say it with me, kids: barbara lake is an emotionally abusive, physically and emotionally neglectful mother who:
• intentionally or not raised jim to wait on her hand and foot, to feel responsible for her physical and emotional comfort and happiness, and to destroy himself for it
• to the point where he doesn’t seem to have any other hobbies that aren’t focused around doing so, at least at the beginning of the show
• this gutwrenchingly tragic, unhealthy ideal is now the cornerstone of his entire personality, and makes it much easier for the idea of destroying himself even more for more people to seem glorified and romantic and appealing. he’s easy fucking prey and in this case she raised him to be
• viciously rejected and insulted him the one time he tried to tell her something was wrong
• did so while he was in fact sending out massive red flags that he was being sexually abused by her fucking boyfriend
• constantly guilt trips and punishes him, explicitly or emotionally, for having problems, and makes them all about her own feelings (to the point where she even convinces most viewers to feel bad for her apparently lol)
• she’s consistently cold and hateful to him for OVER A MONTH, while he’s making pitiful little efforts to reconcile which are then snubbed, because he’s–again–displaying further signs of ongoing sexual abuse and not wanting to reach out to her after the behavior she showed last time he tried and she doesn’t like it; if she thinks it’s a specific thing like gang violence she should be asking him about it and sending him to a counselor
• speaking of counselors, guess what she doesn’t even fucking think to do until ‘oh lol i guess the school gave you one, aight?’ your son needs therapy, you’ve had at least a decade to seek therapy and clearly haven’t, fix your fucking shit you’re the adult here
• physically grabs his hands and yanks them around while looming over him in the hospital bed, uses cornering and aggressive body language while chewing him out (but haha it’s okay because he made her do it by telling her lies 8) ) (also she guilts him the whole time lol)
• stays in the ungodly shithole of a workplace that’s contributing heavily to her neglect when she could easily transfer to a less exploitative hospital, which speaks to mental health issues she’s refusing to address for her son’s sake
• doesn’t even make sure that he eats. it doesn’t matter that he can cook, it doesn’t matter that she makes token protests and then doesn’t take any steps to do anything about it, fuck’s fucking sake she is his mother (edit for fairness’ sake: i forgot that she does try to cook sometimes and is just really bad at it, but also i get the niggling feeling that there’s still something Wrong there that i’m not sure how to articulate)
• the best part? HE DID TELL HER. HE TOLD HER EVERYTHING IN A LITERAL FUCKING SUICIDE NOTE, WHICH SHE THEN REFUSED TO READ BECAUSE SHE 'WANTS TO HEAR IT FROM HIM.’ SHE DOES NOT GIVE A GENUINE FUCK ABOUT HIS SAFETY OR WELLBEING, IT’S A PRETENSE FOR MANIPULATING AND LASHING OUT AT HIM BECAUSE SHE’S PISSY ABOUT BEING LIED TO (WHEN SHE CONFRONTS HIM TO HIS FACE ABOUT… SHIT HE CLEARLY COULDN’T SAY TO HER FACE). THAT’S WHAT THE WHOLE THING IS ABOUT. HER HURT FEELINGS.
the one really, truly shitty thing he does to her at the end of s1 is not her fault, but it is a culmination of how she raised him. everything else he does wrt her is him (at least as far as she should have the context for) being a teenager who needs her help and guidance, or is working around her failure to give it. or is coping with her ongoing methods of hurting him very much on purpose for being a child who doesn’t quietly, conveniently stay out of the way and take care of himself (and her) anymore.
i keep seeing really horrible abuse apologism about barb in the tags lately as we gear up for season 2 and it’s seriously fucking upsetting. so: barbara lake is an abusive, neglectful parent who has seriously fucked jim up for life, he’s not “'being shitty”’ to her by having adapted to her abuse in ways that inconvenience her, he does not owe her SHIT except an apology for the memory wipe, saying otherwise is insidious victim-blaming. okay? okay.