Having a parent with problems helps children become very self-reliant. Abby and I learned that lesson early on in our lives. Mary was in pain, and in turn she created pain for others.
My sister and I were both good decision makers and I was fortunate because I could always ask Abby for advice. She never led me astray or let me down and to this day continues to be my sounding board.
Whenever Abby and I needed to ask Mary for permission for something, it was like spinning a roulette wheel. Where she landed nobody knew. If she was in a good mood (alcohol, drug or food induced) she might be on a high and agree to our plan. If she had not been imbibing in her favorite treats, then the wrath you felt was immense.
The funny thing was, Abby and I pretty much went ahead and did what we wanted. We quickly learned not to ask much of anything of Mary. They say you can’t give what you don’t have.
I later in life heard the expression it is easier to ask for forgiveness after the fact then permission ahead of time. Again, with our mother, it was a crapshoot as to how she would react in either case.
Here is one example:
When I was in sixth grade, President Kennedy was inaugurated. The teacher asked if anyone had a portable television that they could bring to school so the class could watch this historic event. I immediately raised my hand as I needed some extra “brownie points” with this teacher.
I went home and shared the big news. Mary did not take kindly to anyone using her television and proceeded to throw a massive fit. My dad said he would help me get it to school and thought it was a good idea for the class to watch a part of history in the making.
Off to school we went with the set the next morning. Mary’s grumbles could be heard all over our neighborhood. I was happy to earn the necessary points from my teacher and glad that Mary was not allowed to ruin my day. While the rest of the nation marveled at this historic event, Mary spent the day cursing and complaining.
Mary may not have had hemorrhoids but she could be a real pain in the ass!