What happens when an elephant dies? These are the kind of questions which can keep me up at night. The kind of sudden interests which will engross me in wikipedia and Youtube. I will talk about it with my friends. And then, there’s the other elephant…
Ever heard of the elephant and the rider? It’s the part where your rational brain is the rider, but your instincts and emotions are the elephant. Or what about the elephant in the china cabinet? Anyway… this morning…
“Good morning,” I breathe heavily down the phone indicating immediately to the other side that I want to talk about something really important. “See this message from my mom? It got me all in an anxious state again. What’s going to happen on Thursday?”
I quickly forward the exchange of messages to the Mentalist so he knows what I am talking about.
“Wim says nothing is going to happen,” I ramble on at an extremely rappid pace. “She’s just attention seeking. And that it is common for kids of narcissistic parents to struggle with anxiety attacks because you never know what will happen next.”
“I don’t see any problem here,” the Mentalist answers calmly. “It’s just a normal conversation.”
“I don’t understand why she messaged me to talk about the weather,” I tell him annoyed he doesn’t understand what the problem is. “We don’t have normal conversation.”
“It’s called mother’s connection with her children,” the Mentalist tells me with a tone of clear annoyance. “I do it all the time with mine. She just wants to check in and see how you and kids are doing. My God Fiona you really need to let the past go before you make mountains out if mole hills. Seriously.”
“This is an anxiety attack,” I tell him emphasizing each word. “You don’t understand. She checks in but doesn’t want to see me. Great. I am telling you this is not innocent.”
“Control it. Anxiety is a condition of fear and guilt and sometimes abuse,” the Mentalist explains the basic mechanism behind my rampaging feelings. “You can control it. You must if you want to be successful. Maybe she has a life of her own. Maybe she is busy. Invite her after her trip. Sadly the world doesn’t revolve around you.”
“Like when I was pregnant?” I have now raised my voice. The Mentalist should know better than to throw things my way like “the world doesn’t revolve around you”. Of course it doesn’t. “You told me to invite her for coffee. She said no. For fuck sake how much rejection do you want me to handle? I am not the one being mean here so a bit of support would have been nice. But no… even you have to have a dig that I am the nutter again. Well fine then. You want me to continuously run after her like a ninny? I am no fucking idiot. This stops here”
“See off you go again,” the Mentalist continues in his same monotonous voice. “So self important. She won’t pop over for an empty invite to swim and and you sink low. Get over it. Rejection is a part of life. It happens daily.”
“You know last time I told you to get lost I didn’t hear from you in two months,” my voice is dangerously quavering as I remind him that I will not be having any of his nonsense either.
“What do you do when a friend turns you down?” the Mentalist just continues to rile me, for what good I would not know. “Look for the highest building. You like drama and creating your own set of problems. Life doesn’t give you enough problems to solve on a daily bases? If you don’t have enough to do to keep you busy you should get a life that doesn’t include your mommy. Sucking your thumb is not cute at 40+. What are you threatening me again? Stop being childish. Grow up. It’s not cute. Your selfish temper tantrums are what kept me away from you in the first place.”
“Get lost again,” I hiss at him.
“Ok,” the Mentalist answers coolly.
“Fine,” I retort and I remain silent and very angry on the phone, waiting for him to hang up.
“No skin off my nose,” the Mentalist continues to go on at me. “Your loss. Who will you go looking for support now? Find someone who will think you’re cute when you behave as though you are 16 and just been fucked for the first time. Very boring.”
“That’s like your opinion man,” I say in my most composed manner.
“No it’s your constant behaviour pattern and you just won’t learn,” the Mentalist booms at me getting more upset by the minute.
“You fail to understand,” I tell him very calmly now. I chose my words wisely as the Mentalist is a proud man and doesn’t like to fail.
“I understand well enough,” his voice echoes in my ear. “I just won’t pander to your childish conspiracy theories all the time especially one as petty as an email from your mother. If you can’t tell the difference between a threat and politeness you have a serious problem and should seek help from someone able to treat a psychotic.”
“I am not psychotic,” I retort short.
“So you think,” the Mentalist is really excited now. “Selfish. Self centered, the world evolves around you, aggressive behaviour, very poor social intelligence. Refusal to see two sides of a story. Desperate to be the center of attention. Self righteous. Manipulative. Twist truths to make yourself look more important. Always right depending on who you are speaking to. Suspicious of others who know you. And so on.”
“Really?” I laugh out loud now intending to irritate the Mentalist to the fullest. I don’t at all feel concerned by his anger outburst. His accusations don’t hit home at all. Whoever he is talking about, that description doesn’t fit me. Maybe he’s talking about my mother after all… “Is that all you can come up with? Where are the two sides here then? Where are my good traits? I know I have them as I have happy kids and close friends. Seems like you only want to see my bad side. Seems like you don’t want to see that a mother can be as bad as mine. Seems like you totally fail to understand anything of what goes on in my life. I may be a lot of things, but self centred and selfish are not my traits at all. And I will not let you stick those labels on me.”
And at that I hang up on him and I resolve there and then that I will not call him back, nor answer his calls. When grown ups decide that they will never speak again, it often means not for a long, long time.
I will spend the next 5 days mourning my lost friendship. And angry at that as the argument between my mother has cost me so many other relationships in exactly the same way as described above. Now I lose the Mentalist too. There must be a gift in this mishappening too. Nothing goes to waste.