fightingthecage: (Angel Walking Alone)
[personal profile] fightingthecage

I so wanted tonight to be fun and productive. Instead, I find myself sitting here, working myself up into a rage so strong, it's making my chest hurt.  So I'm venting, because it usually clears my head and then perhaps I can get something done.

I picked mother up from the train station on Friday. She opened the boot of my car (contents; one box for shopping, and my guitar), snapped that there was nowhere to put her bag and flung it into the backseat. Then she got in and immediately started into a ten minute spewing of vitriol about everyone, everywhere. You see, last week one of Brian's nieces, Sarah, contacted me through Facebook. She was very nice and just wanted to know about the funeral as, like us, they hadn't heard anything. She and her sister were worried about Mum as well, and saying they hoped she was OK, and how it was all such a horrible shock and they were so sad that Brian was dead, etc. In short, she was lovely. She even said - when told that Brian's son might make it a private family funeral so that Mum couldn't go - that Mum and I should go with them, as they were family and there was no was they'd let us be frozen out, which was obviously a nice thing to offer. I told Mum she'd been in contact and that was fine. She'd spoken to Sarah's sister, Yvonne, after she found out about Brian and was a bit scathing about the way the woman had burst into tears but whatever.

Last Thursday, her message said that they'd had enough waiting and if Harvey didn't get in touch within 24 hours, they'd come down from Birmingham and sort out the death certificate and all the paperwork themselves. Great! I thought. When I told Mum - 'oh, why can't they come today?' In the end, they got Mum permission to sign everything and she got in a stress about getting things done before coming up here for the weekend. Cut back to us in the car, ten minutes after arriving;

Mum: 'Sarah's probably the most level-headed of all of that lot. Yvonne's the one who went into hysterics on me last Sunday. She's been married two or three times, you know.'

Me:  *wearily, but without heart to tell her to shut up and stop bitching*    ''

Mum: *blathers on about other stuff for two minutes* 'I don't know why they couldn't come down yesterday.'

Me: 'Because they still thought Harvey was going to do all this, just like us?'

Mum: *snorts* 'They really are the original chavs, that lot.' (She doesn't really know what a 'chav' is; she pronounces it 'shav' for a start)

Me: *slightly dumbstruck* '...what?'

Mum: 'Oh, they are. That Yvonne, she's one step up from a prostitute.'

Me: '...'

*fucking explodes*

Mum: *literally can't understand what she's said that's so wrong*
~ ~ ~ 

I mean it. She was surprised that I was angry. She couldn't understand why that would piss me off, even after I explained (loudly) that being married twice does not make you a prostitute. 'Three times!' she said, like that should make a difference. I pointed out that she would never have said such a thing if Brian were still here and that shut her up a bit...but when on the phone to her sister a few hours later, it didn't stop her being nasty about them all over again. So I had to explain, again, that there was NO FUCKING NEED to be so horrible, that they've been trying to help and they've been concerned about her and do not deserve to be talked about this way. And she just sniffed and said that Yvonne wasn't very nice to her once - and again, couldn't understand why that was no excuse.

My mother is, I have no qualms about saying, just not a very nice person.

Friday night, she gets all nervous. And I know what's coming. She's been hinting for ages that she'd like to move up North so she could be near Evie. Before we even knew Brian had died, I mentioned to my sister about how I reckoned she was planning that and she just laughed and said, 'oh yeah, I know she is.' And then followed up with, 'I feel sorry for you. You'll have to deal with her when she's properly old and needs looking after.' (Thanks a fucking lot, sister. A few years ago you told me you wouldn't leave it all up to me. Cheers. No, really.) So anyway, she starts on about this idea she's had about - in a few years, not now, mind! - buying a place up here and putting her current house in trust for my sister, and putting the one she'd buy here in trust for me.

Me: *playing Angry Birds* 'Mmm.'

(And I was careful to be non-commital.)

Mum: 'We'd need a place where I'd have my own rooms, so I wouldn't be in your kitchen all the time.'

Me: *instant heart attack* 'What!?'

