The CuriousPages Sketchbook

Is my mother insane?

Today, my sister phone me and told me about the latest scandal involving my mother.

My mother received a standard letter from the pension office, asking her if any of her circumstances had changed. But what caused the problem was that on the envelope her address had been hand written. When looking at this, my mother was convinced that it was the hand writing of her sister, Gene, who lives in Wolverhampton. The letter came from the pension office in Belfast, which is perhaps the central office that deals with such things nationwide, but to my mother this was further evidence that something fishy was going on. She put these two facts together and decided that her sister had received this letter from the pension office and had placed it in a new envelope and addressed it to her in Weston-super-Mare, in a malicious attempt to get her into trouble.

Apparently, my sister attempted to point out the unlikeliness of all these facts, but my mother was then convinced that my sister must be in on the conspiracy, and viciously attacked her.

Also, apparently, my mother had fallen out with her own sister, Gene, about six months ago because she imagined that Gene had stolen £200 pounds from her, and has refused to speak to her since (this was news to me). This pension letter incident, one imagines, is what my mother thinks is Gene’s revenge.

My sister said that she was seriously worried about mother’s mental health.

Now, to the outsider, admittedly, these facts wouldn’t go a long way towards proving that my mother is sane. But if she is insane, then she has been insane all her life, because, to me, her personality does not now seem all that different from the personality that she has always had.

In life, most of us have moments of “insanity”, moments when our behaviour appears, to outsiders, to be somewhat irrational.

Granted, my mother does seem to have a lot more of those moments than most do.

 

12 September 2008

 

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