Mama was the mistress of passive aggression. I say was because she rarely does that activity at 94. Now I say this with love...because that was not and is not all that there is to her. She is an intense woman of love. You are blessed to be loved by my Mama! Not only did she raise her 3 biological children well but she also fostered more than 15-20 children.
I find psychology fascinating. We have come so far into understanding the physiology of the human mind. For example, we now know that mental health is not a flaw of character. We understand that our personalities are sometimes held mysteriously in the wrinkles and curves of our all too human brains. One portion of our brain creates memory, another creativity...etc. etc. Yet personalities still remain more than the sum of our chemicals and physical dimensions of brain.
Back to Mama, sometimes when she was with family or close friends and her kids were in the room she would start speaking about some issue, some frustration that she had with us as children. Those frustrations ran the gamut from not picking up after ourselves to open rebellion against her in some form or another.
Witnessing how much that hurt...having her air her frustrations to others, and not to just me...grew and grew inside of me. Imprinting is the word that is now used to describe this annoying thing that happens when we witness our parents actions over and over and over again day and night for the first 18 years of our life. When you see a certain behavior over and over and over again from parents...even if you loathe that behavior, chances are very, very good that in your adult life, with your family and friends you will repeat their actions.
For example. Last night we were visiting with my husband's brother and his wife. Out of my mouth spills my frustration that our daughters rescued two cats and a dog, and if any care is given to those animals, litter boxes cleaned, animals groomed, or routine vet visits the bulk of the care is mine.
All three of the animals sleep on my bed, and since my husband has passed I do enjoy their comfort. Yet, instead of going straight to the girls and speaking to them about my frustrations it builds inside of me, like an evil seed, and then pours out on innocents who have no desire to hear! I honestly had no intention of saying those words. Consciously I NEVER wish to speak in a negative way about or towards our beloved daughters.
Almost instantly I realized what I was doing, but I realized it a second to late to stop my actions.
The reality is that I should have spoken to the girls. We could work out a schedule together so that I'm not always the cat clean up committee. They HAVE helped me from time to time with the critters. They do give the critters lots of time for snuggling, and love giving.
Overcoming imprinting requires a great deal of effort. Yet IT CAN BE DONE! The first step is realizing, recognizing our behaviors. If we can't seem to overcome them on our own there is absolutely NO SHAME in going to a licensed counselor, or psychologist and getting behavioral therapy. In fact it takes great courage to face the imprinting and change yourself for better!
Passive aggression is something that I CAN OVERCOME! I do not want to pass this behavior on to the next generation!