So Not the Look of Love
Thanks. Thanks so much for candy coating it. Throw me a bone here will you Doc and not just a bill? Give me a fucking answer every now and then. I know you know the answers to some of this bullshit.
Anger had set in . Anger at everyone and everything.
"I'm having a hard time comprehending the term "motherless" to describe my life," I said while glancing at her shoes. The sobbing would have started immediately if I looked into those eyes of hers. It was a strange experience having someone's eyes riveted on me and listening to every word, every inflection, every passing thought, and watching my reactions even when I wasn't aware I was having them. The intensity was profound, leaving me drained after every session, but not drained enough to have me not carry these sessions around all week, like a migraine you know is coming on. You just keep waiting to hurt more. And before you know it, it's time for the next weekly session and you do. The pain returns.
"What do you think of when you hear the term motherless,?" TGD asked. "I guess I thought that being motheless meant that the mother was dead", I responded once again.
"is it possible that even though your mother was alive, her actions and words were so harmful that she actually wasn't being a mother to you at all? Just because you lived with her does not necessarily mean that she mothered you. It was quite the opposite, wasn't it? She did not keep you safe. She did not nuture or take care of you."
That was putting it mildly. I still couldn't figure out after 58 years why she was the way she was. What happened to her to make her so bitter, so angry, so mean? She wasn't like that with my brother. She liked him. She loved him. She lived for him. She was so consistent in her anger and hatred I think at one point I stopped expecting her to be happy and just would wait for that next reign of terror to hit.
What I remember most are the looks she gave, if she looked at me at all. They were glares, looks of disdain. One of her favorite mantras for me when she was yelling was that she was "fed up with me." Strange, because I really never did anything bad. But those looks....it was as if she really hated me. And I suppose she did.
No, she never loved me. Never hugged me, never kissed or held me. There was always this distance I saw between us, even as a little kid. I can remember watching her in the White Tower. I would sit on a stool, spinning around like any other 5 or 6 year old and she wouldn't even look at me. It was like I wasn't even there. If I spent the day in downtown New Haven in the summer, and she happened to be working days, she would go into the backroom of the restaurant where her pocketbook was, come back out, and just put change in front of me. Without even looking at me, she would say off into space somewhere, "here's money for food. Go eat at the Carousel Restaurant or the Waldorf Cafeteria." She didn't want the management or her co-workers to think she was favoring me. No chance there. I think her co-workers were somewhat embarassed by her behavior. I know I always felt ashamed but never really understood why. I always saw pity in their eyes when they looked at me. Any attempt by them to talk to me was always met with my mother referring to me as "her" or "she." She never used my name. "I just gave "her" money for lunch." "She'll be back by the time I get off work." "No, "she" doesn't want a soda."
"Your mother's behavior was never about you," said TGD. "She was incapable of giving, of mothering, of nuturing. It was her lack of compassion and love. Do you understand how it has nothing to do with you"?
Maybe next week I will.