My Mom Is “Toxic,” but I Don’t Need a Gas Mask
It’s easier than that.
The one good thing about this pandemic is that a lot of face-to-face interactions have become phone calls.
“But, Malinda! That’s a bad thing!”
When you’re dealing with toxic people, it’s not. If anything, it’s been an enlightening experience for me. I’ve realized…you can just hang up the phone.
“You’re a selfish bitch.” — my mom
“You don’t care about me at all, do you? I’m your mother. I was there for you for years.” — my mom
“If you don’t do X, Y, or Z, you don’t care about me.” — you guessed it, my mom
My Mom Is Toxic
Plain and simple.
Basically, she’s the definition of toxic. Don’t know the definition of toxic? Let me help you:
Toxic people play up the victim, compare you to others (like your sister, ugh), give ultimatums, don’t respect boundaries, and drain your energy. That exhaustion you feel isn’t because you need another coffee.
My mom is undoubtedly toxic, and as far as I can tell she always has been.
My sister and I recently disagreed about something stupid that in no way involved my mother.
My sister (somehow) has a close relationship with our mom despite constantly complaining about our mom and told her about the disagreement (keep in mind, we’re both adults).
My mom immediately called me and started screaming at me and cursing me out.
Kudos to her: she got a few words in, but then I simply hung up the phone.
“Did you just hang up on your mom without saying anything?” my fiance asked.
I shrugged, “Yeah. I’m not listening to that.”
But what no one could see was that my heart was pounding at this discovery of how simple it had been to turn off the toxicity. Just a press of a button! It’s that easy! Mindblowing, I know.
And then I went on my merry way. She did text me 20 minutes later, to which I replied.
Her future texts were silenced by the handy dandy Do Not Disturb feature.
“But it’s your mom!” — People
To which I say, so what?
Just because I came out of her vagina doesn’t mean I have to listen to her shout abuse. No one has that right.
“But it’s rude to hang up on people!” — Also People
To which I say, fuck you.
Now I’m being rude. See the difference?
But what is “rude,” really?
What is “rude” to you is your perception. “Rude” is not measurable by any single standard. And sorry, but you don’t get to make that measurement.
Really, I don’t care if you think I’m rude. And you shouldn’t care if others think you’re rude either.
Protect Your Sanity (Even If It’s “Rude”)
We have a responsibility to ourselves to protect our mental well-being and sanity. No one else is going to do it for us. Not our friends, lovers, or families.
- You need to realize that you are valuable.
- You need to be your own number one fan.
- You need to protect your energy and emotions.
Do not let toxic people in. Not even if they’re your mom. It’s okay to step away or simply hang up the damn phone.