Afternoon Inquisition

AI: And stay dead!

Today’s reader-submitted AI has been pre-empted by Rebecca’s drunken meatspace antics. Instead you get me… and people you wish were dead.

I hate my MIL. I do. This is no secret… obviously, since I’m posting it for anyone with access to the t00bs to see. She’s manipulative and emotionally abusive and wields her mother-powers to injure her sons and grandchildren just to let us know she can. And she’s a liar… don’t try to point out that she might be mistaken about something, because she’s the mother and the elder and therefore she is right. No one cares anymore. Most of my husband’s family has had enough and cut her off.

If she were to die tomorrow, I would not be sad. In fact, I think I might be happy for my husband and his brothers because they’d finally be free of that burden. People think this is a mean thing for me to say or think. But it is what it is… and I kind of hope that hell is everything she’s threatened us with, because she’ll be on the VIP escalator to the basement

It’s rare that I’m not sad for someone when I find out that their loved one has died, in fact, I seem to almost over-empathize even with people I barely know. Yet friends are shocked and uncomfortable with the fact that I think MIL’s death would be a blessing upon her family, her included. Mostly I just feel bad about not feeling bad about it.

Is it really okay to wish someone were dead? Have you ever felt relief after someone’s death? Have you ever been appalled at the posthumous love people feel for someone they never even liked before? Why do you think we feel the need to always feel bad about death  or not liking someone who has died?

(stay tuned… Monday I’ll be bringing back boobies and fun)

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. Wow !

    I felt a guilty pang when my dad died, I had a bunch of emotional baggage the head shrinker told me I need to address with him, and I never did. He was a great dad and I would have never wished him dead, but I was relieved I would not have to go through unbaggaging (i know that’s not a woid). Maybe his death date helped, xmas day ’05, he was verrrrry devout and had said he would like to go on xmas or easter. Got his wish but had been comatose for a week, so did not know the date. :(

  2. First, I think there is a difference between wishing someone were dead and feeling relief after someone’s death. The former case is a bit harsh. While she is the devil incarnate to you, she may well have a cohort of people who accept her in spite of her nastiness. If she is not impacting you (I know this is almost impossible to conceive) she can go on in her own world just fine. I have dealt with these situations and maneuvered myself and the other individual into a situation that allowed me to think, “I’m happy that you are inflicting yourself on others instead of me.”

    That said, I was more than relieved when that person died and went straight to the compost pile. And no, I didn’t feel the least amount of remorse.

  3. Considering I thought this about my ex in-laws (and still do) no, I think that it isn’t a mark of a bad person.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t go saying it to their face unless that person had done something really heinous, and I’d also be cutting off any and all contact.

    I think that it’s healthier to be honest to yourself about how you feel than it is to suppress it and pretend nothing’s wrong. That’s the way difficult people get murdered…someone bottles it up inside til there’s nowhere to go but to the bloody end. (don’t believe me? read Agathat Christie!)

  4. @Old Geezer:

    I didn’t say I actually wish her dead… I’m really indifferent to her being alive, and having been faced with her near-death, I realized how much better her family is without her.

    One thing I fear is that once she’s gone, my husband and his brothers might regret their choice to cut her out of their lives and move on because when people die, we tend to remember the good and forget the bad.

  5. I don’t think being glad at someone’s death is wrong. Sometimes, it’s because they’re in pain and nothing will actually solve that but death. Sometimes, it’s just that they’re miserable human beings that would vastly improve everyone’s life by ceasing to be in it. I don’t see a problem with being a bit glad when someone shuffles off.

    Now, in most cases, actively plotting and causing their death… those are wrong. Most of the time.

  6. 1. Yes, it is okay. Some people are terrible and their continued life is a bad thing.

    2. Yes, when my paternal grandmother died I not only felt relief buy joy.

    3. Yes, listening to all of the bullshit tributes to Jerry Falwell after his death by people who had clearly and rightly despised that evil man. Don’t spend a live time pointing out that a person is evil and then say nice things after they die.

