Some years ago I made my peace with my experience of my Mom (I say it that way because I realize my perceptions of her may not be the same as other people's perceptions of her, including my siblings.)
And yet, working through my experiences is still an on-going necessity in order to try to remain in a healthy head-space and for my emotional health. Recently, I was stewing all over again about how nothing I ever do or say is good enough for her. I constantly think of ways to try to please her or make her life easier (no small feat given her age and advanced RA and physical disabilities.) Over the years I've done things for her, thinking it would make her happy, and been amazed at the dreadful response from her. Apparently I'm a slow learner because I continue to try to do nice things for her.
A couple of points realized here. First, I am a pleaser, I always have been and always will be. It is simply who I am. It does not guarantee that those whom I attempt to please are capable of being pleased. My mother is apparently not, nor was my ex-husband.
Second, Mom's inability to accept anything I do for her, or gifts I give to her, and find pleasure and joy in the receiving of service from me (or anyone else) is her problem, not mine. I have not failed simply because she chose to not be pleased. And the root of her inability to accept service is her own insecurity and lack of self-confidence. She has issues. Those issues spilled over onto her children, and they came to her largely from her own parents. I suspect she was a better mother to me than her mother was to her. I know I've parented my son more effectively than I was parented, although I'm sure he'll have issues too - hopefully they won't be the same as mine, lol.
These points are lifeblood for me - absolute MUST remembers, even if it means repeating them to myself daily. I am a pleaser, not everyone can be pleased, and their inability to be pleased has NOTHING to do with me and is no reflection on my ability and self-worth. Unless I work hard to remember these points, I can very easily get caught up in a negative downward spiral.
Some would say that it is Master's responsibility to help me work through that and remain healthy. But I'm not sure I agree with that. I've worked through the issues, and made my peace, and know how to move forward in a way that is healthy for me. How much hand-holding should He have to do with me? Isn't there a point where He can expect me to keep my mind from taking me back down there?
My need to please gets so tangled up in everything, I don't often know how to respond during a conversation. Recently, during one discussion of a problem He was having, He reminded me that I didn't have to fix the problem. That was liberating, to say the least. As a pleaser sometimes it feels that the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Sometimes I feel that He does expect me to fix things. There seems to be a skew in my mind that blurs for me the lines of service and fixing.
I tread this path daily, trying to work out how my own perceptions distort reality, in all my relationships - and mostly, within my own mind.
In the end, this entry really isn't about the Matriarch from hell, but rather the way my mind gets wrapped up in knots, even as I long for clarity. I long for everyone in my life to own their own crap. And perhaps, if I stop trying to please for a little bit, and stop trying to fix, I'll find that each person will step up and take care of their own issues, or perhaps I'll find that they have been all along. But no matter what, I must find a way to seperate my service to Master from my need to please.
The pleaser in me seems to be afraid that I am unlovable unless I do X or perform Y or give this, that, or the other. Offering service must not come from a place of fear and worry and self-doubt, and that is exactly where the need to please comes from.
Shew. A lot to think about. Making your peace with the past doesn't mean you can stop learning from it. Pleasing someone else is not possible if they don't wish to be pleased, and is no reflection on the giver. I cannot fix anything for other people, and to think I can or should is presumptuous at best. Sevice comes from a place of security and self-worth and confidence, the need to please comes from a needy and fearful place. Ultimately, I am worthy of love, even when I haven't received/experienced love from others. And that is no reflection on me.