henri rousseau, the sleeping gypsy
Have I ever been in a mood. Go to sleep in a mood. Wake up in a mood. The subject of mother's belief in her absolute control of my thoughts and beliefs swirls in my mind. She has never had control over any of these. My thoughts and beliefs have been my own since first grade. Neither parent ever wanted to hear anything I thought. I was there to be told what to think. As I look back at the experience, I was there to be told, period. I've been avoiding going there, because I hated my childhood from ages 5 to 18. When I say hated, I don't mean disliked, would have preferred it another way. I mean I hated it. I hated it wth all the power the word hate carries. A child crying himself to sleep every night with face in pillow to muffle loud bawling is not a happy child. I've been avoiding going here, but something is stirring within. Big stirring. I think I've had my buttons pushed. Mother's eruption from finding out she does not control my mind and hever has controlled my mind, is blamed on me, of course. This is where she learns she never will control my mind. I've never wanted to address these issues with mother, because of that thing I found in psychotherapy of mommy and daddy putting the responsibility for their happiness on the child who was hit and berated every day. I think I made them happy being somebody legal they could take their frustrations with each other out on, defenseless in the absolute, a target.
One night at age 14, I got with myself when I started crying, "You will never cry one more tear over him or her for the rest of your life, no matter what." And it worked out that way. The only reason I went to his funeral was to see him dead. The oppressor of the defenseless. It didn't even give me satisfaction. I didn't want to see him at all, dead or alive. Don't think I forgot to wrestle with Bible sez
in my mind. Bible sez honor thy father and mother. Honor them even though they hit you every day, berated you multiple times a day, tell you you're stupid and nobody wants you around, orphanage looming in the background, the threat. Like in China they'd say, "If you're not good your mother will sell you." Perhaps 20 years ago I read Swiss psychologist Alice Miller's book FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. Yes, that's the justification for hitting kids: for your own good. What parents taught me was it was not for my own good at all, but for the good of the ones doing the hitting. It gave a sense of being right, an adrenaline rush, perhaps was even a surrogate for ejaculation, as he didn't get a whole lot, maybe once a month. He was losing his mind from sexual frustration. She knew it. She kept him there. Control.
As I'm writing this, I'm reminding myself that when someone hears of parent-child problems, it is ALWAYS the child's fault. Every time. He won't behave. He won't mind. He doesn't pay any more attention to me than the man in the moon. He's her kid, she can kill him if she wants to. The Bible does not say anywhere: honor thy children. Only thy parents rate honoring. This is another problem I have with Christendom, that children have no rights. They have the right to turn their backs to their oppressors and run away. I wasn't brave enough to run away, because I would not turn back. It had to be all or nothing. My grandfather's brother, Sam Worthington, was beat by his dad, my great grandfather John, with a chain in the barn when he was 16. Sam staggered out to the road, walked down the road and they never seen nor heared of Sam again. I say Go-Sam-Go, don't look back. When I left parents' house, in my heart I never wanted to see any of them again. I wanted to go to either one of the coasts, as far as land allows, get away from my lifelong enemies and start fresh. Daddy told me it was a "cold, hard world out there." I've never found "cold, hard" out here in the world anything like living with them. Not anything near. Only Gitmo is close. It's been an easy life without them. It's been a life of healing without them. In fact, so much I call good has come with the healing process, I'm almost grateful to them for alienating me. The process of healing characterizes my adult life.
Out here in the world I at least have "home" to go to. When I lived with them, I had no home. It was my friends I went to for comfort, not home. Home was the problem. Home was the only part of my life I didn't like. I loved school because the teachers were rational people who did not have the hornet nest of insanity buzzing in their minds. I questioned God a million (literally) times why I was given to such people as I woke up a baby finding myself among. If I wake up as their baby next time, I'm committing SIDS. If next time, I have parents like them, I will force upon myself the courage to run away and never return. Big cities have their subcultures of runaway kids that band together. Of course, they get blamed for making mommy and daddy worry so much. Ever thought about how much mommy and daddy made the kid worry for the kid to jump off into the unknown to get away from them? Ever think about what it does to a kid where guilt is concerned to seriously contemplate killing his daddy for survival? Night after night, face in pillow crying. I tell myself the reason I didn't do it was I couldn't find a way to get away with it. I wasn't going to prison over him. He's not worth a tear, and certainly not a prison sentence. I regarded my life with them a karmic prison sentence. It was like God telling me: You were born in sin; you need to start this lifetime in prison.
