dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

On not actually really listening to yourself at all.

As we all know, Lynn happened to repeat the rather disturbing strip in which Elly found out how she sounded to her children. Given her known reluctance to consider the idea that her children do not see the lost, confused and conflicted person she is and her angry over-reaction to being treated like the angry, unsympathetic scold who lives to find fault her children perceive her to be, you would think that her response to living proof that her children think that parenting consists of denying that offsprings and small ones can do anything right or anything to please them would be to thought-bubble something like

Oh, NO!!! I'm doing the same hateful crap to my kids that my jerk of a mother did to me! I have to stop before they feel as lost and miserable as I did.

and actually try to see the world through the eyes of her children.

The problem is, however, that Elly does no such thing. From the beginning of the strip in the late seventies to its ending in the first decade of this century, Elly's default reaction to the least bit of resistance to her overbearing need to be right all the time and its accompanying need to believe that her children are incapable of being right is always "angry hysteria". What this tells me is that when Elly overhears someone imitating her non-stop braying, bawling, bullying and berating, she's actually comforted by it. Instead of realizing that she's seen as a horrible monster, she thinks something akin to THIS:

Wow! I sound just like Mom did. Surely this proves that I'm doing exactly what I have to do to be a great mother like Mom was and don't need to listen to the evil books that tell me that children have feelings that can be hurt.

This, as I've said, is owing to her stupid need to somehow curry favor with her mother. She and Marian might have spent the strip's history at odds but deep down, she wanted a pat on the head and a cookie for successfully imitating another stupid petty tyrant whose guiding philosophy is "If you don't want trouble, don't resist me." This is also why she looks down on Annie for assuming sight unseen that her own mother was at best, a questionable role model.

This would all be bad enough were it not for the fact that like a lot of bad things, the need to take comfort in the successful imitation of a horror means that said horror is self-perpetuation. We thus can shudder in horror at the realization that Liz has at some point heard the Weird Frenchy Girl imitate her belligerent yawping and taken comfort that yes, Lizardbreath has become her failure of a mother.
Tags: child rearing disasters, elly patterson: universal imbecile.

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