Hell, handbasket, etc
I think I had it in my head that I would mellow with age. That as she and I got older, we would learn to live with each other's faults and irritations - my flat refusal to stop getting tattooed, her complete, total battiness. We'd get on, if not brilliantly, at least at a level that would preclude actual, physical violence.
I found out last week that this is never going to happen. My mother makes me ill, emotionally and physically. She only stayed for one night. It was hellish. She'd invited herself, thus disproving the oft-quoted myth that you have to invite a vampire over your threshold, and if you don't they can't come in. Driving from work to pick the Other Half up, I had a panic attack. A proper, sweating, spinning-out one. Given that I was halfway over a very big bridge at the time, this was an interesting development. A combination of making sure I hadn't actually stopped breathing, and narrowing my field of vision down to the width of my car plus ten feet in front meant the local emergency services got to stay at their respective, cosy depots, eating chocolate digestives and watching Judge Judy which was doubtless a more inviting prospect than cutting me out of a burning car when they'd rather have been getting home for their teas.
Still, it scared the bejesus out of me. I had a split second where I thought to myself, in a perfectly rational way, I could just keep driving. I get paid tomorrow. I could drive for a few hours and stay in a Travelodge and work out what to do next. I could go home tomorrow, after she's gone. I very, very nearly did it.
For fuck's sake. I am thirty-three years old.
So I didn't give in to my hysterical side. I picked the Other Half up. We went home, Mother turned up with Small Person and I spent the evening leaping up and down from the sofa like a demented bellboy, totally unable to stay in the same room as her for more than fifteen seconds at a time. Seriously. I can't even look at her. And when she went the next day, my body reacted in the manner of one of those people who gets lost in the Australian Outback and survives for four days on chewing gum and adrenaline, and when they get rescued the relief is too much and everything sort of breaks down*. I have spent a week battling an enormous, venomous mouth ulcer. It nearly ate my head. The Other Half had to get me some super-powerful steroid gunk from the chemist to get rid of it. It's gone now, and I have swollen glands and a vaguely not-quite-here feeling to keep me company instead. I can't sleep. I can't concentrate.
Some of this may have to do with the fact that I have to do this all over again next week. Next week!!
It was Mother's birthday in September. In a fit of sheer, utter madness I suggested taking her to see Andy Abrahams, the Affable Singing Not-Quite-Dustman who didn't win the X-Factor last year, or something. Am I MENTAL**??? This entails her not only staying the night again, but the two of us having to spend actual time with each other with nobody else acting as a buffer. I mean, the singing dustman aside - he'll help, of course, but unless he's going to give us a lift to the venue and sit between us in the taxi on the way home, I can't see him saving the day. And I don't even like his music.
I'm going to be hungover to fuck next Tuesday. Fact.
* I may be overstating this slightly. Me me me.
**Yes. Hopelessly, irrevocably so.