Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mother-Daughter

Oh holy shit.
I just got off the phone with my mother and something has changed, there is a s0ftening, there is a let-going of pride, there has been a taking-down of the No Trespassing sign and I don't know.

Oh my god.

Look. If there's anything on earth which is more complicated than my mother's and my relationship, please bring Hillary Clinton into it. So many years of resentments and dysfunctions and she-said, I-said and no-that-never-happened and how-could-you-ever-forget-that-happened? And hurts and disappointments and guilt and just plain old dirt-ugly fucked-uppedness.

And all of a sudden she's not saying, "Oh Mary. That never happened."
She's saying, "Really? That happened? I can't believe it. But I believe you."

And also she's saying, "I'm sorry."

Well.

And I'm not reassuring her on every point. I am not. Okay, I'm saying, "Look, you were so far down then, you were suffering from bad depression. You didn't really know what you were doing." But I'm not excusing her and she's not asking me to.

I am just speaking the truth as I know it and she is saying that she believes me which is a HUGE change in things.

My mother knows she is losing it. Some days she can't figure out how to write a check. She knows and admits she doesn't need to drive any more. She is discussing options about where she needs to live and what sort of help she needs. She is not throwing up walls, and pride has nothing to do with it at this point. But she is with it enough to know that there are things which need taking care of whether they are insurance policies or the relationship with her daughter.

And hearing her say the words, "I love you. I'm sorry," are life-changing to me.
I swear they are.

Oh god. It's so confusing. I'm scared. For so many years I've wanted to hear these words. I've wanted to hear them so much that I built brick walls around my wishes. I wanted to hear I love you without hearing conditions.
I've wanted to hear, "I believe you."

That's all. I believe you. I believe this happened, even if I don't remember.
And "I'm sorry."

Don't we all want a mother who is there no matter what? Who if we say, "This is my sorrow," says, "Oh baby."

And I told her that no matter how bad my childhood was, my life has turned out to be unbelievably good. That I have EVERYTHING that anyone could want. And I told her that even if the man she married last- Glen's father, Mr. Moon's father, didn't last more than six months because he died, she was lucky to have had the love, finally, of a very good man.
And she agreed.

I don't know. Maybe this last true sorrow of my life has the possibility of being smoothed out.

What if?

My brother says that it's too bad that I couldn't make a connection when Mother was "sharp." I say, "Fuck sharp. Give me softness."

Well. One phone call. One hour of truth and honesty.
The world can't turn around on that.

But maybe. Maybe it can be the lifting of a creaking, iron-bound brick door.

Look- I'm not going to say "no."

What daughter doesn't want a mother to say, "I love you."?

Well. We shall see.

And as my good friend Harvey says, "Get over it or die with it on your mind."

I'd rather have nothing on my mind when I die but how much I've loved. And yes- selfishly- been loved.

And now I'm going to go saute onions and garlic and pepper because this is what I know: What you do in an iron skillet cannot fail you. That pasta and vegetables and spices will behave as you wish. And that I have been blessed beyond all capacity for knowing. And that if I can make peace with my mother, the world will be a better place.

But that I approach that possibility with caution. Hell, I believe in miracles but I've been shown wrong before.

We shall see.

What if? What the fuck IF?

31 comments:

  1. i can only say that i share your IF...i also had this kind of parentship...so lucky to have survived it...and in the end, the softening was well received...i am happy for you!
    (and i adore your kitchen frog)

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  2. ::teary-eyed tremulous smile & head-nod of deep understanding::

    -do you know the work of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola-Est├ęs?--particularly about membership in Scar Clan--

    --That Olde Indextronaute

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  3. The world CAN turn around on it. That's what makes it a miracle.

    Love you ms. Moon

    xoxoxo







    Xoxoxoxoxoxo

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  4. Oh Mary, what a tremendous load this must lift from your heart and soul. You're probably wise to say, "what if", but this sure sounds like the real thing. I'm cheering for you both; love is a great healer.

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  5. This is good to hear.

    Wait -- your mom was married to Mr. Moon's dad? Did I read that right? If so, how cool that she found love by way of you finding it.

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  6. Oh I am soo so happy to read this -- I need to read it more carefully, but here's how glad I am that this cosmic-shift is happening: I read this post while laying down on my blackberry where I can't comment.

    I got up from my blankets, turned on the computer, and logged in to comment.

    Sometimes this world is just the damndest thing, and this is a HUGE thing for you, I know. I know.

    More tomorrow. I love you!

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  7. What can I say: all mothers are aliens.

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  8. I'm so, so glad your mother said the things you needed to hear. Softness is needed in quantities as great as garlic and onions, and that is a lot.

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  9. It sounds like an honest-to-goodness miracle to me. And the world IS the damndest place, that conversations like this can come out of the blue and surprise in a good way.

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  10. YES!

    I know in my bones, truly and finally, that *nothing* matters more than our being in right and reciprocal relation with one another.