    4. I don’t know. I think it must be some kind of social pressure.

  7. @Elyse: I’m sorry if I seemed to accuse you. I was speaking generically, not specifically.

    I have faced the issue you describe. Husband and his brothers will feel some remorse at first, but once the immediate emotion passes, objectivity will take over and they will see that their decision was right.

  8. My paternal grandmother and her husband were both evil trolls. We were all happy they died and our lives have been much more peaceful since then. I never made it a big secret that I disliked them and I felt nothing but relief at not having to deal with the incredulity of others that I could dare to openly despise a blood relation. I think that many times, this sort of societal guilt is what helps keep child abusers in the dark. If adults are shamed into having to feign an interest in people they genuinely abhor due to genetics, the pressure on children is almost insurmountable.

  9. I just went through a related experience last month. My dad is the person I try to live up to on my better days. Smart, gentle, helpful, and patient. Shortly after he retired he was diagnosed with a disease like Parkinson’s except faster to progress and more debilitating. I watched while he lost control of his body and eventually his lovely mind. For the last year or so he was unconscious most of the time, and when he was awake he wasn’t coherent. I spent the better part of this time getting used to the idea of his death and saying goodbye. The only thing I felt on the day he actually died was a sense of relief. Relief that my mother wouldn’t have to deal with this unsolvable problem any more and relief that I wouldn’t have to dread this day any more.

  10. @Elyse: Both ex-wives and their lawyers. I wouldn’t weep to see the former mrs sugdens khark it, but their lawyers…I can’t describe the joy I’d feel.

    [sigh] If only there was a hell.

  11. I believe that when people die we tend to remember the good instead of the bad as we no longer have to put up with the bad and this gives us time and space to reflect and remember the good times.

    However, Elyse, you are not a bad person. My step-grandmother and I had a very uneasy relationship – she hated me and I hated her. She also tried to kill my grandfather on several occasions, though in her defense, she did have dementia at that point. When I heard she died, I was extremely indifferent. I will also be indifferent when my grandfather finally passes on as he believes that women are not intelligent enough to have a conversation with. As I am sure you can all imagine, this does not sit well with me at all and thus never having a close relationship with the man, his death will not leave its mark on me.

  12. @davew:

    I’m sorry.

    You know, though… that is the other side… wishing someone’s pain to end. I’ve had the discussion with family members about which is harder/easier: losing someone quickly with no closure or a long and drawn out death with the opportunity for acceptance and closure. I don’t think there’s a “better” choice, if you had to choose. People also tend to think you’re kind of horrible when you say that you “hope it’s quick” when you learn that a loved one has a terminal disease. It’s not that you’re ready for them to get the hell gone… but who wants to watch them suffer? And watch the people around them suffer as well?

  13. @Old Geezer:

    Ok, last spammy reply… I’m scatterbrained and can’t stick everything in one post for some reason.

    I wasn’t sure if that was the impression you got or not…. just wanted to be clear.

    But I do wonder, what is the evil in WISHING someone dead? It’s not like wishing actually makes it happen.


    It’s not… it’s a stupid move with a stupid plot with terrible mashups that are borderline torture to listen to and a stupid, heavy-handed “message”… all brought to you under the guise that you’re going to be watching an adorable dancing penguin come of age while overcoming adversity… and the hints of racism kind of bothered me, too… where the hell do Mexican and Puerto Rican penguins come from anyway?

  14. On Monday, I learned that my sister’s first husband died of cancer a couple of weeks ago. I was glad to hear it. J was a nice guy. Witty, charming, generous, handsome, athletic… and when his only daughter was about 6 months old, he and a buddy murdered a man over a drug and/or firearms deal gone bad. J had a dark side.
    He was arrested about 2 or 3 days later and later sentenced to 25 years. While he got day parole a few times, he would do something stupid like steal a car and go joy riding. He did his whole 25 years. Five years ago he completed his sentence. While he never threatened my sister before he was arrested, he did afterwards. Once she had divorced him, there was a permanent injunction placed on him approaching her, which he never violated.

