Posted by vwoolf on March 31, 2008, at 6:08:28
In reply to Re: Homework, posted by Daisym on March 31, 2008, at 1:33:02
Hi Daisy, sorry I'm late to this - I've only seen the thread now.
I never spoke to my Mom as a child. She always expected me to be strong, and so I was. Then about three years ago I wrote a short story about an episode of CSA with my father from when I was about five. The story was published under a pseudonym, but a lot of the details were recognizable for someone on the inside. I left the anthology lying around the house for a while, almost willing my mother to pick it up and read it, but not having the courage to show her.
Then one day, after I had had some very good news, I suddenly felt strong enough to show her. Without calling, I drove to her house. She was there, but was getting ready to go out to see some friends. She welcomed me in and we sat down. I pulled out the book, opened it and handed it to her. She looked at me and said "how exciting! You've published a story." I told her that she wouldn't like it but that she should read it. She began. After a few seconds she said "Oh God", then again and again. When she got to the end, she said "It isn't true, is it?" I nodded. Then she said: "I caught him at it when you were two years old!" I was stunned. Until then I hadn't been sure it was true, I had thought I must be exaggerating, that if it did happen it was much later. And here she was telling me it was actually worse!
She then asked me why I hadn't told her at the time. Which felt like a really dumb question to me. And then she said she had to go, that her friends were expecting her. But she looked shattered.
She showed me out. And then the world seemed to fall to pieces for me. I was convinced she would die, that she would have a stroke or a heart attack, that this would be too much for her. I phoned everyone I could think of, my t, my relatives, asking them to go and help her. I suppose it was the terror I had always had as a child, that it would kill my mother to know this. It felt unbearable that I could kill her.
I didn't see her for a week, then we met for lunch. She told me that she had been thinking about what I had said, and had come to the conclusion that I had invented everything.
I couldn't believe it. I told her that she had said that she had caught him in the act. I think she must have forgotten that she had said that. Again she looked stunned, but changed the subject.
For about two years we didn't talk about it again. We just didn't see much of each other although she would be very sweet and concerned when we did meet.
Then she was attacked in her home by an intruder and left for dead. She managed to crawl to the phone and call me. I stayed with her through all the ordeal of police and ambulance and hospital - for about three days I didn't go home. I think she thought she was dying, and she called me to her bedside and, in desperate tears said "You are always there for me, but I was never there for you." I understood that it was weighing heavily on her, and that it was her way of apologising.
Since then she has said other similar things, always obliquely, so that I know she is really sad and sorry. She is clearly doing a lot of soul searching, trying to understand what is lacking in herself. I left my marriage a few weeks ago, and she came to visit me in my new home. I told her my cousin had helped me move. She said she was glad, because she is not good at emotions. From my mother, that was a huge admission.
I decided to start training in a new discipline recently, a second chance at life, in a way, and my mother has offered to pay for it. I have accepted. It feels like reparation. It feels good, for both her and me.
Daisy it has been very hard, but I am glad I did it. It has freed me up in so many ways to be able to deal with my life and make healthier choices for the future.
It's a long story, and I have written a lot, but I am aware that I have also left out a lot. If you want to know any more, just ask.