Argh. It's hard to believe, but I am 35 years old and still susceptible to guilt from my parents. My father just called. He just wanted to say he's praying for me and my children. Why? Who knows. He didn't have much else to say, just that he's praying for us. (Not for Hubby, you notice. Just me and my children. Hubby is beyond hope, I guess.)
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the thought, and all. It's just that I know the hidden message. I can hear what he isn't saying, and that's where the guilt kicks in.
I was raised in a very strict, religious home. My father used to be a minister, and I was expected to grow up and marry a minister. I was a good little girl, and did all the right things. I played the piano at church. I taught the children's classes. I did volunteer work. Then I went to a church run college, left the church, and met and married an agnostic. My parents know all that, but they still hope I will see the light and come back. Especially now that I have kids.
I don't think my mother has ever seen me with jewelry on. They've never heard me curse, have no idea I've tasted the evils of alcohol, and my second year of college will always remain shrouded in mystery. I don't tell them if I'm going shopping on the Sabbath.
So far, because we live so far apart, I haven't had to defend my choices to them. They don't see my children eating pork. They haven't seen our bookshelves, which are filled with Hubby's sci-fi and fantasy books instead of Ellen White. They don't hear my husband and I discussing evolution vs creationism.
Yet I still feel guilt. I know that if they were part of my life, I would be hiding things. I would be justifying choices that are really no one else's business. I'm an adult, but still, they are my parents.
What religion were you raised? Are you still there? Do your parents give you guilt? Over what? And most importantly, when do I get to be a grown-up?