Despite all that I endured with my mother under her care, or lack of it, I was never ambivalent about my ability to love.
Even in the worst of times during my childhood, and while undergoing the nightmare of relationship with my mother, it has always seemed the easiest thing to love, the hardest to mistreat and push away, speak harshly to.
I cannot imagine being to my children as my
Around eleven-thirty last evening I received a text from our youngest daughter stating that she and her schoolmates had arrived safely in Japan.
“We’re here and everything is good,” she had written. “I love you,” along with her code for letting me know she sent the text.
I wrote back,
Something shifted inside me the day of the car accident, when the driver of the Jeep SUV slammed into the back of my SUV. Being hit from behind unearthed, exhumed all my fears of being caught off guard, being ambushed.
That’s what it felt like each time my mother criticized me and/or as a result of the anger and rage she experienced either in response to me and my actions of events out in the world, physically punished me.
As a child you believe that your
My mother did not believe that children should be seen and not heard.
She believed that they should be seen, and heard, but in a way that shone brightly upon the parents. One time I was to play in a piano recital. We had fish for dinner that evening and unfortunately a fish bone became caught in my throat.
Frustrated and unable to remove the bone
It is often said that out of great suffering and deprivation comes not only bitterness and resentment, but at many times strength and resilience.
My mother was one of six children to whom my maternal grandmother gave birth and who survived. She delivered a total of
“I don’t need you. You need me. … I’m the mother. You’re the child.”
My mother’s statement to men when I was around ten or eleven years old echoed those of Danny DaVito, who played the father of the character, Matilda, played by Mara Wilson in the movie, Matilda.
“I’m big, you’re small. I’m strong, you’re weak. You need me. I don’t need you.”
My mothers’s words hurt.
Not until now
Days after the accident I would later recall the smoothness of the woman’s pink skin–the woman who had slammed her SUV into the back of mind–its lack of lines and crows feet, all of which told me she had not reached the age at