Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…

I had an interesting conversation with the kids last night. I had gone downstairs to copy the messages from our (full) answering machine to digital – which requires playing them into a microphone. I kicked it off and walked back upstairs to get a drink. While I was getting ice out of the freezer, my son (who hadn’t noticed my presence) commented on how hard it must be for me to have to listen to that. He was surprised that I was there, and embarrassed that he had been talking about me. I told him that I (and Dad) had years of practice hearing but not hearing what Mom said. It is easy for me to flip a mental switch and not hear.

I also had an interesting conversation with my wife last night, who still for some masochistic reason wants to hear Mom’s messages. I had her talk to a few people, who all recommended that she NOT listen to them. To make a long story shorter, she did end up listening to some of them, but we talked about them while they were playing, and she skipped through much of it. She’s still not happy, but understands that Mom is a woman of words, and that action is mostly beyond her capability. We still think that there are some precautions that we can take as ‘cheap insurance’ if Mom actually does try to carry out any of her threats.

One thing I did realize over the past several days that I have been struggling with is that I have to work really hard to keep from falling back into my old pattern of ignoring/appeasing Mom. It is NOT going to happen, but the pull of a deeply ingrained habit is still there. I think that it does allow me to at some level understand Dad a little, He’s had 15 more years to develop it than I have.

I also realized that I would like to see Mom get effective treatment, but that her not getting it is probably better for me for a few reasons. First, I like consistency. If Mom got treatment I wouldn’t know exactly how to deal with it. Now, my choices are VERY clear. Second, If the treatment does make her ‘normal’, how would she be able to deal with knowing just what she had done. Would that be enough to cause some kind of mental break? I can’t see how a ‘normal’ person could deal with the knowledge that their husband, children, grandchildren, and other relatives had been mentally abused at their hand. Finally, if the treatment does ‘normalize’ her, how much of her behavior is caused by a treatable disorder and how much is because she is a greedy, selfish, manipulative, vile person. Untreated, I can attribute all of her negative behavior to a disorder and not face the possibility that Mom is really not a nice person at her core.


~ by namegoeshere on July 7, 2007.

2 Responses to “Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…”

  1. Tough questions there at the end. I wouldn’t know how to respond and would also struggle with them. Honestly, it will take a miracle to cure your mom and divine intervention for the family to comes to terms w/the change.

  2. I’m glad that you expressed that feeling. It’s hard to decipher what is the illness and what is just the frightening truth of our parents’ personality.

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