Not to make light of anyone with mental problems but Mother was sitting on the throne of mental illness. Between depression, emotional rages, anger management (or lack thereof in her case), and abuse of a variety of substances, her mental outlook didn’t have a fighting chance.
The cycle began anew each day, 365 days a year. The only thing you could truly count on was not to count on anything.
It amazed my sister Abby and me that she could wake up in such a mood but she had a pattern and she stuck with it. It seemed that she was born with a bad attitude and because she never accepted blame for her actions, it was just the way she was wired.
It was not easy dealing with someone so negative but you learned quickly not to expect positive affirmations from her. She thought she was “keeping it real” when truthfully she was “keeping it crazy”.
Abby and I were smart enough to know Mother had problems. We did not discuss these problems with our friends except to occasionally say that she was crazy. Seems like that’s what a lot of kids say about their parents when they aren’t happy with them, so we didn’t feel the need to say, “We mean she is certifiable crazy!”
Mother’s refusal to seek professional help and her adamant denial about her mental problems led us to understand the importance of accepting responsibility for our own problems and behavior. It also led us to faith which we understand to be our safe harbor amidst any storm. Including Typhoon Mother!