Praise Shocker


Having just spent a few days at Mom’s house, it is often a treacherous path to navigate not knowing what sudden mood shift (in her) may occur and leave me dangling perilously off the side of a narrow footpath I travel when in her presence, ready to plummet to my own demise.

There were surprisingly no dangerous elements that appeared and the visit was pleasant.  I even experienced an extremely rare phenomenon; praise.

With a bit of dumbfounded shock at receiving praise, momentary silence and confusion stilled my being as I looked in her direction. I soon smiled and replied; Thank you!    My mind reflected on the time that I learned of the concept of ‘modeling’, not where you are photographed and splashed on glossy magazine pages and covers.  The kind of modeling where you behave in a way that sets an example for others (to hopefully imitate).

Many years back, I had taken the approach to compliment and praise mother on her ability to navigate her own difficult life’s journey.   In my family there were never ( that I can recall ) praises or compliments.  When I spoke these kind, supportive words to her that first time she responded by laughing at me, as though she thought I was putting her on or pulling her leg.

I would repeat the kind words over the months and years and she no longer laughed but began to listen, to hear me.  Then, one afternoon I was driving her somewhere while I was staying over for a visit and out of no where she said; ” I am proud of you “.

My mind said, “What?!?”  I felt a deep sense of shock and disbelief as the words lingered in the air within the automobile, I started to question myself at what I just heard and then dismissed my doubts and jumped in with a heartfelt, stunned “thank you.”  Wow!  At 50 y.o. I got what I had always wanted from my mother, praise.  Only wish I hadn’t been behind the wheel and could have crashed from the shock of it all.  It was a real big moment, in my mind and heart.

That ‘modeling’ concept works!

The Letter


Following her physical assault of my 90 y.o. grandmother, my aunt wrote her a letter.  “Aunt” had already committed some significant legal crimes that had yet to be discovered.

The letter was cruel and further devastated my grandmother.   It stated that grandma’s husband ( Aunt’s stepfather ), who was in the midst of dying, had molested her 40 + years ago and she never wanted grandmother to contact her EVER AGAIN.   This was  completely out of the blue and confusing,  Aunt has two children who grew up with grandma and her husband a constant in their lives, why would she subject them to this man if he had molested her when she was young?  Either way, it was upsetting for everybody.  Then he died.

I never liked the man, he was often mean in my eyes.

Now that the horrendous crimes, Aunt and her husband perpetrated,  have been discovered this letter carries a different kind of weight.   To me it speaks of a means to keep the victim ( grandmother ) away and from discovering the criminal activity they had been engaged in.

The letter was long and detailed but this was the meat and potatoes of it all.

Emotionally damaging, distancing and manipulative is how this feels.  Grandmother cried for months and years when ever she spoke of this letter.

 

3rd entry Family Crimes  https://verbalbanter.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/family-crimes/

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Beginning entry  Dangerous Family Members https://verbalbanter.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/dangerous-family-members/

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