You are a thief…

India
March 26, 2008 7:03am CST
OK this is more of a rant first and then seeking your views. My relation with my mom was never smooth. I disliked her for very many reasons and she made no secret of her dislike for my ways too. We kind of agreed to disagree on everything. Now (this in my early youth) she was in office whole day and me alone at home and suddenly my friends would call and make a plan for movies! They would come dressed in sarees from their mom’s cupboard but when I asked my mom, she always refused. Now one day, I just opened her cupboard, took what I wanted and went to the movies. I repeated it inspite of her continuous refusal and the many showdowns we had on this. Now yesterday (this is now about 15yrs later if not more) as usual we started arguing on something and then she suddenly started screaming and calling me a thief for having taken out sarees from her cupboard inspite of her refusal and without her permission. To say that I was shocked is putting it very lightly indeed, I was more than heart-broken to be called a thief for taking something from my own mother. Do you lend anything to your children if they ask for it on special occasions, like lipstick, watches, handbags, shoes etc? Do you allow them to open your cupboard in your absence? I really need to understand this coz I am of the opinion that I did no wrong in opening my own mother’s cupboard.
3 people like this
15 responses
@sid556 (30999)
• United States
26 Mar 08
My mom was much like that too. I got called a theif for borrowing a pair of her earrings once. they were nothing special and she did not wear them. I felt so bad. My girls have always been free to borrow my things. We share clothes, hair products etc. It never occured to me to look at it as stealing. They do ask if they want to use something that they think might be special to me or that I may be planning to wear and unless I plan on wearing it that day or next...im always ok with it.
@sid556 (30999)
• United States
26 Mar 08
I understand your thinking and I agree...I should have asked first. I still think "theif" is a bit harsh. It could have been handled in a more loving way. I got the message and would have had she just explained it to me. I was a child. I never did it again. There were many issues with my mom...not just that. As for this lady here...yes, what she did was wrong and I think she gets that. Kids do things that they shouldn't and the parents need to correct them for it. Her mother is very wrong to hold on to it and still be throwing it at her with venom years and years later!!! I'm sure she appologized for it many years ago and learned from the experience and was probably punished as well. She does not sound like a very loving mom at all.
@sid556 (30999)
• United States
27 Mar 08
Ps...I failed to mention that I also share their things as well. We are a family of 5 girls and all wear about the same size. Not being rich at all...this sharing policy does save us money. My girls are all taught right from wrong and would never go into anyone elses home and just take. In our home it has been established that it is OK and it certainly is not your place to question how we do things in our family!!
@SViswan (12071)
• India
27 Mar 08
I guess sid is right...it depends on what is okay in a family. We are two sisters who are almost the same size...there are certain things we share without having to ask permission (we know it and it's okay)...but there are some other things we can't take without asking. Each family has a different equation and it is for each member of the particular family to respect that. In sudipta's case, her mother made it clear that she didn't like her taking her sarees. I'm sure Sudipta's past that now....but in her family she should have respected what her mother wanted. In another family (like sid pointed out), it's fine to share things without having to ask.
@anonymili (3138)
27 Mar 08
I am so sorry to hear you had this blowup with your mother about something from so long ago and over such a silly thing! I don't have any sisters and growing up I never really bothered my mum for anything of hers really apart from sometimes dabbing a bit of her Chanel No 5 perfume on my wrists. My mum is very free with whatever she has and doesn't think twice about offering something of hers to me if i like it. A few months ago when we were in India my mum was wearing this lovely fake pearl necklace which she had bought in a market whilst out shopping with her sister. It had only cost something like 50 rupees. I commented to mum that I thought it was really nice, she said it was just 50 rupees and she would get me one the next time she went to that area or take me with her. I said ok and was happy at that. 10 minutes later she came up to me and said "Here you have it, it will suit you better and I'm too old for it anyway!" She is definitely not too old for it and I tried to make her keep it but she insisted that I have it. I wear it to work at least once a week and she is so happy that I wear it so often! Recently she was wearing a black and gold sari around the house when I went to visit. I said it was nice and was she going out and she said it was a sari from 40 years ago that she hadn't worn for years and she couldn't wear it out because it was for younger people and she told me the next day that she had put it in the dry cleaners and was going to give it to me as I liked it. My husband always tells me "Don't tell your mum you like anything of hers or she'll just give it to you!" I think my mum's behaviour is more along the lines of how mums generally are with daughters (I hope it is anyway). I don't have kids myself but from my friends I know their mothers are like that too. I don't think you should feel you did anything wrong all those years ago and I don't think you should feel guilty about doing what normal girls do. Your mother might have her own reasons for being so mean with her things, maybe when she was growing up her mother was like that with her or her sisters maybe? I don't know and I don't want to criticise your mother as she is, after all, your mother and we don't like to hear people slating our nearest and dearest. Try not to take it to heart when she says these things to you. She must be very unhappy in her life and she is taking it out on you, after all, we do take out our stresses on those closest to us. I would suggest trying to have a chat with her when she is calmer and asking her if anything is preying on her mind, it might be something serious... Good luck hun and I hope it all turns out ok and that she is ok too. xx
• India
28 Mar 08
right now I am not talking to her, but eventually I will have to, with Poila Baisakh round the corner. But believe me I have learnt my lesson for one life. With my mom, you just cant talk, you have to say what she wants to hear and I would be on my guard everytime I meet her again. Yes, I always yearned for a mother much as you describe, much as I grew up seeing at my friend’s places. And I can assure my mom that none of them grew up spoilt and wayward coz their moms allowed them to wear sarees and lipstick and go to the movies while in high school. Will rant a little more…just feel like talking. Some monsoons ago I visited her in the rain from office and was drenched. She gave me a saree to wear back home. It was one of those typical synthetic sarees which don’t need much care and are ideal for office going. Well she had taken her VRS and was in no need for those sarees. My mistake was I did not rush back the saree the next day instead after a fortnight I went to visit her (again from office) wearing the same saree. Well she was very crisp to say the least. ‘Oh! you are wearing this saree to office are you?’ I was genuinely taken aback and told her so and then I said that if she had said so, I would have washed and returned it the very next day. She retorted ‘what is there to say, it is common courtesy that if you take anything from somebody you return is safe and sound’. But as you say, she is my mother and I keep forgetting and keep getting hurt. But not anymore and that’s a promise to myself. I do remember the nice moments but the ugly one are way too many. Thnx for reading. Suditpa PS: She has her share of pain and failures and problems and I am a witness and sympathiser to most of them but that certainly does not mean that she can take it out on me all the time.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
29 Mar 08
My mom is somewhere in between normal moms and Sudipta's mom. And having a sibling, I saw the difference in attitude towards the two of us. But my mother always had an excuse 'You were the guinea pig and we realized it didn't work on you and handled it differently with the second!'. Luckily, I didn't feel bad that she favoured my sister...I was too much in my own world to be bothered by that. In retrospect, I also think, it did me good than bad. Besides feeling hurt sometimes, I actually grew up stronger and being very careful where I tread. I think more of other people and their beliefs and interests before I react. I still get on my mom's bad side sometimes...but it's very few and far between..and I've learnt to live with it (most of the time). It made me more close to my dad who is more practical and give me lessons in life in a way which does not make me feel spoken down to. I would rummage through his things too when I was younger (for stationary....he always had packs of pencils, erasers and what not...and I would love to go through those)....but he made it clear that I couldn't go through it without permission. I never felt bad about it because he did it in a nice way...and he never bought it up when I was older. One thing my dad said was that my mom was not like this earlier (I suppose he means when I was much younger and I don't remember much of that time)...and he says she got like this when she had problems with her uterus...all those hormones and stuff....I don't know if he is trying to help me from feeling bad when she says and does such stuff (because there's an excuse we can't do anything about) or if he's telling me the truth. But we now joke about it and it lightens the situation before it gets worse (I have a sharp tongue myself).
1 person likes this
@anonymili (3138)
3 Apr 08
Gosh I almost feel bad for saying what a cool mum I have when I read these things from you guys. Is it wrong to feel glad that I have such a loving and gentle mother whom I adore like a best friend? My mother has had her share of pain and failures too Sudipta hun; she has put up with a control freak of a husband for over 40 years (I love my dad but I can’t pretend he is anything other than a control freak but she’s put up with it all these years almost without complaining about it). He doesn’t want to go anywhere these days, just wants to stay home and watch TV or read newspapers and is not happy if someone offers to give mum a lift to a family function going on. My mum is a saint compared to many people I know and I try to always show her how much she means to me, I know my dad is jealous is my relationship with my mum as he’s made comments in anger once in a while but again she just takes his nonsense and even with my being a difficult kid to put up with in my teens, not once did she say she was disappointed in me. When parents of family friends complain about their kids, my mother never joins in with them and often tells them to try to love their children unconditionally. So what if you kid got 8 As and 1 B? Why freak out about that 1 B grade? So your daughter didn’t go to medical school and wants to be an actress, it’s not the end of the world is it? So your son didn’t marry the girl of your choice but picked his own bride, it’s his life and he has to lead it himself doesn’t he? I don’t know what to say to you Sudipta hun to make you feel better but all I can say is make sure you don’t make the mistakes your mother made. Don’t let your child(ren) grow up thinking you’re too much of a burden on them and make them feel like thieves if they borrow something of yours… One positive thing you can take out of your difficult relationship with your mother is not to repeat her mistakes with your offspring. Go out of your way to do things differently so in 20 years time your son or other future children are saying these sorts of things about your relationship. x SViswan hun, I’m very glad to hear that you can laugh about previous situations now with your family. It does mean that time has healed the wounds somewhat nah? x
@SViswan (12071)
• India
27 Mar 08
I don't think it's wrong...but yes, my mother would hesitate to lend me her saris too. She felt I wasn't responsible with them...and also because they were her prized possessions. But most of the hurt I feel when she talks to me that way wears off soon enough. Maybe I'm just wired that way. I still pick up my mother's old saris. She's got them stacked up in cupboards in our hometown and she lives in another continent. So, everytime I go home, I pick a few I like...and (gasp) turn them into salwar kurtas! Never the really good and expensive ones....but the really really old ones...around 30 years old saris. What is she even going to do with them? She doesn't really let me pick any or her sarees....but I know all those wonderful saris of hers would come to me and my sis later on (fortunately we have different tastes...so we aren't going to fighting over which one we want). But it is annoying when you ask to borrow something from your mother and she doesn't agree! I can understand the being responsible and taking care of it part (NOW)...but if I had a daughter....I would let her borrow my stuff after giving her a lecture on taking care of it..lol But I don't know...some people are really possessive of their own stuff and wouldn't like even their own kids opening their stuff. I guess we should be able to respect that, shouldn't we? (even though we don't understand). I hate it when my son asks for a bite when I am eating a meal. I like to enjoy it on my own....maybe the cupboard is something like my meal for your mother. But yes, calling you a thief for that is going a bit too far.
• India
28 Mar 08
there are basically two things that have hurt me Sandhya. Firstly if I had a daughter even I would not have lent her my expensive sarees or the ones which I particularly cherish. However, if she is a teen and keeps on asking for sarees to wear to parties or movies or some ceremony, then either I buy her one or I lend her those which are not so special to me. I would never say a complete no and insist that she wear the drab dresses which are hers. She is growing and has her choice which should be respected within a certain limit. My mom never asked or respected any of my decisions. Secondly the fact that she has not forgotten or forgiven and never will has surprised and hurt me to the core of my heart. Its as if my soul has been hurt…to be called a thief by my own mother (even if she meant ‘like a thief’). I never say that I was absolutely correct in rummaging through her things, what I say is that she should have tried to understand the situation under which I was compelled to do so.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
29 Mar 08
I'm sorry if I came across that way...but I wasn't saying you did wrong. Of course, if she respected your age...you would have asked for her things (which I think you did and she refused). Like I pointed out, my mother was possessive too...but it wasn't like she never gave it to us...albeit grudgingly (and her reason was that we were not responsible...thinking back I realize it was true). and you are right....as a mother keeping it in mind so many years and throwing it back at you (when you aren't even doing it anymore) is really hurtful. My mother has got used to me picking up all those old saris (my sister never does)....and I just call her and inform her AFTER I have picked them up. She knows that I wouldn't pick up the really expensive ones ...and anyways since I like everything to match perfectly I wouldn't have any blouses...so I wouldn't pick them up until she gives them to me. Now, that she knows I am more careful with stuff...she does give them to me without me having to ask (just proves that she never did earlier because I wasn't careful...I always got stains on them!) Does your mother still treat you like the teenager you were? Either she still thinks you behave the same way or she got so used to yelling at you for everything, that it's difficult to change. Either ways, it isn't right. Having seen moms like that in India, I now realize that it's hard to change such people...no amount of talking and trying to make them see sense is going to work...instead it's just going to upset you a little more because they bring out more skeletons from the cupboard! If you can, just ignore it thinking that she's wired that way...and can't change. She is your mother....but if you put aside the relation, maybe you won't feel as bad. It's bad enough to hear it from anyone....but worse from a mother!
@dpk262006 (56718)
• Delhi, India
27 Mar 08
Sudita, This is somewhat tricky situation, I find. From your point of view, it appears whatever you did in your youth was almost OK. You did not commit any grave crime, by using her belongings. You would have thought that belongings of your mother also belong to you. I think there would have been some communication gap between you and your mother, so that she could not appreciate your position in the past. And she has now come out with her pent up emotions. Lending something to children is not a problem, it is a matter of understanding between us and our children. Yet, we would like them to take us into confidence (or say take our permission) before using our belongings. Please do not think too much about the issue, you are mature enough, something might be there besides you using her belongings....which prompted or call you a thief, though I feel, she should not have used this kind of word, even if she wanted to convey her displeasure to you. Be cool and calm! :):) Deepak
• India
28 Mar 08
Deepak thnk so much for the nice words. I could almost feel you trying to soothe me and assuage my pain. Yes, I know that maybe what I did was wrong and this incident has come up before too and I had apologized to her but yesterday was the extreme she went. And the way she shouted the word thief, you could actually feel that she has neither forgotten nor forgiven. This is what shocked me so much that even after all these years she is holding that grudge against her only child.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56718)
• Delhi, India
1 Apr 08
Nice to know that my words could make you feel relieved. I agree with you that whatever your mother did was quite unexpected and uncalled for. Let is be. You know about yourself and your mother too, how you both really are.
@kwenge (2493)
• Kenya
26 Mar 08
I started sharing clads with my mother the moment i realised I am big enough to fit in her outfit. Though she strict on me wearing her borrowed cloths she always insisted that I ask for it when I wanted and there some of her best that she never wanted me to wear because she wore to important functions. One day I took one from her closet and she busted me returning it. She scolded me alittle bit but she dint ban me from doing it again. I think your mother is doing the wrong thing in calling u a thief! Maybe she lacked a better word to call you or something. How can a mother say that to her real child? Even if you never had a bonding relationship she is your mother at the end of the day. You need to talk to someone maybe a professional councelor to advice you guys. You need to dig deeper into your relationship with mother and see where it went wrong. By this time you should be the best of friends with mother. Mothers are where we run to when boyfriends/hubbys wrong us. All the best dear.
• India
27 Mar 08
I am beyond her now Kwenge, believe me. its been a long time since I have accepted the fact that she is not the typical mother I have seen in many of my friends’ house. And talk of the doctor, she doesn’t even acknowledge that she has some problem and if she ever does, she blames it on the ‘struggles’ she had done in her youth of looking after home, office and a child (as if nobody else has ever done anything like this before). Anyway, I just pray for peace for her, she surely needs some and our problem is that we never know what will irk her when, its very difficult to actually have an open-heart talk with her. What surprised me this time is the fact that she had kept this incident in her mind all these years…mmmmm wish someone could teach her the peace of ‘forgive and forget’.
