Mother and Denial

I’ve been doing a lot of writings on specific subjects.  I’d like to start turning them into blog posts.  I’ve got quite a lot about my mother.  Still struggling with not being able to forgive her.  I’ve forgiven her for traumatizing me, I know it was not her intention.  I remember once I said/wrote I couldn’t forgive her for having such a shallow life.  I think of what Elizabeth Goudge wrote of Mr. Hepplewhite: his sudden understanding that his climb for money and power was not worth the effort, that he had had many moments of seeing that, but had ruthlessly crushed them.  He was angry at a culture that hadn’t shown him anything better to strive for, and angry at the better way to be that spoke in such a quiet voice.

“Mr. Hepplewhite was in the grip of rage. … For the first time in his life he had seen with vividness a world that had gone, the craftsman’s world…  Had he lived in this place a hundred years ago he would not have sat here now, one of the richest and most successful men in the country yet facing defeat like the crashing of ice floes about him, and sickened of the whole business.  It was not his fault.  If he had make himself what he was he’d not made the so-called civilization that had not offered him, as far as he had been able to see, any ladder to climb other than the one he did climb. …

“… now his rage was spent he did somehow feel guilty.  He remembered that evening in the library when he had wanted to destroy the letters.  Something had occurred then.  There had been some occurrence in a timeless dimension, a voice or movement neither heard nor seen.  … he did know that he had deliberately chosen to be deaf and blind.  And not for the first time.  All his life he had been forever stabbing something out as one extinguished the glowing end of a cigarette…

“The thing, whatever it was, had no right to demand this watchfulness.  If it had anything to communicate then let it blaze and thunder the news across the heavens for all men to see and hear.”                 p279-81  The Scent of Water

As a description of denial, of the actual working of the psyche, this is pretty amazing.  I wonder if this is what alcoholics go through, momentary flashes that alcohol is wrecking their lives, yet stabbing it out over and over again.  I see that mother must have done to death that better perception of what was really going on.

Another quote from Elizabeth Goudge: “She had not willed cruelty, but she had willed self-deception.”  I think this is absolutely true of Mother.

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