Our mother and our stepmother both claimed to suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome). It seemed to all of us kids that it happened more often than once a month, so we had a bit of difficulty believing that their poor behavior stemmed from something called hormones. We thought it more likely that they were possessed.
It seemed they were more out of control and prone to rants and rages at certain times each month. I thought maybe an exorcism would be helpful but since one claimed to be an atheist and the other was, at various points, a born again Baptist/Methodist/Christian/whatever, I wasn’t sure it would take on either one of them.
Besides, who could we convince to come to our home and have to put up with either one of them while trying to perform the necessary rituals?
First, I doubt if Mother would have shut up long enough to hear the instructions, while our stepmother would have locked herself in her bedroom and refused to come out. So, the exorcisms never happened and they both continued using PMS as an excuse for their fit throwing.
Considering their ages, it seemed unlikely that PMS was the culprit for their poor behavior. More likely, the causes were just plain old meanness, melancholy and mental illness.
They say the first step in getting help is to admit that you have a problem and are powerless. Neither of them would ever admit to having a problem, so they could never accept the help that is available if you are willing. Their lives could have been so much better but they just refused to accept or take responsibility.
And admit powerlessness? Never! Much better to blame the kids, the situation, life, hardships you endured from a young age, anything and anyone. They were firm believers in denial. And they knew it was not just a river in Egypt!