The tyranny of age

1 Dec

I just had a very enlightening conversation with my mother. She told me that because she will always be thirty years older than me, always be my mother, and I will always be her child, I will never be equal to her. No matter how old I get, no matter what I do, she will never view me as an equal or of deserving the same level of respect she demands of me given this difference.

How am I supposed to respond to that? What incentive is their for me to care about what she thinks or our relationship if that is flat out the case. She said that no matter what I do she will always view herself as superior to me, that no matter how hard I try, I can’t undo the age difference or the fact that she gave birth to me.

Apparently I’ve had this problem since I was ten, or so she says. There is some truth to that. Throughout my life I’ve always wanted to be older.

Growing up I hated extended family get-togethers. I was the middle cousin, the worst place to be. I was always too old and mature to want to play with the younger cousins, but never old enough to be with the older cousins and the adults. I always had to sit at the children’s table, even when I got into my teenage years. I was always viewed as a child despite my accomplishments and how much I grew. Respect was always demanded, never given.

Needless to say I grew bitter and resentful. It’s never good enough is it? I thought that once I turned eighteen I would get that respect. I could smoke, vote, die in a war, have sex, get married, enter into contracts, and be held legally accountable for my actions. Did I get the respect? Nope. I thought it would happen when I graduated college, once I spent four long years working hard and earning my degree. Did I get the respect? Nope. I now realize I will never get the respect. Apparently I will never be a peer to my mother.

I tried to talk to her and tell her that it’s not that I want to be “superior” to her, it’s just that I want to be viewed as an adult, like her, and treated as such. Unfortunately she would have none of it. She was the mother, I was the child, I would forever be a child and she would forever be my better. End of story. I pointed out that that is a tyranny from which their is no appeal and she responded with “tough.”  How am I supposed to respond? How am I supposed to feel about that? Apparently her solution is just accept it and have my own children to whom I can be equally tyrannical in asserting my eternal superiority. I’m sorry, but I’m a better person than that. The buck stops here with me. I’m not going to have children just so I can bitterly enforce the same system on them in some desperate attempt to heal the resentment from having it inflicted on me.

All I’m asking for is respect, yet on this she is absolute and unyielding. I know I will never be older than her, and that I will always be her child, that doesn’t upset me. What upsets me is how she attaches a superiority complex to those facts. The only way I can see to respond is with indifference. You’re going to act like that? Fine, act like that, but I will no longer respect you or take anything you say seriously. I don’t care what you think of me, or if you approve of anything in my life. Why should I? There is no incentive for me to want to care, since I obviously can’t earn respect through my accomplishments or by growing older.


9 Responses to “The tyranny of age”

  1. thesecretatheist December 2, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    I’m glad my parents don’t express any ideas like this. In fact, I think they respect my opinion quite a bit. I’m still not sure how they’ll react if they eventually find out that I am an atheist, but that would be more a lack of respect for my views on religion rather than my age.

    In other news: I just discovered that your site has a light blue background. Adjusting of monitor black and white levels and color temp does amazing things.

  2. godlesspaladin December 2, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Haha, sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s light green. :p

  3. thesecretatheist December 2, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    It matches on both my displays, now, and actually SHOWS UP now. Before your whole page looked white on my secondary display and white with a grey background on my primary. Does it have little spots? They might be making it look more of a blue to me. I can see how it could be called green.

    I’ve arrived at the worst of both worlds, but my displays at least look nearly the same. The laptop has great color but terrible blacks and whites, while the monitor has great blacks and whites but terrible color.

  4. godlesspaladin December 2, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    If you seeing spots on the page you might want to go see a doctor…. no yeah there are dots. 🙂 Little itty bitty grey ones.

  5. thesecretatheist December 2, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    I also see that a really tacky ark has become visible on your page since I adjusted my monitors. I should change them back, eew!

  6. DaPoet December 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Your mother is acting like a spoiled child in desperate need of an attitude adjustment…

  7. greengeekgirl December 2, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Fuck that noise. I have a similar situation with my dad–even though we haven’t talked about it, and never will talk about it, he always talks to me like I’m an idiot because I’m his child and he’s 20 years older than I am. (His brother also does this–in fact, so does his mother….)

    And, like you, it’s not so much being the child that bothers me–I know I’m still learning from mistakes that they’ve already made. It’s the being talked down to that really riles me. *cough* and it’s part of the reason that I don’t really talk to my dad’s side of the family these days…

  8. godlesspaladin December 2, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Glad to see I’m not crazy and the only one… Sorry to hear about that. 😦

  9. ashleyfmiller December 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    My mom is definitely not that way, but I suspect that mother/daughter relationships are different from mother/son relationships. She definitely respects me. My dad doesn’t respect me because I’m not a republican, but I suspect if I became a dittohead he would therefore assume I was an adult and therefore respectable.

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