Oh yes. She wants us to move in together. She'd have an annexe or something (like that's supposed to help?) but we'd be under the same roof. And I swear, I couldn't breathe. I couldn't say anything, because she was asking it so nervously and was obviously terrified I was going to outright say 'no'. And I couldn't say anything - once she'd stopped slagging off the world and his wife, it had become clear that she was in a bit of a delicate emotional state, which is completely understandable. So I couldn't bring myself to scream 'hell no!' the way I wanted to. I didn't say anything at all. I just went off shopping a bit later and then had a meltdown in the car on the way home.

Do I really want to be that woman? Everyone knows one. The one who's on her own, in her forties, bringing up a kid or two and caring for an elderly parent at the same time. The one with no fucking life whatsoever. The one everyone feels sorry for, but sort of admires for being selfless.

I am not that selfless. I thought, on Friday night, I was going to have to be because how do you look at your mother and say 'no, there's not a chance in hell I want you anywhere near me'. She'd take it that I didn't want her (she wouldn't be wrong), and that I didn't care if she spent her old age all lonely and on her own. And I do care about that. I don't want that for her. I just don't want to be the sole person she relies on to keep her from it. It's not my fault she hardly has any friends. If you want to know why she doesn't, see the conversation I transcribed above. Yeah, she's like that about just about everyone, at one time or another. She's like that with me practically every time I see her. She is not a nice person to be around. And she thinks that if she buys me a house, it gives her licence to behave however she wants - it doesn't matter that I've been telling her for the last twenty years that you can't say disgusting things about people and then expect them to like you, it doesn't matter how many things you buy. But she can't understand that.

If you think I'm exaggerating, I'll share this; a few years ago, she told me it was a shame she couldn't have me committed.

Why did I need committing? Because I didn't have a job. And no matter how many times I listed all the multitude of ways I was trying to find a job, she didn't believe me, didn't listen, didn't care. I was making her worry by not being able to get one and the easiest way around it was apparently to wish me into a mental institution. That way I'd be 'off her hands'. And, guess what? She didn't understand why I found that hurtful. She didn't understand why I was angry and if I told her about it now, she wouldn't understand why I will never, ever forgive her for saying it. Because with my mother, there is no worse sin than 'making her life difficult' - we are, after all, all there to keep her as happy as possible. It's our function. if we behave how we like, we're just being selfish.

I spent all of Saturday trying not to feel bad about not wanting to live with her again, right up until that meeting with the agent, when I got too happy to think about it any more. And she seemed happy when I got back and told her. One of the first things she said? 'Hey, if you sell your book then we can buy a house!'

She didn't stop all Sunday. Little comments, obviously trying to manipulate, obviously trying to get a concrete 'yes' out of me. I didn't say a thing, and have no intention of doing so. Maybe I'd still be feeling bad about it if it weren't for this morning. Evie had finally agreed to take her morning milk out of a cup rather than a bottle, and declared herself 'a big girl!' I said 'yes, but awww, you'll always be my little girl.' At which my mother piped up, 'Yeah, and your mum will always be my little girl...unfortunately.'

Yeah well, fuck you too, mother. Saying something like that and then laughing? Does not make it a joke. So you go ahead and get old on your own, you end up in a nursing home because no one else wants you. You'll only have brought it on yourself, and it couldn't happen to a nicer person. 

I'm at the point where I'm seriously considering counselling to find a way to deal with the levels of anger I have. And I am the sort of person who would rather eat dead rats than talk to a shrink. But seriously. Feeling actual hate cannot be a good thing, and the more I'm forced to see her, the worse it gets.

...but I was right! I feel better now that's all vented, so hopefully the rest of tonight can be somewhat more productive than sitting here raging.

Date: 2011-03-28 08:47 pm (UTC)
ext_54943: (pink rose)
From: [identity profile]
Honestly? I think counseling is a good idea. Because you need a way to tell your mom HELL NO.

You do not want that woman around your little girl for the most formative years. Not 24/7. You just *don't*.

Your mother is an adult, not a child, and does not need someone to "take care of her". Her lack of company, as you said, is her own fault.

