The definition of passive aggressive is: of or denoting a type of behaviour or personality characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation.
Here is an example of passive aggressive behaviour that I was confronted with today and that has had me in conflict with myself all morning – to the extent that I am unable to work productively.
This was sent to me by my mom in order to send on to my kids. A reminder of who I am and she is subtly reminding me who she is. The thing is if she has to remind me, and in turn I have to remind the kids, then I’m (we’re) not allowing the other party to realise things for themselves. We (I) am forcing the issue and trying to avoid conflict in the guise of a meme such as the one above.
Along with the passive aggressive comes the inevitable emotional blackmail. If you don’t feel this way then you must be defective or not care or they must be doing something wrong. My mother has it down to a fine art. Literally to the point where I am second guessing myself after every call or text or correspondence. I am doing my best to break that cycle with my kids, but it is hard to hear my daughter tell me that I am placing her on the proverbial guilt trip.
It is not that I do not love my mother. But I could do without the reminder that I have to act a certain way or that there is a duty and obligation. In my mind, there is no obligation. No duty. I did not ask for my parents to have sex and have me, I was the result and they chose to keep me and raise me. Options were available (and yes, my mother did try a few). My obligations and duty extend to loving my parents to the best of my ability. When I had children of my own, that was my choice. They have no obligation or duty to care for me – just to love me to the best of their ability. I am learning that this means I need to stop and understand that it isn’t always the way that I may think it needs to be. It is the way that THEY are able.
Anyway, this is about the passive aggressiveness that I am experiencing and my inability to deal with the fact that my mom can’t accept the way I love her. It never is quite good enough. Instead of confronting me about it and having a healthy discussion instead she will embark on this method of communication. All it does is leave me feeling emotionally empty and less inclined to engage the next time around. Which makes it harder for her.
I need to find a better way to deal with this.