@kwenge (2493)
• Kenya
27 Mar 08
Then the only thing we can do it to remember her in our prayers. God works in miracles you know. I really don't know what else to think.
• India
27 Mar 08
u r ight there is no wrong in opening mothers cupbosrd
• India
28 Mar 08
thnx for the response Akhilbaba
@ciades (1624)
• Philippines
27 Mar 08
mother and a child - A mother and child sleeping
Sorry to hear that sudipta..It's not good a mother will called her child like that. She can warned you and talked to you smoothly. Sorry to say this but its not a proper way to mold a child. Well, mother don't also like that someone will get or touch her things especially if we did not asked permission to her. And she really hated someone who will borrowed her things but in a way of asking her sweetly she can't refused it as long we will returned the things we borrowed after we used it. A mother is a mother that can't refused her child on several things especially if it so important. A connection of a mother and a child supposedly unique.
• India
28 Mar 08
yes, I know that what she did was not correct and I was not brought up the correct way. She is a very strict disciplinarian and does not like to be answered back. I have many bad memories of my childhood when I wanted to say so much but always had to keep mum and listen to her. I was so scared of her most of the times.
@bellaofchaos (11549)
• United States
27 Mar 08
Ok here I go. To have your mother call you a theif that is to the extreme .. I would say that is out of line you borrowed with out permission. Is it right no. I have 5 kids and they know not to go into my things and take without asking .. Right now there isn't much they can borrow with the ages they are and the boys would never borrow my stuff. LOL!! My daughter constantly gets into my make up because she loves make up .. I don't approve of her going and just taking and using it without my permission. Do I call her a theif NO!! I tell her that it's wrong to take without asking my permission and drill that into her. When my five yr old and 9yr old ask to borrowm lip gloss they most certaintly can .. I see nothing wrong with letting them borrow something as long as they ask. Now with the situation with your mom I would just leave it and not let her know that what she said bothered you she might be getting more satisfaction from that. I would however say I'm sorry for taking your Saree's without your permission but I didn't steal them you always got them back and stealing is a little harsh.
• India
28 Mar 08
yes exactly so, if you don’t want your child to do something, you take her and explain things to her, hear her out and elaborate the consequences too. You just don’t say NO without rhyme or reason or just because you don’t like it or because you did not do it in your growing years. And then maybe you can do it with a child but certainly not with a teenager who is about to enter youth. You would end up creating a rebel and a bad one at that. And if a child does rummage through her mother’s things secretly in her absence, it does not speak very highly of the mother too, does it? Right now I am very hurt inside, never thought things would come to this and that also over some silly saree. And dressing up OMG it was akin to sin to my mother. Good girls don’t wear lipstick or mascara or danglers or nail polish till at least they are grown up enough to earn and then do whatever with their own money. You certainly don’t waste lipstick bought from your mom’s hard-earned money.
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
27 Mar 08
sorry dear... i dont agree with you... i never approve of anyone taking someone else's things without the owner's permission...even from your own family - sorry... ...to me that shows lack of respect.. maybe your mom had her 'logic' reasons for 'not-sharing' her things with you... and you should have just respected that, even if you hated or disagree with her reasons... .. imagine if someone had asked to borrow something from you - you said "no!" (and you have your valid reasons/excuse) - then, this person totally ignored your refusal and takes the thing without your permission... wouldnt that hurt? and i guess with parents - there's another thing called 'obidience'... it hurts your mom's 'ego' when you did what you did... i do let my daughter use my things - my clothes, my scarf, my lipstick, whatever she needs - if and when i can... but i usually "hand it" to her myself.. i dont let my children go thru' my things 'as they please'... even when i am around at home... basic rule and understanding - if you dont approve other people freely going thru' your things, dont think that you have the right to do that either.. i dont think you have any business opening your mom's cupboard - after she said you cant. sorry if my comments are harsh... but this is my honest thoughts on this matter.. take care.
