As usual I left a conversation with my mother shaking my head in disbelief. It wasn’t so much the content, since really nothing surprises me at this point, but rather my complete lack of reaction.
Me: “Mom, check out this photoshop tool I have been using to repair the photos of dad and I. I’m hoping to compile them for his 80th coming up in August.
Mom: “Oh, I remember that trip! We were up North with a friend of your dad’s.
Me: “You do?”
Mom: “Oh yes! You were awful. it was a mess.
Mom “Yeah, I put a fork through your hand at dinner.”
Mom: “yeah, you were a handful”
Mom: “or maybe it was my hand, i’m not sure”
Me: “um, ok”
As we continued our conversation I was left totally in awe of 1. Her complete and utter lack of emotion in communicating a clear cut case of abuse. 2. My complete and utter lack of reaction to her communicating a clear cut case of abuse.
I am actually wondering what the rationale behind stabbing a kid with a utensil? I’m pretty sure it didn’t shut me up, unless it was that fleeting moment when nothing comes out of a kids mouth when they actually really are hurt. Just that silent
So short of a momentary Edvard Munch moment, I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. Sure it made a mess, and geez, may have caused a scene. But hell, this was the mid 70s. Guess you could still get away with that.
But back to today. What is so striking is that this is okay. I don’t question it, and she talks about it like she talks about her garden, or the weather. I wonder how I ever made it this far. Truly wonder how much of her personality disorders colored my development. What would I be without it? What was my potential? Where would I be if we could rewind the clock, and do an ABC worthy Parent Swap. Who would I be? Probably not nearly as aloof and shut down. Not prone to isolating and finding comfort in shutting all the world out. But we are connected, she and I. In our quirks and our difficult natures. In so many ways. That is kind of scary to me, but I know there isn’t really any way around that. But I changed, and continue to. I can only hope that when I reach her age that I have made some peace with this, and with our similarities. In the interim, glad I have no desire to have kids.