I grew up in a secular family. Growing up and as an adult, my mom never mentioned religion and never expressed any religious beliefs, and my dad always expressed disapproval of religion. Neither of my parents had any religion in their upbringing.
Recently, my mom said that she thinks a parent is a terrible parent if they don’t give their child a religious (Christian) upbringing, and that these parents are causing all the social problems in society. I pointed out to her that I did not have any religion in my upbringing. I was very shocked and disturbed at all her lies that followed.
She said that I come from a Lutheran family, and then admitted that she doesn’t know of any family members who have ever been in a Lutheran church or called themselves Lutheran. She said that my dad always wanted to join a church, but then admitted that he never mentioned a church. She said that we use to celebrate Christmas and Easter when I was growing up, but, in reality, these holidays were never celebrated or even mentioned.
She then said that she was prevented from giving me a Christian upbringing because she didn’t know where to buy religious books, but then admitted that she would never have read them if she had them. Finally, she said that I got a religious upbringing because I went to private Christian schools, but, in reality, I only went to public/secular schools.
I have nothing against people who are religion or non-religious, but I am puzzled and bothered by all her outrageous lies. Any advice would be appreciated.
I wish that I had the opportunity to interview you and your mother to learn more about this situation. There could be many reasons why she’s lying but, without knowing you or her personally, the following ideas are speculative.
It’s possible that she is misremembering. Perhaps she’s having difficulty with her memory. I don’t know her age or her medical condition, but memory problems could be present.
Perhaps she has been reading about religion lately and has been feeling guilty about not having raised her children with religion. It could be her way of attempting to correct the past.
I could go on and on with potential guesses, but unfortunately guessing is all I can do with so little information. If I were able to speak to you, I would want to know if this type of behavior is outside of her character? Has she ever lied about other matters in this manner? Is she a melodramatic individual? People who have a flair for drama might do or say these sorts of things.
You know your mother best. If this is how she is, and it bothers you, then you might consider limiting the time you spend with her. If you think a medical problem is present, then have her evaluated by a physician. Beyond that, it’s not clear to me why she would behave in this manner. You might consult other family members who might have more insight into her personality and this problem. Good luck. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle