That’s according to my mom. She hasn’t said that in so many words, at least, not those particular words in that particular order, but that’s the jist of her thinking about me.
How to summarize quickly?
Mom is responsible for planting a seed of faith in me, and she planted it well. Eventually I became one of those annoying hard-core amateur apologists early in college, but I quickly burned out. I rejected the faith for a while, but eventually came back, and as far as I can tell, this faith is healthy, holy, and real. I now loathe apologetics, and for the first time in my life, I’m much more likely to actually hear what people are saying whether they’re anti-Catholics, non-Catholics, or non-Christians.
Over the last few years, my family has gone through some trying times. My brother got hooked on drugs, married a horrible woman, had a child, divorced, cleaned up, and then got another girl pregnant. While the annullment is pending, and his new fiance seems “nice,” it’s still not the ideal situation, obviously. Especially because my brother’s then-girlfriend was living with him in my parents’ place. I never said a thing about it, and mom was quick to shut down any conceivable criticism about that arrangement.
My sister also got pregnant while living at home. Her boyfriend is also “nice,” but not Catholic. Now both siblins are living with their respective lovers.
I’d kept my mouth shut through all of it. It was fairly easy to do–after all, what can I say? My siblings both know it’s wrong, and except for their actions, could be considered “orthodox” Catholics.
Through this time religion would sometimes come up. During one visit last year, before my wife and I were married, me and mom had a fight at the dinner table that will go down in family lore as “the time things changed.” (We could date life before as B.F. [Before Fight] and A.F.) The topic? I simply said, “Generally speaking, Catholics in America don’t know their faith very well.” I think it’s an accurate statement, but one I’m very open to modifying.
Mom didn’t take it that way. It became a fight about me being holier than everyone else, about her parenting, about how she hates “Bible thumpers,” etc. It made a so-far irreversible impression on my soon-to-be-wife, who, at the time, was still a fundamentalist.
I could add to the list of minor grievances that exploded into ridiculous, pointless squabbles, but I’ll just skip to the end.
Last night I was chatting with mom, and I asked WHAT in the world my sister was thinking if she KNOWS living with her boyfriend is wrong. Well, that’s all it took. It’s probably pointless to recount everything that we said, but I’ll just ask that you take my word for it–I was NOT condemning anyone to Hell. I didn’t say my siblings were evil. I did NOT call her a bad parent. In fact, I’ve been bending over backward for so long to not cause offense that I’m probably guilty of a sin of omission.
I’m just done. I can’t keep playing this game anymore. My mom is perpetually p.o.'d at the world, and it’s apparent that nothing I can say will ever be taken the way I said it. It’s all about secret motives, or subtext, or the subconscious. Somehow, by almost remaining silent I’ve become a judgmental ***.
Is it wrong to simply let family ties die through non-contact when everything is so noxious?