Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Memories, of the way I was.

A year ago, when my parents sold the house my sister and I grew up in, and moved into one of those new Over 55 retirement communities that are being built up around here, my mother asked me to come over to the house she found somethings she would like me to have, and if I didn't want them, she would toss them.

I went over the next day, where she handed me a large Macy's bag with my childhood memories. Everything was neatly collected. I was amazed.

Mom had kept all things bright and beautiful from my childhood, K-12. There were finger paints, coloring, cut outs, reportcards, extra wallet sized photos, You name it, it was there. Writing exemplars when you first learn how to print, and then in 3rd grade when we learned script.

Stories I had written. It was really wonderful and weird at the same time.

I saw somethings that were amazing and strange. In first grade the teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up.

I wanted to be a mommy. And an astronaut. I was fascinated with the whole NASA program from about 67-69 or so.

Then in 3rd grade, the teacher asked us what we wanted to be.

I of course, still wanted to be a mommy. I drew a picture of me with my favorite dolly at the time.

But I wanted to grow up and write books.

it stayed like that for the rest of my life. Motherhood and books.

Strange. Well, motherhood is out of the question unless when and if I ever meet my soulmate and he is patient and wants to go for medical assistance and en vitro and things like that. Or adopt, or has children of his own already.

My mother was the perfect 60's-70's mother. A combination of June Cleaver, and Mrs. Brady. And she was the hottest mother in the PTA. I admire her so damn much.

It is from her I have nothing but respect for anyone who is a mother. Juggling work, a house, children (or child) and hubby is hard work.

I'm crying now. Bare with me.

I realize I, as someone who has not been blessed yet with children should or should not make the next comment.

It's true I don't know what it is like to be a mother. It is true while some part of my brain can only imagine what it must be like to do the 3 am feedings and diaper changes, I've never done it. I've changed diapers in my life, yeah, and I have been "christened" by several friend's baby boys.

I know I would honestly die for my friends' son who will be 2 in September.

But I do know in the animal kingdom, baby birds are kicked out of the nest by their momma and they have to fly or they go ker plunk on the ground. That is nature.

Human beings usually don't experience this until they are about 17 or 18, graduate high school, and then it's either work or college.

I imagine cutting the cord is a hard thing to do.

I know that parents never stop loving their children, no matter how old they get,, and how many mistakes they might make.

By making mistakes only can we grow.

But some day love is... love is.... I always found this to be what I wanted love to be.

From "The Fountainhead"

I love you, Dominique. As selfishly as the fact that I exist. As selfishly as my lungs breath air. I breathe for my own necessity, for the fuel of my body, for my survival. I've given you not my sacrifice or my pity, but my ego and my naked need. This is the only way you can wish to be loved. This is the only way I can want you to love me. If you married me now, I would become your whole existence. But I would not want you then. You would not want yourself-and so you would not love me long. To say 'I love you' one must first know how to say the 'I'. The kind of surrender I could have from you now would give me nothing but an empty hulk. If I demanded it, I'd destroy you. That's why I won't stop you. I'll let you go to your husband. I don't know how I'll live through tonight, but I will. I want you whole, as I am, as you'll remain in the battle you've chosen. A battle is never selfless. [...] You must learn not to be afraid of the world. Not to be held by it as you are now. Never to be hurt by it as you were in that courtroom. I must let you learn it. I can't help you. You must find your own way. When you have, you'll come back to me. They won't destroy me, Dominique. And they won't destroy you. You'll win, because you've chosen the hardest way of fighting for your freedom from the world. I'll wait for you. I love you. I'm saying this now for all the years we'll have to wait. I love you, Dominique." [Howard Roark]

I need to find my I. I need to be incharge of my life again, captain of my destiny.

If I fail it was not from something you did. You gave me the bike,and the training wheels. It's time to take the training wheels off. I realize you did that once before, before my diagnosis, and even during my diagnosis until it became abundantly clear in my 30s I was and always will be bipolar.

But it's time to take the training wheels off now. And like the momma bird, baby will be fine and soar beautifully.

See, mom and dad gave me beautiful wings to soar with.

And I love them with every breath I take and am grateful to have been blessed by them.


justana said...

Here i cannot share with you,
I had to be able to take care of myself very early because me family is a tragedy!
I don't talk to my mother from more than 30 years and I don't feel any feelings for her.
I never wanted to be a mother.
I cannot hold babies. I'm clumsy when I have to hold one and do my best to stay away from them.
They are too fragile and I fear everything related to babies.
I like teenagers. I don't know why but I like them and like to talk to them. I like exchanging experiences with them.
Write Susan, write!
There will be days you think you will never write a single good life in your life. The next day you'll feel like a genius...
It's a strange process...

justana said...

a single good "line" in you life...

Jesus! I hope it's not a freudian sleep. lol
I can't blame the keyboard.
"f" is too far apart from "n"...

I don't mind! I'm not on therapy any longer. Even if I was she was not very concern with this.

susan said...

Thank you Ana. It was a typo. I hope I just corrected it. I like teenagers too. But I wouldn't want to be one again.

Larry said...

That was a fascinating selection from Ayn Rand. It seems (as objectivism does) "selfish," and yet allowing the "I's" to stay whole amid the "we" of a partnership is a sine qua non for a successful relationship/marriage. I know it is a lesson I did not learn before my divorce; I think it is a lesson I have made progress on (thank goodness) in my current relationship.

BTW, what exquisite agony it is to read how you capture every last detail of your life -- exquisite in the beauty of your writing, agony because we empathize with your pain.

I hope and pray it is possible someday for you to fully exercise your remarkable gift with at least a lessening of your pain.

susan said...

Larry, you seemed to hit the nail right on the head with Objectivism.

As a follower of your work, I am elated by your comments. I am glad you liked this piece.

It's easy to write from the heart sometimes. It's grammar I have a hard time with!

Polar Bear said...

I don't imagine cutting the cord is all that hard for some people. I guess it really depends on a person's relationship with their mom.

For me, I will never find any of the childish works I made as a kid. I do remember making some of them, but they were valueless in my mother's eyes. I reckon she just threw them all out as "junk" even while she was collecting old newspapers and had drawers full of paper bags or plastic bags which she just couldn't throw away.

For me, I wish she'd kicked me out of the nest becuase at least then I wouldn't be the emotional cripple I am today.

jessi said...

Very touching.

"I need to find my I. I need to be incharge of my life again, captain of my destiny."

Cheering you on. Just remember sometimes we are simply NOT in charge of our lives. We can still be in touch with our I, our core though.

sending you love,


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