Practical Question about That River in Egypt

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Posted by anovagrrl on July 18, 2012 at 09:42:26

In Reply to: Re: Moral questions, perspectives, and rhetorical fallacies posted by excog on July 17, 2012 at 23:59:18:

How do you deal with someone who is in complete, total denial? I watched as the mother of a friend (may she rest in peace) was confronted about the past by her very articulate and caring children. This was at a time when she should have been ripe for a realization about the ways in which the past is playing out in the present. Mom was urged repeatedly for weeks to make her peace. I also saw Mom slammed with a verbal two-by-four by one of her children--she ended up crying on my shoulder, wailing "What did I do wrong?"--and still she could not hear, could not go to a place of reconciliation with the truth.

I used to write people like her off as self-absorbed cult zombies. Since I've gotten to know her as a vulnerable human being, I see her more as a lost soul. She suffers from an ignorance that pervades existence. Despite the fact Mom could never acknowledge the damage done, my friend loved her mother dearly.

That's what I thought about when folks confronted Tina about her mother. I agree Tina talks like a wind-up cult ninny, and I felt OK when folks challenged her assumptions and misrepresentations of the cult. But how is she responsible for what her mother did? She refuses to face the facts and covers up the truth with pious bullsh*t about how Mom is serving others. OK, confront her on that--she made the choice to come here, she's a big girl. Maybe she saw a few stars after getting hit by Perry's verbal two-by-four. When taking confrontational tactics, one can only hope that the outcome outweighs the damage done.

I'd also allow that Tina has her own journey to make with denial and recovery. She probably loves her mother every bit as much as my friend loved hers. Tina may never come to a place of complete honesty about her heritage. If she were your daughter, sister, or mother, would you cut her off because of that? How would you deal with her if you wanted to maintain a relationship with her?

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