There have been another volley of emails which I did not receive again, even after I requested issues involving me be sent to my email address.
Instead of responding to Cream right now, I am sorting my thoughts out here. Constructive feedback is welcomed.
The following are a few excerpts from email conversations. We are in black, in-laws are in colour as the emails were.
“I know this is about much more than the painting itself. We are not trying to rebel against a certain subculture that you have adopted just to agitate you. Actually, that is how it appears to us. Especially when you mention further down that we have not given you freedom to be yourself …. then this can be viewed as an act of ..hm..not sure what word to use …… so there! now let’s see what you say. You are also parents. One day you will look back on this and understand completely where we are coming from in our questions. “
So there? Seriously? Does this deserve a response?
“Isn’t this how in extreme cases seemingly good people end up doing horrible things, such as those who went along with Nazi cultural movement (or countless other examples I could use)? Yes, those who stood up against them faced consequences. But don’t we now seem them as heroes, and the conformists as cowards? well, as i read this paragraph it could also support someone(like me) challenging (questioning) behavior that I feel could be hurtful to others. –sometimes unintentionally. Sometimes intentionally. Sometimes just to make a statement, sometimes not. Would you consider me the conformist? or the challenger? And where do you place yourself? Conforming to your generation? or challenging it? ……depends on the culture, depends on the generation. and how do I see you at this time? I actually see you as right in the middle of a movement of people your age who are challenging anything and anyone in authority over them, who are re-defining God because they don’t accept that love comes with two sides … including consequences for behavior….. and who believe that they have more knowledge than their parents, seniors, leaders, and that they have an enlightened knowledge of life, of God, of truth, and claim to hold values that are based on society and will fluctuate with the times …. …….. that could be another interesting discussion. These are actually not my words….. but I agree with them… Am I completely clueless? Maybe. “
So, I can’t accept that love can come from two sides. We had this conversation at Christmas. I stated it was not loving to command genocide and I could not accept that genocide could come from love, ergo the god of parts of the Old Testament was not what I call loving. It is what I call abusive. Cream disagreed.
” I see truth as being lost , fear of speaking truth because of the consequences, fear of being brutally(used as per the sermon on sunday) honest with anyone because of being considered ‘judgemental” or “opinionated” or domineering or bossy or bullying or ….. the words go on. But because the truth is not being spoken, generations are growing up with world values and that has no solid base at all….. what is ok today, will not be ok tomorrow, or in the next generation .. we would be seeking do what we want, what makes us happy and “others” in your life become secondary. God’\s main commandent is to love God , then to love others as you love yourselves. that is no longer apparent in some of the issues that are coming up in this day.
“I can understand that growing up in an immigrant family, you faced incredible pressure as a child to conform and adopt to the new culture your family was living in, to avoid being persecuted and bullied. I know that Great Opa ____ dealt with being bullied as a child, even in ____, by becoming a bully himself (Oma told us these stories), and this has inevitably influenced you growing up. Please don’t try to bring up ideas that have not come first from us. I don’t think this is something we have ever discussed with you so I am not sure why you think that you know where we stand on that. And I don’t think you are correct in your view …at least not of our family.
No, we discussed the relationship between the grandmother and her father with the grandmother. We didn’t discuss it with Cream nor did we say we thought we knew where she stood. We do not need Cream’s permission to talk to her mother. I think our mistake was to say it has inevitably influenced Cream. Fair enough, I can apologize for that.
“We felt that to ask your permission to hang the painting, or to take the painting down out of fear of your unwarranted reactions during your visit, would be a way to let you bully us around. Permission? bullying? I am sorry that you feel tthis way. that you refer to my questions as bullying. I was referring to respect. It is interesting that this was a topic of conversation between you….. I am sorry that it was. but it does help me understand some of it. I am starting to think that I have had a completely different idea of where you were at as parents with children, adults, living far away from us ……. To dictate your fear-based ideas(not fear, dan, love and concern for others) of behavioural conformity onto us.
I understand from this that she feels her saying they would not enter our home if the picture was hanging was respectful and loving and that the only way we could be respectful and loving would be to have not even had it up to begin with. Our questioning of the manner that we were talked to was disrespectful? I am so confused.
“If you wanted to have a discussion about the painting or whatever else, we could have done that as mature adults. It feels like you’re now treating us as disobedient, ignorant and unruly children.Again, it is interesting that you feel this way. Are you unruly? disobedient? These are your words, not mine. Sometimes there is truth in what we think and perhaps we don’t always see the truth in our own lives. Sometimes, it takes someone who loves us, and dares to speak to us in love, to clarify a behavior or a motive…..
What do I say here?
“Keep in mind, if you had asked us politely and respectfully to remove the painting during your visit we would have done so, even though disagreeing with why it should be removed. We would never have asked you to do anything in your own home that you did not want to do. The question still is that we would have accomodated our beliefs by being able to control our own actions. Never yours. “
I am confused again. Their refusal to enter our home with the painting is accommodating their beliefs, but respectfully asking us to take it down while they visit is wrong? Am I confused because I am expecting this to make sense? Is the only ‘respectful’ option to want to agree with them? Or am I missing something else?