How much does parental judgement get internalized? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-14-2010, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A lot, I think.

Two things triggered me today.

I was talking on the phone to my mother about my sister, and what she was like when we were young, and long story short, said straight up that my sister is a disappointment to her, and that she has not reached anywhere near her potential. I told her not to say that to me, and that it saddens me, and she said it was the truth. I got pretty depressed by that conversation. To her credit, she did call back and very briefly apologized.

The second incidence was a friend of mine's mother coming over. She came over and told me how lovely my garden was, complimented my flowers, and the "naturalness" of the way things were set up. I had told her earlier that it was a mess, hadn't weeded enough, etc. I felt so much lighter... even when I protested about not having done enough weeding, etc. she said, oh, I don't look at that, it's just lovely!

And looking at it from her eyes, it is quite nice! I think I just hear my mother's judgmental voice telling me how messy I am, how I don't care about my environment, etc. I need to stop it, for myself and for my kids. It's enough that she put that on me, I don't need to keep putting it on myself!!!!!

Anyone else internalized a judgmental voice? Any suggestions on how to replace it with a positive voice?

Mama to my 2 boys
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#2 of 4 Old 05-14-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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First you need to always say "thank you" when someone pays you a compliment. Whether you mean it or not. Eventually if you say it enough, you will start to believe the good things they are saying about you.

The second is not to let that judgemental voice get the last word in. Every time you hear it, respond in your head with something positive about yourself. If it repeats, you repeat. The positive thing is the last thing that should be in your head. After a while you won't have to repeat it as often. One day you might discover that you don't have to repeat it at all.

Now that ends the roses portion of my post. Please realize that depending on how judgmental and negative your Mom has been your whole life will depend on whether or not you ever get those voices to go away permanently. I have come to a point in my life where the voices are at bay most of the time. But anytime I'm stressed/sleep deprived/sick, they seem to trickle back in and I have to work harder to counter them.

I say this so it doesn't seem as if some stranger has the "easy" answer. I don't, it's work. But it does work. You just have to stick with it.
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#3 of 4 Old 05-15-2010, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Katwoman. I know you're right. I am going to really try. I have a lot of good things in my life right now, and yet feel dragged down by the oh-so familiar critical voice. I am going to just approach it like a project - systematically address each negative thought. Your success is encouraging to me.

The other thing that's crummy about the situation is that the person I could talk to about this is my sister, since, obviously, she knows the deal in our family - but I don't feel comfortable doing so, because it would hurt her to hear what my mother said. What my mother was doing isn't good for my relationship with my sibling.
I'm going to go to bed, hopefully I'll feel more positive in the am.

Mama to my 2 boys
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#4 of 4 Old 05-15-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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Absolutely do not repeat what your Mom said to your sister! (I know you said you wouldn't already.) Everyone does that in our family. It's extremely hurtful and I don't even understand why it's necessary. (My cousin told me that my grandma was running around telling everyone that she didn't understand why I was getting married since I couldn't hold onto a man anyway.)

You can approach your sister with instances where you were the target. That would allow the two of you to talk about things without it being hurtful to her. I know your feeling hurt about this particular instance, but that's what we're here for!

And BEWARE! It's one thing to get yourself to a healthy spot, but once your kids are old enough to start experiencing what you do. The game is on again.

I love that I can grow. But sometimes I wonder if I can just stand still for a moment or if growing pains happen until we're 105 years old.....
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