    My mother, who died nearly a decade ago, made attempts in the last 15 years of her life to mend relations with me. We both did as much mending as we could and would do. It was enough.

    I was with her when she died after long illness. Even while she was in a coma, there were moments when she pushed away my presence. There was also the moment when my hands sensed her life force gathering itself to leave her body. There was the moment about six months before she died when she told me, "Jaliya, you're so serene and easy to be around..." ~ That nearly blew my socks off.

    What I remember -- what first comes to mind now when I think of my mother -- are the moments like that one. The seemingly small and *hugely* significant openings like the one you've experienced.

    YES.

    xo

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  11. Oh -and I wanted to tell you that I fried my deer steak this weekend and it turned out perfectly...as perfect as it can without a cast iron skillet. If you ever see one at your local Goodwill (I always look for one at mine), get it for me, will ya? And when I come visit< I'll get it...and trust me, my ass will be there at some point. 2011 won't pass by without it!

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  12. And this is why I believe that there is some Higher Power at work, some energy that brings people together just at the right time. I do believe that people can make amends and encounter a world of difference. Something has shifted.

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  13. Such splendid news, Ms moon. It has to be better, far better than your mother going to her grave totally non reconciled.

    I remember the first time I spoke to my mother meaningfully after a twenty year silence and it was awesome, mind you she never managed to say I love you. Usually she says I love all of you, all of my children. Somehow it's not quite the same as the singular, I love you.

    I'm glad you finally heard the words, Ms Moon. I'm glad your mother finally softened enough to say them. I love you and I BELIEVE you. Wow.

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  14. Wow.....it is indeed a miracle for you and I am so delighted it is happening. This is HUGE.

    I have LOT more to say on this but will send you an email.

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  15. I agree with caution, but you can take this one huge thing for what it is.

    I did a double take about Mr Moon's father too. Did you ever tell about that?

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  16. Very powerful Mary... I learned way too late that it's no use to go buy electricity at the baker shop. Or bread at the electricity shop. It's the pits that a mother's love or not having it puts such a huge mark on our soul.
    Nothing beats unconditional love from a mother. Not having it unducess an inner craving that can never be stopped. I am glad for you that things are budging. Yes, be careful, make sure you are not happy about a dead sparrow. But the possibilities, oh, the possibilities... Your brother does not know shit. Excusez les mots. I will send good vibes your way! You go girl!

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  17. Reading this makes me so happy for you. I hope the good stuff continues.

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  18. What daughter doesn't want a mother to say, "I love you."?

    Amen to that. _And_ "I believe you"!! Get it while you can. It could help fill some of those old holes.

    Happy for you that this opening has happened. x0 N2

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  19. Mary, that is HUGE. I am so happy for you today. And you are right to be cautious, but fuck tomorrow and hurray for today! It is all any of us can wish for from our mothers. What an amazing thing.

    (I was amazed at the Daddy Moon thing as well.)

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  20. "Fuck sharp. Give me softness."

    I'm all for this, Ms. Moon. Love you.

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  21. I'm so happy for you Mary--this is a wonderful sign of hope!

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  22. Life is full of surprises, isn't it? I'm so happy for you, for the chance to heal old wounds, to lift a little of the tension from your relationship with your mother.
    I always assumed that my mother's skewed world view keeps reality from collapsing in on her like a black hole, so I don't expect anything to change as she ages. But I suppose anything is possible, isn't it?
    Here's to peace, and love and good news. And to what the fuck IF's.
    xo

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  23. Harvey is SMART.

    I am hoping for you.

    Love,

    SB

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  24. Hugs to you Ms. Moon.
    I had an unsettling visit with my mom yesterday. I didn't realize how "hurt" I've been until I felt that awkwardness between us.

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  25. Wow! Wow! and more WOW!!! I'm so happy for you two. Sounds like she has turned a corner, but you know, I understand your cautiousness. Somehow, no matter what happens in the future, you will always have that conversation and nothing can take that away from either of you. Wow!

    I'm really happy for you.
    xo

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  26. this is such wonderful news. sending love to you, dear mary.

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  27. That she did this is huge. For both of you. That she said it, whether she is as "sharp" as she use to be or not is huge. That it feels inside you like a hole is slowly being filled, that hole that was so deep and dark...it is huge.

    Mary, our mothers...we have different stories but pain that we endured of "why me?" and just plain old "why?". Take this gift however you feel you can right now. Follow what you know is true and honest...

    sending a hug to you...a smile is on my heart for you...

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  28. Not at all selfish to be loved. As The Buddha, himself, once said, "You, yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and affection." Your love and affection, but the love and affection of others, as well.

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  29. Dear Mary, I think that's very positive that your mother finally did that. I'll probably say more on email too. It's good to make peace with each other after all this time xx

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  30. Just be careful. And remember that you are more important than her. You are.

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  31. this astounded me and opened my heart.
    but oh, to go one's whole life without the mother believing, to me seems like a second trauma, a hellish, awful thing.

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