Help! My Mother Is Evil!

Dear Gala

Tricky, tricky, tricky.

Here’s the thing: your mother is not perfect. She knows it, & you definitely know it! The biggest thing to remember about dealing with your mother — & every person you meet, actually — is that everything she says to you has been run through her internal filter. Her internal filter has been affected by her childhood, the things her parents said to her, the things she has tried to do & succeeded at, the things she has tried to do & failed at, her own personal belief systems & how happy she is with her own life.

It’s very possible that this is your mother’s way of showing you how much she loves you — by trying to prevent you from getting hurt. Of course, it’s not an awesome way of showing you, but she is doing the best she can with the knowledge she has. All parents can really do is try to improve on how their parents treated them. Look at her parents & the way they treated her: you might find a whole lot of light bulbs go off in your mind, & you’ll have a greater understanding of why she is the way she is.

There could be a bunch of reasons why she doesn’t support you in your adoration of this boy. Realistically, I think most parents don’t really ever want their kids to date. It brings up a whole lot of issues, like talking about sex & birth control, dealing with potential broken hearts, & even just facing the dreaded reality that their child isn’t a child any more! She might also have a problem with organised religion (a lot of people do), or she might be worried that your involvement with the church will cause huge chasms in your relationship with her.

When the people who are supposed to support us — like parents, teachers, friends — fail to be encouraging or positive, it can really hurt. After all, if they don’t have faith in us, what hope do we possibly have of being successful? Well, actually, you don’t need your parents’ blessing to do anything. It’s nice to have it, but it’s not compulsory, & when they don’t step up to the plate with love & inspiration, we can choose to react one of two ways. You can either decide that they’re probably right, & not try… or you can stick to your guns & go for it. Rally some people around you who do have faith in you, & start taking big strides towards your goal. Success is the best revenge, after all!

One thing I’ve learned is that support & encouragement can come from the most unusual places. Just because you & your mother are related to one another, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have each other’s best interests at heart, or know how to communicate with each other.

It’s not at all unusual for you to be able to relate better with someone who isn’t part of your immediate family. I know a lot of people whose families were so beastly that they don’t talk to them at all any more, & so have gathered around them people they respect who act as mentors or role models. Similarly, a lot of my friends regard their closest friends as their chosen family, & have very little to do with their mother, father, siblings, etc.

I totally relate to you checking out the church to see what it’s all about. When I was in my early teens, I also flirted with a bunch of religions or belief systems — Christianity, Paganism, Buddhism — because I was trying to work out who I was & what I believed in. They all had their appeal & things I liked about each, but eventually I realised it wasn’t really my thing, & so I went on my way. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you learning as much as you can about something which interests you; I think all religions & belief systems have valuable things to teach us. Just take it at your own pace, & do what feels right to you. (By the way, I think it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: you don’t need your mother’s permission to believe in God or obtain a new belief system!)

Being a teenager really SUCKS sometimes, & it’s hard enough to grow up & be sparkling with self-love even if you have the most wonderful parents in the world. When mothers & fathers join in on the hate brigade, it’s no wonder that so many teenagers go completely nuts. We all have a tough time living at home, which is why so many of us leave the first chance we get! (I moved out of home one day while my parents were on holiday in Europe!) I’m sure every nonpareil reading has horror stories galore about the trials & tribulations of being a teenager! The great news is that you only have two more years until you’re free to get out of there & do your own thing. You survived 16 of them, so another two shouldn’t be the end of the world!

Above all, please don’t let your mother’s own personal insecurities affect the rest of YOUR life!

Big kisses & lots of blessings for everything you choose to do.