dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

She has me all to herself: Perception Failure in the Patterverse.

As we know, one of the strips in the "Michael gets shipped to the Coast" arc shows us why it is that Elly has so much trouble dealing with his being underfoot in the first place. As we see, all Lizzie wanted was a few minutes of Elly's time and maybe an admission that Mommy loves her and, despite what stinky old Michael says, is happy that she's around. Based on the fact that her need to have a childhood is getting in the way of Elly's need to inflate how important her part-time job is, she's thought of as 'bothering' her mother and trying to get her to waste her time on meaningless and unworthy things. When it's brought to her attention that being told by a peevish idiot that she's an infernal nuisance and bad child has Lizzie feeling low, Elly insists that she's devoted lots of attention to her. This means that Elly's idea of bonding with Lizzie is telling her "Yes, I know that you're bothering me and trying to ruin my life. Go away and think about how bad and selfish you are and how much you hate me."

Not, of course, that Elly can admit this. While it's happening, Elly interprets the baffling tendency her children have of wanting to get in the way of her being herself not as the sign of insecurity it actually is but as their hating the idea of her wanting to be herself. When the end result of all of this shrieking and growling about how they have no right to her time is brought to her attention, the tendency she has to avoid seeing herself as the primary (if not sole) cause of the chaos in her life makes her say that she actually was a loving mother who always made time for her children and only lost her temper on very rare occasions and that only when she was provoked.

This, I should think, is part of a generalized pattern the Pattersons have of not remembering when they've failed to live up to their self-image. While Elly can occasionally admit to herself that she'd shortchanged herself by misreading the situation in a ridiculously self-serving manner, losing her temper too readily and not getting her facts straight, she spends far more time forgetting that she exploded with pointless rage because she didn't actually know what was happening or why. This is because Elly doesn't want to admit that she doesn't actually have any idea of what's really going on around her and would prefer to not really know lest she have to lose face.
Tags: elly on her cross, elly versus her family

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