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Why I Don’t Tell My Mother About SP

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My mom. Sigh. Does anyone else have a mom that when you think about her you just sort of… sigh. My mother is an angel, devil, dumb, smart, critical, encouraging, insane and totally normal. While I am 5’10” and 314 lbs, I consider her miniscule at 5’4” and 163 lbs – she fits neatly under my arm. She wants to lose weight (or so she says) – she often points out that she weighs what she weighed when she carried me to full term (I was a 10 lb 4 oz baby). And yet as often as she points out this flaw in herself and says she wants to lose weight, she always has an excuse about why she can’t (too old, can’t move enough, hurt too much etc. etc.).

She knows that I’m working on creating a healthier lifestyle, improving my habits and getting more exercise. And inevitably whenever I have done this (and trust me, there’s been a few times), she will eventually ask what I’m doing and want to do it too. Most recently that was Weight Watchers a few years ago. She joined too and I think she lost about 15 lbs. But she gained it back and now wants to lose it again. And yet in spite of knowing that she’s looking for things that will help her lose weight, I don’t tell her about SP. Instead, I directed her to an iPad app where she could easily track her food and activity but I didn’t invite her to SP. Why is that? Because it’s the only place I feel like I can write about whatever I want, my struggles and feelings about persons, places or things, about my upbringing, about my past and my future, and about her too! This is my space and because I know how critical she can be I feel like she would invade it and I would start censoring myself consciously or unconsciously because I knew she was reading whatever I was writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love my mother and as far as mothers go, there’s plenty worse. My mother adores me, she would do anything in the world for me to make me happy. But she also drives me up one side of the wall and down the other. We are completely different people with regard to almost everything – styles, colours, politics, books, movies etc. We don’t have much in common. And no one can get me from 0 to 10 on the anger scale as quickly as my mother. I have so many examples but one recent one is we were looking at the 3 bridesmaid dresses I had worn in previous weddings and talking about the dress I will have to wear in my brother’s wedding in September. I made a joke that I should send him and his fiancé pictures of the dresses and tell them to just pick one so I don’t have to get a new one. Her comment back is ‘well, none of these would fit you now anyway.’ Now first of all – THEY WOULD so how big does she think I am now compared to then?? Second of all – WHAT did she accomplish by noting this? She tore me down for no reason other than to ‘point out a fact’ (which didn’t actually happen to be true). She has this insane habit of making comments like that. I think some of my screwed up conception of what I look like comes directly from my mother’s comments all my life. This is a woman who still says things like ‘well, you know dear, larger girls shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes’. (grrrrrr – I buy striped shirts just to piss her off I think). And I believe she makes these comments because in her own twisted way she’s trying to help. I have talked to her several times about this, more so as I’ve gotten older and had more confidence with her. I’ve pointed out when she makes a remark that was unnecessary. Usually she tells me I’m being too sensitive, sometimes she admits that there was no real reason for her to make the remark except that it entered her head. I’m not innocent – trust me – we all make remarks out loud that were better off just in our head. But she has this sort of twisted view that making them is helping me somehow.

Anyway – I guess this is more of a rant than I first intended. But my point is, I don’t tell her because this is my space to be me. To work through this journey on my own. In this space I don’t want to be censored or chastised for what I think or feel . I want to be able to express it, send it out off my chest and free myself for better things.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    i like being anonymous too. i told a friend on facebook my name and although it's not big deal kind of regretted it ever since too.
    1762 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/27/2013 8:58:02 PM
    1788 days ago
  • SLEE103
    I feel EXACTLY the same way. It's somewhat comforting to know someone else has such a complex relationship with their mother. I actually live a little bit in fear that she will discover Spark, join, and ask me if I'm on it, then I won't want to tell her and/or give her my screen name and she'll get all offended thinking I'm "hiding" something from her, which in her opinion is the worst thing in the world I could do to her (yes, something similar has happened with FB...) Anyways, I agree, I love that it's my place and an opportunity to say what I want and get the type of support I want and not have to explain myself, or worry about whatever I say coming back to bite me in the a$$ (because that's what happens with pretty much anything I tell my mother). You're in good company to want those things!
    1788 days ago
  • _BABE_
    Judging from this long list of comments...boy we do we all know what you mean. Do what you need to do for you and if having Sparkpeople as a safe forum for exactly what you are doing now is what you need then that is your prerogative.