• India
27 Mar 08
mymak thnx so very much for your honest thoughts. Yes I understand what you are saying but I have two things on this: one is that when I asked it from her the first time and she said no, she should have asked why I needed a saree and made alternate arrangements for me so that I could go with my friends dressed up as them. A saree is not something which teenagers wear regularly, its reserved for special occasions so most teens wear their mom’s sarees as they have none of their own. I asked her more than twice or thrice for several occasions, she should have taken the hint but she said no everytime and finally one day I just opened her cupboard and took out what I liked. You share your lipstick with your girls, to my mom that would have been sacrilege. Good girls don’t dress up till at least they are working and can buy stuff with their own money. Secondly, I am not saying that what I did was correct, but I was shocked to see that she is holding on to those grudges against me even after 15/16 years and all for a saree! You know she calls me up at office many time and goes on about how life has been unfair to her. One day (I was VERY BUSY) I just told her that mom I don’t have time for all this now, we’ll talk later. you know what she told me…’remember how you used to disturb me when I was at office, and now you are feeling disturbed coz your mom wants to tell you her problems?” and this refers to the time when as a child I used to spend lonely vacations at home. She expects the same maturity from a 5/6 yr old child which I expect from a 60+ lady. Such is my mom. But once again, thnx so much for taking the time to respond.
1 person likes this
@Swaana (1208)
• India
26 Mar 08
Many Indian woman, how old they become, they are so possesive about their sarees. The saree will be pretty old, there will be some holes too in it, but still, they have a sentimental attachment to each and every saree. So they get hurt when someone asks for it to wear. But calling own daughter a thief is unknown.
• India
27 Mar 08
yes I know, and that also after so many years, that’s what shocked me more. I know I have made many mistakes in my growing years, we all do, none of us are saints but you just don’t abuse a 35yr old lady like that just because she took a saree from you 15/16 years back without asking and that lady happens to be your only child.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
26 Mar 08
When my girls were home they borrowed tons of stuff from me like panty hose and shirts or blouses! I don't think you did anything wrong and you mother should be willing to share with you!
• India
27 Mar 08
do you genuinely feel so? I mean something’s gone wrong inside my head after this accusation. She never made a secret of the fact that she did not like me using her lipstick or perfume or curlers (all those girlie parties) but it was only yesterday that she actually spat out the word ‘thief’. Thnx, I still hurt inside.
@subha12 (18452)
• India
27 Mar 08
it is very bad sudipta. I think few mothers are so, they just can't have good relationship with their daughters. It has some psychological reasons. they think as their daughters grow up, they are threat to their mothers in terms of attention they get. May be your mother had it. I never think it as stealing.
@kelsan (4)
• India
26 Mar 08
no you did nothing wrong sudipta how can you be thief you took that form your mother not from any one else .i think you are very much anticepating affection,love and a careing mother.try to convince your need to your mom
@nicholejade (2430)
• Canada
26 Mar 08
Well I share pretty much everything with my mom so right now I really couldn't be bothered if she called me a theif. She says it all the time jokingly. I don't agree on your mom bringing something up after 15 years. What is she doing living in the past. This is the new millenium. Get over it already. How sad to drag something on for so long. She hit you with a low blow thats for sure. I wouldn't be too worried about it. As a kid growing up I never went through her cuboards or anything. I was taught not to and I did obide by that. That is her space and none of my business. Same goes for her going through your stuff. Its a personal space factor. So I don't agree with you going through her stuff when you were a kid after her telling you not to.
@williamjisir (22901)
• China
26 Mar 08
Hello dear friend. I am really sorry for what your own mother called you this way. You are her own daughter. It seems to unbearable to me if I were called so. I would feel very hurt for this. I could now see how unsmooth the relationship between you and your mother. But I still hope that you would try to fix this unsmooth relationship to show your generosity as you are the daughter, the younger generation, though your mother was not supposed to call you that way. I am sorry for that and hope that you are ok without scolding your mother, but try to be friendly with each other. Have a nice talk with her to improve the mother-daughter relationship, my dear friend. I wish you good luck and please take care.