    I liked him. But he brought my sister a lot of pain, and to many others. He became such a threat to her for no apparent reason, so much so that Corrections Canada sent him to another province when he became eligible for day paroles.

    He could have had a good, productive life. He chose a different path. I did my grieving for his passing 30 years ago. Now I am glad he has passed. For the first time in a lot of years, my sister no longer has to worry that one day she will open her door and he will be there.

  15. Hi there!

    This is something that my wifey and I disagree with. She is of the opinion that it’s never good to wish death upon someone. Because then if the person were to die, you’d feel really badly about it.

    I’m a very loving guy. I love all KINDS of people. (some agree that I love entirely too many people. >_>) There aren’t too many people that I dislike, and I could probably count the people I hate on one hand. So I really don’t have any kind reference point for: “When someone I really hated died”. This is all speculation.

    When I was a theist, I used to be afraid ofwishing death on people, for fear that God would “hear me”. But then I stopped to think: “Exactly what is God going to do if he DOES hear me?”. Would God strike that person down with a bolt of lightning from the sky, and then say to me sarcastically: “What? You asked!!”. That would just be such a “dick move”, even for GOD.

    The truth is, I wish GOOD upon a great many people. I hope that my family enjoys prosperity and fortune, I wish health upon all my friends, I hope that all of the students that I help in my library job succeed in their classes, and I hope that the starving, poor, and oppressed people of the world eventually know peace and happiness. Sometimes good things happen to these people, sometimes not. The sad thing is that my good wishes seem to have very little effect on what happens. :(

    So if I can’t take credit for all of the GOOD things that happen to the people I love in this world, how can I take BLAME when some sucker that I don’t even LIKE meets an untimely end? If they wanted me to feel sorry for them, they shouldn’t have been such a jerk to me while they were ALIVE!

    Of course, it is as Voltaire said: “One owes respect to the living. To the dead one owes only the truth”. So I make sure not to speak ill of the dead amongst their living friends and admirers. (Out of respect)

  16. To me, it is fine to wish someone dead. Not so much to attempt to fulfill that wish, though. Also, fine to be happy about a death. My mother’s parents were monsters, and when they died, I rejoiced.
    Other than those, I tend to think it sad whenever anyone dies, as Old Geezer pointed out, they probably mean something to someone.

    On the other hand, Beck, Rush, Bachmann, Hannity, Cheney, Boehner, some others…these people are actively trying to break my country, and by extension, our world. If any of them bit it, I would not only celebrate, I would throw a huge ass party, so all my friends could too.

  17. @Elyse: “But I do wonder, what is the evil in WISHING someone dead? It’s not like wishing actually makes it happen.” I don’t think of it as “evil” as much as I think of it as a waste of energy. It took me many many years to recognize that the energy I wasted on wishing my enemies ill, could be used on wishing my friends good. I am happier for it.

  18. @ Elyse : Wishing people are dead and not caring whether they lived or died are two different things. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either emotion as long as you don’t actively pursue their death.

  19. Elyse, I totally understand. My Grandfather had brain surgery in 1994 and because he was drinking up until the night before the surgery, it went horribly wrong. When all was said and done, he was blind in one eye and only had tunnel vision in his other. His liver was slowly failing so he was getting hepatic encephalopathy. He finally died in 2003. While I did shed a few tears, it was a relief in so many ways. My mother and I had been caring for him (don’t get me started on my Grandmother’s non-participation in all of this – I didn’t take those vows damnit) and he hated life. I believe the person we knew (who had always been a difficult man) died in 1994 and we just finally got to cremate the shell in 2003.
    I never wish someone was dead because I honestly believe the opposite of love is apathy, not hate. Hate still stirs emotion. But there are people who, when they die, will not be missed by me. I don’t think it’s a horrible thing to say because if you’re not contributing to life in a positive way, you really shouldn’t be here.

