... is a bitch. There, I've said it, and I feel so much better. For those few people who may read this, a little background info. My mother (the bitch) was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was thirteen. After a major meltdown where she threatened to shoot my father and myself, and then the big runaway in the car because 'someone' was after us, she was placed in a psychiatric facility (the looney bin) for a number of months where she received treatment, including electric shock therapy. A weirdo went in, a stranger came out. Now I've learnt to accept mother's bizarre behaviour over the years, but I have gradually come to the immutable conclusion that, despite her illness, my mother was, is, and always will be a bitch. In this morning's telephone conversation mother blithely informed me that my eldest niece had sent her a "Grandma's Brag Book" for Christmas. I said "that's nice, Mum" - she then went on to say that she had sent niece money for Christmas with a note that said if she didn't get a thank you then there would be no more money in the future - now doesn't that give you such a warm fuzzy Christmassy tingle. So the brag book was just a guilt ridden thank you to ensure that the money keeps coming, I'm not sure who to feel more sorry for - the niece because she was blackmailed into the thank you, or Mum because she's such a bitch and actually seems to revel in her bitchy behaviour - she actually sounded pleased with herself at the way she treated my niece. Of course she then went on to say how wonderful my youngest niece is, and how she loved the necklace Mum gave her for Christmas (oh and yes apparently mother can buy gifts for some family members rather than sending money when she actually likes the family member), and isn't she just such a lovely girl tra la la, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. In the same conversation I informed mother that mum-in-law was going to stay at the local motel, rather than at her place because there wasn't enough room - mum's reply "we'll see about that, I'll ring Bess now". That's one conversation I would have loved to listen in to - brick wall meet immoveable object. ETA - mother tried to cancel motel booking, even though m-i-l wants to stay there - I'd like to stay there - sometimes I wish mother dear had gone through with her threat earlier this year to write me out of her will. I am so looking forward to Christmas, I think I may spend the three days we are there in an alcoholic haze (and cooking the roast turkey and pork that mother has decided we must have, but will do nothing to prepare) - works for me.