From Mother’s letter to Father with my comments — the italicized words were Mother’s — from chapter 27 of ‘Angel’
July 7, 1957 Sunday night
I was hoping I could tie up our shots here tomorrow but Cindy still cannot have hers. She’s well (or better) one day and sick the next. Now she has developed a very bad glandular condition. On the same order as Linda’s (supposed mumps) only much worse! The big difference is with Cindy. She never complains and is such a good girl! Linda would have fussed all over the place.
Tones of my wretched witch mother here! My “supposed mumps?” What? As if I invented my “supposed mumps?” Who told her I had “supposed mumps?” At five years old I sure doubt that I did! Oh, God’s child “never complains and is such a good girl.” And Me? What a NASTY sentence, but I am glad those words exist in this letter. This was the voice of my hate-filled mentally ill psychotic mother: “Linda would have fussed all over the place.”
Evil, awful, bad “devil’s child” me who could not even get being sick right. This is Mildred hating me for Cindy being sick “only much worse” than I had been. “The big difference with Cindy” – was that Mildred’s psychotic mind had broken in half creating evil child me, and then had broken a third time (as I mentioned earlier) to create an entirely new branch of her psychosis regarding perfect Cynthia.
This is a tiny example of how the broken hope and broken shame worked in real life. I had no way of knowing how doomed I was. I could not know how impossible it was for me to ever BE right, ever be “good.” Did I ever think about wanting to be loved, wanting to be adored as my sister was, as all of my other siblings were? No. I did not. There was never an opening for me to enter THAT world, most certainly never even in my thoughts. Not once.
Not one single time in the entire 18 years I spent in Mildred’s hell was I ever given any chance of gaining a perspective that NOTHING was WRONG with me, that what was wrong was that Mother was terribly, terribly mentally ill. Were my circumstances any less dire because I DID NOT know? I strongly suspect that my complete innocence ended up saving me.
I was not spared suffering by my not having a solitary clue how wrong, how unfair, how insane, how evil what happened to me was. I was spared any mental conflict; the kind of conflict that I believe broke my mother’s child mind. I could not try to understand what was not possible to understand. I did not try to answer questions I did not even have enough information available to me to ask. I had never known anything different. This was my reality. That was that. There were NO alternatives.
I certainly do not blame my sister for any part of this. She was barely four years old at this time. But I can still feel Mildred’s poisoned knife twisting inside of me because I was fundamentally programmed from birth to believe I was as hopelessly evil as Mother said I was.
I will never know in this world how I continually felt hearing these kinds of mind-control words that divided me and my world apart from the world everyone else lived within. How can a child be so despised and hated? How did I survive?
All of us heard these repeated patterns thousands and THOUSANDS of times! Darling Cindy. Adored Cindy. Angel Cindy. Cindy my parents’ love child. And I couldn’t even get something as simple as being sick right. (I am hoping that Cindy will agree to write for these books. So far she has not said yay or nay to my repeating requests. I understand.)
Today we decided to go out to breakfast for a change and Cindy said she wasn’t hungry. (She seldom is anymore.) She looked listless and just not well. I felt her and she was truly burning up – but it was another ‘scorcher’ of a day!! But I felt the others and they were not as hot to the touch and I knew Cindy’s heat was not all due to the weather. She wouldn’t eat so I ordered her some peaches, which she enjoyed.
I felt her glands and her left one under her ear was the size of a small egg! Brought her right home and took her temperature = 104°. This afternoon I brought her to Hankins Medical Group in Azusa. The doctor gave her a very thorough exam and said it’s a bad cold (or virus) which has settled in her glands. They gave her a shot and she’s to have two more for the next two days.
Poor darling Cindy! She never even winces – how I love and adore that child of ours! She’s such an angel – I die when she’s sick. I gave her some birthday presents and she was better tonight –. Oh, Bill the other day All On Her Own she made the sweetest picture, which I’ll send you, of you. It is when we got married, holding hands. She did us very well, even – hands, arms feet etc. The thought was so sweet – she’s our “own love child.”
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