September 30, 2012
To my dear siblings:
Hello with love to each of you. I am writing this morning regarding my plans to epublish Mother’s writings this winter with a print-on-demand option. If I were to choose a title today it would be, “The Demise of Mildred: A Profile of My Severely Abusive Mother.”
Due to the massive bulk of the material I have transcribed and because of the complexity of this epic tale I anticipate a minimum of two volumes will be needed. One volume will obviously be devoted to Mother’s Alaskan experiences as she described them in her diaries and letters to her mother. The other volume will contain what exists of her childhood stories, her age-19 diary, short pieces written by her mother, and my memories of the stories Mother often repeated of her childhood, as well as whatever is provided to me about the circumstances of her life and mental illness as she approached the end of her life.
I welcome any writings in the form of support from my siblings for the legitimacy of this writing work. I don’t believe that emotional forays into the past are necessary, although such would certainly be included if written.
I am especially in need of information about what happened in the family after I left home October 3, 1969. Thanks to the detailed telephone interviews that Jo Ann V. has so generously provided I do have access to some of this information from her point of view. I also have a series of memories and observations that Dorothy P. has provided, as well.
I need the dates of Mother and Father’s separation and the history of their divorce. A description as anyone would care to provide about continued patterns of interactions with Mother up unto her death would also be useful, as would a description of what is known about the conditions Mother created for herself as she neared the end of her life.
Ramona has offered to do the final professional editing of these books. Any editing she suggests of whatever you write will, of course, be sent to you at that time for your approval.
My suggestion would be that any of you who care to respond to this request simply open an email to me — and write. Please trust that whatever comes to you while doing so is exactly what needs to be said. I have learned over the many years now that I have been working on my ‘story project’ that I can absolutely trust the words that appear while I am in the mode of addressing this vast topic of what happened to Mother to make her do what she did to me.
It is my intention to include in these initial publications as little of my personal assessments and observations about my personal story as I possibly can. I have — almost mysteriously so — the greatest compassion for our Mother. I hope to describe in these volumes what happened to her early in her life to turn her into the very sick monster she became. At this point I believe I know very, very clearly how Mother’s earliest experiences conspired in a very particular way to contribute to the very particular patterns of her severe abuse of me. I wish to reserve my expression of this information for inclusion in my own telling of my own story.
I desire that every single possible detail about Mother be printed before I publish my own writings. This will free me from every having to answer a single question from readers about the contributions of Mother’s past to my story. Mother could not identify during her entire lifespan that I was actually a human person separate from her, separate from her madness. It is therefore an essential part of my being able to tell my own story freely that I — NOW — delineate myself clearly from her.
Steve, I thank you for the writings you have already provided to me. Any further detailed specifics about the time-line history of events post 1969 would be very helpful.
I also want to mention here for general knowledge that I would prefer that Mother’s brother be dead before I publish anything. From what I can tell he is just as likely to outlive me as not. I have very strong suspicions about what happened to him in his earliest months and years of life (and afterwards) that created in him a pattern of abusing his sister. How much of this part of the story I will be able to write remains at this moment a great unknown to me. I welcome any insights from anyone. Ideally I would be able to contact him for his ‘side of the story’, but such contact does not appear remotely wise.
Which reminds me — Dave, I would very much appreciate receiving from you an email attachment of the photographs you were able to take of Mother’s houses she lived in growing up in Boston, along with their addresses.
I remain stifled in my publishing efforts by the inadequacies of my computer and software. I have currently no possible way to repair photographs of the homesteading era. If push should come to shove, I will publish the pictures as they exist, flaws and all. This is certainly an overall epistle of ‘flawed’ if ever there was one. (A mention: I have sorted the ‘family slide collection’, keeping about one-third of them. The remainder are in Sharon’s safe keeping.)
Because I know you all have very full and busy lives I will not be making this request again. If you have questions, please email me! I thank you all!
With great love, your big sis Linda
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