Mother blames weaknesses on the devil

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Jolly B.

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Mother blames weaknesses on the devil
« on: May 16, 2018, 08:44:32 PM »
I have found my super religious mother uses "the devil" as a catch-all for why "bad" things happen to her, instead of owning up to her own fallible, imperfect human nature. She's been like this all my life.

Real life example: she's misplaced her car keys for the 150th time...
she'll grumpily say "l know the devil is hiding those keys from me! He knows I've got something important God wants me to do today!"
Or
"I knew God asked me to pray. I just found out so and so was in the hospital last week."
(Ugh! Oh Mother, really?!) :roll:

There are countless examples, though they seem so innocuous. But the crux of the matter, I see now, is her "savior " role place prominently in the center of everyone else's business.
I told her once God didn't need her to save the world... He'd done it already.

As I type this out, I'm astounded to see in print how utterly bonkers she sounds.

As my siblings and I were young children, she used to "threaten" us by saying things like, "If you don't tell me the truth,  that's okay...God will tell me." How is that for emotional manipulation? Good grief!

(Bit off topic: I received a FW email from her just yesterday - about a well-known company discontinuing a family-friendly religious festival... With the subject line she wrote " Well THIS doesn't make me happy". She just has to have her opinion KNOWN about EVERYTHING!
If she doesn't voice her opinion on something, it doesn't exist apparently!)

Has anyone else grown up with a religious parent like this? Is there a name for this type of self-righteous "logic"?
It just feels so bleeping messed up and controlling.


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Julian R

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Re: Mother blames weaknesses on the devil
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 09:16:37 AM »
Hello

I am sorry to hear that you have grown up in an environment where religion has been portrayed and used in such a harmful and manipulative way - it is wrong and harmful.  I hope that being here will help you to sort out what to make of it ll.  I am very new here myself.

My wife has often blamed the devil for a lot of what she has suffered and also for her own failures and wrongdoings - but not perhaps in some of the  ways that you have described.  A friend of mine uses the word "super-spiritualizing" for this kind of behaviour - that is, an approach to life where every little incident is seen to have a deep spiritual cause or meaning.

Christians (I am one) will differ on the question of who the devil is and what he is or is not able to do.  I do agree with you though - and I would suggest that the Bible would agree, that we cannot and should not blame the devil for things we do do wrong.  We are accountable and responsible for our own acts and decisions even when there may be outside influences pushing us one way or another.

My wife likes to shift blame - whether onto the devil or a person - and she can be quite controlling.  I have found these things hard to live with. I am learning that these can be traits of people with PD and am just starting to discover how this site can help.

I am not sure how much help I might have been but I trust that being here and consulting the tools and meeting others will really help you.

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Jolly B.

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Re: Mother blames weaknesses on the devil
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 07:15:34 PM »
Thank You, Julian R. for your response.  I am very new here, too. This is a side of my mother I have never been able to understand.

Religion was VERY STRONGLY used as manipulation in my childhood, and as a grown adult now, she hasn't stopped, just  "matured" a bit in how she approaches the subject she is admonishing me about. (She thinks she is being sly, when really I can see it from a mile away! Really, Mom?!)  :o

My siblings and I have joked with her that she is "over-saved" as comedian Michael, Jr. once said about a relative of his.
(We all laughed because it was SO TRUE of her predictable behavior.) 

I am myself am Christian to this day  (believe it or not, after a childhood like that), though my mother's  "victim" approach to life (blaming the devil for things) just seems ridiculous (and a bit pathetic) to me. 

Your comment about being "super-spiritualized" REALLY hit the nail on the head and gave me a chuckle!

Truth be told, I came back to my own post a few hours after writing it... hoping to delete it somehow... my own self feeling "disloyal" and "mean" for posting something so "secret/embarrassing" about my family.  Maybe that's all part of the GUILT of coming OOTF? 

Thank you again for sharing your own experience.... and that I am not the only person who has dealt with this frustrating behavior.

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Julian R

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Re: Mother blames weaknesses on the devil
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 05:36:35 AM »
Thank you Jolly for your reply.

I am glad that despite having witnessed some of the abuses of religion, you are able to say that you are Christian.  God is good and gracious (even though the difficult people in our lives may not always reflect that - And I am sure we don't perfectly either!).

I admit that I can identify with your feelings of unease or guilt about posting about your mother.  I feel the same sometimes when posting about my wife - or about speaking about her to say good friends, I understand it does feel disloyal but in a way this is just keeping us trapped and closing us off from help that we do really need.

If our motivation is to gain insight and understanding that will help us to take care of our selves and perhaps help us to better manage our relationships with the difficult people in our lives then I think these are good reasons for sharing.

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HeadAboveWater

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Re: Mother blames weaknesses on the devil
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 04:02:04 PM »
I can relate to all that has been said here ó about the experiences with oneís family and about the conflict of not wanting to bash religion, which largely has a positive message.

A twist in my life was that my mother blamed dark forces for my difficulties. When I was sick, or depressed, or went against my motherís will, surely ďdemonsĒ were to blame. In fact, it was my motherís emotional abuse.

Religion was also a convenient way for my mother and grandmother to externalize responsibility for things in their lives. Something bad was, of course, Satanís doing or, perhaps, Godís will. Their difficulties in relationships were due to the persecution of Christians, not the natural consequence of being PDIís. Instead of seeking counseling for their acknowledged depression, they sought Jesusís help through prayer, sometimes over-enthusiastically becoming sooo thankful for his healing when it was obvious that they were still so broken.

Iíve found too that the Church has funneled other PDIís right to my motherís doorstep. Sheís settled in with some rather authoritarian sects over the years and matched up with a number of people happy to oblige the control-me dynamic. Sheíll call many of these people crazy and lose patience with them, but sheís not at all interested in or able to form healthier relationships.

I canít change any of this for her, but it is interesting to see how religion is one of many enabling forces that has been part of my motherís life.

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Jolly B.

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Re: Mother blames weaknesses on the devil
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2018, 04:29:10 PM »
"Religion was also a convenient way for my mother and grandmother to externalize responsibility for things in their lives."

HeadAboveWater, your whole post rang true for me! I can understand exactly where you are coming from.
 
Having sickness or anxiety issues or anything else go "wrong" being blamed on the devil... ugh... so familiar.
She has never accepted my depression/anxiety issues as part of my personal experience. (She sees mental health struggles as something "put upon me" by nefarious forces.) 

I have always struggled to feel my mother being real with me... what I mean is, I have never been able to connect with her on a personal level... religion is always a blockage between us, snuffing out any chance of truly connecting.
 
Because of reasons I am still trying to figure out... it is like she has used religion in place of a real, human  relationship with me (or my siblings).
When I ask her advice, or am simply looking for comfort and validation, all she can do is quote Bible verses at me.
In less than stellar moments of mine, I've gotten angry and told her to 'quit preaching at me and TALK to me!"
She looks back at me blankly  :blink: ... she doesn't get it. And it's frustrating and painful.

And I don't' understand.
I keep going back to the same place that's giving me nothing in return.