When your mom tells you to stop sharing photos of your daughter to someone she hates

I have one Jehovah’s Witness friend in my mom’s congregation who I communicate with occasionally throughout the year, mostly through email and occasionally over text. She’s always been a kind, thoughtful, intelligent person who I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations with. My mom doesn’t like her or her family, and I’m sure the primary reason is because she is Black. A while back, I believe she had a conflict with this person’s dad, who was an elder in the congregation, and since then, she wants nothing to do with this family other than cordial greetings. Once, she didn’t want me to meet up with this person when I was in town because she was 100% certain this person was going to poison and kill me. Yes, I realize that was probably a sign my mom was mentally ill, but I didn’t really need that extreme example to realize that.

So I called her today after about a month of not really talking at all. I know she was staying away because she knew Chris’s parents were here on and off, but I didn’t tell her what days specifically to keep her on her toes. She has her friend there and put me on speaker phone (how lovely). She makes annoying comments about how when I come home, she wants all of us to have dinner together (no thanks). And then she says, “I just want you to know that I tried to show a photo of Kaia to (this person’s husband), and he said, ‘I don’t need to see it. I already see so many photos of Kaia that Yvonne sends to (this friend).”

My mom exaggerates the negative when she talks about people she doesn’t like. What I am sure happened, which I confirmed with my friend, is that her husband likely said that he had already seen photos of the baby through my friend that I sent. My mom, in her mentally unstable state, interpreted the meaning to be “I don’t need to see photos.” And even if he did say that, I don’t care. Why is this such a big deal??

My mom went on to say that I should only share photos and videos with people “who really care.” Let’s also keep in mind… the last time I sent photos of the baby to this friend was over 3 months ago, and I hardly inundate anyone who isn’t the grandparents or my best friend with images of the baby. I recognize that not everyone is going to gush over my baby the way I do (yes, believe it or not… I have some level of self awareness).

The littlest and most benign things upset and make my mother angry. And the worst part? I still get so exacerbated by her constant barrage of bullshit that I always react and say something. I’m sure it is because part of me wishes that one day, just one day, she will have a normal reaction to a normal thing. And that part of me always ends up extremely disappointed to hear her make a big deal out of yet another nothing situation. These problems should not even BE problems. They should be non-issues that no one even talks about!

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