Archives for February 2013
Marilyn’s mother was taken once again to a psychiatric hospital the day they had to pry a knife from her hands. I was around six or seven the night my mother attacked my stepfather with a butcher knife during a drunken argument. To this day, I can instantly be jerked back to that night by the memory of that helpless reality. I tremble as the remembrance of my mother’s insanity threatens to wash over me and leaves me equally unstable.
When you are the child of a mother whose reality is as fragile and easily shattered as were those of our respective mothers, so is your own reality. Thus it was, like many other children with no fathers and minimal mothering, we survived this period, during which numerous adult authority figures entered and exited our lives like so many characters flickering across our life movie screen. And just like the fictional figures in movies, all these people were real only for a brief time before quickly fading out of sight again, always on a stage just beyond reach, devastatingly untouchable. The legacy of untouchable images; images blowing in the wind like characters traversing a stage, people coming and going in all manner of colorful customs, thus binding our self-images to a life- time of relational uncertainty.