Mother was a “my way or the highway kind” of person. It would seem she mentally lived on a one way street with no detours her entire life. If she said it was so, then she expected you to believe it as well.
My sister Abby and I were quite young when we realized this was far from normal. Abby handled it by often trying to placate her and not ruffle her feathers. I could have cared less whose feathers I was ruffling. I would engage Mother in conversation and more often than not those conversations very quickly turned very ugly.
Looking back, I guess you could say that in a perverse way I enjoyed the game. Kind of sick on my part as a child.
Our dad taught us to never argue with a crazy person because, as he put it, because as he put it, “Doing so will make you crazy too.” He never explicitly said this lesson was relevant most of all to interactions with our mother, but we got the point. I guess it took me a little longer to get the point than it took Abby.
Mother could turn on you in short order. I guess she was trying to keep Abby and me on our toes. Just when you might think it was OK to ask her permission for something, she would lash out and teach us another “valuable lesson.”
One lesson learned:
Don’t trust her alcohol or medication influenced “happy” moods.
Her good moods never lasted long enough for us to benefit from them. In fact, quite the opposite. You know what they say – there isn’t enough money in the world to make them happy? Well, in Mother’s case, there wasn’t enough of anything to make her happy, especially something in the special amber colored liquid in glass bottles.
One afternoon, when I was unlucky enough to be a passenger in her vehicle, she turned incorrectly down a one way street. When I brought this to her attention, she began berating me:
When did this happen? Why didn’t you tell me? You love making me look like the village idiot! You do know this is all your fault!
Enough said. Not only did she mentally live on a one way street, she was unfortunate enough to always be going in the wrong direction.