3:00 P.M. my time – and I am done. I did it. 500,000 words I ‘inherited’ from my mother — which does include some words written by my grandmother, some of my father’s words — but I did it. Seven manuscripts — I just finished ‘working with’ the last word.
How do I feel? What do I think?
Relief. Yes. Last night as I thought about ‘the end’ I would reach today I realized that for whatever reason — I am completing a job that I believe I was entrusted with.
I think I would feel differently – in ways I cannot name – if I didn’t know that Mother Mildred did, indeed, not only write so many of these words but also found a way to keep them, because she hoped to publish a book.
What is it about me, I ask myself — that in spite of the 18 years of hellish abuse that woman did to me that I would accept such a ‘trust’ to publish her words? Is it that I comprehend on levels I cannot name how devastating to Mildred – and thus to me – to all of her 6 children – and even to her husband – this mental illness of Borderline Personality Disorder with its psychosis was? That I understand that her BPD mental illness prevented her from obtaining her own goal of writing and publishing?
That I would do ‘this’ for her?
Or is it that I do this for myself? For both of us? Can a person do something ‘for’ a person who is dead?
I ask for blessings to come from the publication of her words – not only for me and my family – but blessings to many – that I hope there is goodness that can come from this elucidation of BPD that Mildred’s own words provides.
This mysterious disorder! This so-devastating to so many disorder! This so not understood, misunderstood disorder!
I find myself now craving other people’s informed assessment of “Mildred in Her Own Words.”
I thought I would be able to write a conclusion after I finished working with the last of these letters in volume #7 – which for now I have simply titled, “Fading Away.” Perhaps it is a sign of my successful completion of my task, fulfillment of my trust — that I had not one single WORD I wanted to say at the end of this final book of this series. Maybe I will feel better after a little distance from the work – maybe something will appear that I want to say – but not now. So NOT NOW!!!
My success — a parting of the waters? A parting of the ways between Mother and myself? Did I accomplish one of my great hopes — that through this work I could completely separate — finally — myself from my so abusive mother?
Have I set myself free, as I hoped I would through this work? So that I can next – if I CHOOSE TO — tear to smithereens her disorder as I see it operating in her words — to tell the rest of this story — ??
My main overriding thought at this new point of ‘being done’ – is that Mildred’s life needs to be assessed sociologically way before it would be appropriate to tear it apart psychologically.
I am thinking that there are probably some very important reasons that are mostly overlooked – perhaps – about why BPD seems to be such a FEMALE disorder for the most part.
What kinds of influences operated on my mother — through her mother — through her grandmother — through her society — that impacted to the negative so much of how Mildred was able to see herself in the world?
She was TRAPPED — and how many women not mentally ill still know exactly what that state IS? What limitations do we place on women in our culture – that seem so invisible – yet which can be so destructive to talent, to fulfillment of real and true deepest wishes in a woman’s life?
I do believe Mildred hated and abused ME because of her sickness – the same sickness that prevented her from ever publishing her writings — and strangely, the same sickness that both drove her to Alaska and up a mountain to homestead at the same time it drove her down off the mountain — again and again and again.
As I clear my thinking at the moment writing here — which is a very good thing for me to do right now!! — I realize it was the ‘over and over and over and over again’ nature of what appears throughout Mildred’s entire 7 volumes that troubles me so much. There WERE no SOLUTIONS!!
Only problems, her inwardly connected problems — that found themselves mirrored in the repeated patterns of the trauma drama of her life.
Is that perhaps the biggest damage that BPD mental illness – at least as it appeared with a psychosis in Mildred — did to Mother?
Yet how many women – and I would include MEN – are sociologically trapped and confined within the boundaries, the borderlines of what is acceptable and therefore most properly POSSIBLE for lives within our culture?
Does how a culture defines what is acceptable then equally CONFINE people so that true solutions cannot be found to problems — within a person and without — that all of us are bound to encounter in our lives?
No. Wait. A child of a safe and secure attachment relationship with its mother from birth, within a healthy family, would NOT have faced the same problems that Mildred did.
Or – would they? Was it more HOW Mildred was limited by her illness and by her insecure attachment disorder in her ability to solve problems that nearly everyone faces — even such basic ones as, “What do I want to BE when I grow up? What do I want to do with my life? What do I need?” — that can be seen most clearly in her story contained in the 7 volumes of her writings that matters most?
In some important way today I have done two things: (1) I have ordered and organized Mildred’s life story narrative better than she could ever do in her lifetime and, (2) I have set her story free.
Again I mention that it is the inability of an adult to tell a coherent narrative of their life that is the #1 presenting symptom of unsafe and insecure attachment PRIMARILY WITH ONE’S MOTHER during the first year of life.
That Mildred’s narrative as it is now put together in these volumes tells at best only HALF of the truth about Mildred leaves me with a second related – but primarily completely separate job I intend to take on next. I KNOW Mildred was severely and psychotically abusive to me. I KNOW she suffered from a severe mental illness – Borderline Personality Disorder.
Mildred did not KNOW these things. She could not so she did not. But for now I rest my case in the case study of Mildred exactly as she presents it in her own words. It is my hope to tell the other half of Mildred’s story next — both of her abuse and of her illness.
As I do this I understand that the stories I am presenting are WOMEN’S stories.
Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »