My Mom: Did you get a hold of your father?! Why didn’t you call right after I called?! If he doesn’t buy it now, he won’t buy it at all! I want that iPod!
Um, hi Mom. How are you? How was your nail appointment? Guess what your grandsons are doing.
Me: I didn’t call right away because I was in the middle of making breakfast and scouring the kitchen. Since you asked me to talk to Dad about your Christmas present, let me do it my way. If he doesn’t get it today, there are other days. If he doesn’t get it at all, you can buy it after Christmas.
My Mom: I need it for line dancing classes!
I think she growled.
Me: Ok, Mom. I’ll take care of it. How are-
My Mom: I have to go. I’m going to help your Grandma make pizzelles. I’ll talk to you later.
Me: Ok. I lo-
What the f-k was that? I didn’t give a sh*t about her Christmas present. She should have made a list weeks ago. And if she wanted my help, then she should let me do it my way.
I dialed my cell phone.
My Dad: Hel-lo
Me: Hey. I’m calling about Mom’s gift. I was going to be sly and subtle and awesome, but she’s nagging and yelling. She’s set on bitch-
The pieces all fit together.
The picking of fights.
Her need to dictate a solution for whatever problem I was facing. Forcefully.
Expressing her every opinion about every subject. Forcefully.
The last time I noticed this I told my dad, “She’s set on bitch.” She overheard. She was unhappy. But it turns out she had gone off her antidepressants.
Me: She’s off her meds. Again. Isn’t she?
My Dad: (sighs) Yes.
My Dad: She hates taking so many pills.
Me: I get that. But she can’t be happy this way. She makes us miserable. She’s miserable. Doesn’t she see she has a problem?
My Dad: She does. She just doesn’t want to take pills for the rest of her life.
Too late for that.
Me: Then she needs to see a therapist.
That was the problem. She wouldn’t. And she would keep hurting, following dark paths that I had already traveled. With any luck, she would never go as deep and dark as I did. But I hurt for her. She’s my mother. She didn’t deserve to be in a dark place. But she wouldn’t seek help. She didn’t think “talking to someone” (said with a sneer) would help.
Me: So want to know what she wants for Christmas?