The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.
Come to rest…finally.News, Psychology, Psychotherapy March 29, 2014 - 9:14 am No Comment
I offer my vulnerability as a guide towards the courage of exploring your own.
I lost my mother to her madness before I was born, I lost the musky scent of her warm body when I was 9…I lost her permenantly this month.
Her mind had broken while experimenting with LSD on a distant balmy beach in the late 60’s. She became Bodicea- shield maiden, Kali-devouring dark mother, seer, telepath, crazy wild eyed shapeshifter. Her mind continually moved like shadows under fast moving cloud.
I have loyally guarded my precious little velvet bag of memories of our time together, the deeply satisfying gouda toasted sandwiches, our sword fights which she would always let me win, her jagged loving hugs.
But there are also darker images, playing hide and seek…with her disappearing for hours, sometimes days while I became increasingly frantic. The neighbors feeding me Horlicks while they stole worried glances.
And others which I will always keep unspoken.
Eventually my grandparents intervened and I went to live with them in the distant reaches of the upper middle class- going to the ‘right’ schools encouraged to get the ‘right’ marks and make the ‘right’ friends. I dutifully performed, not wanting to risk another expulsion from loving attachment. My mother faded reluctantly, uncomfortably from my heart, whenever my head turned towards the confusing, textured memory of her, it was gently, but firmly guided towards my promising future.
I had not seen nor heard from her in over a decade. I’d often stared at a thinning, faded photo of her over the years, trying to keep a feeling image of her somewhere safe in me, but it always disintegrated like gossamer thread.
When I heard that she had passed away I was unsure of what I felt, so many conflicting emotions struggled for primacy.
A deep, overwhelming sadness for the traumatic, confusing life she experienced, for how her fierce struggle against sanity had alienated everyone, including me.
Guilt, for not having wrestled her madness out of her (even though I know how impossible this would’ve been).
Understanding how the primal parental wound is the unconscious master we all serve on some level, paying homage to it in-one way or another.
How I have sought a reflection of her in my lovers eyes, impotently, agonizingly trying to repair her through them.
And relief, that I finally know her fate and that her suffering has come to an end.
A close friend told me that my mother would’ve been proud of me.
I choose to believe it true.