Hello again. It's shaping up to be a pleasant looking autumn after a troubling simmer. Too bad that appearances are as far as things go. I'm hip deep in having to help Deanna deal with her lunatic mother-in-law again. I'd thought that when Elizabeth had married her knight in teal-and-lavender armor, the pointless theatrics in Milborough might have cooled down but they most certainly did not. On Labor Day, I got a panicky phone call from Mike that his mother had started to live up to her reputation of being crazy. The primary symptom: the delusion that the past was somehow mutable. The victim: April. Mrs Freakshow had suddenly decided that she only had two children and that the teenager that suddenly appeared out of nowhere must be a lying trespasser. This forced her to take Mike and Deanna up on an offer the'd made during the "Great Shuffle" (their name for their takeover of the larger house and Doctor Patterson and his family's move to a nearby bungalow) to more or less adopt her. What's more, the sheet-shaving psycho started saying that other things I know not to be true had happened. As an example, I know for a fact that Mike had met Deanna before Doctor Patterson and Mrs Baird had hoodwinked her into getting their dog. Mike knew this too (along with Annie Nichols, younger son being born after the advent of Farley) but pretended as if Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia in the name of peace. Doctor Patterson's reaction to the crisis was, as usual, useless. Did he do the right thing by his wife and seek help? Not in the least! He was too worried what a bunch of old sweats in his hometown might think if the raving loon he married went into therapy. That's right; the dumb SOB is more worried about the meaningless opinion of people he hasn't seen in ages than the well-being of his own daughter. The cause of her mental break is a lot easier to explain than how the people around her had reacted to it. It's clear that she had spent her whole life dealing with dissatisfactions she was too "nice" (that's "gutless" to you and me) to express openly. It's not healthy to lie to yourself as much as she did. If you do it too much, you risk living permanently in a world of illusions. Add in her repressed guilt at being an absentee daughter and her unexpressed and unexpressable fears that Anthony may not be the man she thought he was and you have a woman ready to snap. It seems the precipitating incident was Doctor Patterson's plans to scale back his practice even further. The prospect of his eventual complete retirement reminded her of the thing that horrifies her the most: having free time. Rather than rest from endless labors and thus honestly face her demons, she surrendered to them. She did some good that she did not intend, though. Her horrible example has got Mike and Deanna into counseling so they don't end up like her. I hope that Doctor Patterson can be convinced to listen to his brother-in-law and younger brother and do right by his family no matter what the dolts in his glorified PO Box hometown might think.
Anyway, I think I've subjected you to enough of the insanity that is Elly. I hope to have better news when I get in touch with you again.
P.S. I was just told about another possible stress factor. It seems that, for some reason, it took until Liz announced her pregnancy for her and Anthony to live as husband and wife. I would rather not believe that young Mister Caine tried to dissolve the marriage on discovering that his wife was not a virgin like Deanna suggests. I stopped worrying about things like that so it seems unlikely that a younger person would care. Whatever their reasons, their drama helped push a fragile mind over the edge. Not that the whining galoot with the freckles cares. It's as if he thinks that dousing a house in gasoline and throwing in a lit match has nothing at all to do with the ensuing fire. This, and his whining refusal of Liz's suggestion that they accompany Mike and Dee into counseling (being perfectly all right and thus not needing professional picky-faces to make him feel bad) tells me that he too will go bonkers. Listening to Liz's grumblings about dimerolls tells me that she'll drop him like a bad habit when he goes off.