Sunday, November 13, 2011

Letters From Mama: Don't Get Married!

If you have read my blog for long, you may know that I grew up in an abusive environment.  I learned to cope quite well until I was 19 years old.  At that point in my life, the heat got too hot and I was ready to be free.  I will detail the circumstances surrounding that event at a later date. 

Anyway, I left and went to live with my dad to get on my feet and expose myself to the real world in full color, rather than a world through sheltered and well defined, paranoiac lenses.  My freedom came with many bumps in the road as I discovered that I was truly lazy when I wasn't being yelled at to accomplish a task.  I also had much maturation to build.  Life moved very fast and I needed to jump in and roll with it.

One day, I went on a weekend trip to Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota and met a girl.  She was struggling to set up her tent and I, being the machisimo man I was and the endeavor of all women that ever came in contact with me, squirted over to help her.  The rest was history.  We fell in  I proposed less than two months later and we were married one year after, to the day, we met.

Let's back up to July 17, 2001 - the day the love of my life and I decided on the date of the wedding.  Mama sent me a letter.  Remember, I had escaped out of her world nearly two years prior and she would leave no stone unturned trying to get me back.  Using religion and false warmth was her favorite tactic.  This letter was no different.

I left in all the punctuation (she seriously overuses it) and the capital letter screaming is from the original text.  I will be inserting comments in between her words as emotion drives me.


Dear Joseph,

[I had been going by "Joe" for years.  Ever since I left her home, I never went by my full name.  She knew this.  Therefore, she used my full name, at every opportunity.  This won't be the last time in this letter.]

Forgive me; all the issues I obtained for you of This Old House, I'd thought I was giving you the most precious gift; I looked through the last one I'd gotten, and found I'd been giving you a magazine that had liquor, smoking, and more and more sensuality being slipped in.  I am so sorry.  I trust that my prayers for you had kept your discernment muscle strong.

[Several things here.  First of all, you knew when Mama started out with an apology that she wanted something.  Mama was never wrong.  She would admit to wrongdoing, beg for forgiveness, then do it all over again. 

The other thing you may notice is that she read my mail.  But, don't dwell on that.  That is normal for a control freak.  What she was referring to here was the fact that she ordered a subscription to This Old House for me, then had it delivered to her house, so I would have to come and pick it up. 

I never picked any of the issues up.  So, she brought this into the light in this weird way.  I wouldn't put it past her to have required me to come back to her home to live, before I could get the magazines - that I didn't even want , anyway.

Finally, my father had smoked for many years.  Who did I go to heal with when I escaped her home?  My father's house.  She knew full well what she was doing in writing this.

And, to set the record straight, I love women and liquor.  Smoking, not so much. But women and sometimes liquor...bring them on, as much as possible!  Mama misses what is best for her boy every time she considers only herself.]
Joseph [I told you...], my precious son, I have been young, and now I am old(er).  All of my discipling (sic) since I have been saved has been right down this line - relationships and how God allows them to work or not work.  HE DOES NOT ALLOW IT TO WORK IF YOUR PARENTS HAVE NOT GIVEN THEIR BLESSING.
[My mother has actually been up on Mount Sinai and spoken to God herself.  Moses has nothing on her.  Moreover, she was thorough in her research before she wrote this letter, insomuch that she interviewed several billion couples that had tied the knot and believed in her god.  (If they didn't believe in her god, well, then they were kinda screwed).

Every couple that told her their relationship was perfect (I interviewed all of those couples afterward and they revealed to me that they were lying anyway) also let her know that they had received a full blessing from both sets of parents.  Those couples that had eloped or had gotten hitched where at least one parent's consent was not solidified, had either gotten divorced, murdered each other, or became lesbians.

My mother was listening to the wrong people.  Those who COULD have been giving her therapy and teaching her about REAL life were not the ones she was listening.  Rather, she was surrounded by enablers.

But wait...she has more! ]

Please do not set yourself up for misery, Joseph.  Please wait until Papa releases you, deeming you fully mature in his eyes.

