This, apparently, was the question or accusation made by a certain family member to Nana earlier this week. Nana was confused and was having trouble communicating via phone with that relative, so that automatically meant she must be doing drugs. She wasn’t. I know we’re not staying with her anymore, but I know that most of her communication issues have to do with some dementia issues. She is forgetful and she doesn’t always know who she’s talking to and she confuses reality with dreams, and the past with the present. These may be worse due to a hypoxic incident that occurred a few years ago when she was at the pain clinic and had a bad reaction to a drug. (If the certain relative hadn’t treated her like she was a drug addict at that time, then she probably would have been there for the reaction and would have gotten her help more quickly.) That incident probably sped up the dementia. (Mom would have been there that day, except my mom was too sick to go.)
Nana does sometimes take too much medicine and sometimes the medicine does impact how she reacts to things, but she doesn’t do it because she’s chasing a high. She does it because she’s forgetful. She needs the medicine, but she does make mistakes sometimes with when she takes it or how she takes it. (Not often, but it does happen.) She’s actually more likely to completely skip doses of Neurontin, anti-anxiety and pain medicine. She doesn’t like how they impact the way she thinks and how they make her sleep so much. She doesn’t like that loss of control over her sleep, even though she doesn’t sleep without pills to aid her.
I was proud when I heard that Nana decided to hang up on the relative when the asked her that question. Good for her. If only she would have hung up all those times when that relative was telling her how awful we were and how we were killing her while we were there, then maybe I wouldn’t have grown to really dislike my grandmother so much. That relative and another relative would take to bullying Nana with phone calls that were almost back to back, telling her how awful Mom, Dad and I were. At one point, my mom said that the relative had once said she (my mom) faked her hypoglycemic episode in 2008 and that the kidney failure was some kind of hoax, too. They also said that Dad was faking his nervous breakdown and that we were stalling on getting the house fixed because we’re just such horrible awful people. It was not the behavior that you’d expect from women who were in their late 50′s and early 60′s. You would expect that attitude from teenagers, not grown women.
Every time Nana would get off the phone with either of them, she would tear into us and basically emotionally abuse us until her mind would clear up or would forget that she was told to hate us. Part of why my dad had that breakdown was due to the abuse. And most of why I was so stressed while we were there was that I basically had to experience a level of abuse that I hadn’t experienced ever. (Keep in mind that my father and I had both been emotionally/verbally abused by his father–a friggin’ sociopath–and other family members when we were children, and my parents had been emotionally/verbally abused by Dadada from 1992 to 1996. It was nothing compared to the wrath we endured with Nana.) Only my mom had had to deal with Nana’s anger before, and that level of rage. I know part of Nana’s anger was from Nana herself, but a good bit was anger that she was manipulated into having by those relatives. I can forgive her for that anger, but I won’t forgive them for their causing us to endure that or for them not understanding just how bad my dad was doing because of that. And I won’t forgive the certain relative for making my mother cry one night on the phone. I do not have to forgive people who make my mom cry. I do not have to forgive people who cause my family to be abused. I do not have to forgive people who manipulate relatives against other relatives. I’m a forgiving person, but I am NOT THAT FORGIVING.
I used to try to chalk the relative’s childish behavior up to hormones or to some undiagnosed brain tumor that was causing such a major personality change, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think she’s just an unfeeling and cruel person. I think that she’s enjoyed having all of this drama in our family. And I think that she’s a beyond textbook case of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder. Where that disease makes some of us insecure, it has made her cruel. It has made her a different person, and that person has no place in my life.
Oh, I would like for that relative to notice, since she or one of her friends will read this, that I didn’t use a cuss word in this entire entry. I don’t always use foul language. I do sometimes for emphasis, which is appropriate given my age and given the culture that I have been raised in. So, you can go run and call Nana and say, “Janet, didn’t cuss this time, but she said she doesn’t want me in her life. OMG. She’s just so evil.” I know that you’ll do that last part, and when you do, I will hear about it. I always do.