Anyone who dares to question my fatherís grandiose visions has to be very careful. When the delusion starts to crack he may do just about anything to re-establish it as a reality in his own mind.
. . .
Does this ring true to anyone else?
Many years before I put together the whole picture, this has bothered me about my mother-in-law (MIL). She grew up in an extremely small rural place, in a shabby little house, with a mother who ran a little roadside diner, and a father who had to travel for his work and was rarely there. Poorly educated because she had a learning disability. Naive and ignorant (and socially clueless -- to this day).
However, she vowed somewhere back there that she was going to be seen as wealthy and powerful, so when she got the chance, she bought the biggest house in her home town. I mean huge. Three families probably could have lived in it comfortably. The house had belonged to the family of her best friend when she was small, and she always wanted it. She once told the story of how her friend's parents were ruined in the Great Depression and lost that house. And somehow in her mind, by buying it some forty years later, she had finally succeeded in taking what her friend had. That's how it sounded.
She hired "servants" and always lamented that she could not find anyone good enough to be a "butler." Way out there on the edge of the wilderness, and she wanted a butler! She and father-in-law were members at a country club, and it just killed me to go with them. It was like Granny Clampett in a silk dress -- absolutely tasteless. But she behaved like the Queen of Sheba, all smiles and charm, and behaving with the assumption that everyone loved her. And I always cringed at the ridiculous hats she wore there.
I have NEVER seen her do any of her own work. Not housework, not paperwork, not shopping, not cooking, nothing. She tells everyone else what to do and how to do it. A real micro-manager. She made a career of that with a large company (we'll call it a utility company). She will hire a whole handful of help who are desperate, and she takes advantage of it by paying them a pittance. Often less than minimum wage. Then she complains about the lousy help. If she would stop and think about it, and spend decent money on one or two good people, she would come out ahead. But no, she has to have lots of help, to make her look wealthy.
It's how she covers her woeful ignorance and lack of love. "The Queen" doesn't have to know anything, right? If you ever catch her not knowing or understanding something, ohh, do you get "the look." But first you'll see the blank "uh-oh" panic look, then she recovers and stammer-stutters to misdirect you away from that. If you persist, you pay.
It's also why she took back a large sum of money that my husband's Dad had loaned him, then given him (explained in other postings). It was a source of money, hey. Looking at it this way, I don't know that it was personal, it's just that we're the ones who had it, and she wanted it. It didn't matter how she got it, or how absolutely crushed and infuriated we were.
Yes. Makes a lot of sense looking at this. Even near her last breath now, and the veneer has completely worn away in some places because she doesn't have the mental stamina to keep up the mask, she is still trying to put it over on everyone. And she has trained her youngest daughter to take over the mantle when she is gone. Pitiful.