[Now that went a bit too far.  Mama had refused to have a relationship with Papa since the divorce unless he met her every demand (Exactly the reason why he divorced her.  She would actually beat him into submission.).  So, if that was the case, how the heck did she know what his desires for my life were?  Not to mention, he did exactly as a father should - gave me great counsel in life and kicked me off the branch, believing I could fly.  He was an awesome dad.

Frankly, if I had turned out gay, my father would have been happy.  If I decided to marry a dog, he would have raised an eyebrow and handed me a coupon for Puppy Chow.  If I decided I was going to move to Mongolia and have twenty wives and three cats with no kids, my dad would have sent bags of Qwikrete across the Urals so I could live in a big hut like a king.  He was a DAD!  He loved his son and stayed out of his business.

But that isn't the worst part.  Mama's religion was a set of formulas.  If you broke one, you're toast.  I needed to pass all of her tests...I mean, God's tests, before life would open up for me and success would be mine.  Now THAT is misery!]

I love you so much, and I would take the anguish you are going to go through, upon myself if God would let me.  He cannot contradict Himself, Joseph.

[Seriously?  Well, how about this, Mama!  Your god can't contradict himself here because he NEVER SAID ANYTHING of the sort!  God never said that a man had to ask his parents to get married and only then would his union be blessed.  This is found NOWHERE in the Bible - the purported source for her god.

Sure, there are descriptions of marriages where the father chose the bride for his son.  That isn't quite the formula she is referring to, but details don't matter much to her.  But, if we must get technical, the Benjamites lost a ton of chicks in a war that God brought upon them so the dudes ran to another tribe and grabbed some chicks for wives - also sanctioned by God.  Or, Hosea went and bought a prostitute as a wife - also sanctioned by God.  David had wives and not ONCE did he ask his dad's permission in the text and yet he was considered a man after God's own heart.  Her assertion is pure poppycock.

But, the worst part is that she sees her god as an evil being.  He MUST dole out my punishment to ME when I don't get the rules exactly right and has no mercy.  What's more, the supposedly all powerful being is handicapped, where he is unable to pass the punishment on to another person that is BEGGING him to do so.  There is something more powerful than god in this case - his own set of rules that he himself designed.  How horrid.]

Please ponder Hebrews 13:8.

[Hebrews 13:8 says: "
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever".  Huh?  It's funny she uses this verse.  Verse 7 would have worked toward her point SO much better.  Her loss.]
In tears of anguish for your sake, yet, even so He gives me John 14:27,

Mama XO


You see the thinly veiled spiritual scare tactics and the manipulation?  Oof!

Anyway, more letter to come in this series.


  1. So have you enjoyed your 10 years of "anguish" with me?

    1. I thought it was just me. My dad and my MIL... Both of them are like this to a T. I'm so proud of you for showing Christ's love. I would have said something... unkind... But we are all human, flawed, accepted by God and loved. I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN A CHRISTIAN IF GOD HADN'T RESCUED ME FROM MY DAD. After my mom died I left home at 16. Things are better now but I swear he has been to Sinai about a million times since I was born.It is a miracle I recovered from the abuse and I have a family with a husband who nurtures me.

  2. Worst 10 years of my life. God changed the rules and she took the ounce of misery while I got the mountains of pleasure. How ironic.

  3. Wow, your mom is a piece of work.

    I have a couple of letters similar to that from my dad when my hubby and I were engaged against my dad's wishes.

  4. I.C., I can relate to the laziness, as far as the way in which my academics progressed, once I left the rat's nest at 14, and no longer had a taskmaster ordering me to stand for hours at a time to finish my homework. Also, I still haven't come close to catching up with the fast moving nature of life, as far as an education and career are concerned.

    I also have preferred my short name for the same reason as I've refuse to call Dad by "Papa" ever again.

    As a side-note, which I hope won't be a spoiler for future excerpts, I remember that I couldn't even be one of your groom's men because of your deal with Dad's devil of an ex. :( Not to blame you at all; I'm sure it was tough to make up your mind, as to who would get the honor. Dad was not only good to his kids, but also to his new love, who happened to be the fly in the ointment keeping me from seeing your 'first' smooch.

  5. A complicated mess that didn't have to be that way.