Our expert says:
I share your disregard for self-awarded honours, but I'm bothered by the bald statement that : "U cannot b a great STEPMOTHER cos u said or think so, u can only b 1 if u'r stepkids said so. " Kids may be very reluctant to call a very fine mother "great" if she does what is good for them at times against their wishes, and may be eager to call an appalling mom / stepmom great if she panders to their every wish and jumps to their every command. I don't think the award ought to be entirely in their hands, either.
Maybe it seems that way to you, but I really don't side with CP Mom every time she plays Victim, and have roundly criticized her when I thought it would be useful, as well as deseved. I don't accept that CP Mom ( or any other reader ) has a right to be nasty to anyone --- though remember, as I only see messages before I respond to them, whatever you guys say to each other after that, I simply don't see. As you point out, CPMom has a pretty well developed capacity for not hearing what she doesn't want to hear --- then why do you consider it really helpful to be critical of her in an unpleasant way ( which sounded far more about your own inner demons than hers ) --- knowing that approaching it in that way will make it much less likely that she will hear and learn from your more reasonable points ? My comments were about those whose personal unkindness sounded much more about their own bitterness related to their own life experiences, than about the person they were ostensibly addressed to.
So I suppose much of my concern is about how much of the emotional heat of your responses were there to be helpful to the person aimed at ( yes, sometimes confrontations are essential, though they need to be skillfully planned ) and how much they were intended to be emotionally satisfying to the writer rather than the reader. Do think about that. People are welcome to vent, here, about their own experiences ; but I'd like to discourage venting AT other readers, when this will not be likely to be of any wider benefit.
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