I’ve been pretty quiet about Louise, simple because she was so awful around the holidays that I stopped speaking to her.
In fact, I haven’t laid eyes on her in 2 months.
TWO GLORIOUS MONTHS.
But, the reality is, I’ve had to severely curb my lifestyle to avoid her, since we live right next door. But, the good news is, the move FINALLY seems to be in order.
(Things in this country move at a snail’s pace… a handicapped snail.)
My mom arrives next week for my birthday. Actually, it’s also M’s birthday week, so it should be a great celebration. We want it to be fun — and drama free — so we rented a flat in the city center for a week.
That, in and of itself, is a wonderful birthday present. I’m really looking forward to moving around freely and still not seeing Louise.
Incredibly, she is now asking if she will be included on our birthday festivities.
Sometimes I really think she must be a moron.
There simply is no other explanation…
Things are still unresolved with Louise, although we are much closer to moving.
It’s hard to realize that cutting someone, especially a family member, out of your life is the best thing to do. For me, after some of the hurt and anger subsides, I start to feel sympathy for the poisonous person. Part of me still wants to try to make a difference. To fix her, somehow.
My brain tells me that I’ve tried all I could and it made absolutely no difference. But a tiny little voice says maybe the next time, or the next thing, will finally make a difference.
That, in a nutshell, is how easy it is to get caught up in an ongoing relationship with an abuser: by making excuses and taking the responsibility for their behavior.
"If only I did that one little thing differently, she wouldn’t have gotten so violent or nasty."
The line in the sand has been drawn and I’ll be DAMNED if I cross it.
Life with Louise has never been easy.
(And yes, that is CERTAINLY the understatement of the year.)
She’s crazy and chaotic. In the past, she’s been downright mean. But lately, she’s turned into a complete monster. Her disposition is still crazy & mean, but maliciously nasty is also making a daily appearance.
It’s truly exhausting, and since she lives right next door, there is no way to get a reprieve from her. She spits poison constantly and genuinely seems to delight in it. It’s so bad that we had Christmas week and New Year in a hotel, just to get some peace.
We realize that we have to move in order to have a good 2012.
We realize that even though we are the only people left to take care of this crazy, mean old bird, we have to take care of ourselves first.
There is a reason that even though she’s lived in the same house for 30 years, not a single friend or neighbor stopped to say happy holidays. Not a single family member wanted to spend it with her.
It’s sad… there is no denying that.
But, at the same time, it is the miserable existence she’s created for herself. No one did it to her. She is not a victim. She is someone who delights in misery and no amount of kindness can soften or change her need for it.
Just as everyone else has, I give up.
Enough is enough.
Sometimes the price of kindness is just too high.
Louise’s grandson was born with a genetic illness. Although the boy is healthy & happy today, it’s something he & his parents will have to manage his whole life.
Of course, this is sad for the entire family. Everyone has put on a brave face and offered words of encouragement to the little boy’s parents. All except Louise. Since the birth of the child, not a day goes by that she doesn’t blame the tiny lad for her misery.
Her most frequent quotes:
I will never smile again.
What’s the point of family if they are born defective?
If only my daughter had a baby with her previous husband, the child would’ve been healthy. (Two notable things: Both parents carried a gene that led to the boy’s illness. And, the previous husband betrayed and severely broke her daughter’s heart.)
It’s annoying to have to wear a medical mask around the newborn because I have a cold. What a burden that will be for me, if I have to do that during every visit.
For me, there will be NO Christmas… this year or any other. Even as we gathered (Myself, her son & her granddaughter) to put up her Christmas tree and decorate her house, she complained that it was ugly and a waste of time.
As appalling as they all are, the last one is most relevant to this holiday season. For various reasons, none of Louise’s out of town family were unable/willing to travel to see her for Christmas. After all — Why would anyone bother to make the trip when, even on a short phone call, Louise spits venom? And, no one invited her to their place. Again, the reasons are self explanatory.
