I’ve always had a weird view on life. Whereas most people have goals that they want to reach at certain points of their life, milestones, if you will, I never have. Partly, it’s because I don’t have the same goals as the normies. Marriage, kids, promotions, etc. I never wanted kids and was relieved to realize that I didn’t have to have them, despite the pressure from society (and my mother. So much pressure from my mother. She spent fifteen years trying to knock me up. I’m not kidding that every time we talked, she had to bring it up. That was fine when we talked every few weeks. Not so fine when she was visiting and she mentioned it every day. Her desperate gambit: “You can adopt a black baby to match your cats.” Which is horrifying in several ways, but not the least in that she said it in a kidding tone when she was clearly not kidding.
Side note: It took me a really long time to realize that my mother is an unreliable narrator. She is very uncomfortable with anything negative so she rewrites history by forgetting unpleasant things. So the summer when she visited and mentioned me having kids every day? Which was a private hell on my part and led to many arguments? In her memory, it was a nice summer we spent together. It’s crazy-making. Literally. I feel like I’m going crazy when I talk to her sometimes because she’ll deny to my face something I knew had happened.
My go-to example is when I graduated from college. I graduated Phi Beta and Magna Cum Laude. After the ceremony, my mother said if I hadn’t gotten a B in Intro Psych, I would have graduated Summa Cum Laude. Up until that moment, I was pretty pleased with graduating Magna, but upon hearing that, I was crushed. I confronted her about it years later and she denied ever having said it. And not in the “Oh, I said it, but prove it” way. She honestly looked puzzled. She said she didn’t remember saying that and that she was pretty sure she hadn’t said it. When I insisted she had, she said, “If I did say it, I probably wanted to reassure you in case you felt bad about not getting Summa Cum Laude.” Which, is obvious bullshit, but it also indicates another of my mother’s flaws–she can create a worry out of nothing. That’s her specialty! Worrying all the time. You would think as a psychologist, she would know that worry is useless without action and even with it, sometimes. But she’s a psychologist who says one thing and does another. Worse, she always has a rationalization for her behavior that she can ground in psych-speak.