I thought to lighten things up a little, I'd share a story from my teen years. To me it is kind of funny, since it doesn't involve anyone actually getting hurt, but as it does deal somewhat with my mother's illness I'll put it behind the cut in case it is upsetting to anyone.
It has to do with something ridiculous that happened once when someone else noticed my mother was a little off.
I guess to give everyone a little background on this, for a long time my mother would say that there was something deeply wrong with me, that somehow I just wasn't right, I was bad to the core, or something like that. This was also during a time when she was abusing prescription drugs and alcohol pretty heavily. For the most part throughout my mother's life only immediate family has been exposed to her bizarre behavior, and only I (when we were alone together) usually got the "you're evil" stuff. But this one time she let the disguise slip.
I was in my sophomore year of high school. I had a best friend since elementary school (6th grade) Natalie, who had just gotten her driver's license. The school held parent-teacher conferences and for some reason my mother decided to go.
I knew right away that something weird had gone on at the conference as some of my teacher's asked strange questions. However, the topic was quickly dropped and I didn't give it much more thought.
Then, this girl Julie, who hung around the edges of a group of kids I was pals with, asked me to come over to her house for dinner and to watch a movie. I thought it was very strange, since I really wasn't friends with Julie. But I reflected on it and decided that Julie, as a shy and not terribly popular girl, might be lonely. I told her that I always hung out with Natalie on Friday nights, but if Natalie was invited too, we'd all hang out and have a great time. Julie agreed right away. It turned out that her mom and Natalie's mom were friends and they thought really highly of Natalie (who wouldn't?).
Friday night rolled around and Natalie came and picked me up. She'd already gone out and rented a movie called "Something Wild." I'd never heard of the movie since at home I wasn't allowed to watch tv and was really out of touch with popular culture, but Natalie's recommendation was enough for me.
We got to Julie's house, we ate with her and her mom, and then we put the movie in. Almost immediately the movie went into a pretty shocking sex scene and Julie's mom freaked out. She yelled at me for bringing filth into her house. She then forced all 3 of us to get in her mini van with her to return the video. During the drive she kept asking me (and only me) over and over why I would think it was ok to bring something like that to her house. When I tried to say that I'd had no idea the movie was like that she accused me of lying to get out of taking responsibility.
Anyway, after returning the video and getting back to Julie's house, Julie's mom was still on my case. I finally said that I just couldn't take it and needed to leave. So Natalie naturally said she'd go with me. Julie followed us out to the car.
I quickly said I was sorry to Julie and that maybe we could hang out some other time, not at her house. What she said next really shocked me.
She said, "I never wanted to have you over anyway, my mom forced me. It's not like you're my friend."
I asked, "What?"
She continued, "My mom was at parent teacher conferences and saw your mom there. She said your mom came in wearing weird disheveled clothing, noticeably drunk and freaked all the teachers out by saying you were just a bad seed and she was considering kicking you out."
"Yeah, she said the teachers were arguing that you were a nice kid and a good student and your mom was just acting crazier and crazier. So my mom came home and told me I had to invite you over so we could help you. She said that there was a girl at my school who really needed our help to get her on the right track because her mom is a drunk. So she made me invite you over."
So that was the end of that evening.
I told Sean this story recently and he said "Hmmm, it sounds like Julie's mom and your mom should have become best friends..."
Anyway, I could also add to this story that although Julie never liked me after that, she did stay friends with Natalie. And so through that I did see her again years later and she had blossomed out of being a shy, unattractive girl into a beautiful, vivacious young woman. And she married an old high school friend of ours, so I think things turned out ok for her, despite her mom being a little weird too.