Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Facebook and Family

I've said it here before, my Mom and I didn't have the best relationship as I was growing up.  In fact it was hard.  The ups and downs have lasted into my adulthood.  It's not that I don't love her, because I do and I believe that she loves me.  And I truly think that she did the best that she could in her decisions at the time that she made them. 

I think that our youth colors how we react to things as adults.  I think that we want the better for our children than we had as children.  Yet, there are times when adults make mistakes and are unable to see them based on their past.  From the conversations that I've had with my Mom about her childhood, I believe that she raised my sister and I trying to counteract her childhood and the decisions my grandparents made with her and her siblings. 

It took me until I was about 30 for me to realize that she did the best that she could and I needed to understand that.  It took me until I was about 35 for me to realize that I need to make ME happy and hope that she understood and supported me.  I spent too many years hoping for the relationship that you see on TV, only to realize that it's not going to happen and to enjoy what we do have.

So you can see that the relationship that I have with her now is colored by our past together.  And yet, we do ok.  We talk weekly, we share things and I think that she has come to the realization that I am my own person and she needs to accept that.  She's also admitted that some of things that she did in the past were wrong, but that she didn't know any better.  And more importantly she's apologized to my husband for something she did. 

In the last couple of years my Mom has commented several times about Facebook.  Either asking what my cousins were doing (because we no longer see them very much) or asking about what my brother in law put on there about my niece & nephew or other things.  In the back of my mind I've been fearful of her joining and I'd gloss over the details of things when she asked in the hopes that she wouldn't join.

Well, she did.  And I thought it was the end of the world.  I thought about limiting what she saw in the hopes that it would mean she wasn't asking questions about things or making comments about choices I made.  But I realized that it was more work than I wanted to put in.  For the first week I really considered what I wrote and commented on.  Then I decided to let it go.  I don't say things on Facebook that I wouldn't say in real life.  I am an adult who can make adult decisions.  I let it go.

Then I didn't hear from her for a couple of weeks.  When I called her I asked her how she was doing because we hadn't talked in a few weeks.  She said the most amazing thing.  "Honey I feel like we talk every day on Facebook."  As we talked more about Facebook she said that I posted some funny things and that she felt like she was seeing a whole new side to me. 

The conversation was a good one and it really made me think.  I was reminded that I only show certain people a little part of me, the part that I wanted them to see.  I do this so that I'm protected and I won't get hurt by showing all of me.  I must do the same thing with my parents.  On Facebook I likely do the same thing, only there are so many different parts of my world on there, I likely show the most (aside from Pete) there.  She likely sees more of the complete me on Facebook than she's ever seen.  And she's happy about it.  She likes it. 

I've been thinking about this ever since that conversation.  Maybe my family being part of Facebook isn't so bad after all.

1 comment:

  1. Families are so tricky. But I'm glad that things are okay. You make a good point - you are an adult, you can say what you want to say and do what you do. You can respect someone else's opinion but ultimately, it comes down to you.