Monday, July 30, 2007

The Last Word

Photo from

Ah, the things in childhood you never forget. The power of the last word was such a pain in the ass my entire life. It was insisted that only ‘the mother’ get the last word in any conversation as she was the one who was most important. After her, my brother.

I still remember the way these conversations, arguments, even greeting could go.

Me - “Welcome home ma, how was work.”

Her - “That guy was being such a shit again. Insists because he went to college he’s better than me.”

Me - “But who has more responsibility? You do, right?”

Her - “Yeah, I do all the work in that f*cking place anyway.”

Me - “Well, I’m off to R.s now to do some homework. I’ll have dinner there.”

Her - “Wait”

Me - “Why, you told me over the phone this would be fine?”

Her - “You can’t just leave until I say you can.”

Me - “Fine, may I please go to R’s house.”

Her - “Did you do your homework?”

Me - “I’m doing it there.”

Her - “Did you do your chores?”

Me - “Yes, and your dinner is in the fridge.”

Her - “Then you may go.”

Me - “Thank you.”

Her - “Your welcome.”

Me - “Do you want me to pick you up anything from the store on the way back?”

Her – “Why do you do that. I said you can leave now go, just leave. Don’t say another word.”

Me – “Why?”

Her – “You little bitch, I see your game. You’re just trying to get the last word again.”

Me – “What do you mean the last word? I asked if you wanted me to pick you up something from the store!”

Her – “Right. You know exactly what you’re doing. I get the last word. I’m the mother.”

Me – “Fine, then say the last word and let me go.”

Her – “Good, as long as you realize that.”

I roll my eyes as I turned around.

Her (grabs my bag) – “Oh no you don’t missy. That’s the same as saying something. I get the last word, got it?”

Now I’d get confused because if I said something, she wouldn’t get the last word!

These types of ‘conversations’ happened with enough frequency for me to remember them. Sometimes I would say ‘fine, I understand, you got the last word’ just to piss her off further because it would get absolutely ridiculous. Does having the last word mean anything? Not in my book – just means you are power hungry if you won’t let anyone else be the last to say something. With her it was very much “I am the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega” she wasn’t just the top dog, she was every dog and we, her children, were there merely to put her shit in little plastic bags and dispose of them in a sanitary manner.

I still don’t understand it though. Does the last word mean anything? Does it mean you won the argument, or are worth more than the other person? Obviously she thought so, but what about others? Someone else have the last word here :)


Jessica Weisenfels said...

I know more than one person with the maybe-the-last-word-won't-be-the-cleverest phobia.

Oh man do I hate having conversations with them...

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh, my big sis' always got soo mad when in an aurguement with her I would always know how to shut her up by saying, "Ok, fine, have your last word then, like you always need to.."

She'd sit for hours in silence, just to prove me wrong! Shame your mum had less savvy than an eight year old, eh?

God help the little child trapped under the power and control of a lunatic. (Shudder.) You are amazing, and a true survivor, my dear friend. x

Amel's Realm said...

Eh??? That's so weird. I know it has something to do with the power syndrome thingie. However, I've never had such a conversation with anyone in my entire life. Strange indeed. What's the use of saying the last word???????

Azhira said...

Last word = winning?? (Kind of like, "I got the last laugh.")

Agreed, it's some kind of odd power struggle thing...

just me said...

Its about control. My mother did the opposite. When she wanted to hurt us, (control us) she would go to her room and refuse to talk to us, or say we would be the death of her, then go to her room and not talk, and you're left wondering, "What the hell did I do?"

Having the last word in a conversation means you are the last person talking, which means you are usually talking to yourself.

I came here by way of Dawn's blog, and I too grew up with an abusive mother. I did the therapy thing, and it helped. I can look back now and say she did the best with what she knew. It still hurts at times. But, she was my mom.

I'll be back, that goes without saying, and wish you the best in your journey. And you are a survivor. Never, ever forget that. Ever, ever, ever...


Anonymous said...

The last word in my dictionary is "zygotic".

I like Carol's strategy.