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March 21, 2007

Comments

sbgypsy

Ah, if we could only remember the good times and forget the bad. Unfortunately we are hardwired the other way around.

And unfortunately so many who could really benefit from these new meds do not feel "normal" with their newfound happiness and reject it to return to their own personal hell on earth. An all too common reaction.

You can lead a donkey to water, but you sometimes have to whack 'em upside the head with a 2x4 to get 'em to drink. I wish for your sake(never mind hers) that she had made a better choice.

Cold comfort: Her 180 conversion there and back proves she was as much a victim of her brain chemistry as you and all your siblings were.

Lulu Maude

Our dreams can reconcile the irreconcilable, or so it seems. I have been healing my relationship with my brother in those vast realms for years. Alas, it's the only place it's gonna happen, I guess.

Touching post.

The Fat Lady Sings

I walked away from all that insanity. Too much 'Sturm und Drang' for me. I prefer my emotional life stable, thank you. It never was that around my family. And for all the help that the right drugs can bring - I still believe in the element of choice. My mother chose to remain living in the dark - as did my brother, and in a way, my dead sister – though she just folded, poor thing. No reserves left to call upon. My surviving sister bolstered her life by surrounding herself with tons of arbitrary rules – all under the sanction of ‘god’s law’. Let’s put it this way – my sister would be perfectly comfortable in the company of Falwell, Dobson and Limbaugh – their hypocrisies and prejudices included. When my mother died - my sister wanted to step right in and take her place as chief critic of me. Once realized - I severed the relationship; though I would hardly call it that. We were related by blood – nothing more. I may wish I had a family - but I'll take my friends in lieu any day!


John

The memories we carry can be heavy weights. But, fortunately for most of us, we can chip away at the weight, bit by bit, and focus on the bouyancy that interactions with our friends allow us to have. Here's to your continuing forward motion, rising to the surface and beyond!

The Fat Lady Sings

I believe in choice when it comes to behavior. Some people truly cannot help themselves - but for the most part – I believe we behave how we choose. I have never, ever purposefully harmed any living creature - it’s not in my nature. You have to have a predisposition towards cruelty to behave that way. Even thinking about it feels alien to me. As such - I do not understand many common human traits - hatred, bigotry, cruelty. That’s why I cut my family loose. They centered their lives around negative thoughts, actions and emotions. They are welcome to them. I prefer to live in the light.

JimmyDean'sFuckedUpCousinClyde

Sadness is good.

I think we moralize our pain/pleasure reactions in order to say that painful things are "lesser than" the pleasurable. By denigrating them we lessen their significance, and by devaluing we find it easier to reject them.

But the opposite effect is triggered. As sbgypsy said, "we are hardwired (or softwared?) the other way around" and the memory continues to seek release through acceptance. It is by giving voice and meaning--"value"--to them that they lose their charge over us.
Put another way: pushing them under the rug means we are going to be trying to avoid tripping on the goddamn rug for a long time.

Thank you for sharing those memories. It sounds as if your mother may have been abused at some point.
Hurtful stuff.

JimmyDean'sFuckedUpCousinClyde

Sadness is good.

I think we moralize our pain/pleasure reactions in order to say that painful things are "lesser than" the pleasurable. By denigrating them we lessen their significance, and by devaluing we find it easier to reject them.

But the opposite effect is triggered. As sbgypsy said, "we are hardwired (or softwared?) the other way around" and the memory continues to seek release through acceptance. It is by giving voice and meaning--"value"--to them that they lose their charge over us.
Put another way: pushing them under the rug means we are going to be trying to avoid tripping on the goddamn rug for a long time.

Thank you for sharing those memories. It sounds as if your mother may have been abused at some point.
Hurtful stuff.

oldwhitelady

Reading about your treatment at your mother's hands really hurts. I can't imagine having a mother like that. Your childhood reminds me of my best friend, in highschool. She had a mother like that. My friend had a retarded brother that her mother loved and doted on. My friend was the slave her mother insisted on. I remember one day, my friend was afraid to go home. The day before, she had accidentally put the dish soap under the sink, and was beat with a coathanger. It's amazing she managed to make it to adulthood. She married early, to the first man she could. He was an alcoholic. She was lucky, though. She finally had a realization that she didn't have to live with that either. My hat's off to both of you.