  20. I have felt great relief when some people have passed but for people in pain and not living well in final hours. My grandfather died and much of my family was crushed into his small house for most of a week doing the vigil thing. So 15 people or more in a house that barely had room for two. Many of those people who didn’t get along. Even more of those who had deep issues. Yeah that was a great relief. Now that said he was a great man and aside from a few of his kids who mostly have their own issues with death and mortality everyone had good things to say and said them and those who didn’t said bad things. It was very strange and surreal because yes people mostly say good things. I’m a very strong believer in the idea that funerals and post-death-trappings are so very much for the living that if the living need to not hear bad things said? Then I feel like I should honor those people and not say it. If they want to vent and say those things then they should. (And if you are one of those people Vent away!) Personally I try to generally not waste my time on people I have bad things to say about. If they are family then I”m there to support family members I love and they don’t need to hear my blahblahblah about it. And if they are people who I’m not related to I’m not going to bother sticking around near someone I have bad stuff to say about.

    The best funeral I ever went to was for a former Catholic priest (who left the church he was former before he was dead). The Catholic priest who spoke said that the dead guy was totally right to leave the church and that he did more good with his life outside it than the priest had ever seen done inside the church. It was very moving. And it was very much an honoring of him, for the living. Death is all about the living.

  21. @Elyse:

    you know, maybe MIL will one day get in the shower to cure her shoulder pain, and find a rabbid penguin trying to tap-dance. To your MIL’s fright, she slips and falls, killing the penguin under her. Upon the news of the death of Mumbles, she realizes that there indeed is no God, as how could a God let her cute penguin die. So she ends her bitching ways, and finally stops making her Daughter-In-Law and Brian’s life a living hell. So she sues the makers of her shower, wins an ass-load of money due to the shower-makers’ shared hatred of Happy Feet, and out of her new-found niceness she gives it all to you so you can purchase your Skepchick Island.

  22. @Tim3P0: Perfect! That is best-case scenario, and highly plausible! But how are you going to train Mumbles to hide in the shower? Okay, maybe it’s not a perfect plan, but it’s a damn good one.

  23. I think it’s okay and definitely have those feelings. It is just a recognition of the fact that the world, or at least the lives of certain affected people, might be better off if someone wasn’t around. I’m not going to feel guilty about that until the assholes of the world start feeling guilty about their asshole-ness.

    I definitely do not understand the requisite lovefest after death. The saying is “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” not “Think up something nice to say no matter what.”

    And do not ever let me get started on MIL problems, once that dam breaks…

  24. I felt nothing but relief when I heard that an ex boyfriend who had stalked me after the breakup had dropped dead. He was an evil man who disguised that evil under a charming mask and very much deserved what happened. [I tend to refer to him as “the boyfriend who hated me” – he was a very intelligent emotional abuser.]

    OTOH, I learned that my father had died when I ran across his obit on the intertubes. That was a bit surreal. Hid death had happened eight months previously and his wife [#5 or 6] hadn’t bothered to notify any of his children. He married successively younger women and stayed out of his children’s lives. I didn’t wish him dead, but I honestly don’t care that he is.

    I don’t wish people dead; I wish that they get what they deserve. The ex boyfriend definitely got what he deserved: death from untreated Hep C. [Drugs, of course.]

  25. @Elyse: Actually…. I wish more people died from being bit by rabid penguins.

    I need to take a break. My first thought on reading that was “I don’t think penguins can get rabies” followed by a desire to look it up.

  26. I was raised by a pair of people who probably did the best they could, but if they did it today they’d both be brought up on charges and I’d have been in foster care. I was very glad and relieved when they both died. I’d already dismissed, detached, and mourned them many years before they actually died, of course, so when they did finally leave this life, it was more like “it’s about time”. And I felt no guilt about it.

  27. My mother passed away a couple of months ago. In the last month or so of her life she managed to emotionally manipulate and nearly destroy the one person who still cared about her . . not me. I wouldn’t even go back for the family reunion before her death. I cried when she died . . from relief.

