Psychology and Believers(A family story)

 
 
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Argo
Total Posts:  126
Joined  07-05-2008
 
 
 
14 May 2009 21:12
 

I’m an only child raised and indoctrinated heavily by a single mother. I’ve just had a rough few hours which pretty much has made me decide to stop speaking to my mother completely. I wanted to share it because I witnessed something pretty remarkable today after a massive argument with her.

She’s a devout Roman Catholic in her 60’s, raised on a farm in a poor Slavic country, and spent about two hours enraged and yelling like you rarely see. I stopped participating midway when I realized trying to reason wouldn’t ever work which I should have known- she’s the type of person that talks over you, and just gets louder and louder, and changes the topics, and is generally not a person you want to converse with because they think they are flawless. I’m downplaying her arrogance if you think I am exaggerating.

After the psychotic behavior stopped she broke down crying and begged Jesus to help her. I’ll share a few smaller insights first and then get to the interesting thing that happened. I wondered how Religion could possibly be helping her when she was that emotionally distraught over our argument. Her father died recently, and people often say they get comfort from knowing their loved ones are in Heaven. Ironically, she was in tears while claiming that her father was looking at her from Heaven and disapproving because I did something she considered deeply shameful(She is ultraconservative and ultra-gullible). I really can’t get over how terrible that is. I wanted to assure her that her father wasn’t disapproving of anything because he couldn’t see it. Anyway, she calmed down for no more than 5 minutes and I heard the phone. It rang three times, and she picked it up, to greet her friend. She greeted her with much enthusiasm and had what seemed to be a pleasant conversation.

I don’t get that. She just flicked a switch and everything was peachy or something. Is this a product of the belief or mental disorder? Wrong question?

 
 
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GAD
Total Posts:  1044
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15 May 2009 08:25
 

I not qualified (nor willing) to speak about your mother, but I can tell you that that type of behavior is fairly common.

 
 
 
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Argo
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15 May 2009 08:27
 

In religious people or those with mental disorders?

 
 
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eudemonia
Total Posts:  2492
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15 May 2009 08:33
 

Compartmentalization.

Very common with both devoutly religious people and people with mental disorders.

In fact some people believe faith is a mental disorder. Been discussed here many times.

 
 
 
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GAD
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15 May 2009 08:55
 
Argo - 15 May 2009 12:27 PM

In religious people or those with mental disorders?

In both and in neither. I see many people to varying degrees who act like this, like a child in my view, scream to make your point and then be happy one second later, win or lose. I always view it as a personality trait/deficiency, at what point you would class it a mental disorder I don’t know, but I have diagnosed many that way.

 
 
mpbrockman
 
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mpbrockman
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16 May 2009 12:42
 

For what it’s worth, my experience with a conservative father has led to some defensive compartmentalization of my own. I simply avoid religion or topics that might lead in that direction. If I get stuck, I just let him rant and change the subject as soon as possible.

However, being my father (thus someone I care about), he still has the capacity to p*ss me off to (and sometimes beyond) the limits of my tolerance and I will lose my cool and call him out. This is almost never a good idea, though: I’ve learned it’s a battle I simply cannot win and there is too much collateral damage.

So, IMHO, find points of commonality with your mom and try like hell to stick to those. Or at least find some things you can debate that you don’t both have too much invested in.

It’s not easy, but then family never is.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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17 May 2009 10:55
 
Argo - 15 May 2009 01:12 AM

I don’t get that. She just flicked a switch and everything was peachy or something. Is this a product of the belief or mental disorder? Wrong question?

It’s a product of being a woman.  Exaggerated displays of emotion are good for manipulating other people’s behavior.  Lacking the capacity for physical intimidation (usually), women instead hone their skills at emotional coercion.