Sunday, August 05, 2007

My Mom:
More On
The Disintegration


As I wrote yesterday, my family went through a period of approximately three years (when I was 11-13 year old, when we almost fell apart. Much of this was due to my mother and her severe dislike of my Grandmother.

Honestly, I could not figure out what it was that my Mom hated so much about my Grandma. She seemed like an innocuous old bitty to me. She mostly sat in her bedroom, read the Bible, and said Grandma-type stuff when she was walking around the house.

Now, the thing is, as I had to do in my post yesterday, in order to explain the history of the Disintegration that I witnessed when I was a child, and in order to put it into the context of the history of 1963-1977, I think I need to almost immediately tell you about my Mom's family.

This story is something else. You almost aren't going to believe me.

My Mom's family was among the wealthiest families, if not the most wealthy family, in the town she was raised in.

The town they were from was NAMED AFTER HER FAMILY.

Her father was the Mayor. He was also the Pharmacist, and a big landowner. I remember going back to visit when I was eight. The house was awesome. And, it was on a plot of land that I would estimate to have been at least five or six acres. And, this was long after they had sold off most of their property. It was quite a beautiful place.

But, all did not go well for my Mom's family. As was true for my Dad and his Father and his Uncle, my Mother's Father (my Grandfather) died when my Mom was very young. She was six. That would have been 1931.

In other words, both of my parent's fathers died right at the outset of the Depression.

Her family was large. There were seven children. Because the family was so large, my Mom's Dad dealt with his children by spending one night a week with each of them. Each night it was another one of the children's turn to sit on Dad's lap in his study with him.

My mother's Father died of a massive heart attack one evening, as he walked into the house. That was on the night it was my Mother's turn to spend the evening on her Dad's lap.

When my mother told me this story (I must have been seven), it was very clear to me that she had never gotten over that sad fact. She felt cheated. Not by her father, but by God. My Mom and her family were, actually, very religious people. They were Lutherans, and my Mom would never curse God for her destiny, but you can see the look on a person's face, and I think you all know what I mean here.

There is a sense in which my Mother has looked back at her history, and has turned, like Lot's wife, into a Pillar of Salt.

Weird thing is, then, I had to grow up watching the result of that.

I watched as my mother would repeatedly go off to the Emergency Room, and to Doctors with various perceived illnesses which the Doctors couldn't figure out.

My Mom was a kind of hypochondriac, but at the same time, she was always believed in a Holistic approach to medicine. Consequently, she would not take any of the Medication which was offered to her.

That's probably a good thing, because for the most part, her Doctors would recommend that 60's and 70's panacea; the "Tranquilizer."

If my Mom had listened to her Doctors, she would have probably become a drug addict like so many other Mom's were back in those days.

So, I gotta admire the decisions my Mom made. At the same time, I recognized that, like my Dad, the problems that she was going through were not physical. I truly do believe that both my parents were victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In other words, their maladies, their stresses, their insecurities were the result of the mental damage caused by the lives they had been saddled with.

I remember my Mother sitting up in bed with me late at night, talking and talking, and telling me that sometimes she just had to back away from all the stress, and the only thing that she could do to make her feel better was to return to her roots; to go to Church and listen to the hymns. (Her mother had been the Church organist and a music teacher).

She said, often, she could not even comprehend the words of the Pastor, because her mind was in too much of a frazzle, but she could always find something which would give her solace.

My mother started talking to me like this when I was a very young boy. I would estimate that I eight or nine when my Mom started discussing such things with me.

I know now that that is unhealthy, but of course, as a young boy, I loved my Mother and I suffered for her. I truly felt bad for her.

Now I know, she believed she couldn't trust her husband. Truth is, I don't think she trusted men. I think something happened to her that caused her to begin to believe that men were mean.

As I got older, she exiled my Dad from his own family.

He eventually built a shack in the backyard, and sat out there smoking and watching TV, and avoiding the family.

At the time, I thought that was strange. Now that I am older, it seems even stranger, but I actually understand what was going on, and I forgive him for it.

I will talk more about this subject later. I want to stick to the subject of my Mother in this post.

Now, here's the thing, think about it, why would my Mom talk to me late at night about her personal feelings and insecurities?

Why?

The answer is, and this is why I say it was a sick relationship, because SHE MADE ME HER HUSBAND.

In other words, at the age of approximately eight or nine years old, I began to take on the emotional duties and responsibilites of being a husband to my own, mentally-troubled and sick mother.

And somehow, because I really was a rather brilliant little kid, I was up to it. I could talk to her, and I could settle her down, and I could make her feel better about herself, and her place in life, and that gave me gratification.

There is a sense in which I truly believe this experience has made me a stronger person, and even a better husband.

But, there is a sense in which I believe it truly caused me to gradually aquire many of the same problems my parents struggled with.

Anyway, at this point, you might be wondering, why is it that I think that my story actually has any relevance to our current political situation in Western Civilization?

Well, here's the reason my friends. I believe it is an example of the breakdown of authority; of respect for authority, which begins with the respect a child needs to have for his or her parents.

As I said yesterday in my post about my Dad, my Mother really tried to do the best job she could. However, she had problems, and those problems are visited upon the third and fourth generation. Sadly, and as much as I attempt for this not to be true, some of these problems are going to be inherited by my kids. Because I suffer from them myself.

Now, getting back to the breakdown of authority, my parents were WWII generation people. Their formative years were the Depression and WWII.

There is a reason why the men and women of that era ended up parenting the "Baby-Boomer/Hippie Generation, which has so destroyed our beautiful Western Civilization.

In my opinion, from having watched my parents go through what they went through, I believe they had been so overwhelmed by the reality of their formative years that their entire goal was simply to make my life easier on me, than it had been on me.

They were a combination of distant (unattainable/unvailable) and allowing. They tried to give me everything I wanted. They did not want me to be denied all the things which were so sadly denied to them. But, no one should get everything they want.

My parents basically allowed me to run amok from the time I was very young.

It did not help them that I was a kind of intellectual prodigy who could basically con them and outsmart them at every turn.

And then, of course, they fell apart, as I have been alluding to, in the years between 1974-1976.

Oh my god, what a fuckin' life I have had.

I'm sorry this is such a long story to unfold. You're gonna see what I mean, as the story does truly unfold.

I have not begun to tell you the half of it.