/ Internathought

An extrovert parent to an introvert son

As a younger child I always had a right-leaning introverted nature. Although I participated in many activities and held a relatively active social life, I typically enjoyed solace more.

I'm not one to involve myself in drama, it's physically and mentally exhausting for me. The same goes for small talk conversation. I've never had the capacity to conversate with someone who is more of an extrovert, what I mean by that is, most people can gauge the flow of conversation; what topic to move onto next? When should I stop talking? Who should I include in this conversation. These are questions that I can never answer, so to save myself from dealing with it, I just don't talk.

To others it seems odd, especially my mother. There is a divide in fundamental nature of my parents. My father is more introverted than my mother, however they both grew up in the same places and had a similar upbringing. I seemed to have developed my lifestyle on a part of the spectrum closer to an introvert. It's not something I regret though. What I do regret is having failed to explain this system to my mother.

I believe that she assumes that the social lives and activity relative to others is based on a simple black and white scale instead of recognizing it as a spectrum. This leads to a constant divide between us because when she wants to conversate, I don't. When she's talking, I don't have anything to contribute and it seems to infuriate her. She relates the behavior to my father, who unfortunately seems to be the scapegoat for many of my "problems" today.

It's not that I don't want to talk to her, but rather it's that we have nothing to talk about. The only times I talk with someone is when it's in a situation where I'm forced to be courteous and ask them how they are doing and things of that nature, or when the person I'm talking with has a common interest that we both share perspectives on. That isn't present with my mother, so what a typical conversation looks like between her and I:

  • Mother: We had a cat visitor today, it was really hungry, I fed it at least 3 times.
  • Me: Mmm.
  • Mother: After a while I thought it was cold so I let it inside and cleaned it up, the cat walked around the house for a while, went upstairs before I told it to come back down.
  • Me: ...
  • Mother: I let Wilson (our dog) out and the cat eventually followed him out.
  • Me: Mmm.

Sure, to many of you it seems insensitive and rude, but you have to understand that if I have nothing to contribute on a topic and it's not within my interests, I don't feel the need to offer anything, in fact I can't offer anything. Most often, if I was in a situation like this talking to a friend I would switch topics after they've finished. My mother on the contrary is a different figure in my life, our relationship is shoddy at best, if it's even proper to call it a relationship at this point.

She has developed a senile nature and exhibited narcissistic behavior. Her day consists of speaking with her other children (older and closer to her), cooking, paying bills, or watching television. Seems typical of an older woman who relaxes at home, right? It's not really that way.

She consistently claims that I am a source of her problems, including a degraded social life, one that she claims has degraded because of her sacrifices for me and the lot. She holds this idyllic delusion in her mind that everything she's done is for me, and yes I would have to agree. However, I wasn't the one who made that decision, I wasn't the one who didn't develop a proper work-life balance or maintained their social relationships. I wasn't the one who became miserable by blaming her faults on others.

The problem that she has can only be described as a cyclical hell. She enjoys victimizing herself to benefit herself in any situation. Should you present a rebuttal to her belief, it is wrong, and suddenly she becomes a victim because everyone else "teams up on her". Following this, she then continues to claim that she doesn't have friends, when she not only has many friends who are and have repeatedly tried to hang out with her yet claims that she doesn't need friends to be happy. She will destroy relationships with other people simply to place herself in a situation to gain sympathy from others or put the opposing party in bad light. Are you starting to see a problem here? Anything she presents as a problem in her life is a direct side-effect from her want to victimize herself yet because of that victimization she will never achieve those things.

If she is unwilling to change, there is not much that anyone else can do. I have lived with this for so long but only recently began to actually identify what these problems were and have since become tired with it. I have no aspirations to maintain contact with her. As insensitive as it sounds, the only way to remove this cloud hovering over me is to simply cut it out of my life. It is a toxicity that will continue to eat at me and it's not something that I need in combination with the other things that I deal with in life.

I have had so many people say this is typical for a relationship like this, but I don't believe it is. This has been going on for so long that it's hard to remember when it was any different. I think it's due to the age gap. She had me when she was in her late fifties whereas her other children when she was much younger. I believe that because she has lived this way for so long, now that there is a direct opposing force she does not want to change and instead feels the need to impress her nature onto me.

I have learned to simply avoid and forget but with so much pent up anger it's maddening. I have subconsciously sought out friends with similar situations, something I didn't realize until I began to confide in them. I choose not to confide in family members because the general consensus is that I have no discipline, I have no ambitions, I am not going to succeed in life, I am inadequate to be a high functioning individual in society, simply because I enjoy cannabis. That's an entirely different topic to discuss though.

My plan in the future is to simply cut all communications with my nuclear family. I would rather keep to myself and it's not fair to burden my family members with what I feel.

Thanks for reading, the underlying reasons for writing this changed many times during its development therefore it seems like several of the issues presented have been sporadically constituted in a way to present my mother in a bad way. That is not the case, I hold animosity toward her personality and character, however as a person who has done much for me I do not hate, but rather pity.