I could use some solid advice from my fellow Catholics. I will try to be as honest as possible about myself in this process as well, although that can be difficult. I apologize for the length, but I believe the best advice will come that way. As with all families, everything can get complicated.
I am 25 years old and married for almost 6 years, on my own for 7. I have 1 sibling, a 24 year old, sister. She is single and has been on her own for about 2 years. My parents are 47 (dad) and 50 (mom). Married for 26 years I think. We are all technically “Catholic”.
My main issue is with my mother, but my father is just as much guilty, because he obviously enables her. I have never been close to either of my parents. Being honest, I remember mostly using them for what I wanted (to go somewhere, to buy something, etc.) and they allowed this type of behavior as “normal”. My dad worked part-time as a pastoral musician and also had a full-time job, so he was always working. Always. He was fun to be around when he was there, but to this day I do not have a real relationship with him. My mother was a SAHM, although she didn’t need to be. We went to parochial school until I was 10 and then we couldn’t afford it anymore. I remember that she mostly talked to her mother on the phone and watched soap operas and the Price is Right all day. She would take us to dance lessons, etc., but again, I don’t feel I ever have had a relationship with her.
During my childhood we moved a lot, starting when I was 10 until I was 16, every year we moved to a different state. It was very hard on my sister and I. I have difficulty in sustaining long-term friendships as a result of this (and of course other things play into it).
As for religion, it was a big deal that we go to church every Sunday and dress up, but we were NEVER taught the faith at home, nor did we see it lived out. I fought tooth and nail against having to go when I was 13 and they finally gave in and I never went again until I was an adult. I couldn’t have told you what being Catholic meant, or Christian for that matter. I experiented in other religions for a while until being drawn back to the Church about a year and a half ago.
When I was 16 I met and began dating (if you could call it that) the man who is now my husband. We were using each other, same thing for different reasons. We ending up liking each other, then loving each other, then finding God together and finally the Catholic Church (we were both technically “Catholic”). Today we live out our faith as best we can, attend daily mass most of the time, etc. I always say that Satan thought he had a great thing until God showed him the real reason for bringing us two heathens together.
So that’s the history… Fast-forward to today.
I see now that my parents faith is and probably always has been lip-service only, even though my father is still a pastoral musician. I couldn’t tell you the last time (or any time in my entire life for that matter) I have known them to go to confession, but they sure are up there for the Eucharist ever Sunday. They swear, they don’t sleep in the same room and haven’t for years, my mother spends money like she’s Paris Hilton (and they are now filing bankruptcy which will be the 4th or 5th time)…
This in itself creates issues. My husband and I talk about God openly, about Catholic teaching, we leave EWTN on the TV almost all the time. Basically, our lives revolve around God, as we believe everyone’s should, especially professing Catholics. But now my mother considers this “shoving your religion down my throat”. My religion? What about the battles you had with me when I was a kid trying to force me to go to church? Oh, so now that the shoe’s on the other foot and I’m actualling LIVING my faith (trying to) you don’t want it?
I can’t talk to my mother about anything. She is incapable of having a “normal” conversation. For example, I could ask a complete stranger questions like “So, who are you going to vote for?” or “What do you believe about God?” or “Hey man, did you see the new picks for this year’s NFL team?”, etc. You name the subject, she has NO CLUE. Her life is literally as follows nowadays (and mind you, she is 50 years old): during a normal day she will do the every day things like dishes, laundry, house work, shopping, but her free time is used to listen to Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus, watching Disney movies (we have no grandchildren in the family), shopping at what I would considers preteen/early teen clothing stores (she is at least 250 lbs), playing with her collection of realistic baby dolls (oh, and they have their own bedroom complete with bassinets and weekly sometimes daily outfit changes). She has no friends, and never has that I can remember.
I have tried to talk to her about it and encourage her to join a women’s group, to relate to women her age and find age-appropriate things to do. Her response is “I like what I like, and I don’t care if YOU don’t think it’s appropriate”. She says that I’m hateful because I don’t want to be around her or call her. I tell her we have nothing to talk about, which we don’t. We have nothing in common. Every time I’m around her it’s something I have to “put up with”. I don’t enjoy her company, and there’s nothing we can do together. All she ever wants to do when my parents do visit us (they’re a couple hours away), is go shopping! Or see some preteen movie. She’s not interested in adult movies at all (and I don’t mean porn, lol). She has no inclination to intellectual or culture pursuits. Her only ambition in life it seems is to induce me to have a child so that she can play with it.
I can’t (choose not to) bring her around any of my in-laws or friends or coworkers because she is an embarrassment to me. That may or may not be a “Christian” thing to say, but this is how I feel! sigh…
I am beyond fed up with this woman. I know that she’s my mother and I’m supposed to love and honor her, but I don’t know if I can. She “hates” my husband although she won’t say it, (can’t really blame her given our history, but he is an AWESOME God-fearing, loving, kind man), and he is just as fed up with her and her behavior as I am. I cannot get her to understand that she has serious psychological issues that need to be dealt with (probably stemming from a molestation when she was 13, she related that info to my sister and I when we were younger). Granted, you may have a reason to be a certain way, but get help! She says there’s nothing wrong with her. And now she claims to have contracted Sjodren’s disease and fibromyalgia, and can hardly stand for 10 minutes at a time, but then she’ll tell me how they just went skiing last month! And about how they are going on a vacation to Cape Cod (didn’t I just tell you they are filing BANKRUPTCY?). She starting getting “sick” after I moved out of the house, and it seems like she can do anything if it’s what SHE wants to do.
I am beyond frustrated and I don’t know what to do. I feel like it is just so much easier to say “Screw it”, and just not talk to her at all. I guess I don’t know what my question is, except how do I deal with this?
Thanks for anyone who has taken the time to read ALLLLL of this. I’m sorry! :shrug: