The hardest part for me was sitting there, driving you back from Yelm to the airport; I was listening as you told me all the many ways that the entire time you were at [children’s home], all you ever really wanted was something else, somewhere else; that you were only there because David wanted it.
It was an unexpected clarity, to be sure; but it was also a very painful thing for me to hear.
You see, all those years that you weren’t wanting to be there? You were my newest and best mother; the mother I never had, the one I always wanted, and the one who so fully met that role and need for me that I’m just… well… gutted to know that meant so little to you. To have you tell me all of that and never once consider it the same as telling a “real” daughter that you wish she’d never been born.
The adult “me” recognizes that it’s possible for a mind to hold both of those perspectives: The caring, giving mother I found in you right alongside the childless, frustrated woman who was sacrificing her interests for her husband without any recognition of there being a world in which choosing for yourself could co-exist with ‘what David wants’, too.
But I am weary of the persistence with which the world and life laves me with the tongues of reminder; issuing from so many mouths and still, saying the same things, even now, even until this moment.
And I am weary of spending all the time and effort that everyone counsels me to spend caring more for appearances and presentation than substance and reliability and still, lave, lave, lave, like carnivore on carcass, unwilling to leave even a sliver of raw flesh remaining.
I hardly look like a torn carcass, but then, human mind never flesh has been, for all it’s ever borne about within a construct of that corpulent, corrupting, eventual corpse. Personally, I think it’s all relative to the experiencing mind initially. Thereafter? It’s only the things we remember that remain.
But the thing that causes one to remember is recognition. And recognition is to say, “Ah! I identify and name thee [assumption]!”
So perhaps it isn’t only, always that we choose to remember negative things. It seems, anecdotally, that it is also that there is an odd trend of negative things so consistently happening that one becomes quite savvy at correctly recognizing patterns (points of data) that match to accurate predict ultimate outcomes and their probabilities.
Or, more succinctly: I’m real good at knowing when I’m unwanted because so often it happens that I am completely taken by surprise by someone telling me I am unwanted. (Oh. wait. See what I did there?)
This is called “being too trusting”. Ironically, this is often the first accusation one receives when finally deciding to take care of oneself for a change (e.g., “You know what your problem is? You are too distrustful.”).
I am trusting. By choice, actually. Which is fucking hard work, let me tell you. And by choice I have quietly taken constant reminders that I’m not “really family” even as I’ve watched others of equal history and standing welcomed to the family circle in ways I would never begin to imagine available, let alone to me.
I still trust you, to the extent that I know you’re a good human being who tries very hard to live in accord with her beliefs, values, and principles.
I just don’t believe we are family; because, well, we’re not. The error was mine, so what good does it do to spend energy or time trying to say otherwise?
I recognize the problem.
I own that my view is my problem to handle, manage, and rectify.
So that’s what I’m doing. Finally. See, life-long learning really is a thing and even this old dog can sometimes pick up a new trick.
No regrets. I’m grateful that I had what I had, and the thanks for that rests in you; first because you really did sacrifice for us all, but mostly because you gave me support and care that I desparately needed in an otherwise completely uncaring world.
In all the ways that matter to any human being, you were the mother I needed, when I needed her, and that’s always going to be considered a gift by me.
I’m also starting to understand the threshold between youth and age; the gap seems much bigger as you recognize you are approaching it, I think.
That wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the lessons of your parents and great-grand parents slapping you upside the head every day, all day long.
I don’t remember who said we turn into our parents (or sifnigicant authority figures, I suppose), but I’m pretty sure that’s a universal truth… we polarize in whatever way we need to feel individuate but, over time, the gravitational pull of “nurture”, regardless how nurturing it may or may not have been, grows.
The part that really bothers me lately (as you now see) is that I now have the viewpoint from which to begin to slowly understand the elders of my life; my real mother, my grandparents, great-grands and the grand-aunts and -nephews by in-laws. The old, old memories of early days and my storyline laid against what I know of theirs…. insight and contemplation of the things revealed now that I have the experience to consider them as a peer.
Mother Nature is, I think, a psychotic bitch. THIS is the point in life where we get to have menopause? When all this is running in our heads? What? Is this how we keep grandparents from murdering babies? I don’t get it.
And so it goes…