    Everyone thought my mother was at least 10 years younger than she really was and of course I was the overweight daughter. She tried to help in her own way but it made for a contentious relationship until the day she died.

    1789 days ago
    I get it too. It's great to have a place where you are relatively anonymous, and can feel free to post about whatever is going on. For example, I post stuff on here all the time, that would never see the likes of my facebook page -- that's just me. Most of my SP goals/accomplishments are things that I want to share in an environment where everyone is already here for the same reason. It's a great place here at SP!
    1789 days ago
  • HFAYE81
    I understand completely. SP is a great resource not just for the trackers and info, but for the supportive environment. Adding your mom would only hurt you, not because she isn't supportive but because your censored blogs wouldn't get the kind of feedback you need and deserve. emoticon
    1789 days ago
    I'm with you... My family knows about Spark People, and generally that I blog, but when my mom asked what my screen name was I wouldn't tell her. For the same reason - this is my space. I choose to be anonymous, so I can process anything I need to as I go through this weight loss thing any way I need to. I may not always feel that way, but that's where I am now.

    As for the "you're too sensitive" thing to comments, grrrrr! That's one of my biggest pet peeves. To me, if someone says they're upset and the other person responds "Oh, you're just too sensitive" you might as well be saying "I don't care about your feelings or whether I hurt them." "I invalidate your feelings." It's a way of ditching responsibility for having hurt someone. It took a lot of work and frustration and different ways of explaining this, but I finally broke my husband of the habit of saying this. It is one of the very, very few things he is NEVER allowed to say to me.
    1789 days ago
    completely understandable
    1794 days ago
    I think you are totally within your right to have a private (and also public) place to record your journey. I wish I'd had the mindset to do the same! I was so excited about spark that I told everyone how great it is (including my mom...). She was on for a bit, but doesn't log in anymore or exercise anymore (too busy, forgot gym clothes, dog can't walk far yadda, yadda, yadda). I still feel the need to censor myself because we're sparkfriends and she can check out my page whenever she wants. Sigh. I totally wish I'd gone the same route as you. Also, you could send her to myfitnesspal!
    1794 days ago
    I can relate to how you feel dealing with your mother, but during this journey I've had to learn that she cannot control my actions. I can chose to listen to her criticism and let it tear me down or take it with a grain of salt and keep movin'. People who are unhappy with themselves cannot wait to share their misery with other people. The less I let her opinion affect me it seemed like the less she pushed...or at least it didn't affect me!

    Be happy with YOU and I know it is your mother and you cannot keep her out of your life, but do what you have to do FOR YOU. If having her on spark will bring you down then maybe it isn't best that you share. Remember this journey is FOR YOU and nobody else. I used to feel guilty about that (and everything) but once you realize that you will be so much better off.
    1794 days ago
    We all need our space. You are so right about keeping SP for yourself.
    1794 days ago
    1794 days ago
    First, horizontal stripes are not bad and vertical stripes are not good, or else we'd all join barbershop quartets (come to think of it...).

    Also, here's a great article I read the other day. You can go straight to #4 if you want to hear about mothers and daughters, but the whole thing is pretty good.

    1795 days ago
    I'm sure your mom is a good person in many ways, but it sounds like she is terrible at fostering self-esteem and confidence which is kind of important. I'm sorry she talks to you that way sometimes. I totally understand why you wouldn't want to share SP with her! There are many options out there to help her to lose weight. Myfitnesspal is one I've heard a lot about, for instance. She can make use of something else and leave you your safe space here on SP! Hang in there, and keep up all the good work! :)

    1797 days ago
    I have to cringe and laugh at the same time. I am sure many of us have similar situations or occurances in our lives and our thoughts and feelings can certainly run along the same avenues. The last thing I wanted as an adult was to be anywhere near my mother. She drove me absolutely crazy...I mean ...how dare she ask where I was going or what I was up to when she had taught me all my life I was to be honest....I was so conflicted that I could have just dropped dead....because as a youngster I couldn't tell her all the trouble I was getting into and I hated myself for lying...when I knew she knew I was lying....so the twist of fate is that as an adult...I am my mother's advocate and protector...and sometimes she still drives me crazy but...I know this is God's path to making me a better, more patient person and I thank him. My sister drives me nuts too...I suspect I will play a part in her later life as well. Meanwhile I strive to live out my dreams despite the distractions.
    1799 days ago
    I understand what you are saying, and the need for your privacy being respected. Since most do not share who they are, it is being public but in an anonymous way. Perhaps further on in the journey you may feel differently, and decide to share SP with her. I don't share it either. It is my "private" space too. Talking about these things can be, well, personal. Things are posted here that come from the heart, and not like FB or other places where others can take aim at our heart.

