Yesterday, having coffee with the spouse, we ended up talking about my family. The spouse dislikes my aunt as much as everyone else in the world, but believes I exaggerate when I call her a sociopath.
She is the kind of person who, if she can find one way to annoy you, she will, for no reason, no matter who you are. She can be mean to her family, her friends, complete strangers... anyone, really. According to the spouse, that does not necessarily mean she is a sociopath. Sociopaths are unable to love anyone, and she seems to be very protective of her family. The truth is, she defends her own interests as if it were in the sake of her own family, but still treats them like shit.
So I told my husband about the most shocking story about my aunt: Her youngest child was born premature and spent two months in the NICU. What did my aunt do? She went on vacation to Hawaii. Why spend her days wasting her time in the NICU, not knowing if her baby was going to live or die? Better to have her mind off the issue while having fun at the beach.
I also told him about the time when my grandmother, her own mother, was in the hospital dying. My aunt went on a cruise to the Caribbean and took her kids with her. I remember my cousin crying, begging to be allowed to stay, to no avail. Our grandmother died while they were away.
I think I kind of convinced the spouse that my aunt is pretty much incapable of loving anyone. I mean, if you cannot love your own child, I guess everyone else is pretty much out of luck too, including your mother.
One important thing I've learned from her is that you cannot always count with either the love of a mother to her child, or vice-versa. Certainly not a consolation prize for a childless woman, but still something to ponder.
Another even more important thing I have learned is to stay away from her. I have not seen her in more then eight years.