I’ve been telling myself that it’s time I put this particular mother issue away. I’ve been telling myself that grieving is natural but that I don’t have the strength to see the process through.
I have fought and wrestled with my thoughts. I’ve gone over every dusty corner to try to remember who she was. Did she ever tell me? It bothers me that I know so little about her but then I think, Faith, let it go. You can’t do this girl, not right now. Wasn’t it yesterday that she was alive, tall, standing in the doorway making you quake inside? February 2nd, 1992, 10:30 pm you ran out of that house and never went back…but you still…quake. Twenty-four years and you still look over my shoulder, still watch the bedroom door, still question your worth, still have something to prove.
The lady in the apartment upstairs was making a lot of noise coming home late. I knew she I was hearing the neighbor, but I still had to look over my shoulder and make certain no one was behind me. I put the paint brush down and looked over my shoulder until finally my neighbor quieted down. In just a few hours we’ll do that ritual again. It doesn’t matter who lives up there, their footsteps will be counted and I’ll try to tell myself I’m okay, then I’ll look over my shoulder.
I need not worry about running into mother in public, but I run into her every time I look in the mirror and every time I undress, remove my shoes, see an elephant, see a grey business suit, see the color mauve. I see her. Sometimes it’s okay but other times I wish for release.
I grapple with the desire to let her go without saying something positive about her. Man, had she just shut up one time!! She talked the entire time she beat us as if hitting us wasn’t enough she had to talk and talk and talk. She said I make her out to be an Ogre. She said I never say anything positive about her, so I sit with the guilt of saying only bad. I use to tell her that the bad out weighs the good and so that’s what I see when I look at you. Of course I paid dearly for such truths but I refused to say differently. Even when provoked I’d tell her the truth. In the third grade she asked me to write in to a magazine to enter her in the ‘mother of the year’ award. I laughed and said, I only call you Super Mom because you told me to.
Oh mother, mother, mother. Is there no end to your hands fondling my brain? How long will it take before I decide that enough is enough? The first step is deciding that I know enough about you, more than I ever needed to know. I can’t keep grasping at the wind and putting false hope in the idea that there’s a redeemable part of you I can hold safely. I refused to withhold the truth when young and I refuse to do it now. I know more about you than I ever needed to know. It does me no good to go searching for tidbits so I can add sugar to your acidic legacy.