  28. When my father died I was totally ambivalent. He had little interest in being a parent and I had little interest in being his son. It was of no consequence when he died. I type this while sitting between my two teen age kids while watching this week’s Hero’s on the DVR. I like my kids and enjoy their company and could not imagine having children and not caring about their well being and developing and cultivating a positive relationship that continues into their adulthood. Never wished my father dead but didn’t give a rats ass when he died.

  29. A friend of mine (well actually I kind of hate her but, we have stuff in common so i find myself talking to her anyway) has this bizarre thing about not wanting to “speak ill of the dead”. She’ll prattle on and on about how much she doesn’t like someone but if they die she’ll give me shit for saying anything bad about them. It’s made doubly weird by the fact that she doesn’t believe in any sort of afterlife.

  30. I’m sorry that your MIL is awful. It’s very difficult to have people close to you who are constantly negative.

    My MIL was awesome. The first time I met her, she helped me move and we were cracking each other up the whole time. Then she got cancer and died.

    Her death was slow and ugly. The thought that she didn’t deserve it was always followed by a list of those who did. (Or at least more than her.) This list finally narrowed down to one person. If there had been a way to put my MIL’s cancer into this person, I would have done it in a heartbeat, even knowing that it would kill them.

    Of course, since this other person was my mother, this realization came with some baggage. But, for the first time in my life I was able to look past all of that, see my mother for who she really was, rationally judge her affect on my life and boot her out of it. It wasn’t easy but it was the start of my own personal journey towards sanity.

    I’ve since realized that I don’t want her dead. I want her happy and mentally healthy enough to be in my life. If I could find a way to make that happen, I would.

  31. @Elyse: my daughter’s father has sainted his dead mother in spite of the years of emotional and physical abuse he suffered. A significant amount of the abuse he heaped on me was identified as projection of his own experiences and fears regarding his mother. The only reason I know what she was really like was through the admissions of other people.

    Screw dead, I’m still apalled at the love my mother receives while alive.

  32. My first instinct is to wish my Mother’s current (3rd) husband’s death as he’s the most hateful, bigoted, nasty person I’ve ever met. He makes the KKK seem positively loving. Unfortunately he’s sailed through his cancer, his bad heart and his halitosis from hell. But after some thought I realized his death would release my Mother from her trap in Florida and she’d be on the first plane out here, where I would have to arrange for a quick hit. See, I can’t stand her either. She’s sarcastic and mean and when younger and physically able, packed a quick right hand that always seemed to connect. They honestly deserve each other.

    Unfortunately I promised my Grandmother (before she succumbed to Alzheimer’s) that I would maintain a relationship with my Mother so she would never be alone. So the best I can hope for is old Mom and her Bill somehow die off together. Maybe their trailer will catch fire or some drunk will plow into their golf cart.

    Here’s hoping.

    I envy people who have good relationships with their Mother, but I never understood why we have to pretend or be guilted into faking feelings just because of blood.

  33. Oh my… I have felt relieved at someone’s death. She was in a relationship with a friend and she was just manipulative and mean and really bad for the other person involved. Another friend and I were considering having an intervention when the awful girlfriend died suddenly.

    I hadn’t wished for her to die – a break up followed by a long trip to India to find herself was more what I had in mind – but I was still relieved. And I felt horrible about it.

    OTOH, my MIL is awesome.

  34. Two interestingly linked people spring to mind.
    My great-uncle died a few months after his wife. My father had been flying out to see them and make sure they were properly cared for on a regular basis (they had no children of their own). Their lives, especially my aunt’s, were slowly but surely crumbling away into nothing more than a pulse and discomfort. During this time I wrote a paper for a philosophy class arguing for the ethical rightness of euthanasia for the terminally ill. When my uncle finally passed away, my father actually experienced a certain amount of joy. Everything he’d loved and treasured about him and my aunt was already gone and now their pain was over. He only had to remember the happy things about them now – or would, if not for the other person I’m thinking of.
    Another relative, with a long, long history of pissing all over family members, had apparently snuck in and managed to get herself declared executor and sole beneficiary under my aunt and uncle’s will. No funeral arrangements could be made without her, but when my uncle died, surprise! She was nowhere to be found. My father had to get an injunction to get his own family’s remains dealt with, family he’d looked after for years while this other relative was conspicuous by her absence. She finally turned up months later and expressed general astonishment that my father was infuriated with her. Fortunately for all involved, she didn’t attend the memorial service – I think my mother would have scratched her eyes out.
    I don’t wish her dead, but if I hear she got hit by a car I won’t be sorry.