    1799 days ago
    Sorry about the problems with your Mom.

    My grandmother treated me like you describe. I eventually realized it wasn't as innocent as I had thought, but that's a story for another day. However, I have to point out, criticizing you, and then throwing the blame back on you, because you're too "sensitive", isn't right. My grandmother used to do that to me. And it's wrong. If they make the comment, they need to take responsibility for it.

    I don't blame you at all for keeping her off SP. If she's one of those that just makes excuses for why they can't lose weight (that's most people), then she wouldn't get anything out of SP, anyway.

    Keep fighting the good fight!
    1799 days ago
    I don't want everyone in my spark page either. I love the anonymity. I have a tendency to blurt what's on my mind. Is it possible that there is a spectrum for Tourette's like there is for Autism?
    1800 days ago
    Your blog is great! When I started on SP earlier this year, I made the commitment to myself to be open and honest, but part of that comes from the fact that I don't know anyone from my real world who uses this site. I have told everyone that I was using this site, but you know that this is a positive environment for you and bringing your mom into it will certainly change it. I'm so proud that you recognize that and are owning it. I have people in my life who aren't super supportive of my life and healthy choices right now, but I keep in mind a quote I heard years and years ago...The best revenge is a good life lived. I try to live my life to my best ability and let those haters be my motivation to be better! Good luck!
    1800 days ago
    I understand you... As much as I've tried to make this journey private, people keep noticing the weight loss and "invades" me with questions, comments, advice and whatever... So SP is the only place where I can be more honest and open,,but because I feel accompanied and understood.
    1800 days ago
    I also want to keep Sparkpeople separate from my real life. I used a fake name and did not post any pictures so that I can be honest about everything, including the number on the scale. When people ask me what I have been doing to lose the weight, I do tell them that I have been tracking my food on Sparkpeople but I also tell them that there are many other trackers available. I hope they don't find me;-)

    1800 days ago
    Wow reading this I could feel like it was happening to me. No one can quite make us as crazy as our own moms.

    Don't feel bad about carving out some space for yourself. Boundaries can help make your relationship easier. And eventually when you have enough space, the comments will roll right off you.

    1801 days ago
    You are perfectly within your own right to have SP just for you. No need to include momma here. If she does find SP on her own you will need to go private then in order to stay private from her I guess.

    Good luck with that !!!
    1801 days ago
    Oh, I think of my mom and sigh. LOL! I "get it," girlfriend! I can't speak for your case, but my mom competes with me; if she doesn't have her own merit, she tears me down. emoticon

    Way to go on not derailing! Keep on keepin' on! emoticon
    1801 days ago
  • MARIANNE9855
    i totally get it and agree. My mom is almost 83 now so its not really relevant but she did enough damage when I was young. I always heard- even when I was thinner " well if you just lost 10 pounds that would look so much better or pull that shirt down over your bottom- Now I know that I had a butt but the rest of me was small and I felt so ashamed of myself., when I finally did get very thin for me-120- the message was you are too obsessed with your weight. Not that it lasted long. Last year when I was going on a trip- all she could do was obsess about how I was going to fit on the airplane. as it happened I didn't go for other reasons but there have been so many times that I felt like my only identity to her was as her fat daughter.
    And unlike your mom she had a weight problem herself.
    I know I need the anonymity and support of spark people for myself and I can think of only one friend that I wouldn't mind being on.
    So take care of yourself- this is your safe place! emoticon emoticon
    1801 days ago
  • JOHGLO2011
    We all need our own private space. My mother used to drive me nuts too, but now I sure miss her! emoticon
    1801 days ago
    Keep it to yourself! I invited my In Law here and she just kind of blah'd it off. It was a disappointment and I nearly got off track! emoticon
    1801 days ago
  • FISHER011
    emoticon emoticon
    1801 days ago
  • GK1963
    Privacy is a precious thing. This is why I don't invite my friends who are trying to lose weight to join. I like the anonymity here - I know I will most likley never meet anyone I befriend on this site. That makes me feel safe.
    1801 days ago
    I understand what you are saying and respect your private place to spark?
    1801 days ago
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