Our youngest daughter and I play cello duets.
While neither of us is Yo-Yo Ma, I have experience powerful healing in this shared experience with our fifteen year old daughter.
Never mind she plays much better than I, her
My mother had no tolerance for my crying.
“If anyone looks at Anjuelle, she cries,” was how she described me.
She wanted to instill in me a mental toughness–what she had.
I was not going for it.
And so I cried.
In that a memoir, and the structure of any narrative, consists of scenes, I must write various scenes of my life, those that most depict my suffering for which I offer forgiveness and hold compassion for my mother.
This is hard. Not simply because I am writing of my mother, and about myself. The challenge lies in my lack of certainty, the ambiguity of my mother’s actions, and thus my ambivalence.
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
It is said that an autobiography comprise the story of a life and that memoir consists of a story from a life. A life can hold, and a person can write, many memoirs. But we have only one telling of the factual events constituting our life.
As a story from a life, a memoir consists of scenes from that life, or more importantly, moments from the aspect, area, or slice of our life that one is focusing upon.
The dimension of life
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
“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