I learned never to tell them what I thought or felt, primarily because at every minute it was rage at them. Walking home from school, I knew I'd be hit before and/or after supper. I recall times with an elderly neighbor woman I liked in childhood, the same age as my grandmother, my only comfort. She talked to me like I was a person. One day during summer I saw and spoke to Mrs Thornhill, who was outside pulling weeds among her flowers. We talked. She invited me in. We sat and talked a long time over oreos and milk. I felt like we had a great time. She was so comfortable that I unburdened about my life in the church wing of the insane asylum. She listened. Strange. Nobody wanted to hear what I had to say. She listened. I talked. My first psychotherapist. She even seemed to understand. It felt good having someone who understood. Next day all hell broke loose like an American land mine, the kind made specifically for children, to blow them to shit. Evidently, she talked with mommy about what the kid was going thru. Mommy, of course, told her I was lying, like a good Baptist. I was informed that what I committed was Talking-About-Us-Behind-Our-Backs. A felony. A crack in the shield around their failure as human beings. I was never to speak to that old woman again.
These are the reasons I dread loss of short-term memory to be replaced by long-term memory. I don't want to lie in bed at night remembering crying from the soul, all the way that deep, way down there where it really hurts, where you're so lonesome you don't have anybody, not even God or an imaginary friend for comfort. I was talking with my friend Justin yesterday, and mentioned that since I brought up the issue that I don't obey the thought police, the shit's about to fly. I told him that if I refuse to take her orders on getting saved (again) and submitting to her collar and leash, she has the capacity to disown me, to tell me she has no son. She can do that. She doesn't care all that much about me as who I am. She cares for an idea: her son. He looked at me with big eyes and said, "Really." I smiled and said, "Really." Now that she knows I am disobedient and secretly always have been, unrepentant about it and will go on as such, it's up to her what happens. I'm feeling the anger from back then. It's considerable. I'm having to edit myself closely not to go too far. I don't want to go into exaggeration. Don't need to. Anything I say about living in the house among them sounds like exaggeration. To put exaggeration on top of it would be automatic overkill. That's how she got away with telling people I was lying. What I said sounded like exaggeration. Nobody could believe it.
In high school years I customized model cars with an artist's passion. A hobby shop was a short bicycle ride away. The guy working the place lived in a wheel chair and wasn't very old, maybe 20s or 30s, as it seemed to a 17 yr old. After we knew each other awhile, I was a good customer, one day I was in an especially depressed state, he asked what was up, I told him shit that was going on at home. A day or two later I'm informed by daddy, again with much drama, I'd committed the felony of Talking-About-Us-Behind-Our-Backs. I went to my room and packed all my model cars, the assorted parts I'd kept, tools, everything involved with making model cars. Next day I took the box to the hobby shop, left it with him, turned and went out the door. Didn't say a word. Couldn't speak without breaking the dam holding back the rage I was feeling toward him. Never saw him again. Never messed with model cars again. I do not like these memories. I don't like long-term memory. It takes me back to my time in the desert of feeling mid the cacti of anger. I've spent my entire life healing from the years subject to their neurotic whims. It wasn't until I fell in with Meher Baba at age 33 that the healing began in earnest. My spiritual path has largely been about healing the cripple within. And not by parroting preachers. By this time in my life, I can honestly say without hesitation that I am no longer a cripple. I've made it. By age 70 I can stand as who I am before anyone, unafraid. Thanks to the people of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where who you are is what matters most, the inspiration of my adult years.