As my mother becomes older it is getting more and more difficult to be around her. For many years my parents had the ability to only “do crazy” in front of me. They had Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personalities and could shift into sane mode instantaneously if unexpected company arrived. Quite a talent don’t  you think?  Now though it seems my mother has lost her ability to shape shift. Or maybe she just doesn’t care to hide her true colors anymore.

While visiting them on Sunday my mom brought up the presidential candidates. She said and I quote “I am not voting for that Bama guy, the last thing we need is a black guy as president.”

Now you must understand that you cannot use logic with my mother. When talking with a relatively sane person you can try and speak logic, maybe get them to see reason, show them how misguided their opinion is. Not so with a mentally unstable person. Not so with a narcissist. They are ALWAYS right. Reason has nothing to do with it.

She goes on to say she can’t stand him and thinks his wife is stupid. STUPID! Oh, that’s rich. She wants Hillary to win but if she doesn’t my mom says she will break her democratic voting streak and vote republican.  I am wondering what the moral implication is of me maybe NOT finding them a ride to the polls this year? I can’t stand irresponsible voting.

Apparently my mother in all her infinite wisdom had this same conversation with her in- home care nurse. Her nurse happens to be a very powerful black woman, who obviously has a boatload of patience. My husband joked that he cannot believe my mother hasn’t had her meds switched on her. She just laughed. I told my mom I thought she owed **** an apology but I know that will not happen.

As if it could not get any worse she then tells me she knows “they” aren’t ALL bad. She said “As a child I lived next to a black family and they were very nice but …..(are you ready for this?) …..they were LIGHT.” I kid you not, that is exactly what she said.

The worst part of all of this is that she spewed this crap in front of my kids. My son said to me in the kitchen “I had no idea I had a racist grandma”.  Ouch.

As we were leaving, the subject got onto my many faults as it always does. My mom made a huge point to tell everyone just how rebellious I have always been. How I have always marched to my own beat and even brought up my second grade teacher who could corroborate her story about my insubordinate behavior.

Quick background: In second grade I was scheduled to read aloud to the class. I was SO looking forward to it and practiced reading my favorite Amelia Bedelia book in front of the mirror for hours. I wanted to be perfect. On the day I was scheduled to read, my mother went to the school and told my teacher that I was behaving poorly which was causing her “heart condition” ( a constant threat in our home) to become dangerously worse. I was 8 years old. My teacher called me into the hallway and told me I was going to be punished for being bad and would not be allowed to read to the class. I wonder if that teacher ever considered whose heart was really being damaged in that home.

Sorry, I got off track there. Anyway, this time when my mother conveyed to my husband AND MY KIDS what a rebellious person I have always been, instead of tearing me up inside like it usually does all I could think was; THANK GOD I had the strength to rebel!!!! I would hate to think I could have been a weaker person and ended up like her.



Filed under Adoptive Family

16 responses to “Crazy

  1. reunionwritings

    What a difficult mother you have had. Mine is NPD too, I am thankful to live on the other side of the world so I don’t have to see her.

    AWFUL! You poor thing. I’m glad you have a nice husband and lovely children, thank God for that.

  2. You’re right about her assessment of you: Good for you for being your own person, and a fantastic person at that. (As an aside, I’m so sorry your teacher listened to hysterics and missed out on that, and on what I’m sure would have been a great reading.)
    The only thing I can say about the racism and the not being able to hide the crazy is — maybe her frontal lobe is shrinking. Bless her nurse for tolerating such a lack of filter and be so proud of your son for calling it like it is!

  3. mia

    Yes it’s true, I am surrounded by many blessings. It’s nice to get things off my chest here so I can go and appreciate them more and not dwell. I know you understand. I wish you and I both had nurturing, stable mothers. I’m glad we are nurturing, stable mothers. (((Kim)))

  4. mia

    Oh yes Abebech it surely would have been the best rendition of Amelia Bedelia ever heard! I read to my kids all of the time and they say I am wonderful, using different voices and being very dramatic. ;o)

    Frontal lobe shrinking…..hmmmm. It’s kind of nice to think there may be a medical reason for her unreasonable behavior. Lack of filter is a perfect description for the person she has become. The only plus to this is I now see our relatives looking at me with new eyes. The are finally beginning to believe there is substance to what I “claim” went on at our house. I don’t think they did before because she was such a proficient actress around everyone but me.

  5. carosgram

    Why do you maintain contact with her?

  6. mia

    Because I am empathetic, compassionate and obviously somewhat masochistic. And because she is the one who has taught me the most about what it takes to be a better person.

  7. oh man… why are all adoptive parents nuts like that. *jumps on bandwagon*. But i def. understand at least they teach you a lot about how NOT to act and how NOT to treat your kids…

    Well, for what it’s worth I think you turned out pretty awesome, Mia. 🙂

  8. Fortunately Robin not all adoptive parents are like that. There are however a frightening number of APs who appear to have NPD. Enough that I think it should be looked at more closely. It would be good if they could somehow test PAPs for it before they are allowed to adopt.