Being a good daughter does NOT mean being a door mat. *hugs* <3

Date: 2011-03-28 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is exactly my thinking. I really really, more than anything, do not want Evie subjected to the same sort of upbringing my sister and I had. We didn't want for anything, but we also got told five days out of seven how useless, miserable and bone idle we were. (She still thinks she was a great mother. When a differing opinion is presented, she blames my father for leaving her...gee, I wonder why he did that? *eyeroll*)

Imagine a 63 year old woman with the emotional temperament of a three year old, complete with outbursts, tantrums and self-centredness, and you have my mother. I'm not kidding. Evie beats her for emotional maturity sometimes and I can't deal with it any more. Part of me thinks that it's unfair, as she's better with Evie than she ever was with us - more patience now that she doesn't have sole responsibility, I suppose - but at the same time, she still loses her rag with her sometimes. And I don't want to risk it.

With regard counselling - I'm starting to think it's the only way to keep my sanity around her. But if I ever tell her I'm having it, she'll use it remove all blame from herself. As in 'you're clearly the one with the problem, so it's not my fault'. I know this because I tried it once before. She was such a cow, I gave up after four weeks. And that attitude from someone who had a mental breakdown once (and then, incidentally, told everyone it was my fault she'd had it).

Sorry, I'm rambling. You make good points! Especially about being a door mat. <3!

Date: 2011-03-28 09:59 pm (UTC)
ext_54943: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
It's okay to ramble. If you're rambling, you need to ramble, so. Ramble on.

Anyway, my mother in law hasn't given my husband NEARLY as much asshattery--and we don't visit because it hurts him too much. Just because you share genes does not necessarily make them "family". Sure, you'll always care...but you know, that doesn't make you HAVE to be with them for your whole life, putting up them making you insane.

You have to think of your daughter, too. You don't want her around that negativity.

Your mother loses the right to know what's going on in your life when she takes that information and uses it to degrade you. Just saying.

Date: 2011-03-28 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
>>Your mother loses the right to know what's going on in your life when she takes that information and uses it to degrade you. Just saying. <<

I hadn't looked at it that way before. And you know, you're right.


Date: 2011-03-28 10:51 pm (UTC)
ext_54943: (pink rose)
From: [identity profile]

Sometimes, not often, I hit upon sense, yes? :)

Date: 2011-03-28 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
More often than not, I'd say. :D

Date: 2011-03-28 11:09 pm (UTC)
ext_54943: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I wish you the best of luck. I know you just want what's best for you and Evie--and you'll get it.

*hugs again*

Date: 2011-03-29 04:29 am (UTC)
silveraspen: silver trees against a blue sky background (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveraspen

Date: 2011-03-28 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Also seconding on the hugs.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cheers, Merc. :)

Date: 2011-03-28 09:54 pm (UTC)
ext_54943: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
as a side...oh my god I love this icon.

*has a fawn-and-black pug, but the all black ones are adorable too*

Date: 2011-03-28 09:43 pm (UTC)
ashen_key: ([QoS] Camille is going 'ah-huh')
From: [personal profile] ashen_key
Thirding. Oh, thirding so very much. Your mother reminds me a lot of my grandmother, actually, so...hell yeah with keeping Evie away. And yourself.

*hugs so much*

Date: 2011-03-28 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And my sympathies on having a family member with the same sort of temperament. *solidarity* Fucking nightmare. I will do all I can to keep Evie away from it. <3

Date: 2011-03-29 01:43 am (UTC)
misslucyjane: poetry by hafiz (hey you. you're beautiful)
From: [personal profile] misslucyjane
Fourthing. Good God.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well you obviously HAVE to say no to the shared house. How does she jump from moving to the area to sharing a house?? Would her living (independently) in the area work....? If so, offer her that as an olive branch. But you have to say no to sharing. HAVE to.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How does she jump to that? Because it's what she wants, and she thinks that keeping on about it will eventually make me cave (she should have learned better by now).

If she had her own place a few miles away, I could probably cope as long as she stayed in her house, and wasn't always round at mine because she didn't have anyone else to talk to. And by 'talk to' I mean 'bitch at'. She said on Friday that she'll really miss talking to Brian...all the conversations I've ever witnessed them having revolved around her moaning about people at work and him saying 'mmm', while trying to watch TV.

We'll see, I guess. But you're right. I can't live with her. The very idea makes me want to hyperventilate.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:15 pm (UTC)
ceitfianna: (fox kits)
From: [personal profile] ceitfianna

Oh what a mess. It sounds like she needs to live in a place with a community so that she's not living in your house. Good luck and you can do it.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Srsly. But the thing is, there's a community where she lives. She's lived there nearly forty years now and she's been the district nurse for most of those years. She knows a ton of people - she just doesn't really get on with them in a social setting. She can't stop herself making judgements on them, and having outbursts that embarrass everyone, and complaining about them.

