My mum is 80, she has surpassed expectations in living as long as she has. Including her own. She has a number of health problems, including type 2 diabetes. She smokes and eats cakes (a lot of cake) and chocolate. But as far as she is concerned, she is 80 and lives alone so everyone can just but out. She has a point. It’s great that mum is independent (think crazy old woman on mobility scooter), to a point. So far, so lovely I hear you say.
Trouble is that my mum is no cute old lady. She is absolutely toxic. I love her, but I really don’t like her as a person and I’m not alone. Sadly she has upset a lot of people, consequently she sees very few people outside of the immediate family and her neighbours. I don’t think she has upset them nor the hairdresser / nail stylist, indeed the latter loves that mum has such a dry sense of humour! That’s not what I’d call it but I’m not arguing.
As part of the prompt for this weeks Sex Bloggers for Mental Health topic – Toxic People, Cat has published a list. This details the kind of traits people who are toxic possess. Sad to say my mum is that entire list.
It would be easy to put mum’s behaviour down to old age. Perhaps she is developing dementia? But I don’t believe she is and anyway it’s clear she has always been like this. I vividly remember her mum, my grandmother shaking her head when I told her of mum’s selfish behaviour. She told me that “your mother will die a miserable and lonely old woman”. Sadly she probably will.
Generally everything that is wrong is always the fault of someone else. Mainly my brother and I. She is rude and sarcastic and takes pleasure in running us down to each other and others. Especially in public. So much so that my brother refuses to take her out to eat or to have her to his house. Though he relented on Boxing Day last Christmas. We have witnessed first hand her harsh tongue, especially aimed at our partners. Indeed she never liked any of the people we married or have lived with. Though her memory of our past spouses is apparently coated in rose tint!
This Christmas she even (unwittingly) started to turn her own grandchildren against her because of her manipulative actions. Sad to day I spent far too much time on Boxing Day discussing these actions with my son and daughter in law.
But, she is an old woman. A widow. She is dependent on us and know it. It was easier to ignore her and leave her to stew when she was young and my dad was alive. These days I have to do what is needed. Visit regularly and try to hold my tongue.
I wouldn’t ever leave her alone on important dates. I phone even though I have nothing to say.I’ve taken her on holiday several times, though don’t know what to do this year after last year’s difficult time. I am sad that my relationship with my mum is challenging, that we aren’t close in a way others are. The only really good thing that has happened since dad died is that I am closer to my older brother. It’s not true that the only thing we have to discuss is her. But her challenging behaviour has helped us. Mum doesn’t like G, the feeling is mutual. She has behaved horribly towards him because he won’t humour her and agree with her crazy ideas. But he and my brother get on very well.
It’s a difficult situation that we manage as best we can. For me, I’m determined no one (least of all my son) will ever call me toxic!