My parents just popped round, cause I haven’t seen them for “ages” (it seems a comfortable amount of time to me).
I noticed for the first time today that they slip little comments in all the time. They are subtly reinforcing their view of things. I don’t think it is a conscious effort on their part. Just something they’ve always done.
Some examples from today:
1. My cousin is doing community service for a recent conviction and he won’t talk to anyone about what he did, not even his dad. My father commented that I have always been able to talk to them about what is happening with me. I laughed and said have I? He said you have haven’t you? And I just sort of rolled my eyes. My mum didn’t say anything, of course.
2. I was talking about learning to drive and I mentioned that my driving instructor thinks I’m very hard on myself. “You always have been” my dad said. My mum and I didn’t say anything. I thought “have I always though? Since birth, with no prompting?” it was them that always told me I was no good.
It’s interesting that they (although maybe it’s mostly my dad, and my mum just stays silent) feel the need to keep reinforcing this idea that we’re a happy family, always have been, and my problems come from inside me alone.
My dad mentioned a conversation he had with his brother where his brother said “what about ***? You’ve got two daughters you know? You talk about *** all the time, and never mention how *** is doing?”. I think my dad was trying to demonstrate that he mentions me, he seemed to think I should be pleased. All it demonstrated to me is that he talks about my sister a lot but doesn’t mention me unless prompted.