I had a fun little tiff with my mom Monday.
I called to tell her that BabyBro had lied and she needed to take Gozer’s Aspy-ness into account, since she is a de facto co-parent. If BabyBro and TaintFace won’t give Gozer the help she needs, at least my mom can, right?
Did I get that far into the conversation with my mom? Did she ask what she could do for Gozer as soon as she heard Gozer’s autism was confirmed?
Instead she started chewing me out for checking up on BabyBro. I wish I was making that up, but it is true.
She wanted to know why I had called the doctor; didn’t I trust my brother? (Uh, not on this and it turns out I was right to think he was a big ol’ liar.) Why did the doctor tell me? (Because BabyBro had given her permission to tell me and never rescinded it.) Didn’t I know she had told me what they said in secret? (No, and if I did it wouldn’t matter because 1) I have told no one else but the doctor and 2) I would have still fact-checked his lying ass.) Etcetera, ad nauseam.
It was a full-out harangue, y’all. Like I was the one who had lied to her and was doing something harmful to Gozer. WTF?
Meanwhile, I kept trying to change the topic to Gozer, since I don’t give a shit what BabyBro and TaintFace are lying about outside of that topic. That’s when mom started sputtering and snarling that it was none of my business whether Gozer had Asperger’s or not.
So my niece’s health and well-being is not my business? I have no right to try to make sure she is getting what she needs? I have no right check up on the lies her own parents are telling about her? I’m just supposed to abandon her to her fate because that is what is “easiest” for the “family? Turn away, pretend I don’t see and pretend I don’t know?
I can tell you from the bitter experience of the little girl’s point of view that if all the adults in her family implicitly teach her that she isn’t important enough to “cause problems” for the menfolk of the family, then it SUCKS DONKEY TAINT.
Since this had now triggered my PTSD and I was getting incandescent with rage, I told mom I needed off the phone right then before I truly lost my temper. I have had at least three therapists tell me the best way to handle mom’s passive-aggressive attacks is to walk away when my PTSD temper starts to trigger so the conflict won’t escalate. After all, the goal is conflict resolution in these situations and escalating a fight would exacerbate it. I have spent years in therapy learning how to deal with the pain mom occasionally inflicts on me without needing or trying to get retaliation.
In response, my mom shrieked, “Fine! You bully!” and continued to chant/scream “bullybullybully” as I disconnected the call. It was behavior best suited to a particularly immature tween, and it irked me.
Why did she call me a bully, when walking away instead of retaliating is the opposite of bullying someone? In short, she knows that bully is a “bad” thing to be and used the term around to hurt me or “punish” me for not letting her “win” the fight. In short, she was using the word bully to hurt me and try to coerce me into being docile and to gain domination over me. She used the word bully to be a bully. My head would explode with the irony if I weren’t so used to it.
Then again, she was probably unaware of the irony. In mom’s world, fights are never resolved – they are won or lost. If she didn’t feel that she won, QED she must have lost. That means that I must have won! If I won, then I am a bully! Thus, she doubtlessly feels justified in calling me a bully.
People using words wrong drives me bananas. My angst that she called me a bully without context or veracity is nothing compared to the Aspy rage of incorrect verbiage.
She also uses the word anal (as in anal personality) wrong. She thinks is equivalent to asshole. For example: “That person is so anal. They never finished painting the baseboards of the church after they started it.” That’s not directed at me, but it is like nails on my autism blackboard nonetheless.
I am glad Gozer is worth a lot of pain, because that is exactly what I am getting in trying to help her. I feel like the latest casualty on the War on Whistleblowers; no good deed goes unpunished.