I decided I had a horrid mother when I was 11. I wanted to ask a new friend round from my secondary school and didn’t know how to do so. She came from a large family who were quite poor while I was an only child living with my parents in a three-bedroom house and didn’t want to look like a show off. Mum noticed I was sad and went on and on and on until I told her what was worrying me. Before I did I made her promise she wouldn’t tell anyone, but it was a promise she only kept until she’d heard my secret. She then screamed at me. ‘What a nasty ungrateful child you are. Your father works so hard to give you nice things.’ She subsequently told anyone and everyone my secret. ‘Can you believe what upset Jennie?’ she’d ask before launching into my story. ‘Have you ever met a more unappreciative child?’ I have never forgiven her. No only did she not keep my secret she loved winkling out other people’s secrets too so she could gossip about them.
Not surprisingly I tell her the minimum possible about my life and ignore the fact that she gets extremely angry when she feels I am keeping things from her. If an event is coming up she also demands she is told about it first. It’s her way of trying to control me, but I’ve learnt to take no notice. The amusing thing is if I ask her what she’s been doing the shutters come down and she is becomes extremely secretive. To be honest I don’t really care. I keep her at arm’s length but don’t want to totally break up the relationship.