Skip to main content

Interacting with your mother, once outside the nest (21 April 2009)


Good on you for having the strength to move 9000 kms away. Says that you got enough nurturance from her to surrect sufficient self-respect, self-will, to do what you had to do to become independent. My mom had/has all kinds of psychosomatic stuff she tries to use as a tool to manage the rest of us, extend her control OVER us -- a change in tactics, now that adulthood has brought with it a change in terms. It means she feels empowered and in control, but also kind of lonely: it gives birth to passive-aggressive but very real anger, in those that end up tending to her. I saw what was happening, and have none of it. I let her know that, one, I won't be bullied, and two, that the kind of relationship she most wants -- one of real respect, substantial love, is available to her, but only if we interact on wholly different terms than we did during my teen years. It kind of works. This said, I'm moving across the country, possibly in part, because I sense that, like you, I will feel more independent, empowered, to pursue my own interests (I got my first girlfriend, after-all, only when I first moved cities, when I went to college) when a continent divides us. Saw her last week. It was a good meet-up, a lot of mutual tending to and respect. But she still ended by directing me as to how I could attend to her better. I told her I would listen to her requests, but also that the bulk of my adolescence seemed all about attending to and appeasing her moods, adjusting to her career needs, so I wouldn't be right-ready to do so. There is still in me some fear that if I make ANY adjustments, I might just give-up the ship. Wish this wasn't the case, but it is.

Obviously I hope you see yourself as valuable enough that you can end up managing your guilt. My mom left her parents behind when she moved from Australia to Canada, and I don't think she ever stopped feeling guilty for doing this, of feeling the need to convince herself it was a move born of necessity, rather than of dreams. But with this move came her enfranchisement, and good on her for refusing to allow the chance of a lifetime to slip away.

Finally, don't under-estimate the changes that can accrue when someone finally realizes there is NO chance you'll capitulate. When I found the strength to live my own life, my mom became more willing to venture outside her comfort zones. And with this came some sense that the best in our relationship is yet to come. Be better than nice, spawn more than hope, but, regardless, I'm onto my own life.

- - - - -


re: When I see her by Skype, I feel like crying when I see how physically deteriorated she is.

Deadly. Can totally relate.

One thing about going back home for awhile is that it can at least confirm that the "problem" lies there. Remember reading stories about soldiers turning home from war, and thinking of how, when they were described as being so unable to get the war out of them and fit back in, that there was far more wish in this than there was a hint of reality: sorry, no soldier's experience can displace the power in the nursery. Maybe it is possible to go back home and remain empowered, but this may take more than a ready willingness/ability to offend (I'm thinking Rachel Getting Married right now), distance oneself from others' sensitivities: it may require seeing yourself as advance guard of some much larger, up-and-coming social movement: You're the Michael Stivik to the rest of the family's, Archie Bunker.

Thanks for the well wishing : )

Link: Hot Cougar Sex (Salon)


Popular posts from this blog

Too late -- WE SAW your boobs

I think we're mostly familiar with ceremonies where we do anointing. Certainly, if we can imagine a context where humiliation would prove most devastating it'd probably be at a ceremony where someone thought themselves due an honor -- "Carrie," "Good Fellas." "We labored long to adore you, only so to prime your hope, your exposure … and then rather than a ladder up we descended the slops, and hoped, being smitten, you'd judged yourself worthless protoplasm -- a nothing, for letting yourselves hope you might actually be something -- due to be chuted into Hades or Hell." Ostensibly, nothing of the sort occurred during Oscars 2013, where the host, Seth Macfarlane, did a number featuring all the gorgeous Oscar-winning actresses in attendance who sometime in their careers went topless, and pointed this out to them. And it didn't -- not quite. Macarlane would claim that all obscenity would be directed back at him, for being the geek so pathetic …

Discussion over the fate of Jolenta, at the Gene Wolfe facebook appreciation site

Patrick McEvoy-Halston November 28 at 10:36 AM Why does Severian make almost no effort to develop sustained empathy for Jolenta -- no interest in her roots, what made her who she was -- even as she features so much in the first part of the narrative? Her fate at the end is one sustained gross happenstance after another... Severian has repeated sex with her while she lay half drugged, an act he argues later he imagines she wanted -- even as he admits it could appear to some, bald "rape" -- but which certainly followed his discussion of her as someone whom he could hate so much it invited his desire to destroy her; Severian abandons her to Dr. Talus, who had threatened to kill her if she insisted on clinging to him; Baldanders robs her of her money; she's sucked at by blood bats, and, finally, left at death revealed discombobulated of all beauty... a hunk of junk, like that the Saltus citizens keep heaped away from their village for it ruining their preferred sense of themse…

It might not have been worth it, Lupita

This is how Lupita Nhyong'o describes the shooting of the whipping scene in "12 Years a Slave":  And being there was more then enough to handle. "The reality of the day was that I was stripped naked in front of lots of people," Nyong'o said. "It was impossible to make that a closed set. In fact, I didn't even as for it to be a closed set, because at the end of the day, that was a privilege not granted to Patsey, you know? It really took me there. It was devastating to experiencing that, and to be tied to a post and whipped. Of course, I couldn't possible be really whipped. But just hearing the crack of that thing behind me, and having to react with my body, and with each whip, get weaker and weaker …" She grew quiet, and sighed. "I mean, it was -- I didn't practice it. It was just -- it was an exercise of imagination and surrender." Lupita was trying to become as close as she could to the actual Patsey, out of fidelity, apprec…