I should have known yesterday was a flash in the pan.
I rang this morning as always and heartily wish I had not. My mother is so aggressive I feel quite suicidal and really do not know how much longer I can continue to take an hour’s long verbal pasting. It goes contrary to all sense of self preservation to agree with and be kind to someone insane, aggressive and verbally violent. In the end she talked herself into hanging up on me and did so, for which I am grateful.
I keep wondering why I am putting on weight, permanently tired, depressed and miserable. I’m not anxious, anxiety implies there is some reason for hope or escape. Resignation is closer to my mood. When she began calling me the servant or the slave when I first lived with her to help her after my father died, I should have realised how things were going to progress.
I am aware after three years of studying the topic, that adult children of alcoholics, which she is, are difficult and controlling people. I realised that my childhood had been abusive twenty years ago, discussed it with my husband and son, apologised for any bad habits I’d picked up and gave them both carte blanche at any time to tell me if I was being like my mother. I am always grateful that hers are not my genes and continually work on myself to be a better nicer, kinder human being. In the last few years, in a support group* I have met many adult children of alcoholics and, naturally, found I have a great deal in common with them. It is a help to be able to answer the question: What are you like? And an even greater help to be able to answer the other question: Why are you like that? As verse and worse would have it:
There was a young man of Siam
Who said it is borne in on me that I am
An engine that moves
In determinate grooves
I’m not even a bus, I’m a tram.
Or, as we used to say in teacher training: It’s a conditioned response. It’s quite depressing to think that the whole of your personality may be a conditioned response.
Add the control built in to a little girl who could not control her terrifying father and decided to control everyone else instead, especially the small baby given to her, because she could, to a person naturally aggressive, designed by nature to run a multinational company, but too idle to do it, to an emotionally unavailable husband who never said no, to a very large, endlessly replenished wine cellar and a brain shrunk by a third and you get what you’ve got. Or, rather, what I have got. She is to tongues what Mohammed Ali and Joe Frasier and Enery Cooper were to boxing gloves. She’s a slugger and this morning I got the lot.
So I rang my son and it was nice to talk just to someone sane for five minutes.
The worst is that my mother continually demanded to know when she was going to die. She shouted that she was just filling in time.
The main topic of complaint this morning was that the cleaner had left twenty minutes early, despite being roundly told off for it by my mother. I shall ring the cleaner later and see if she wants to stop going to the house at all, rather than running away early, £10 an hour may be insufficient pay for two hours of verbal abuse from an insane person. I’ve tried to ring the caring agency to give them a heads up but they are on answerphone.
I am worried that it might come down to just me locked up with an insane person when everyone else has scarpered. The fact that I’ve been used to taking a pasting my entire life doesn’t make it any easier.
There should be a permanently manned helpline for those dealing with the demented. I have phoned one but there was no reply. If the numbers of people with the disease are escalating I can’t help but wonder not how many of the demented this disease will kill, because the number, currently, is all of them but how many of their carers.
If I can get hold of the care agency office I think I may tell them I’m going to have a day off tomorrow and not ring my mother at all. I rang her this morning two hours ago and have just wasted the time since then being depressed. I haven’t done my workout, or the gardening I planned or anything but just be as beaten up as someone beaten up can be.
How much longer do I have to walk along this dark and dangerous lane?
JaneLaverick.com – depressed.