Emotionally Manipulative Mothers

Posted by j_IR1776wg 2 years, 1 month ago to Ask the Gulch
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I am writing a book examining violence between humans throughout history specially as it applies to individuals and their governments. I read this comment by term2 "...I went through a lot of changes during and after college, shedding off Catholicism and struggling with the effects of an emotionally manipulative mother..." at this post https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

I also walked away from Catholicism as a young boy and endured an emotionally destructive mother. I wrote of one incident that occurred "I was thirteen years old during a hot summer in New Jersey. This was before air-conditioning so I was asleep wearing only boxer shorts. My two sisters were asleep in their own room. My parents had gone out to a social event. So I had no idea what time it was when they came home. It was the shock of being whipped with a wet, dirty towel that brought me full awake. My alcohol-fueled mother was standing over me swinging the towel screaming "You fucking little bastard, I'll kill you" over and over again. I kept asking why she was hitting me in between my expressions of pain. There was no answer. She was completely unhinged and would not be distracted from her only focus - taking her rage-filled hatred of the men in her life out on me.

After what seemed an eternity, my father who was standing watching her beat me said "That's enough" and to my repeated question answered "You know why you're getting hit" I asked again and he replied that I had left the dirty wet towel in the bathroom. I said I hadn't. He said "if it wasn't you, then who?" From my sister's room, my younger sister said "I did." He told my mother to apologize - she didn't - not that night - not ever. It was a home bereft of love and affection but filled with put-downs, threats, sarcasm, derisive laughter, and occasional violence..."©

I'm wondering how many Gulch members were raised by mothers like ours and how many by emotionally stable mothers who provided the positive reinforcement that helped in shaping successful careers and personal lives?



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  • Posted by $ rockymountainpirate 2 years, 1 month ago
    Both my parents were emotionally stable and supportive, even if they didn't agree with my decision, it was mine and they supported it. Now my finally ex-sister-law on the other hand nearly destroyed my brothers 2 daughters, her step daughters, and it still has profound effects on their lives and the choices they made early in their lives. Evil people exist, and as I told my brother repeatedly, if you don't remove yourself and your children from the situation you are just as guilty as she. He argued that he stayed to protect them. Later, after the divorce he said that he just wanted to be married even though she tried to destroy him and nearly did his children.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 1 month ago
      RMP your comment encapsulates the myriad complexities involved in trying to understand the human psyche. Firstly, you and your brother had the same parents but, apparently, different responses and different outcomes. I had abusive,unstable parents and made similar mistakes as your brother did by staying with my now ex-wife for far too long. Secondly, there is no way for me to ever assess your ex-sister-in-law's reasons for trying to destroy him and his children. I assume the attempt was psychological rather than physical.

      We are all products of not only Nature and Nurture but also how we change our lives when we take responsibility for and control over the paths we follow.
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      • Posted by $ rockymountainpirate 2 years, 1 month ago
        Yes, we both have (had) the same parents. I have always been an Objectivist, even before I knew there was such a thing. Not the same case with my brother. Your assumption that the abuse was only psychological is inaccurate. I had to rescue one of my nieces from her step mother attempting to strangle her.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 1 month ago
    I have kids ages 8 and 10. I hear a line, often from mothers, about it being important not to put your needs ahead of your children's. I always reject that. I feel like I've taken out a sacred debt by bringing kids into the world because I wanted to do it. I have to fill my end of the bargain and provide for them and eventually teach them to provide for themselves so they don't have to listen to me or anyone else telling them what to do. That is not the same as their needs coming first. My desires come 100% first. Women often have a harder time saying that, having been taught to sacrifice more since a young age. I wonder if this sacrifice leads to some of the evil in the world, maybe playing a role in the evil you describe that I cannot fully understand.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 1 month ago
      CG thank you for your comments. No one fully understands violence, much less has a solution to solve the problem. Moses tried the commandment Thou shall not kill approx. 1300 B.C. basing his authority on God. Ayn Rand tried her commandment "...no man may initiate—do you hear me? no man may start—the use of physical force against others..." basing her authority on Reason in 1957 A.D. Neither seems to have had a major effect, nor have prisons around the world helped to lessen the propensity of many toward violence.

      As to the raising of children, neither the parents needs nor desires should have any importance. The two major theories are the child is born tabula rasa (Aristotle unfortunately) and must have his head filled by experience and perception. A few years ago, I was at a father's day dinner with my son-in-law's father. At one point he intoned that our "grandson had to be formed".

      The diametric opposite view best expressed by Maria Montessori, summed up by the expression "follow the child". This the concept that children learn best when they are allowed to do so at their own pace. The parents role is to provide an environment conducive to learning. As MM said ”We cannot know the consequences of suppressing a child's spontaneity when he is just beginning to be active. We may even suffocate life itself. That humanity which is revealed in all its intellectual splendor during the sweet and tender age of childhood should be respected with a kind of religious veneration. It is like the sun which appears at dawn or a flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.”

      http://www.searchquotes.com/quotation...
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 1 month ago
        "Neither seems to have had a major effect"
        According to the book The Better Angels of Our Nation, they ARE having an effect. Books, stories, and education ARE decreasing violence over the long arc of history.

        "grandson had to be formed"
        Is that your daughter's husband's father? (I'm not good at family trees.) If so, congratulations. I bet your daughter's husband yakked because he couldn't contain himself, while your daughter insisted on telling no one until they get past a certain point. 25% of conceptions end in miscarriage during the 5th or 11th week. This was the scenario with my wife and me anyway. I wanted to tell people, but she was circumspect. A miscarriage in the 5th week, when the embryo is barely more than a zygote is traumatic for some women. I struggle to see it as more than some random squirrel dying. I try to keep my mouth shut about such things and be supportive in these matters.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 1 month ago
    It's hard to think about. It like the evil of an Ayn Rand villain, but we want so badly for mothers to be good. I think that's why Keating's mother in The Fountainhead stands out in my mind. It might also be why the perversely "motherly" figure who doled out benefits at the motor plant is such a poignant villain for me.

    I have heard an alcoholic parent is hell on earth because sometimes there's a sweet spot where they're not jonesing but not buzzing too hard where you sort of see the person they could be. But they spend most of their time angry or wasted, and they certainly never keep in promises made during the sweet-spot times.
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