“No, we have to wipe it off!”
“Yes. We’ve gotta. If she dies, Dad won’t keep all four of us!”
We’ll wind up with our legal guardians! You know what THEY’RE like. You don’t wanna live with THEM, do you?”
The four of us kids are down-cellar, having second thoughts about the butter we’ve smeared on the top step leading down from the kitchen. We’ve spread it there in order to cause our mom to slip and break her neck.
I don’t know how old we all were–we are each two years apart–but somewhere young enough that we all assumed death would be the only possible outcome, and old enough that at least some of us knew what “legal guardians” meant.
When my sister’s Meg’s therapist told her that our emotional lives in that house were identical to those of the children living in the European death-camps, I had a visceral reaction of disgust–at her therapist, for his gross and inappropriate comment. I repeated it to my own therapist, who, to my great astonishment, agreed one-hundred percent.
None of we four children remember my mom, an upper-middle-class college graduate, ever reading to us. I taught myself to read.
She didn’t ever cuddle us, or hug us (with one exception). While she did, sometimes, kiss us goodnight on the cheek before we went up to bed, as far as any of us can recall she never once tucked us in to sleep, or talked to us about our day.
That doesn’t sound so bad.
Part 1 of a 7-part series that will be posted daily. Following that, the focus will shift away from my mommy issues.
Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 2