Dear Aunt Bossy,
I am a loving and caring person, but find myself feeling angry and hateful when I visit my mother. No matter what I say to her, she just can’t accept that she is brainwashed by Catholicism. I was raised a Catholic, but realized in my late teens how destructive religion is for people.
Every single room in her house has a crucifix on the wall. I can’t sleep unless I remove the one from my bedroom. To make matters worse, she says the rosary every day, and I remain in my room to avoid this. She knows better than to try to discuss religion with me, but it is in my face when I visit her, and creates an incredibly hostile environment where I just can’t relax.
I love my mother, but she is truly addicted to the “opiate of the masses.” What can I do to make her see how awful this is?
Dear Lord! What is wrong with you? This is your mother.
Unless your mother is busy making life miserable for other non-believers, or torturing pagans, this is your problem, and your problem only. You need to discover the reason for your anger.
Ask yourself if you would be in a lather if your mother were a Buddhist, a Hindu, or a Muslim. How about a Unitarian?
I’m guessing you wouldn’t have a problem with that. So, let’s consider opiates.
How do you feel about those addicted to opioids? Do you think it would be a good idea to reject them, force them to reject their addiction, or let them choose how they want to be treated and cared for? Hmmm?
Does your mother’s “opioid” make it impossible for her to function in life? Does it force her to neglect her body and steal from people to serve her addiction?
My main question is: “Why do you care if your Mother finds solace in her faith?” I know there are exceptions where religion is horribly misused, but for most people, it is comforting and unhateful toward others. I was raised a Catholic, attended Catholic school from kindergarten through college, and am very grateful for the total absorption in doing unto others as I would have them do unto me, or as they would have you do unto them. My family and the nuns and priests who taught us were very clear that this applied to everyone, even my mean alcoholic gay aunt. We were taught kindness.
Yes, there are hateful fanatics out there at both ends of the religious/political spectrum, but most people are just trying to find peace in this crazy world.
Dogma can be dangerous. You should take a look at yours and figure out why your past and your mother drive you to madness.
Aunt Bossy is Susan Murphy, an internationally known Communication Skills Coach who adores spending every winter and spring in Beaufort. Ask for advice atÃÃÃÃÂ firstname.lastname@example.org