(Written in November 2008)
Thinking about Liv Whitelaw the Outlaw, in Elizabeth George’s Playing for the Ashes, and her anger and pain and her need to feel powerful and her self-destructiveness, and wondering if that arose in reaction to a mother who was a do-gooder, who “always knew best.” Also how that mother destroyed the young man that she loved by knowing what was “best” for him. And reading about the children in the Montessori School who expressed their anger by running around the room knocking over other children’s projects. This kind of angry energy is awake in me, I think partly in response to seeing that belief that if my doing something for myself results in disappointment or discomfort for someone else, then I am bad and worthless and rotten and ought to be dead. I’m furious that mother’s selfish, narcissistic behavior resulted in the infant that I was taking on that belief. I’m angry because I don’t see what I can do about it. Who would you be without that belief? I can’t imagine. And when Karen said things that contradicted that belief I could feel in my body how deeply I didn’t believe her.
It’s almost as though that angry one, who is willing to put my feelings and needs first, has taken over my life. The older sister, the co-dependent, the one who’s trying to be good enough to prove that she deserves to live — they’ve all retreated into the background. I don’t know what to make of it. I feel a little judgemental of myself just enough to bring up discomfort and resentment, but not enough to trigger another episode of terror or despair.