I grew up on a dairy - animals were there for production. My parents were not big on pets and would actually criticize people who spent money on vet bills. Its not that they were cruel people but felt very strongly that money should be used to help people in need. My parents had very strong opinions about things and lots of messages of right and wrong. Like so many people I grew up feeling that I would be rejected by my family if I had different opinions or beliefs.
It is amazing to me that at age 57 I still feel twinges of fear when I make a choice that is different than what my mother would do.
In the last 2 months both of our cats (who adopted us in Oct 2016) needed to be seen by the vet. Our girl, Comes and Goes, had been in a fight and poor Tabby developed an abscess in his mouth. Thank goodness both things were easily treatable.
Last week my mom and asked how the cats were doing. I took a deep breath knowing that I could just omit the part about the vet and avoid her judgement or that I could use the opportunity to push through the fear of her judgement and be true to my own story. Before I could even finish my story my mom says, "well I guess people are going to waste money on all kinds of things".
I really do love my mother but its those types of statements and reactions that make it just so hard to have a warm relationship with her. My mom is 96 years old, she is probably about 4' 8", walks with a cane and can't open a jar of pickles. But man her words are powerful. The crazy part is I spent the rest of the day wondering if Rod (my husband) and I were making a mistake. My ole brain, George, took over and started the chatter ... "see Rosemary you are always making mistakes, your judgement isn't sound, people are going to laugh at you for how you spend your money, on and on it went for a few hours.
As I conveyed the conversation to my sweet husband he said, Rosemary, we made the right decision for our household - so simple, so straight forward and very reassuring.
The next time you find yourself feeling judged and wondering if you made the right decision ask yourself - is it right for me - because you are the only person who gets to decide what is right for you.