I’ve already written about how esotericism affects my relationship to my mother. Triggered by our last fight (about something completely unrelated), in which she declared that communication was irrelevant for conflict-solving, hardly a day passes on which I am not thinking about our situation and about how helpless it makes me feel. (For example last night, during a warm summer night, on the lovely bench outside my house that is in the featured image.)
During the last weeks I have realized that I have been making a grave mistake, and I am desperate about finding a way to fix it: I have been playing along and it has only made everything worse.
I grew up with a mother who was deep into everything “alternative”, so I grew up believing a lot of the things that nowadays drive me mad. I owned a tape recording of a “medium” putatively contacting my grandfather from an earlier life. I owned an “individual horoscope” that has something to say about every year of my life. At the dinner table, my mother told me about her earlier life as a nun and how that affected “her task” in this life. When I didn’t know what to do (e.g. when I was in love or desperate to make plans for my future), I went to my mother who would “ask” the tarot cards or the pendulum. That sort of thing was my daily life.
When I was around 16 or 17, I had troubles with my mother and that gave me a chance to question all the magical thinking that had been normal to me. After moving out with 17, it didn’t take long before I realized that I wanted to be as far away from all this as possible.
For a couple of years, I didn’t speak to my mother at all (for various reasons). And here comes the mistake: When we began speaking again, I behaved in the way I was raised to behave, i.e., I avoided conflict.* Whenever I wanted to scream “Bullshit!”, I tried not to listen, to nodd politely and, maybe, to be secretly amused. I have been doing this for years now because it seemed to be the only way to have a harmonious relationship to my mother. But “harmonious” just means that it worked for my mother. It has not served me very well.
With me not openly rejecting her way of thinking, my mother has now come to believe (again) that she has some sort of authority, even when she is spreading her esoteric beliefs. She regularly “informs” me in a very condescending way about things like the formerly mentioned “fact” that communication is not necessary for improving a relationship (but “going to your heart” and “be in the here and now” is.) Or she “informs” me about having helped the soul of a car crash victim to find their way into the next world. The list could go on for pages.
The take-home message is: I have now realized that I want out. I cannot stand listening to this one more day. I need to find a way to tell her that I do not accept her authority in questions of science/common sense vs. the paranormal. I am afraid that telling her will be burning bridges once again.
*The cruel irony lies in the fact that I never listened to relatives who demanded that I behave in that way as a child. I simply refused because I thought it would have been stupid to do so. (I was a child, so please excuse the ableism.) My refusal repeatedly got me into trouble.