Everybody Needs A Witness

“I think I’m the only person who has defended you like that,” said Wifesy.  “I think you’re right,” I said.  I had just hung up the phone with my mom and as per usual she went through a series of negative assessments regarding me and my life.  This is how it usually goes with mom.

 

“How’s everything,” she says.

 

“It’s good.  Things are really good,” I say.

 

“I don’t know,” she says.

 

“Huh?  What do you mean you don’t know?” I ask.

 

“Well, I don’t know.  I worry about you.  I think you should be making more money.”

 

“Yeah, well, I think most people feel they should be making more money, but you know, I’m doing alright,” I answer.

 

“I don’t know,” she says.  And I’m telling you, I can feel her head shaking through the phone.  While her head shakes, my blood pressure rises.

 

“Why do you always do that, Mom?  Why is it necessary for you to always be a Debbie Downer in regards to my life?”

 

“Well, I worry about you.  That’s just the way it is.  I worry,” she says.

 

I’m always left thinking, Couldn’t you feckin’ worry with just a hint of silver lining surrounding the worry or does it always have to come packaged with an anchor that drags me to the bottom of the sea?

 

Dramatic?  Maybe.  I don’t know.

Who’s on defense?

 

Poor Wifesy is always having to skip around my mother and her monologues about me.  A lot of times my mother will say, “Well, you’re just so hyper, you have so much energy.  I don’t understand it.”  Then when I don’t answer the accusation because a) I’m trying to ignore it or b) I don’t know what the feck she’s talking about – then she hammers away with the diatribe towards Wifesy.  “I mean isn’t she always up and down, up and down, running around, hyper, hyper?  I don’t know.  I don’t understand it!”  Mom exclaims.

 

To which Wifesy always, gloriously, side steps the nonsense and says something like, “I don’t know.  That’s not my experience of her.  I understand that you may experience her that way, but that’s not my experience of her.  I experience her as pretty calm.  In fact, I think she’s a calming influence for me.”

 

Thank god for Wifesy.

You can’t get better defense than that…

 

It got me thinking that everyone, EVERYONE needs a defender.  Everyone needs someone who will say – Nope, I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon with you here, while you throw that person under the bus.  You’re on your own.

 

In fact, the person you love SHOULD (within reason) defend you even when you’re wrong.  A good partner will declare, “Yep, I get it.  I understand why she (or he) is saying that” to the masses waiting to pounce.  And then quietly the good spouse will go, “Look, you lost it a bit back there and it wasn’t really necessary.  Maybe you were really mad about this or that.  I defended you so you wouldn’t look like a bigger a-hole.”  Something like that.

 

Man, it feels so good to have an unconditional defender and, as such, I’d do the same for Wifesy at any time.  I’m like a pit-bull for my awesome lady.

 

A quality defender won’t make everyone else stop acting like a chronic a-hole.  It just won’t.  For example, it doesn’t mean my mother doesn’t get to me (she does), but it DOES mean that it takes out some of the sting.

 

I suppose events like this give meaning to the phrase, “You and me against the world.”

 

What about you?  Do you feel like you have a good defender?  Someone who acts as a witness for you when you need it most?  Someone who goes, “Nope, I hear you.  Time to disengage from that bad situation.  Just let it go.  It doesn’t matter because I always have your back.”

 

As always, I want to hear your thoughts.

 

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30 thoughts on “Everybody Needs A Witness

  1. That’s a bummer that your mom does that. I know how it feels to have someone constantly belittle the way you are or the things you do and even if you try not to let it get to you, it does. Especially when it is someone close who should have your back and support you.

    Wifesy is an amazing woman and you are so, so lucky!

    1. wifesy is so amazing and i am so lucky. and grateful. i get on my knees and thank the lords of happy things like ice cream EVERYDAY. i don’t know why she does that. she’s a pretty decent lady in a lot of other ways, but she just can’t help herself with that sh*t. it’s like compulsion, really. ay, yay yay, hell is other people! lol. xo, sm

  2. I am a huge fan of Wifesy. That is quite a trip to awkward town when the MIL wants you to join in on the bashery. This is why I avoid most people. My biggest defender is the bag of nickels I carry in my ass-beating satchel.

    1. i need those feckin’ nickels. you always make me laugh, 7. always. i don’t know how you do, but you do. wifesy is amaze-balls. that’s all i have to say. over and out. momma

  3. Totally get it, Becky, and I feel as lucky as you do. My hubby is the BEST. In a recent email correspondence Allan had with my dad where my dad was very negative about me…(where I would have totally responded with negativity because it is hurtful)…Allan just calmly let him know that he was being inappropriate, disrespectful, and not mature enough to continue the conversation. Dad was dumbfounded. I was happy to have a defender as well. We deserve to be defended…and we would do the same for our other halves as well. Much love…xoxoxo.
    Mindi

    1. awesome, comment, mindi and so true. your hubby sounds like a great guy. and it is AWESOME what he said to your dad. you deserve that. everyone does, really. (or most people do, anyway.) anyway, really glad you left this comment here. much love, sm aka, becky d

      1. It’s jodas 😀
        “Es que no lo sé mi hij@” is typical Catholic Spanish mother slang for: “You’re not following MY plans for you”.
        Have you tried turning it around? That always works for me 😀
        Or drag out something from the past: Remember that thursday in 1984 when you were a whole hour late picking me up from school?

