My boyfriend broke up with me. My mom sent him a text telling him how upset I’ve been, and that she thought he handled the breakup badly. I found out after one of his friends texted me about how upset my ex is because of something my mom called him. Then, one of his friends tweeted about my mom’s text. I am furious at my mom, who insists that she did nothing wrong. She says she was only trying to help so “he could understand the gravity of his actions.” Well, how do I get her to understand the gravity of her actions?
You can’t force your mother’s mind to open and see from your perspective. She is locked into the belief that interfering in your relationship is a hallmark of loyalty. She finds assurance in this belief, and that shields her from considering anything you might say. What her behavior really does, however, is keep you small. She remains the parent, and you, the child who must be protected.
Your mother may have interfered because she was distraught over your emotional response to the relationship’s end. Her interference is a sign she does not trust your capacity for self-healing. Emotions are a natural expression of the energy we attach to experiences in life. The death of a relationship brings grief and its friends: anger, denial, bargaining, depression. If we have committed to the awareness that death is a part of life, we eventually shift into acceptance of our new reality. Here is sustenance for that growth spurt: People come and go, emotions come and go. Each of us must acknowledge that we, too, have entered and left the lives of others. We survived, and so did those we left. Yes, it hurts, and that pain is something we should never inflict thoughtlessly. Yet leaving and being left is a human activity. It is possible that your mother has never learned this truth and is not able to live it or guide you through it.
Shrug off the idea of educating your mother. Understand the current crisis as an invitation into a healthier way to live and love. Evolve beyond her understanding by finding another adult to mentor you through romantic relationships. Choose someone who clearly values emotions, even difficult ones, because each emotion provides us with important information about ourselves. Choose someone who trusts your capacity to hold, process, and release feelings and who can journey with you through that mess without taking it on. Trust in your own ability to grow beyond the drama now present in your life. Do this by seeing the big picture: You are learning how to give and receive love. That is the true work of life.
I have been treated poorly at work, and the actions against me are likely discriminatory. I confided in a friend who is a longtime employee. I specifically asked her not to tell anyone. Today, I found out that she told her entire department. People I don’t know are coming up to me to talk about it. Is anyone trustworthy?
Yes. But that’s probably hard to accept right now. Discrimination is a violation of social trust. The announcement of your secret is also a betrayal. Don’t take it personally. The woman you confided in had a responsibility to tell you that she could not keep the information confidential. Your responsibility is to accept that few people honor privacy or confidentiality. So, if you confided in her hoping to gain support, admit it. After all, the right person to contact if discrimination occurs is the staff person at work in charge of such matters or an attorney. Trust yourself to take greater care in the future.
“If you say that getting money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid,” said philosopher Alan Watts. Which day of the week do you love the most?