*throws hands up* Meh. She'll never change. But she can't live with me. I can't take it.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:28 pm (UTC)
ceitfianna: (Hatter is bemused)
From: [personal profile] ceitfianna
Stick with that and find as many allies as you can to make sure she's in a place that she doesn't hate but isn't with you.

I also like the idea of counseling that was recommended above since it sounds like there's a lot of not good things going on.

Does it bother her that she doesn't do well in her community or does she just not care?

Date: 2011-03-28 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Does it bother her? HA. If she's done anything that means someone doesn't really want her around anymore, she finds a way to make the falling-out their fault.

Nothing is ever, ever, her fault, you see. Ever.

In my wildest dreams, I occasionally dream about going to counselling with her and making her understand. But it'll never happen.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:33 pm (UTC)
ceitfianna: (never forget to wipe your sword)
From: [personal profile] ceitfianna
Oh good lord, I dated a guy like that. Its good that you can see what she's doing so you don't do the same things. *hugs*

I know there's the right distance away from her for you and it sounds like it might help if you and your sisters got together and decided about her. Since she needs to be in a place that works for her which isn't with any of you.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
People like that drive me insane. There is such a thing as personal responsibility, people. Look into it. And yeah, there's no danger of me ever being like that - for one, I take after my father and two, I've been aware of her doing it for about fifteen years now. And I'll never put Evie through it.

My sister lives in America, so there's no chance she'll do anything. Part of the reason she went to live in America after she got married, as opposed to bringing him over here, was to get away from mother. Now Brian's gone, there's no one else; her own sisters all have kids still living at home with them.

She was talking about this plan being implemented in a couple of years, so maybe I'll just tell her that we'll talk about it then. Hopefully something will happen that'll make it a no-go, like me getting a decent job and buying my own place. We'll see. :\

Date: 2011-03-28 09:45 pm (UTC)
ceitfianna: (map and key)
From: [personal profile] ceitfianna
I have this bad habit of dating people that I want to help, I've had some doozies of relationships. The worst one was in high school, I learned from them.

Ah ha, your sister has drawn her line then, you will too.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I used to go the States and befriend guys like that! Got sucked into 'they're great and I can help them' way of thinking. When, in fact - no.

Learning from things like that = a good thing.

And yeah, my sister sort of has - unfortunately, she hasn't told mother that's why she's over there. So Mum thinks she's perfect (until she bitches about her never phoning/emailing) and can do no wrong and has no idea of her real feelings towards her.

Blah. Family, eh? Suck.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:51 pm (UTC)
ceitfianna: (stars in a tree)
From: [personal profile] ceitfianna
My father's a psychiatrist and I'm from a family of fixers so the desire to date people who need help is a family thing. I mean I've had some great relationships but the bad ones were impressive. Now if I can just find a guy again, that'd be nice.

Oh dear, that's not helpful of your sister. From what you've said I can understand why she hasn't but its not going to get easier.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
JESUS NO. O_O Dear God I am so sorry you have to deal with that level of asshattery. But it sounds like "NO I WILL NOT LIVE WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE A NASTY SOW" is the only thing that would get your point across.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ha! Believe me, mate, I've called her worse than that over the years. She gets all watery-eyed and says she can't understand why she makes me so angry, and then next time we talk, she says, 'we both said things we didn't mean' - if I point out I did mean them, she martyrs herself to her sisters and gives it the whole 'I don't know where I went wrong with that one...' spiel. I can't win.

But yeah. Putting my foot down is, I fear, the only thing that's going to work here.

Date: 2011-03-28 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh my God, I hate that kind of passive-aggressive bullshit. You should kick her in the taint! :)

Date: 2011-03-28 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*snicker* A pleasing thought!

Unfortunately, she accuses me of threatening violence at her even when I do no such thing - and never have - so actually touching her would probably lead to arrest, or some such. But it's still a nice thought. :D

Date: 2011-03-28 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, Mirror Me.

You remember that time not so long ago with the failed attempt at MD and the chat that did not happen? It would not have been quite so far removed from this right here.

