I recognize that I have a sacred obligation to honor my father and my mother and that I have utterly failed to do as this commandment requires of me for the overwhelming majority of my thirty years.
In consequence of my repeated sinful misbehavior as a young child, my father sought solace in alcohol, erupted in fits of anger, and moved away from me, my mother, and my younger siblings. My behavior deteriorated further thereafter into a life of dissipation and serial mortal sin, but I somehow managed to get into college and left in 1998.
In 2004, I moved halfway across the country and found a good job. For the next five years, my family visited at most once a year. I learned to trust in the mercy, providence, and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died to forgive my sins. But I recognize that even if the Blood of Christ spares me the eternal punishment for my sins through the sacrament of penance, I still must suffer the temporal punishment for these sins. Despite my imperfections, God has bestowed tremendous blessings upon me, heaping blessing upon blessing, all unmerited, over the past several years.
In 2007, high school graduated my youngest sibling, and she departed for college. This departure left my mother alone, and she developed "empty nest" syndrome, which appears to have intensified over the past four years. Because of my previous misbehavior, she has no husband to console and strengthen her.
In 2009, I bought a house and moved from my apartment. But I still have not married nor fathered any children, which clearly upsets my mother. (I harbor serious doubt that God calls me to the marriage vocation.) My mother then took a job in closer geographic proximity to my abode (a few hundred miles away) and began to visit for several days most months. (My other siblings have scattered throughout the country.)
My mother recently decided to move into my house. She sought employment with my employer and interviewed for an open position in an office immediately adjacent to mine. The possibility of getting this job clearly excites her even though the job responsibilities likely will frustrate her. My lack of enthusiasm about this prospect clearly upsets her, and my failure to develop and demonstrate such enthusiasm clearly reflects severe shortcomings on my part.
Because of various problems and continuing sin on my part, I have considerable difficulty pleasing my mother when she visits, especially when duties related to her employment do not occupy her mind. I recognize that I have failed to put forth adequate effort, and I obviously must develop a more positive outlook on this situation. Going forward, I cannot ignore my sacred duty to honor my mother. On the other hand, I do not know how best to fulfill this duty although I recognize that doing so may entail great difficulty for me.
I face the following complications:
Because of my embarrassment over my parents' separation and my culpability in it, I have deliberately obscured and even lied about this fact.
My mother insists on accompanying me to any social events that I attend during her visits, even when it would be unconventional or inappropriate (e.g., Knights of Columbus). Numerous stimuli, occurrences, activities, and topics provoke consternation from my mother. Because of these factors, I typically suspend or minimize my social life whenever she visits.
Some of my friends and colleagues perceive that I have a poor relationship with my mother (or "parents," the euphemism I often use to discuss her). This is entirely due to failures on my part to honor her enthusiastically as I should. I still have a bad attitude, often approaching exasperation rather than enthusiasm. My bad attitude may lead my colleagues to dislike my mother should she get the position for which she applied, thus denying her the emotional support that she deserves.
Over the past four years, my mother has threatened suicide on numerous occasions, especially during winter. This location experiences more severe winters than her previous location does. Nevertheless, I recognize that I have not given her the love and support that she obviously needs.
My mother absolutely despises my parish and especially my pastor. Nevertheless, the prospect of visiting a different parish on Sunday provokes resistance in her. I obviously must handle this situation delicately and with due care for her spiritual welfare. She also strongly opposes me going to confession. After all, if I do not sin, then I do not need to go to confession, and she clearly is vastly closer to that state than I am. Nonetheless, I am not sure how to approach this issue beyond insisting on fulfilling my obligation to confess at least once per year and otherwise avoiding all mortal sin. Catching me engaging in prayer or pious reading perturbs her greatly, and I dare not listen to Catholic radio in her presence.
Over the past couple weeks, my mother repeatedly and insistently said, "God hates me." I cannot think of a proper response that honors both her and God beyond sending her to confession (which provokes her rage). Moreover, giving no response or an irrelevant response to this assertion upsets her.
In short, I know that I have a wonderful, loving mother who gave me life and steadfast love despite my many transgressions against her and my wretched behavior. However, I do not know how to honor her best under the current situation. Moreover, I perceive that my encouragement or compulsion for her to seek housing or employment elsewhere than with me might not be best for her.
PS: sorry about the extreme length of this diatribe.