It has recently come to my attention that my mother has been slandering my name and defaming my character behind my back for decades. As a kid I suspected this based on reactions from relatives and friends of the family. I wish I had the guidance and confidence as a kid to stand up for myself. She made a career out of targeting my grandmother and others in my extended family and slandering their names. I always suspected that she was doing the same thing to me behind my back. Turns out I was right, and I have just scratched the surface of the bad image she has given people of me over the years.
My mother also has much more contact with old friends of the family and extended family than I do, so I am spinning my head thinking of the vile crap she has told others just to get attention at my expense.
I started to bring the subject up but she blatantly lied about things that she knows that she did - these things are not questionable or a matter of opinion. And my father supports her no matter what she does.
Makes me want to write a letter to her and send copies to everyone, to set the record straight. Problem is I am in my thirties and doing this could actually make me look like the bastard my mother claimed me to be, and could ironically give her the ultimate victim role to get a lot more attention and drama that she craves. Plus she would have to go into super-slander mode to cover up her blatant lies. I wouldn't doubt that she would tell everyone I am paranoid or crazy. She did call me paranoid and a loser when I caught her in her own lies and she panicked.
What should I do? Be a good little kid and do nothing and let her continue to get away with these vile acts, or stand up for myself like I should have done decades ago and try to reclaim some self-respect?
Make sure that you don t replicate what she is doing with your family and friends. In other words be aware if you find yourself behaving the way she is.
I found myself being put down for years by my parents, so much so that no matter what anyone said to the contrary, I thought I was the problem and believed myself to be at fault. I then recreated the situation finding a wife that I could deride. Unpickling my friendships over my life I realize that I was puuting everyone down just like my parents did to me. (It transpired that both my parents were put down and criticised by their parents)
It is difficult to change others, a better route is to be aware of what is happening (as you are) and in the right company retrace your emotional encounrters with your family. When a parent behaves badly towards their child if the other doesn t correct that behaviour then they too are party to bad behaviour.
My thoughts, work on your emotional past and future will look after itself.
In recent years I have tried to become extremely honest with myself and my own accountability for failed relationships. You mentioned putting down others - I recently noticed a similar trend in my own past, not outright insults but the way I viewed much of the world was through cynicism and negativity, for example I had a sarcastic sense of humor. This was a very powerful realization for me and as obvious as it might seem to identify it wasn't clear because it was such an automatic thought process.
Did you feel the need to confront others in order to fix your emotional past?
Confrontation implies anger. When people behave badly, including being sarcastic, form of put down, they do it unconsciously, because this is an automatic learned experience cultivated through years of conditioning. They are in effect unconscious. As you become emotionally aware you realize that everything is right. Your discovery of self wouldn t have happened unless everything is as it is. So at one level you can be thankful.
The path to emotional honesty inolves being and releasing anger, many sleepless nights were spent scribing my hates and then destroying the paper. If I felt angry then the process would continue focusing on another relationship or family member. (A bit like peeling an onion, I wouuld see each relationship in a differing dynamic). I didn t realize it but I do now that I was a highly trained family destroyer, led on by my father s derision, I successfully tormented my younger brother, driving him senseless. I spent the vast majority of early life inventing ways of getting him into trouble.
Despite huge misgivings as to how I was treated as a child and as a person by my mother and father I have cleared the issues without confrontation breaking the "family curse".
In order to forgive and move on you have to release the anger, otherwise you will be drawn back into a drama cycle which preoccupies most of us. Maybe this is a course you are drawn to.
Personally although I ve lost a chunk of my life through the repetition of emotional patterns I m thankful to everything that has led to my discovery without any blame or remorse. If people are unconsious then they are not responsible for their thoughts or actions. This doesn t excuse bad behaviour, but the awakening process leads to a greater understanding and awareness, and ultimately forgiveness.
Whatever course you take is right, because ultimately everything is right.
I am angry, and I can identify the drama cycle that would continue if I acted on my anger by confronting my parents again.
I also realize that confronting them would in a way be trying to convince them that I am right, which in a way would be seeking their approval, which would give them power and credibility over the situation.
I am all for "getting over it", but the term forgiveness to me involves saying that what they did was ok, plus it encourages more bad behavior. Perhaps my definition of forgiveness is different than yours.
When a dog attacks is it better to play dead and submit, hoping it will just go away, time and time again? Or perhaps it is better to strike back and yell out so it learns that there will be consequences for attacking the person and it will learn not to repeat the behavior.
The feeling of disempowerment is one of the worst and unhealthiest things I have experienced, and I don't hold much sympathy for those who cause it in others. They deserve what they get in return. That sounds negative, and may be my cynical side showing through (which I am trying to change), but chosing to be a doormat is definitely not the answer.
Everything you do is right - their actions for instance are allowing you to examine your relationship with them, that is to cease to be angry and understand that what they have done is actually propelling you towards an understanding.
It sounds very much that you are in the angry stage. If a dog is attacking you then you take what action you think is appropriate in order to survive. Trying to convince others that you are right is being drawn back into the drama. Try if you can to step away from what is happening think of it as an illusion. Recognize your anger and write. You will thank them for providing you means for release.
The forgiveness stage is down the line in order to move fully away from your parents you will ultimately have to forgive otherwisee you will be drawn back to their drama.
What you have discovered gives you the opportunity to move away from what is happening. The most effective way of changing, if you wish is to, is to change from within by noticing patterns of emotions and wanting to shift. Start by writing these down once you start you wont be able to stop and believe me you maybe on the brink of something big (which is why at one level you should be thankful to your mother for providing you with the necessary input to effect change)
Once you start by unravelling these patterns and relationships and your feelings you will have the opportunity for complete transformation internally by in effect reprogramming your thoughts and beliefs. You will then realize that what your parents have done is not their fault because they are acting as they themselves have been taught by their parents and you have the opportunity to end the cycle, which is really fantastic, what you will be giving yourself is is a chance to start again. Without understanding and forgiveness you will be stuck in the emotional rinse.
Pain provokes emotional reaction sadness or anger, then understanding and then forgiveness.
You have such a major opportunity to change this is very exciting
My thoughts - channel that anger to paper, over and over, be upet cry for self, release emotions, you deserved better, at one level there is no excuse, their behaviour is awful then take it all one stage further