Destiny has evidently arranged that the planned editing of this book is going to happen during the first week of June as I am being treated to a visit with my youngest brother in Alaska. We will spend the bulk of the visit somewhere out aboard his boat! I have spent time these last 48 hours making sure the collection of past notes intended for my daughter to have as she edits are all in line for her where she can find them. It looks like this brilliant capable daughter of mine will spare me the agony of having to do anything more on that book before it is published. I will not be available for questions during the days she will have available for editing.
However, I know from comments my daughter made months ago when she read the manuscript that my final chapter of this book does not sit well with her AT ALL. I refuse to have a single word of it changed. I have finally decided that a brief epilogue might take care of ‘this problem’. If my daughter questions that final chapter – really, the final WORD of the book – many other readers are likely to have the same response.
This is my compromise for Story Without Words:
Epilogue: Being Mother’s hope
Boiling down all the trauma of the first 18 years of my life to my mother’s desperate need to carve out a kind of hope for herself that she could hold onto by brutalizing me can make little sense to an ordinary mind. Mother did not have an ordinary mind. She had a desperate one.
Because she felt from her earliest life that love would only come to her when she was perfect the obvious solution was to become exactly that – perfect. I was therefore born into Mother’s life to be all that was not perfect in her. This was an inviolable arrangement that could not be tampered with or changed in any way. As long as I was alive to stay all-bad Mother could be all-good which ensured that her hope for love would remain alive within the dynamics operating between us.
Mother never wavered in her need for love nor did she waver in how her mind had determined that it could be made available to her in unending supply. As long as I remained alive as the personification of all of her badness – and not as a person in my own right – she had only that single need for hope – me. Her mind’s design eliminated all risk that her hope could be disappointed because love could not be withheld or withdrawn from her as long as she could keep me in my (her) place. She had all power. I was imprisoned in her madness from the moment I was born with no chance of escape offered to me.
That I received enough love to be able to retain access to my own self in the midst of Mother’s madness is the miracle of my life. It was the one exception to the fact that all love during the years of my childhood belonged to Mother that allowed me to live. That my brother loved me was a fact in my life. I did not hope for his love. I had it. His love for me was guaranteed and unchangeable.
There had been no such love available to Mother in her earliest life. All she had been left with was the hope that she could find a way to earn love by deserving it. I became that hope so that Mother could find her way to be loved.
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