I can see why you treasure the perfume bottle as it reminds you of a strange and wonderful visit from your mother.

Incidentally, Years and years ago, Avon used to have a wonderful lilac perfume. I wonder if your sister wore that?

wordgirl

There's no rational explanation for sentiment or nostalgia. What looks like junk to one person is precious treasure to another. This was a wonderful post and quite personal. Thanks for sharing.

pursey

This story made me cry. We must, you know? Such beautiful writing, such sorrow, such forgiveness, such horrible memories, such loss. In the poem, Wage Peace, the author says, "Swim to the other side." You tried that in your youth and you keep trying through your writing. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

Ortizzle

You just told the story of my relationship (or lack of it) with my own mother: alchoholism, mental illness, moments of being on the right drug that created windows of feeling like I really had a mother. But mostly resentment and lack of understanding. Even if it is all due to chemistry, I feel as you do, that knowing that one could feel better with a certain treatment, how could one choose to be deliberately miseraable?

That was beautifully written, and I so identified with it. Thanks for taking the time and courage to spill it all out.

Jude

I've been scarce online with my own pain days hon, I sure hope you are feeling better soon. Sending you healing hugs!

Missouri Mule

((((Hugs)))) Sweetheart, you've reminded me of what Einstein supposedly said, "There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle".

Feel better soon!

mandt

Touching ghosts. What a stunning and moving acount of what many of us have experienced----the betrayal of blood. No need for warm tears over our loss. It's their's and we shatter like crystal drops those painful griefs. Life is a miracle, every intense moment of it."We were related by blood – nothing more" We join the bond of friends, chosen family, where true love and committment lies.

Lisa

This is quite poignant. I see you had a "madwoman of chillon" mother, too.

While my mom was mostly manic, it is very unsettling not to know what you're in for on any given day. Can't trust anything, and that becomes an unhealthy vigilance.

Your experience re. your sister resonated with me. One day I asked mother how grandma (her stepmother) was, and she said, "Oh, she's been dead four years now." Well, you can see we weren't close, but still, you think they'd mention it.

Secrecy is the watchword in my family, self-protection. So sharing is another skill which I lacked. It just seemed superfluous to a life spent mostly in vigilance, and sparring--verbal parrying and thrusting.

It is a nasty way to live. I now choose directness and openness. Perhaps I am too unvarnished, but I'd prefer that to hiding.

Thanks for sharing.

The Fat Lady Sings

Thank you for commenting, Lisa. There are far too many of us with stories like this to tell. If you are interested - I also write for a site called "The Motherless" (http://www.themotherless.com/). I talk extensively about my childhood experiences - as do many others - both good and bad. Perhaps you may even wish to share your own story. I have found that writing about it helps slay the dragons - at least a little bit.


TB

It is unfathomable to me why anyone would choose misery and sickness over happiness, especially after she had a chance to experience it for a brief time. It's almost as if she were afraid of living in that state, not knowing how to handle it or control it. So incredibly wasteful and sad for her, but moreso for those who had to be in her life.

The Fat Lady Sings

I don't understand that choice either, TB. That's why I can never forgive her. My mother would constantly bemoan the abuses heaped upon her by her own sister and mother; yet she visited the exact same things on me. The only difference was the level of physical violence. My mother was physically abused as well as mentally and emotionally. Most children were, in one form or another back then (she was born in 1907); but listening to my mother - the level of violence directed at her was horrific. I wasn't beaten till bloody with willow whips - but she threatened it often enough. I didn't have to wash my sisters feet every night and dry them with my own hair (as my mother claimed she had to do) - but she taught me to hate my siblings and for them to hate me. I didn’t have to climb stairs on my knees while carrying buckets filled with water as punishment - but the punishments my mother did devise were awful in their own right. I have never, ever visited any of that bullshit on anyone; yet she chose to attack her own children from conception. I am sorry for her - terribly sorry for her; but I cannot forgive her. I just cannot.

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