CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Stomping off 'cos I don't like reality, reason #99

Library photo ivy on a wall Today's happy morning greeting - after being asked if I'd had "a nice sleepies", as if I was a 2 year old (and yet she ignored my reply, which was NO) - was an announcement that my mother needs to have a word with the neighbour about the ivy creeping over the adjoining garden wall.

The photo isn't it, but so far, just half a dozen wayward new shoots have made it over the top in only 2 places. They probably aren't about to threaten humanity and take over the world.

Besides, from my observations in the 3 months I've been here, it is obvious that the neighbour is generally on top of garden tasks (though he appears to have a life between doing them), so I'm absolutely positive that if we say nothing, he'll knock on the door one day and ask if it's OK to come and trim it this side of the wall. Like he did when he pruned his hedge alongside our driveway just a few weeks ago and I know he's done on countless previous occasions.

The answer: the win-win situation, in terms of saving work, money, arguments and a whole lot more, seems perfectly clear to me. Simply do nothing.

No, mother has to speak to him because, she says, haughtily and as if it were of dire importance, "I don't want it getting tangled up in all my plants."

There is, in fact, as I reminded her, just ONE PLANT on this side of the wall - the area is otherwise boring brick, paving slab and stones and, quite frankly, would benefit greatly from some relief of green. What's more, it would be years before his plant grows far enough to get tangled up in anything. So I told her that she really shouldn't worry about it.

Well, alright I told her it was utterly ridiculous to consider it an issue.

That's reality, of course and we don't like reality do we, so she stormed off in a huff again.

This was followed by slamming of doors, windows and cupboards and then twice, she went outside to look at this "problem" plant.

Quite what staring at it was going to do, I have no idea!

Oh, I'm aware that most old people make small problems into big ones, but I think there's more to it than that and hers has entirely different motivations.

What I want to do is remind her of the numerous real problems that she should worry about, but refuses to face, but I dare not do so, because that would only result in another of her abusive outbursts and threat to throw me out on the street.

I think what she dislikes most is that I make sense. 

Is her focus on such inconsequential matters unaware or involuntary, or a deliberate smoke screen avoidance of reality? Not that my judgement counts for anything, but my observations over most of the last half century are that she has always gone out of her way to avoid reality and is manipulative in her means of doing so. You don't have to believe me, but whichever way you look at it, my mother has either lost the plot because she's senile (I don't believe this is the case), or because she has always had these tendencies.

Hopefully, learning to recognize exactly what she's doing will afford me some protection against becoming a similarly "nasty piece of work" and writing about it will help stop it festering up inside me and imploding with disastrous consequences, but it's mentally exhausting deal with her and hard work to avoid being dragged down into the negativity. The more so now, because it's constant and, at the same time it has become so much harder to deal with anything, because the climate has increased my pain ten-fold and so, my own capacities for thought and resistance are diminished by a similar factor. 

You can't choose your relatives, or make them change, obviously, however, I do think it's genuinely important that I concern myself with the effects this is having on my own health, because stress is certainly not desirable.

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