Is it normal this still bugs me sometimes?

I typed it all out in a reddit post, so I’ll just copy paste it here: I pretty much jinxed myself by using the phrase “bad memory”

So like many people 2016 was overall a shitty year for me. But, I had one good memory, for a little bit anyway. My bookstore was having an event for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. My mom suggested I tell a friend of mine about it (and this was significant because I was having a kinda rocky relationship with this friend at this point).

It was an overall great experience. I reconnected with my old friend, even made a new one. Not being a very sociable person it was one of the few outings I had that year. My mom opted to stay but not interfere with me or my friends.

My friend didn’t stay the whole time, but me and my mom stayed to midnight when the book was released. While we were waiting something REALLY stupid happened. My mom, who never fails to find something wrong with how I’m dressed, shook my shirt to get dandruff off of it, and referring to that specific moment I said “that’s gonna be a bad memory.” And then she made a really disturbing face, implying she was frustrated with me, and completely misunderstanding what I said thought I said that the whole night was a bad memory because of that one thing. I explained to her what I meant and I was ok for a while.

I don’t know if it was my subconscious or what, but now I wasn’t able to think of the one good memory I had that year without thinking of that one stupid moment. I tried talking with my mom about it the next day, thought it would be a simple conversation and I’d be over it, but ended up being a really long, uncomfortable talk leading to sensitive topics, with my mom again completely misunderstanding what I was saying.

Every time I’ve mentioned it to my mom since she says all she remembers is rubbing dandruff off. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but like I said it was one of the few good memories I had that year and my ocd and anxiety ridden mind had to ruin it like it ruins EVERYTHING!

Is It Normal?
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  • You sound like me. I have ocd, and I fixate on things like that. Now I don't feel so alone. You shouldn't worry about this. I've had much worse interactions with my mom, your interaction doesn't sound so bad. In fact, it sounds kind of cute!

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    • The worst part is that I actually ended up crying about it, and my mom seemed to feel more frustrated with me than anything, especially because she had other problems and felt bad she was contributing to my mental state.

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      • And it got REEEEAAAALLLL awkward when I tried to explain to her how my friend was a really good person but changed a lot, and I said to try to imagine it, and she said that was how it was like with my dad (who died when I was a baby) in a voice that suggested that it was such an obvious thing that I was missing, and I tried explaining that it was like if instead of him dying he started acting like a complete jerk, but she just teared up.

        I guess I’m mostly embarrassed at how this ridiculous moment led to such serious things being discussed and how emotionally imbalanced we were. I guess I’m just frustrated with my mom for not understanding me too. I could describe her as “caring, but clueless.”

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  • It's sad that this stems from simple miscommunication. Something so trivial has clearly had repercussions long after the fact. I've got OCD too (intrusive thought); have you thought about going on meds for it? Fluoxetine helped me a lot. Also, side note, the anthropologist in me is curious, are you a guy or a girl?

    I would say try and analyse the night as whole, and how it's nice that you and your mum had the kind of relationship where she would come with you to wait at a bookstore until midnight, but I understand that with OCD it can be impossible not to focus in on that particular moment that's irksome to you.

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  • It’s normal to remember something that was embarrassing or awkward and to even become fixated on it, especially when you have mental disorders such as OCD and anxiety that can makes things even harder for you.

    Perhaps you also feel guilty for the misunderstanding where your mum thought you were saying the whole night would be a bad memory. You should try to engage your mum in a conversation about it where you try to find positive memories about that night or just about time you’ve spent with her in the past.

    If you feel like the conversation would lead to sensitive issues, maybe try writing a list beforehand of positive memories that you’d like to talk to her about and see if there’s anything she’d like to share with you.

    I know it can be hard to find the positive in life sometimes but it’s always there if you look for it and you could potentially strengthen your relationship with your mum by both sharing your feelings and moving forward from a point where you can both understand and empathise with each other better in the future.

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  • I think also that I had a crush on this friend and this just solidified that my mom still viewed me as a child and it embarrassed me.

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