In the months, weeks and even days before Christmas, Louise was unbelieveably mean to us. l I had a difficult time even blogging or tweeting about it because it was so severe. I just couldn’t seem to find any humor in it, so I’ve stayed mostly quiet about it all.
Anyway, even though we are just next door, we made the executive decision not to spend Christmas with her. It wasn’t to be hurtful or mean to her, it was merely to ensure we could enjoy the day. If past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, we knew what we would get.
We even calmly reminded her the day before that we would not see her.
So, what happened? She made dinner and sat dressed, waiting.
No one came.
Not a single friend stopped by.
Not one neighbor knocked on the door to offer her Christmas treats.
What was Louise’s reaction?
As always, she played the victim and lamented how mean others are.
Certainly, she played no part in having a holiday alone.
Certainly, it didn’t give her cause to think about how her own behavior had created that situation.
Why would it? She’s Louise. She is allowed to be rude, mean and downright nasty. But, if you don’t accept it and continue to let her kick you, you are the asshole.
Guess what, guys?
I am perfectly happy being the asshole. No problem at all.
In an effort to hinder my Christmas gift wrapping excellence, Louise came over and took all my paper/ribbon.
Clearly she isn’t smart enough to realize I can go buy more.
I really hope Santa brings Louise a brain for Christmas…
I love Christmas.
I love everything about it.
I choose gifts with care & wrap them with even more care. I look for special paper, satin ribbons and little added touches. I use different combinations for each person and attempt to dazzle them with anticipation. To me, each package is a tiny work of art.
The first time Louise saw my packages, which were gifts for HER family, she immediately got hostile. She yelled at me. Yes, YELLED at me.
She accused me of trying to make hers look bad and repeatedly shouted:
"I hope you’re happy!! Apparently, I’ve been wrapping my gifts wrong all these years! Is that what you’re telling me? Is it? IS IT!?!?!??!?! That isn’t very nice. Shame on you!! "
My response : Blink. Blink. Blink.
I was stunned. I didn’t know what to say. I truly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I never said a word to her — I couldn’t. She never took a breath long enough to let me speak, before storming off, muttering under her breath.
Fast forward to this year. Just as every year, I will take great care with my gifts. I will carefully wrap them with the most beautiful paper & ribbons I can find.
And just to show how I feel, I will spend EXTRA time on Louise’s gifts.
I know, she of all people, will truly appreciate my effort.
I can’t BELIEVE I am even thinking about crafting, but apparently, this is what I’ve been reduced to.
Does anyone know of an easy ornament to make for a crazy old lady and a 5 year old kid?
Your assistance is much appreciated…
I live next door to my mother-in-law, Louise.
I can’t take what she says or does seriously or I would be hurt.
As it is, I chose to see her nastiness as a constant comedy show.
Life with Louise : she isn’t very nice but she is funny as hell.
Louise’s son is a winemaker in a prestigious region.
Louise tells him repeatedly not to bring wine for her.
She buys cheap bottles of grocery store swill instead.
Louise enjoys complaining to her son that it sucks.
Louise watches The A-Team TV show from the 1980’s.
The French dub it, along with most American shows.
Louise likes to tell me that everything American is inferior, including the shows she’s addicted to watching.
Louise doesn’t understand my medical problems.
She thinks my illness is because I don’t like her.
Louise thinks everything is about her.
Although, sometimes, Louise is surprisingly perceptive…
Interested in following Life with Louise on Twitter?
Send an @ to say hi!!
Here’s an example of paperback book trees…
You can also spray paint them for Christmas, if you should so desire.
I just showed Louise how to make trees out of old paperback books.
Louise now has a hobby, which will soon certainly morph into giving book trees to people on the street.
All that’s left to do, is sit back & await the river of thank you notes from neighbors.
You’re welcome, strangers.
You. Are. Welcome.
Louise just came over, in the middle of a torrential rainstorm.
She reminded me that with weather this severe, it’s best to be sure the windows are all closed.
Thank you, little drowned rat. Thank you.