  4. I can totally relate to your dilemma regarding your mother, but my mom was was usually more specific about her criticism and her “worries”. And she LOVED to berate me about my parenting skills when I was stuck in a car when I couldn’t get away from. She did that one time on the way to a discount mall, which is 45 minutes from my house. I was in the middle of my angry torrent to defend myself, when a dog appeared from nowhere. I slammed on my brakes, but unfortunately, I hit the poor little pooch, and he went flying through the air into a field of high grass.

    There are no words for how HORRIBLE that day was, and I still get tears in my eyes thinking about that little Beagle.

    My mother passed away in 2007, and though I loved her and miss her greatly, I don’t miss days when she trounced on me over trivial concerns similar to the “you should be making more money” conversation…what a crock! It’s not like she cited any particular reason you needed more money – like a lot of medical bills or a rent increase or something.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and I agree that EVERYONE needs a defender. My husband is/was always mine when Mom would begin her jaunts into criticism packaged to sound as though she was being “motherly”..just like your Mom seems to do… 🙂

    Best of luck!
    ~Tenacious Bitch/KS

  5. My witness was my friend Donna, who passed away last October after a two year battle with cancer. I’ve written several posts about her. Here’s one of them. http://honiebriggs.com/?s=blogging+makes+my+world+go+round
    Of course, my husband is reliable for the standard husband style loving encouragement. But Donna was my person. She was on my side even when I was in the wrong, and when I was, she’d point it out to me. She laughed at me and taught me how to laugh at myself. Whatever either of us needed, a hug, a shoulder, a defender, a reality check….it was all there. She knew my back story and she always had my back. I miss her.

  6. I love this post!

    My (soon-to-be) wifesy…do you mind if I call her that?…totally had my back some months back when we sent out our “save-the-date” magnets and note explaining why we did them the way we did them. One of her friends thought I was being too political about our wedding and Marianne went all “nuh uh…o no you didn’t!” on them.

    It was so awesome. Especially because M is usually reserved. If it were possible, I think I fell in love with her a little more that day. 🙂

  7. My Loving Husband and your Wifesy should join a club. He’s got a system for picking me up off the floor after a ‘conversation’ with my mother. God, I hope I never do to my children what my mother does to me — it’s important for everyone to have a defender, but I don’t want to think that my kids will need defending from me.

  8. For me, it’s hubby and for him, me so I know exactly what you’re talking about. I can say something about him if I get pissed off at him, but God help you if you do — know what I mean? I will cut you and get medieval on your a*s. (not you, SM — the general sense. Sheesh, I know you know what I’m talking about.) Loved this post. Loved. It.

  9. -hugs- My mother used to ‘worry’ about me like that too Mum. She was also the only person in the world who could make me go from calm and laidback to frothing, livid harpy in five minutes. She had that power over me because a) she did love me and b) I did love her. We just couldn’t breathe the same air. Yet when she died I felt as if this safety net I’d always had beneath my feet was suddenly gone. She drove me crazy but she was always, always there for me.

    Your mother is there for you as well AND she provides the contrast so you appreciate Wifesy all the more. Big silver lining that one. 😀

  10. Love Love Love Wifesy! Not jealous though, as I have my own defender….my own “if it was legal” wifesy! My mother sounds so similar to yours, although my mother has the gift of the one liner! One very cutting critical line in an email, on the phone, via text! It took me years to realise where that part of her personality came from, and that she does love me. I have come to accept it, but it still hurts sometimes when I’m feeling vulnerable!

  11. Word to your Wifesy, and to her mighty comrade in arms.
    Me and Le Clown got each other’s backs. Like a regular Bonnie and Clyde, but with less blood.

  12. Are you sure you are not talking about the way my mother in law talks to my wife. Oohh. It is bad. The worst part is she is afraid of me, so will not say a negative thing in my presence. Because she knows I would give her verbal whiplash for days.

  13. Gee. You got me thinking. I hope I am not like that to my daughter — thinking I am helping, but NOT. She and I will have to talk. Thanks for the reminder of what NOT to do.

  14. Great post, SM! You know, I like to think that I do this for Hubby, but it’s always a good to be reminded that, as his best friend and life-long partner, it’s really part of the job. It’s what people who love each other should do for one another.

    As far as parents go, I have found that they are likely to say the kindest and most hurtful things to you that you’ll ever hear – and vice versa. My mom is my other best friend, but she drives me insane sometimes and I have to really work on not losing my patience with her. It doesn’t sound like you’re experiencing this yet, but I’m definitely beginning to fall into the “parent” role more and more with my mom – and that’s a difficult transition for both of us. I’m sure your mom loves you so much way deep down, but just can’t verbalize it.

    We all envision the life we want for ourselves and our loved ones. Maybe your mom wanted you to be an attorney or a doctor, but I think – and I think, you think – you’ve found your true calling and that’s what’s important. I’m sure you wish your mom was less neurotic and judgmental. I hope she recognizes what a beloved and talented person you are at some point in her life.

    xo

    CCL

  15. I couldn’t have read this at a better time!! I’m thinking ALL mother’s are the same–and it doesn’t matter how old you are, they still are very “worried” and force opinions of you on you (*sorry not opinions, just “suggestions”)-hah. Obviously, just had the same convo with my mom–blah.
    This was a great read Becky and so happy you’re doing well in loverly Scotland! for Feck’s sake;) heh
    *Cheroc

    1. hey there cheroc, thanks for the great comment and it is ALWAYS nice to hear from you. yep, my lady is pretty amaze-balls. although, i am in Los angelenos and not scotland, though it’s almost the same thing with sun… looooolll. much love, sm

  16. Great post! It’s nice to know that I am not alone in having to deal with a mother whose complaints/rants are all cryptic—by the time I figure out what they mean, I have no zeal left to defend myself.

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