From Saturday, October 13, 2007
She Nuts And Should be Locked Up
I never thought I’d be writing about mental illness, never mind posting it on a blog for the world to see. In fact, talking about it was something I avoided.
My parents avoided it, therefore I assumed it was the right thing to do. Even after I grew up and knew better not talking was so ingrained that it came naturally to me.
A few friends knew, and I suspect most of our relatives knew it. An open secret, I suppose.
After dad died last year I decided it was pointless to downplay it. With both parents gone it meant no one was around to studiously not talk about it.
I’m blunt. It’s my nature. I’d used kinder, socially acceptable ways of answering question about her up to that point.
No more of that sensitive nonsense.
Now when friends and relatives ask about her I look them straight in the eye and say, “She’s nuts and should be locked up.”
On the whole it’s gone over well. The only problem was with an elderly aunt who isn’t quite all there herself. She looked at me like one of those old-style cash registers where the numbers keep spinning, but no total ever comes up.“She’s all right, then?”“Yes, Aunt Redacted. She’s fine.”
What this has done is given everyone else a chance to talk about it, too. I suspect most people were relived to hear me be so open about it. After all these decades they finally got the blunt truth.
Granted some might have been taken aback, but they are used to how I speak so they got past it quickly. They understand if you don’t want the answer, then you should not ask me the question.
It’s helped because they know they can call me after she’s called them with one of her pity-poor-me almost-truths.
She’s gone through a few cousins in the past 10 months. Like many mentally ill people, she is very manipulative. She knows what to say and how to package it in order to get the maximum effect.
It worked, especially on mom. After she died my sister only had dad to emotionally bully. She took right to it. I don’t think dad fell for much of anything. Mostly he wanted to help her and did not know how.
Anyway, my cousins call after she’s whined to them about whatever perceived slight or invented trauma has befallen her.They tell me what she said, and then I tell them what is really going on. For example, she whined to one last winter about not receiving any inheritance yet. I wrote about it in The Calls Are Escalating
In short, she’d gotten the registered letter notifying her of the bank draft I’d sent, but she hadn’t gotten around to signing for it yet. She told the truth, but she wasn’t very honest about it.
This is what she does. The only recourse I have is to be open and honest and tell the truth.
Thoughts and speech should be plain and clear like water in a mountain stream.