I was in another place. Everyone else was in the ‘real world’, a pretty summer day, cool refreshing beach water, already a bowl of watermelon on the table. But, I was not there. I was in the morning with the atmosphere of dysfunction that I had grown up with. It was a seriousness that stopped the activities of real life. It was the same as a real emergency but it was imagined. All through my childhood my siblings and I trekked back and forth between real emergency and imagined crisis. All the while watching the landscape of normal lives right there, but passing us by. Maybe that is what it is like to have a mentally ill mother: trips to the emergency room, suicide attempts, police visits, imagined dangers, affairs, break-ups, pretend run-aways, sharp objects on flesh. And, what does this all mean? Does my PTSD make me, too, a ‘mentally ill’ mother. But, I do not — or I think I do not — do harmful things. Was my choice to drive to North Carolina that day a choice that came from my mental illness or was it just an impossible situation; was it the internalized obligation of seeing my dying mother? A prisoner. That was how I felt that morning with the southern heat starting up, the ocean-with that horrible undertow-crashing rhythmically outside of the glass doors. The kids laughing and pulling on bathing suits. I remember I was so angry. I was furious with my sister and brother — for not wanting to talk about it. My brother’s perspective was that he had been dealing with it in real life and wanted a break. He had every right. He was the one who took the daily calls from her, kept secret his knowledge of my and my sister’s private lives, visited the hospital, listened to her fabrications and pleas for attention. He tolerated her verbal abuse and narcissism.
Leave a Reply.
Enjoy my random posts. These are pieces of writing that don't "fit" in any of the other categories or posts updating what's new in my world.