Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My Mom Sucks

I hate to be some sort of cliche: unmarried, childless, late-twenties woman who has problems with her mother. But it is true.

She is a nutjob.

Of all of the people I know, she is the only person who cannot share my happiness and dwells exclusively on the negatives of my life. She has been this way all of my life, so her behavior has long since been a surprise. While I don’t really care what she thinks and put little value in her opinions, it doesn’t mean that I enjoy our interactions. Her historical way of addressing problems that I am dealing with is by pointing them out regularly, especially in front of others and laughing. When she is told that her comments are unwelcome and rude she feigns innocence and claims that ‘she is just telling the truth.’

I have another litany of complaints about her here.

Last night we spoke on the phone – she wanted to know about my friend’s wedding, and wanted to tell me about her friend’s daughter’s wedding. She asked if I was still thinking about changing jobs and from her tone it was obvious that she was gloating over the idea that I wasn’t happy with my job. I mentioned excitedly that I paid off the Hbar and have no consumer debt and she commented, "but you have so many school loans that it doesn’t even matter." Thanks.

First, everyone else shares in my excitement over the Hbar – or at least pretends to. She simply cannot utter a positive word about anything unless it somehow leads to weddings and/or grandchildren. As if I’d let that shrew be any sort of influence on rugrats that I might bear. The whole tone of her end of the conversation about my life was how much I have screwed it up, and how much I must regret the decisions that I have made. As much as I say I regret law school, it lead to my current position – which is actually pretty sweet, so I don’t know whether I really regret it.

As for my loans, I don’t know with certainty, but I think I graduated with the lowest law school loans of my classmates. I got a scholarship, I made decent money in the summers and I lived dirt-cheep in the housing co-op. My law school debt is about half of the average of my classmates, and since I put myself through undergraduate, I didn’t have debt when I entered law school. I honestly don’t think bootstrapping oneself through college, going to an elite law school on scholarship, getting a job as an attorney with a decent salary & reasonable hours (albeit a crazy boss), becoming a business owner & planning to buy property in Chicago next year All On My Own demonstrates that I am a major fuck-up.

Besides this resume/finance stuff, I am quite happy with my life. I have great friends, fun experiences; I still volunteer a lot and haven’t sold out. My original plan pre-law school of working for a few years to pay off debt and buy a place, before doing something more worthwhile, are still in effect. When I told her I was overall ridiculously happy with my life she sighed and changed the subject.

She is, and has been as long as I’ve known her, fucked up. She is not and has not been a source of emotional support in my life. When many other people get scared or confused they have urges to speak with or hug their mothers. This thought has never crossed my mind. A cactus or rabid dog would offer more comfort than my mother. She is the last person that I want to speak with when I am in a rough patch in my life. It is much more easy for me to image seeking and receiving comfort from the scraggly panhandler outside my office than from her.

If my father ever finally does divorce the harpy, I will never, ever speak with her again. The only reason I currently speak with her is to maintain the illusion of family cohesion for my father and grandparents. She is, simply, toxic.

She is childish. She is irrational. She is petty. She has a temper. Most importantly, she is mean.

She and my father used to fight a lot when I was younger. Stupid, ridiculous, door-slamming, yelling fights. I don’t know what else was underlying the fights, but the actual incidents that sparked them were amazingly trivial. There is a glimmer of a memory of my dad crying as he asked her what he could do. My. Dad. Crying. My dad is not a new-age, sensitive type. There are three times I recall him with tears in his eyes: this fight with my mother, when I moved out of their house and when he expressed frustration with my mother last fall and talked of divorce.

Her taunting response the first time I saw him cry was along the lines of, ‘what – can’t you take it?’ Seriously. My dad is crying and trying to make it work and she taunts him. Bitch. I later heard this same response years later when she caused tears to flow down one of my brother’s faces.

This is fucked up. Seriously, seriously fucked-up. ‘Can’t you take it?’

My sadist of a mom however hurts people without pause. She seems to think that her role as mother and wife involves critism, second-guessing, "I told you so" and "too bad you didn’t......" Sure, other people say these things too, but besides inane babble about antique stores & garage sales, this is all I hear from her.

