That is what I asked Wayne the other day when we were hanging out. I could tell he was not his normal cheery self like when he normally comes over. I asked him what he had been doing the last couple days. Sleeping, was his answer. When I asked if he was depressed, he admitted he was a little depressed.
Wayne attempted ‘no contact’ with his mother again and so far, it’s been a week and two days since he has been over to her house. He blocked her on Facebook, but he is having a hard time staying away from the house. When she sees him, she is mean and nasty to him. I’ve seen it. It’s horrible.
Example: His lungs are a mess because of his smoking a pack plus a day for years. He decided to give it a good try and in the last couple months, he’s smoked, maybe, five cigarettes. He uses the nicotine thingies you stick up in your gum. Whereas I tell him, “That’s awesome, bro! Keep it up!”, his mother says to him, “Well, now that you’ve quit smoking, you’re getting fatter.”
Are you shitting me? I had a bunch of “I hate this woman!” moments when I worked for her as a caregiver for a year, believe me. But, it was easier for me. Liz is not my mother.
He says to me, “I want to hate my mother, but I can’t! Arrrgh!”
My first thought was, “Why do you want to hate her?”
So, I asked him.
“Why do you want to hate her?”
He tells me, “Because, she’s my mom. Why did she like treating me this way my entire life? What kind of mother wants to do that to her son? I have to love her because she is my mom.”
“Yeah, but just because you love her, doesn’t mean you have to hang out with her and continue to let her belittle and berate you. Love her from your own pad and don’t go over there. Love her from afar. If Garth misses Spike that much, arrange a play date with the two of them with Art away from the house.” (Garth is Wayne’s dog and Spike is Art’s dog. They love each other.)
Wayne knows that if he goes over to the house, he is going to get some negative treatment from his mother just like he always does. So, why go over there? It’s not like she needs someone to look after her. Art lives there rent free and his job is to help take care of her.
I explain this to Wayne and I included this:
“Dude, you gotta stop looking at your mother as someone like you and I who can actually experience empathy. Your mother cannot. That part of her brain just doesn’t work. Why doesn’t it work? She said so herself. When she was nine months old, all of her parent’s attention went away from her and over to her premature twin sisters once they were born. To top it off, they were all raised by servants and nannies. I don’t know any better way to give your child the impression they are just not worth it than the way her parents did to her. But, I get it. Her parents both worked, traveled and were never there to give her the proper nurturing a child. She grew up to believe it was everyone else’s job to make her happy, shower her with compliments and keep her happy because that is the way it has been all along. When you are lacking any kind of goodness and support from the two people who are supposed to shower you with it in the first place, you find a way to get it yourself. Telling stories to depict her as the heroine. Constantly attempting to build herself up, because no one else was doing it. People like this feel better when they are pointing out, what they believe to be flaws, in others. She truly believes anything she has to say is tons more important that what anyone else has to say. She REALLY believes this. Dude, did you know that someone can believe a lie so much, that they can pass a lie detector test?”
“Totally. If your mother truly believes she is never in the wrong and has never hurt your feelings by the things she said, and you strapped her to a polygraph machine, you will probably see no deception indicators when asking if she was aware something she said to you hurt you. Her brain truly believes she is not out of line. Her brain believes that it is everyone else that is the problem. Never her. What if what she had was an illness, say, like, diabetes, would you still want to hate her? Or would you have a bit more compassion because she is truly sick?”
“But, that doesn’t excuse what she did.”
“Nope and it will not excuse all her future belittling’s. I’m just saying it is easier to forgive someone for their actions when you realize they just cannot help it. It’s not like she is nice to the rest of the world and not you. She treats all those she needs to help make her feel good about herself and treat her like the Queen she knows she should be. Servants and all. Sure, she can take out the trash. She feels she shouldn’t have to. Truly. She was not raised to take out the trash. She was raised that others will do it for you eventually so you don’t have to. And again, she has Art for that. He knew that was part of the deal when she offered to let him and the girls move in. But, you do not have to hear it if you don’t want to. Just stay away and look at her as a weird case of Tourette Syndrome or something. Would you crack your best buddy in the face every time he spit out, “You rat bastard!” in the middle of him telling you about his day? Or, would you not take it personally because you know they have a condition and couldn’t help it?”
“You don’t have to hate her. You don’t have that in you anyway. Just stay away from her mouth. Both online and in person so you can start to heal some of those wounds. A scab can’t heal if you keep picking at it to make it bleed. But, that means when it is time to do your laundry, go to Spin City. You can’t keep doing your laundry there and expect her to leave you alone when you are there. That is disrespectful.
“I would just ignore her and walk right past her.”
“Right. I can see it now. “Wayne, get back here! How dare you walk right past me and ignore me as I am talking to you! You will respect me in MY house!””
“Dude, just don’t go over there. It’s really that simple. Aside from seeing Art and Spike, I bet there is not one thing you like about going to your mom’s. Except her free Wifi. And if Art is a friend, he will not hound you to go over there if you told him you need time away from your mom’s wickedness.”
“I hear you.”
“Surround yourself with the better vibed buddies, cut out the negativos and see how much better you feel. Now, you ready to go shoot some pool? I just need to grab my cue.”
“We just needed some practice, right? For me, now that I got Lasik, I can finally see!”