SO, *hugs of solidarity* Talking to someone else sounds like a very good idea. If you're leery of seeing a psychiatrist/counselor (and there's nothing wrong with that, really), someone levelheaded and removed from the situation might be an even better option. But talking with someone is a good place to start looking for perspective and an outlet for your anger, because you're (sadly) not going to find it bottled on the inside. :-/

♥ you!

Date: 2011-03-28 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ha! *fistbump* There should be a club of us with impossible, passive-agressive mothers.

The real problem I have with talking about this with people is that...there is no solution. I have told my mother, countless times, that she has to stop this sort of thing. She never listens and openly declares, 'I ain't changing!' That was said a few years ago and true to her word, she hasn't changed. Sometimes I see her attempting to get a handle on it but that just means it all bottles up and then blows worse than ever at the end. She is incapable of keeping it in.

This is a woman who loudly berated a waitress at my sister's wedding, in front of her new in-laws, because she felt our table was getting ignored. I've never been so completely embarassed. She has no ability to filter emotion - even when told of the effect it has. So she will never change, and she'll never get help. She literally doesn't see herself as having done anything wrong.

And I know where it comes from, and why she does it. It doesn't help to deal with it, and it doesn't stop her doing it. So, *shrug*. I can't see anything to be done - which of course, doesn't help with the levels of blinding fury she incites.

Bleurgh. This is probably more time spent talking about her than she deserves.

Date: 2011-03-28 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And I know where it comes from, and why she does it. It doesn't help to deal with it, and it doesn't stop her doing it.

*Nnnnnods* Looking for a miracle way to change how she is won't happen, you're right. You know, my father is going to be seventy next year, my mother sixty-eight. When someone's been the way they are for that long all those habits are so deeply ingrained it's near impossible to change them.

Talking with someone may not present a solution, but the goal is to find a coping mechanism. Some way you can talk and reason out what her poor behavior does to you; where you can put it in its place without wanting to commit mass homicide. The world would be served a great injustice if you were locked away. ;)

From someone who has spent long years absolutely terrified for the emotional security of my young nephews, it is worth doing.

Date: 2011-03-28 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There have been times, in the past, where we've started off in a row and it's descended into an actual conversation. She tends to remember those for a while - unfortunately, it doesn't stick. When she gets riled, for whatever reason, all reason goes out of the window. The only thing that matters to her is what she's feeling at that particular moment, and she lashes out - and then expects everyone to forget about the things she's said. As soon as she's over it, she expects it all to return to normal. If I point out that hello, she's just accused me of ruining her life/breaking up her marriage/pointed out how much my dad doesn't want me/threated me with an institution etc ad nauseum, then she gets pissed off all over again that I'm 'carrying on the argument', and therefore obviously the whole thing is my fault and so her insults are null by default.

She is not rational, in any way. She can't rationalise what effect her words have on anyone else. My coping mechanism for years was just to stay the hell away from her but having Evie has changed all that. I have come at this from more angles than Linda Lovelace (/gratuitous LoM reference) and there is no answer, but to hope that old age mellows her a bit further. When she stops working entirely, she'll have less people to complain about. She can't moan about Brian any more. Maybe her desire to not be on her own will force her to re-evaluate her behaviour but I'm not holding out much hope. She's more likely to sit in her house feeling hard done by, moaning about it to anyone who'll listen. And it's not the old age I want for her but she's been a bitter woman since my father left, so maybe it was always going to end up this way.

Date: 2011-03-28 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
(/gratuitous LoM reference)

I really, really heart you sometimes. ♥

Yeah. Yeah, I completely understand where you're coming from. With the discretion of not over-sharing in a public forum, I'm just nodding and saying the one thing I've learned when it comes to my guilt over my parents is that there's a distinct difference between making sure they're cared for and coddling them.

Of course, my thoughts on the matter are incredibly more complicated than all that, but the basic principle remains: you should not have to sacrifice your contentment and security for someone else's, even your mother's. I honestly do hope the years continue to mellow her. ♥

Date: 2011-03-29 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

DO NOT MOVE IN WITH YOUR MOTHER. It sounds unlikely to end well and Evie will end up witnessing the fallout.

If she wants to live closer to you, then at very least keep it same village/town rather than same house.


fightingthecage: (Default)

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