I marched straight to the shower after waking to let the warm water wash away the awful bits of my trip that were still clinging to me.

We drove over 700 miles with gifts in tow. Somewhere in Ohio, my mother called, confused about the time of our arrival. I reminded her of our agreed-upon plans, but Ms. Chaos had other ideas. We were not to drop by that evening with dinner. We were not to visit in the morning, followed by a short trip to the other side of town to see my mother’s long-time friend. She was in charge, as she loudly proclaimed, and I had no authority.

We were not to take my mother to the hotel suite to visit.

I was not to be trusted.

She doesn’t know the meaning of the word “conversation.” She only knows how to yell, demand, and demean in a steady stream of verbal vomit that doesn’t stop coming until I hit the disconnect button.

Then she accuses me of abusing her by giving her the silent treatment.

It’s clear that something is off, but she thinks it’s everyone but her. Her ex has a diagnosed personality disorder (not sure about that), I’ve committed felony crimes against her (absolutely not true), Wells Fargo is a monster who takes advantage of people who don’t pay their mortgage for 3 years (how dare they).

She bullied my mother into taking her in after she had to sell her house for a pittance to pay off the bank just before the sheriff’s sale, and she was lucky that the plaintiff waived the exorbitant court fees she racked up with her nonsensical written ranting.

She makes the rules. I can’t call my mother on the Echo Show during the weekdays before 3:00 pm because the Innocent One takes her online high-school classes in the middle of the living room. I don’t like calling anyway, because motor-mouth sits on the couch and comments on the conversation, usually starting a fight that ends with me hanging up because I don’t want to cause my mother or me any more stress. Ms. Chaos doesn’t hasn’t worked in 16 years, because she’s her daughter’s “Learning Coach.”

She’s made the ultimate sacrifice to lie on my mom’s couch watching MSNBC all day, living on food stamps and getting free rent.

I ended up having to call the police for assistance in order to take my mother for a visit without the lunatic background noise.

I think Ms. Chaos takes Adderall, which I understand can cause schizophrenic-like side effects, but the mess began long before her prescription.

My desire for peace in my life battles regularly with my love for her and my terminal hopefulness that one day she will be healed from whatever has taken control of her mind and mouth. This year, I severed most communication methods with her, and yes, I had a much happier life. The only outstanding obstacle is visiting with my mother, who loses a bit more of her independence each day to that monster called Alzheimer’s Disease, which I believe is exacerbated by the Chaos.

To be continued…

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