Content: Spiritual abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse, homelessness, covert sexual abuse
Mother taught me that if I do the little things right I’ll do the big things right. She taught me that a strong foundation must be laid but that all foundations start with a grain of sand. Their grains packed together to support materials much stronger than a grain of sand standing alone. To build up a solid foundation we must do the small things right.
My mother taught me that I have no foundation and that my presence was like a sledgehammer against her house.
My mother taught me a scripture that says, “By my God I can climb a wall” and a scripture that says, “If a tree gets cut down it will sprout again.”
My mother placed walls around me I felt I could never escape. Inside those walls she did her best to root out willfulness, individualism and hope.
My mother taught me that I can only trust her and that I don’t have the intelligence to live without her. She said I’d never survive out here in the world, that she alone could protect me.
She said to tell her if anyone ever touched me wrong. It was her hands around my mouth, my neck. She touched every aspect of me and left me ruptured.
My dear mother, my poor mother is food for worms. How undignified. I hate that.
I heard a phrase today from a Hercule Poirot movie that summed up my childhood and young adulthood existence. A lady said she spent part of the time at the Ritz and the other part in shabby places. That’s true of us. Her career was successful enough to feed us well, to give us nice places to live, good cars to drive, fine vacations and shopping sprees. Her career was the same when we lived in cars, when we lived in a camper with no electricity or restroom, in the middle of the winter. It was freezing, freezing. Her career was the same when my sister and I bounced from house to house or when she ripped back us back and forth between associating with ‘good families’ and living in a car in the parking lot of a 24 hour grocery store.
We changed schools quite often. I went to 15 before I graduated. When teachers alerted authorities, mother would take us from the school or scare staff so badly they didn’t report or address any issues.
Her voice was soft in speaking. Her eyes are coal black and piercing. Her eyes are crazy and wild, set in uneasy sockets on a face with smooth, honey brown skin.
This evening I put on make up in the mirror and saw my mother. I have the same kind of lighted Vidal Sassoon mirror only mine is tan, not mauve. I line my eyes as I learned when we took classes at a cosmetic center in the mall, but right now I can’t remember the name. I do a smokey eye and move to lipstick. I move from left to right and think of my mother talking to the consultant, “Doesn’t she have sexy lips?” The consultant says she prefers my mother’s. My mother goes into details using words like “supple.” The consultant is uncomfortable.
I shake off the memory and finish doing my make up, make up that will be sweat off in about 15 mins time. I look at myself and see the physical reflection of the woman who gave birth to me, but I am not the sum of the reflection on the mirror. My skin says I am her child, my heart says I do not belong to her anymore.
April 20, 2014, 10:15 pm EST