one. They are more in love with being in a relationship than with the person. I know this as sometimes I think I felt this way but not now.
Your mother really needs to learn to be alone and like her own company now.Maybe with you spending more time with her she may see there is more to life than being in a relationship.
I think you did a wonderful thing and I’m sure it had some impact.
Maybe suggest she take up a hobby or an interest. Sounds like the only interest she has is men. Go out with her often.
Do you go to church? maybe gently suggest she go with you one day. She needs to put God up there in the place she puts men. He’s the only one who will never let us down.
Keep her busy and keep praying for her.
God bless you


#4

Saoirse, God Bless you is all I can say.

I pray my girls turn out as well as you did!!!


#5

I would pray pray pray and pray some more. Only the Holy Spirit can change her. Ask God to speak through you and beg him to epen her eyes.


#6

Good for you for remaining chaste and for being a good witness to your mother! You cannot force a revelation on anyone, but you can live your life as an example for her and the remainder of your family. You might be surprised at how much influence you can have by just living the good life as a chaste and kind person and remaining prayerful. Remember that a seed does not sprout overnight.

I had wonderful Catholic girlfriends in college who gave me a good example. I shocked the stuffing out of them by calling up 19 years later and announcing that I was becoming Catholic. One of them was my sponsor and we still go to the same parish. I have other friends who have seen the fruits of their labor a bit faster, but remember that something might be happening on God’s time instead of yours.

Stay strong, stay pure!


#7

Wow, what an inspiration you are!

Keep praying for her, for sure. Let things sink in a little-- and look at some secular type books like Dr. Laura (Ten Stupid Things Women Do… comes to mind). Also, Dr. Greg Popcak’s book For Better…Forever is excellent and I recommend you give it to your mom.

If she would see a Catholic counselor, that would be great.

Just remember that an entire lifetime of programming doesn’t change in a flash-- she may never change, or it may be years.

God bless you for your care and love that you show to your mom.


#8

You are the kind of Catholic the world needs more of. While I do not know your bible literacy or whether you can quote chapter or verse … you actually live what Christ taught. Your living example is so much more powerful than any biblical or apolegtic argument could be.

“Come take up your cross and follow me”. If only more did what you are doing, each and every day, the seemingly impossible is made possible.

Remember what Yogi Berra once said, “It aint over till its over”.

God Bless.


#9

…wow…

just the fact that other people have been through this as well amazes me… I know it shouldn’t, but it does. it means that there’s hope…

I am going to try and find those books you mentioned… that way, I can read them myself and also try and encourage my mother towards more reading.

I feel like I should clarify one thing here; I am not yet Catholic, but am in RCIA this year and loving it - and I doubt I could convince my mother to come to a Catholic Church with me because she disagrees with a lot of Catholic teachings…

but I might try and connect her to a friend of mine from work who is Pentacostal(sp?), because that might at least connect her to some sort of Christian community. and then, as well, it isn’t me telling her she should go to church anymore - but instead, a friend that’s inviting her to join their family.

then as well, she doesn’t have the barrier of no ride or not enough help with the kids, as I am sure this friend would be willing to help any way that she could in making getting to church possible for my mother (as would I).

I’ve suggested hobbies to her, by the way. She plays guitar, and the music she writes is absolutely amazing. Her musical talent is probably unparalled, in my opinion, but because she is so busy with her children, she doesn’t have much time to develop it anymore.

She seems interested in taking up knitting, though. Maybe there’s an affordable class in the city somewhere - I think I’ll look into it. Then all she’d have to worry about is finding a baby-sitter for the few hours a week of class, and as long as it’s not during my work shift, I could probably help with that, too.

Saoirse

ps - I don’t think I said this yet, but thank you for letting me know that others have been through this, and that there is hope.

pps - are there any Saints who’ve been almost helpless, or who’ve struggled, to bring about a conversion in family members? or any who’ve been through a cycle of abusive relationships repeatedly before healing? because I could really use a role model here, and I’m sure my mother wouldn’t mind one either, if I brought it to her attention the right way.


#10

St. Augustine’s mother prayer for his conversion … her name was St. Monica. She would be someone who was in the same shoes you are.

A google search will yield links.


closed #11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.