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.
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December 2011

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