I got a promotion.
Hooray! Congratulations. Good for you!
That’s what any normal mother would say, right?
But not mine.
No, never mine.
When I called my mom to discuss the staff meeting I had earlier today, I knew to go into it with low expectations. I couldn’t wait to get home and talk to TM; and, I also haven’t quite repressed the urge to tell my mother what’s going on in my life. So, I called her and let her know what was going on re: my career.
She said the nice, normal things everyone else says. “Wow, that’s great.” Except it didn’t really sound like she thought it was really great. It sounded like she was just saying that because that’s what she was supposed to say.
And I know that’s right because she continued on to tell me the following.
Me: Yeah, I’m taking on a lot more responsibility at work.
Mom: Oh. Well, you know, don’t take on too much responsibility. Because you’ve got some personal things that you want to do as well.
Me: [I really don’t remember what I said here. I was probably so disappointed that I just instinctively agreed with her, which is probably the cause of a lot of my problems.]
Mom: Yeah, I mean I keep telling you, why take on that much responsibility at work when you could just come work for me and I could pay you. I mean I really think we could get this entertainment business off the ground. You really have to think about what you want to do.
…I see. But don’t you mean, what you want ME to do?
My mother just can’t be happy for me. She doesn’t celebrate my success, not without finding a way to make it about her (You got a bonus? YES! More money for US.) or trying to find a way to make it about her (You got a promotion? Well, you don’t want that… just come work for me, I’ll pay you double whatever they’re giving you…)
The same old thoughts started running through my head, too. Maybe she’s got a point… I could go do something I love with her, and make more money doing less… We could have a good thing going. Don’t I want to get out of this rat race after all?
But then, the part of me that gets stronger by the day regains control, and I’m able to push those false ideals out of my head, and reinforce the beliefs and decisions I’ve made for myself in my own life.
I’m already doing something I love.
I’m succeeding at something I’m good at, and that should be celebrated and encouraged.
I do have personal things I want to accomplish, and news flash: they have nothing to do with you, mother.
Why would I come start YOUR entertainment company when I’m doing just fine on my own? How is that any different than working for a boss, which I’m already doing right now?
I will get out of this rat race — on my own time, finding my own way. I don’t want to be roped into helping YOU get out of YOURS.
It sucks because, like, for once in my life, I just wish my mother could be HAPPY that I’m moving up in life, on my own, doing my own thing that has nothing to do with her.
But she can’t.
Because that’s not who she is. She will never be that person. She can’t be that person. She’s emotionally incapable of providing that level of unconditional love and support.
So I will continue to usher her off the phone as quickly as I can, whenever she makes comments like that.
Then I’ll go home to TM and tell him the exact same thing, and rejoice in the fact that I do have someone who loves me unconditionally, no matter what I choose to do.