As much as I don’t want to rock the family boat again – I am just sick of her. I really don’t think of her besides when she calls or a visit is impending, but every interaction is so negative. Her behavior was bad enough when I was unemployed and her comments at least had merit (although were still not nice or helpful). But now that they are completely without justification in reality, I have no tolerance for them. What makes it even harder to deal with is that she gets offended and her feelings hurt very easily, so any sort of confrontation (which would be satisfying) is damn near impossible. Anytime our discussions become even slightly heated, my dad is obviously worried that mother/daughter WWIII will occur and we won’t speak again for two years. His concern keeps my mouth buckled, but she 1) doesn’t notice his worry, 2) doesn’t care, or 3) takes advantage of my restraint to let her bitch off-leash.

I wonder if I could give her a psych evaluation as a present. I would truly love to hear a professional evaluation of her particular brand of crazy.


At 3:31 AM, Blogger Frick said...

Sometimes I think that she just never learned how to relate with people in any way other than bitching. To her, its just like having a conversation, and has no idea why other people seem to get mad when she's talking to them.

Other times I think that she, in her own twisted way, feels the need to criticize your actions in an effort to validate her own course in life. She sees any and all efforts you take to raise your life to a higher and more fullfilled state as the same as if you were to say her life isn't good enough.

Mainly I just feel pity for her. She's been in such a self destructive cycle for so long. I'd like to think that it would be possible to somehow recover what is left of the person she possible once was, but probably not. In practicality, however, I know this is impossible, lew of physically drugging her and taking her to a therapist, who she would not listen to anyway. Of course, its easy to say that I feel pity for her, since I've always avoided her craziness by never valuing her opinion, and maintaining a calm demeanor around her. Do you think threat of divorce could potentially force her into making changes, or would she immediately slip into her normal stance of blaming others.

I thought things were normal when we were really young. We used to eat breakfast together as a family every morning. Maybe I was just to young to notice. I seem to remember a time around then when there wasn't yelling.

Overall, its possible that we make her out worse than she really is. We judge her by our own standards which include expectatons of reason. There's lots of crazy people in the world. She might not be that far off the normal curve.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger jojo said...


As you know, "reason isn't for everyone."

I agree that there are/were periods when the family was reasonably functioning. The fighting seemed really bad around when I was in fourth grade. I think it had been better, earlier.

Still....I remember being almost afraid of her when I was pretty young. The curling iron burn incident must have occurred in either second or third grade: that is a pretty strong sign that I didn't trust her temper. I also remember a few times when I was afraid to ask mum if I could play with S. Rabe -- instead I told S. that mum said no.

I don't think these incidents reveal a stable mom.

As for the possibility of divorce...that seems to have blown over. (did I tell you about that?) I would be anything, that divorce discussions would turn her into a raging bitch. She would fight tooth and nail for everything and turn it into all-out warfare. Besides her own personality, she has mentioned to me that she feels this is the appropriate way for divorced people to behave, and can't understand those that divorce peacefully.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger T. said...


I had to check on this one, but the DSMIV doesn’t actually include “bitch” under a psychological disorder. BUT-- if it did, these would be the tell tail signs that someone was certifiably a bitch:

Bitch: Pronounced (BEEEEOOUUUCCCHH) or AKA Bitchaholism

Uncontrollable desire to poo-poo anything good in the world, prone to outburst of crazed behavior, dementia, denial, jealously, spitefulness, happiness when others are miserable, engages in bitchyness at the exclusion of all others, unable to function without bitching, secretly bitches in private

Reasons for disorder:
Traumatic childhood/life experience(s), lack of positive role model, bad coping skills, clinical depression, history of bad choices, regret, chemical imbalance

No know cure, however, indifference or lack of response/ reinforcement of bitchaholism including total unresponsiveness to behaviors contributing to bitchyness, thus extinguish all symptoms relating to disorder, has been shown to work in the past.

***Special Warning***
Attempt to fight, argue, or pacify bitch can result in antagonism of bitchyness. Use extreme caution. Immediately call/write friend/family member to vent. Do not risk frustration as bitch does not care how you feel.

Side Effects:
Prolonged exposure to bitch can cause extreme unhappiness. Also, lowering self to bitch level puts you at risk to catching bitchaholism thus resulting in lower self-esteem, overall poopy feeling, and cyclic patterns of depression and moodiness etc……



At 2:56 PM, Blogger jojo said...

T.-- Fantastic.

I do worry that the venim that I spout about her is actually facilitating the spread of bitchaholism to me.


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