Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ruminations

Anchise Picchi's "The Mother"

Was there a conscious point, a revelation, a moment when I realized that my mother’s kisses couldn’t heal me anymore? And worse, when did I realize she was the main aggressor?

I wonder these things.

For so long it was believed that the mother’s kiss would make things better. “Come here baby, peroxide and iodine will burn but not mommy.”

But it was mommy.

When did I stop loving her, if I ever did? I did, I tried.

Once she told me she loved me, but didn’t like me, that there was a difference. She begged, pleaded that I tell her that I love her and got mad when I told her I couldn’t recite it on command, I didn’t want it to become meaningless. It was her argument that if I truly loved her I could say it whenever she asks. Somehow, I knew it to be wrong to make that routine.

I remember my brother asked me many times if I loved our mother. Is that an odd thing for one child to ask their sibling? Not the “I love her more” thing but, “do you even love her? Can you love her?”

I think he fought really hard to love her, much harder than I ever did, much harder than I wanted to. Sometimes I question my commitment. But the final time he asked, before he even finished the question I had said ‘No.’ He looked at me like I was a foreign creature.

“You answered so quickly,” he said.

But I already knew the question was coming.

My brother treated my mother with such disdain. He screamed and yelled at her, forgot every birthday, made every excuse to leave her company, came home only to ask for money or scream at someone some more. My mother bought him everything he asked for – numerous cars, college tuition, clothes. The money we had went to him, the money we didn’t have. But when my mother asked –

“Of course I do!” he’d say as he hugged her.

The money I had went to make her happy. There was one time a friend and I went out to see a movie, my mother had been sad (again). I bought her some chocolates and a Bat Mitzvah card (as I figured it was one she had never received). I came home to pitch black. I didn’t know what had happened. I didn’t recall it ever being that dark. I called for her; she was in the back room. I felt my way back there.

“What happened,” I asked.

“There was a power outage.”

“Why didn’t you get a flashlight, light some candles?”

“I didn’t feel like moving.”

“Did you check the circuit breaker?”

“I’m tired honey.”

“How long have you been sitting here?”

“I don’t know, a couple hours maybe.”

For two hours, while I was in the movie theater, she sat in the dark staring at an empty television screen all alone. It scared me. I think I either lit candles or got the flashlight or flipped that circuit breaker switch. I read her the card, showed her it. I don’t remember if she ate the candies then or not. She thanked me, the card made her laugh. She thought it was pretty; there were gold swirls on it.

I couldn’t say I loved her, but I can say I tried. Words end up meaningless, strewn all over the floor and walked on. They just fall from the lips and an errant breeze can blow them into the gutter. But actions – the cleaning, the cooking, the birthdays and cakes and teddy bears and everything my little child’s mind could come up with- they said something that she couldn’t hear. Yet, it echos in my mind, reminds me of how much I prayed one day to have a mother who could understand me when I spoke in my own way.

5 comments:

Amel's Realm said...

Hmmm...I don't know if this is a good term to say it, but it seems there's lots of power play on love? Push and pull, push and pull...

Our family aren't big on words, on saying I care about you or I love you. I think it's not THAT good, either, that everybody needs words of affirmations every now and then, but we've gotten by without saying those words.

But having been asked if you love your mother by your own sibling is odd for me. Maybe it shows that your mother is indeed a tough person to love???

You know, having read posts about your past, I'm amazed that you can be who and where you are right now (you've come SO SO SO far from where you were). You're a miracle in itself!

Victorya said...

You're right Amel - it was a power play. I told her many times before that I loved her, but she always complained I only said it 'on my terms' not on hers. A happy medium would have been nice.

And *blush* at your last comment. Although, I do feel blessed a lot in my current life.

Amel's Realm said...

Must've been hard to be caught up in a power play.

Btw, feeling blessed is SO wonderful, isn't it! ;-D May it last as long as possible he he he...

^_________________________________^

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

God Victorya, I found this so painful to read, I identified with too much of it. You are far braver than me, there are certain things I can not, dare not, write about, but then I come in here, and read about them anyway.

I want to weep for this little girl back there, she was such a precious, vulnerable spirit - give her a gentle hug from me, she's growing to become so much more beautiful than her early ugly circumstances could have allowed her hope she one day would be. ((x))

Victorya said...

((hug))

Ah shrink, that post wasn't easy by any means, but somethings I have to say out loud, ya know? I know it can be hard to read, even when I go back over things.

And so sorry to hear anyone else identifies with this stuff :(