    And thank you! I think you’re pretty awesome too.

  9. Oh geez. I do wonder if with age it’s dementia or just “not caring” about socially acceptable norms any more.

    The one and only time Hubby’s elderly parents came to our home to visit was about 11 years ago. I put up with my MIL’s rude and snide remarks to myself and my parents for about 4 days, because yeah, no woman would ever be good enough for her “one and only” son, and I never ever want to put him in the middle.

    We were having dinner on the 4th of July and waiting for the yearly Boston Pops show to come on. When it was announced that the featured guests would be Gladys Knight and the Pips, my MIL said (in front of my kids), “What in the world does that N***** have to do with the 4th of July?”

    Hubby was so shocked that he almost dropped his plate. In his entire lifetime, he’d never heard his mother use that term.

    I myself had had enough. I said, “that isn’t a word we use in our home, and if you feel you have to use it, then we can get you a room in the hotel down the road.”

    Needless to say, they never visited again (again, I said they were elderly, so traveling to the mountains might have been uncomfortable), and from then on, Hubby went out to stay with them for a week to 10 days every year on his own, which was the best for all of us.

    But each year, it’s gotten worse. Although she seems to be “together” in public, with the family she says some really racist and outrageous things. It freaks Hubby out, because this is not what he was raised with. And she’s 87 years old. He doesn’t know how to tell her to knock it off. Scary to think that this might have been her true colors all along. 😦

  10. I know! It’s freaky to think these perspectives were there all along, seeping out in other destructive ways I’m sure.

    It’s entirely possible that they are either at an age where they just don’t give a damn what people think or it’s as Abebech suggests and more a weakening of control over the mind. Either way it’s obvious these perspectives have been living in their brains and that IS really scary.

  11. polly

    Mia, you said “…There are however a frightening number of APs who appear to have NPD. Enough that I think it should be looked at more closely. It would be good if they could somehow test PAPs for it before they are allowed to adopt.”

    Are you implying that only APs seem to get NPD? What about natural mothers? Should they be tested for NPD before they are allowed to keep their children? My grandmother had NPD and her children were terribly affected by her disease. I am sure you are not suggesting she would have been better off sterilized or having her children taken away from her had the doctors known what was in store for all of us down the road.

  12. mia

    Come on now Polly, you know that is not what I was saying. It would be silly for anyone to assume only APs have NPD. As a matter of fact we ALL have narcissistic tendencies to some degree.

    When a child is without a home (for whatever reason) those taking on the responsibility of providing a home for that child should WANT to do whatever they can to assure that the individuals providing the home are stable. Should they not? Are you suggesting we should willingly place a child into the home of an unstable person??? I would hope not. Don’t you think a PAP’s ability to parent who exhibits extreme narcissistic personality disorder should be questioned? It should be the agency’s JOB to ask these questions as they are the ones in the position of choice. The child certainly has no choice, no voice.

    There are things we have little or no control over and then there are things we can do something about. Having had first hand experience with the destruction NPD can cause I am surprised you would not agree with the idea of wanting to do everything we could to provide safety from the damaging effects of NPD if it were in our power to do so. An agency won’t allow a person to parent if they don’t have enough money or a “safe” home, would it be such a stretch to add NPD to that list?

    Please quit trying to make this an US vs THEM equation. It should be about ALL of us working TOGETHER to create a system that honors and respects what is best for our children, not what is best for us.

  13. polly

    Mia, by your reasoning, any parent diagnosed with NPD should not be allowed to give birth to her own natural child either (or if a man, to have unprotected relations with a woman). I agree with you, we as a society should protect children from parents who are a threat to them. But I would not willingly take away a child from a mother unless a child was in extreme danger. Nor would I force a mother to abort a child, give it up for adoption, or be sterilized if she were found to have NPD or some other personality disorder. There are lots of things people do to harm children. I’d like to protect them from all of them, including parents who have no disorder but are just plain unfit to be parents.

    I truly hope you are not saying that children should be protected only from adoptive parents who are diagnosed with a personality disorder. That would be too sad for all the children who are abused, damaged psychologically, assaulted, or killed every year by their first mothers and fathers, many of whom are considered healthy loving parents.

  14. mia

    Oh my do you have a talent for twisting peoples words. Where are you coming up with this sterilization and forced abortion crap? My ideals are about as far from The Handmaid’s Tale as it gets sister.

    I will try to simplify this for you. I am talking about one subject only- the process in which people APPLY FOR THE JOB of parenting a child they did not give birth to. What I am saying is that we should be as certain as we can possibly be that someone applying for this incredibly important position can either do the job to begin with or, with a fairly strong level of certainty: learn to.

    What I am saying is that I wish there were a better screening process for PERSPECTIVE adoptive parents diagnosed with an extreme personality disorder……….. BEFORE they are given the job.

    Seriously, whats your problem with that idea?

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