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View Diary: The Lady of Shalott (52 comments)

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  •  TFLS....... (10+ / 0-)

    Hate and fear was how she controlled her family.

    I had a mother similar to you.  This was many years ago before much in the way of meds to help her (what I figured out later) bipolar illness - just alcohol to lean on.  

    You have the answer to why she wouldn't take the meds in that one sentence.  Control of those around her was more important to her than anything else.  That was my mother all over.  Controlling is what defined her personality and her life.  She just never figured out how to be any other way.  I think she feared if she didn't control everyone they would all walk away for good.  What she never understood was she didn't really have us in her life - just the mirror reflection that she demanded.  She drank herself to death at the age of 52 and all we felt was profound relief.  But we hardly knew how to relate to each other without her controlling things for decades to come.

    This was beautifully written, my dear.  I still want to see a picture of your wall one day ;-)

    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    by Cronesense on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 02:03:38 PM PST

    •  We all bear scars (10+ / 0-)

      It's like a club, actually - those of us who had mothers like that.  My heart goes out to you, my dear.  I still am plagued by my childhood.  I fear I will always be.

      •  The sad thing..... (10+ / 0-)

        is that we will never know what we could have become in our lives if we had had some stability and consistent love during those early years.  I did my damnedest to not treat my children in such a manner.  I have a wonderful relationship with my daughter that has helped heal a lot of scars but I will never know what it feels like to be a successful daughter.

        Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

        by Cronesense on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 02:14:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But I know how every traumatized person feels (6+ / 0-)

          I don't have to read a book to know. I can empathize (sp?) with them, and isn't that what we all want, someone to understand us? I can be the catalyst to help them heal.

          My past traumas are the ballast that take me through my current traumas thinking, "Well, this is certainly a cake walk compared to that other stuff!"

          It all seems so useful to me now, the pain that is. So  useful I can literally be thankful for it. I get what the joy of simple things is, because I had to understand so much about meanness early on. I get both sides of it. (Does all the above make any sense?)

          And on a more personal note, I don't think it's possible to be a successful daughter to a porcupine. What my crowning success was as an individual, and as a daughter, was as she aged, I simply had the same emotions as I did for my children, as she became helpless, to have her taken care of. I couldn't do it myself, of course (eek), but I moved heaven and earth and fought family dynamics to have her taken care of. Safe.

          She would have said that I would have gotten even with her by being mean. That was the person she was trying to create, presumed she was creating with all her meanness, someone who would be vindictive. Yet there I was, doing all I could to keep safe this (porcupine-y) declining human, in spite of all the spines.

          Be good to each other. It matters.

          by AllisonInSeattle on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:52:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  AllisonInSeattle...... (3+ / 0-)

            I think the choices we have made for sig lines is pretty telling of what is most important to us in our lives.

            I get what the joy of simple things is, because I had to understand so much about meanness early on

            Yes, that is me too.

            Bless you for doing so much to take care of her even if she didn't understand or appreciate all your efforts.

            Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

            by Cronesense on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 06:07:09 AM PST

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            •  You know, it was so liberating (0+ / 0-)

              We live our lives forward, not backward, and we can't predict what the future will bring. I didn't know how I would react in advance. Think in a way I knew I would want her cared for. But probably a part of me thought, "Will I care?" -- because you have to buffer yourself from caring about the meanness directed at you.

              To be there, with her, able to simply care about her safety and treatment, no matter what she did -- wow. It was incredible. My relatives could see it and comment on it, which reinforced the reality, I really was overcoming the beginnings.

              There was a time in the latter years when she said to me, "You're my best friend" on the phone. I called up one of my aunts, because I knew she would "get it". She said, "Wow! I didn't know she was that far gone!" I said, "Me either!" I think you will get it, too. For her to say that? Most of her "normal" personality was eroded. It was pretty bittersweet.

              Some of the moments involved produced some amazing "gallows humor", sure you know about that, too.

              Be good to each other. It matters.

              by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:54:52 PM PDT

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            •  Never noticed your sig line before (0+ / 0-)

              It is rather remarkable. Glad you pointed it out.

              Be good to each other. It matters.

              by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:56:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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