  35. I was at work on Sept 13th of this year, several people were talking about bad dates, I had mentioned that I get annoyed that “all” women seem to give the same answer when asked what their favorite movies are, it’s always, “Grease, The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, and Pretty Woman” I’ve honestly not met a woman yet who doesn’t love the crap out of one of those movies, anyway, one girl asked “what do you have against Dirty Dancing?” and I said, “I’ve never liked a Patrick Swayze movie ever, ever, I find him soooo annoying that I was happy to hear he had cancer. Now it’s in remission, and he’s back to work, I wish that MotherFucker would just DIE already!!!” (Said jokingly)

    Literally the next day we got the news that Patrick Swayze had died, we now joke that I have super death powers

  36. I’ve never wish anyone dead, but I don’t see that there is anything necessarily wrong with it (so long as it remains in thoughts only) I believe that feeling guilty about thoughts is one of the first things that should go once a person has shed religion from their life.

    I have felt nothing on hearing someone I grew up with died. I was shocked, as he was only in his 20’s, but my most vivid memory of him was him announcing that he didn’t see what the big deal about rape was ‘it’s just like getting beaten up and people should just get over it.’ So it didn’t really seem like much of a loss to humanity when he died.

    As for being unwilling to speak ill of the dead, this sums it up better than anything else I’ve seen on the topic (explicit lyrics, don’t listen if you’re easily offended!)

  37. Hello Elyse,

    My mom and dad (divorced some 12 years at the time) had met to discuss some business that involved both of them. Apparently dad was being stubborn about something and refused to cooperate.

    As they parted and dad walked away, mom muttered something to the effect of “Why don’t you just drop dead?”.

    Three days later, he dropped dead.

    I can give you her number. She’s good.

  38. In my 28 years I’ve only had 2 people fairly close to me die, and I wasnt at all relieved about either of them.

    There isnt anyone I know personally who I want dead, but I can think of a few “evil” people in the world who I certainly wouldnt shed a tear for.. nasty dictators, butchers and such.

    I’ve also never really understood the whole saying only good things about people after they’re dead thing. Say good things about people when they’re alive for chrissake! its not going to do them any good after they’re dead

  39. @spellwight: I am sure you already know this, but a promise made to a grandmother that is no-longer-in-the-game to take care of a mother that doesn’t deserve your care doesn’t have to be fulfilled.

    You are obviously a sweet and cool person; don’t let ghosts or guilt bring you down.

  40. My grandmother was a mean-spirited, spiteful old bigot my entire childhood. Not an “I baked you cookies!” kind of grandma… more of a “you look like a whore” kind of grandma. We had an understandably turbulent relationship when I was a teenager, and couldn’t keep my mouth shut in the face of racist and homophobic and just downright ignorant comments, not even to “keep the peace” in the family.

    Then about 8 years ago she had a series of rather serious strokes that left her unable to walk or go to the bathroom unassisted, or express herself verbally. She cried frequently because she couldn’t articulate her thoughts. She gained a significant amount of weight.

    And it sounds terrible to an outsider maybe, but I felt cheated. All of the rage and hurt and hate I had carried around all my life could not find outlet in this sad, pathetic parody of my grandmother. She was too defeated to be mad at. But nor could I forgive her, because I don’t believe as many seem to that a tragedy befalling someone somehow negates the kind of person they are.

    And then, after living that way for about 5 more years, she died. It was a relief to her, to my grandfather who had to watch his wife of 65 years live like that, and to everyone who knew her, many of whom went through the same roller coaster of confusing emotions that I did.

    Sorry for the novel, btw. Here’s a shorter, simpler tale:

    I hope my ex-brother-in-law gets hit by a bus.

