My grandma had a stroke a couple of years ago, but instead of affecting her movement it affected her brain. She had to relearn when her birthday was, her last name, the right way to say things (she would say things “I’m closing my shirt” instead of “buttoning”) and other things like that. But now we are seeing that one of the biggest changes was how her personality was affected. Especially in the last 7-9 months, wherein she has had a series of infections and even a hospital stay, she’s become less of the grandmother I used to know and more of a reclusive control freak. It’s breaking my heart.
Being able to study the personality change has made me realize something. A big personality trait of a control freak is making sure something happens on their own terms. My mother will call and suggest coming over the next afternoon at 3pm. My grandmother will then spend 20 minutes debating why this would or wouldn’t be a good idea, other times mother could come, and finally circle back and say “I know, why don’t you come over tomorrow at 3pm.”
She wanted the original suggestion, but she wanted it to be her idea.
I spent a couple of months last year job searching, until my mother finally wore me down because she wouldn’t stop talking about why a job would or wouldn’t (mostly wouldn’t) be a good idea, making vague complaints about how hard life would be for her if I had a job, and such.
Earlier this year, she came to me and complained about the fact that I don’t have a job and I should get one.
She didn’t mind me getting a job, she just wanted it to be her idea.
And now she gets to tell people how she’s “so proud” that she “encouraged” me to apply at the place where I did end up getting hired (a place where I was originally planning to apply anyway. Also, she didn’t encourage me to apply there. My brothers were applying to and she agreed to let me go to, while talking on about how she just knew they’d hire one of my brothers. My brothers that never even got a callback, much less an interview. I call bullshit, mother.)
Now, the past few months I’ve been dropping hints about moving out and all I’m getting from her is how terrible it is to live away from your family and how much I’ll hate living on my own. I’m afraid that once I do start making preparations to move out, she’ll pull a Chris Jeub “we never kicked you out” move on me.
After all, I’m just a dumb girl. If I want to make any big life decisions, they better come from my parents, and especially my mother. Right?
Wrong. So wrong.
(Shout out to Cynthia Jeub for pulling away the mask behind large, homeschooled, patriarchal families. She’s incredibly brave and I have the deepest respect and admiration for her.)