letters to Mom, and other written thoughts. please feel free. subject matter is personal.

August 2008

September 2008 pt 1

September 2008 pt 2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

February 16, 2009

Letters to Mom...why?

Had my Mom not existed, my personality would have been formed in the total vacuum of self-esteem that sucked the life out of my soul when Dad married our "second" "Mom," Suzanne, who had been my mother's rival for my Dad's affections and attention. In Suzanne's eyes, I could do no right (whether or not I tried, which I actually did--my mother had raised me to be a good kid, obedient and cooperative). But Mom actually loved me, in that way that no one but a Mom can love a kid. She was delighted by my ideas and thoughts, admired and encouraged my talents, and she knew me---from the inside out, knew I was a good kid, an honest kid, not a mean kid, a kid who was definitely as good and special as any other kid on the planet. She believed in me in a way that it turned out my Dad, did not.

I say that because, when my mother was no longer with us, Dad was convinced (apparently) that the problems between Suzanne and me, were my fault.

But I'm getting ahead of myself in telling this story. To whom am I speaking? Mostly myself, because until I have told and re-told this story enough times to take away the bad energies it leaves me with even today, this is what is left in my world when it comes to understanding the "family" from whom I came. But maybe I'm also speaking for anyone who is actually looking, who actually wants to know what I think about these things.

The "family" has made clear to me that they don't want my point of view, and it's my problem entirely that it matters enough to occupy my mind the way it does. "Got to move on," is the obvious answer, and moving on, for me, means moving through---not around, not over, not under, but through the maze of reactions and feelings that are still left there from that second decade of my life.

It's comforting when I look at it this way: Suzanne had direct but total power over my life for only one fourth of it. I am forty now. The first decade was a sunny childhood probably similar to that of most kids. There were problems in the family, but my sister and I were loved and cared for unconditionally. Christmas was magic; nighttime was comforting, with Mom between us holding a book, each of us leaning into her from either side. These are the years I look back to, now, when I think of "my childhood" because, then, I was allowed to be a child, I was given everything every lucky loved child gets; toys, attention, affection, and comfort, permission to be a kid, to make mistakes, to be known for my heart and forgiven for childish silliness.

Age 10 to 20: those are the dark years, the years that when I think of I can only shudder at the awfulness that was my life when I stepped through the doors of my own home. At 17 I went off to college ("Mom wants you out, and so do I," my sister, Melissa told me) and was at least out of the immediate vicinity of the simmering rage Suzanne directed my way at every opportunity. But those years in college, I was still treated as a child, a dependant, who relied on Dad for tuition and allowance money, which he sent in envelopes sometimes decorated with little faces peeking over walls.

That my Dad "loved" me as much as he can love anyone, isn't really a question. He believes that the fondness and attachment he feels to his oldest daughter is love, and for him it may be the closest thing. But that doesn't translate to a respect for my ideas, thoughts, feelings, and interests. In fact, he's supremely contemptuous of my political beliefs, calling them "fascist." His tolerance of my (or anyone's) ideas extends only as far as he agrees with them; and, while I know this isn't personal, but extends to all "liberals" and "wackos"----it still feels like a rejection of the direction I've taken in my life----a nonprofit, low-rent, high-intellect creative path that doesn't in any way resemble what he considers success.