  41. When my paternal grandmother died a few years ago at 96, while part of me was sad, there was also huge relief on my part. And I really never felt guilty about it, or felt guilt that I didn’t, which is totally unlike me.

    I just wrote and deleted several novels, but basically, this was a woman who lived by the ethos that you make people like you so they’ll do things for you. She wasn’t intrinsically evil, but she was shallow, vain, arrogant and probably the most self-centered woman I’ve ever known.

    And she made my Mom’s life hell, since my Dad is an only child. It was beyond “you’re not good enough for my son”, it was “you are the source of everything that has gone wrong in my life.” (And that is a quote.)

    Her funeral was well attended…because at the assisted living facility she lived in in the last few years of her life, she had been there long enough to charm the pants off everyone. However, my sibs and I mused that had she lived another year or two more, she probably would have alienated half the people that came by then, if she was on her regular schedule…

  42. I’m estranged from my father because he’s emotionally abusive to every person he has ever met (and escalating to physical abuse with some people). He’s a sociopath even though that’s not an official diagnosis. He also has some other mental illness(es) which he refuses to get treatment for. In some ways I feel sorry for him, but he refuses to get help and he continues to ruin as many lives as he possibly can, including my own mother through a messy divorce, and my own brother who used to be a business partner with my dad and decided to get out. His mental illnesses is not enough of an excuse for him to treat people this way. I can’t say that I hate him or even wish him dead, but I realized a few years ago that if he suddenly died, I wouldn’t feel sad about it. I would feel great relief for society that he’s no longer part of it. And yes, I do feel guilty for feeling that way, even though I probably shouldn’t. This situation is complicated and I probably feel every emotion possible about it.

  43. @Bookitty: Wow. As I read your post I was first happy, then sad, then angry, then content. Your feelings about your mother and the way you handled them…that is what being an adult is all about. Bravo! You’ve passed the test.

    For my part, I have only wished one person “shuffle off this mortal coil and join the choir invisible” – my ex girlfriend’s mother. Ay chihuaha, what a bitch! She is the only mother (of a girlfriend) who I have encountered that never, for a minute, professed any liking for me or my family, and we are some damn nice people. But, because I wasn’t making a ton of money and showering her “princess” with gifts, etc. nothing was ever good enough. I have no idea what has become of her, since I burned my bridges when the ex and I separated, but I do not wish her well.

    May rabid penguins feast on her flesh. There, I said it.

    @Old Geezer: COTW, for this: “It took me many many years to recognize that the energy I wasted on wishing my enemies ill, could be used on wishing my friends good.”


  44. I had a neighbour whose wont it was to play music loudly at about 4 am on weekdays. Not good stuff either – the pop compilations that you can buy at any gas station or crappy supermarket but emphatically not in any actual record shops. I often found myself wishing he’d die immediately (although preferably only after stopping the stereo in case he’d set his cd-player on repeat).
    Eventually, he moved away which was jut as good.
    OK, I didn’t see him move away, so I suppose it’s possible that he did die.
    Actually, I frequently wish people would die.
    The obnoxious idiot who starts loudly complaining about the wait in the supermarket, if there’s more than two people ahead of him in the queue? Surely, he won’t be missed!
    The idiots who think that removing the “no smoking” sign in the elevator makes it OK to smoke in there? At least, there’s the hope that their smoking will kill them.
    And so on.

  45. there are actually a few people I have wished death upon. When a particular right wing Israeli activist died I might have squealed a little and jumped for joy.

    By the way, I’m a woman and hated Pretty Woman. I’m pretty ambivalent about the rest of those movies.

  46. @ Magicdude: I have a friend who plans events for a public institution in Toronto. One year for Nuit Blanche the higher-ups decided to put on…an all-night Patrick Swayze marathon.

    If that weren’t bad enough, the “Dirty Dancing” DVD didn’t work, so they had to play “Ghost” twice.


    Or so I am told. I slept through Nuit Blanche that year, like I always do. ;)

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