from my journal for July 13, 1992
More realizations have crystallized out of my experience of V last week. One is how the narcissist is hollow, all surface, for all the self involvement, there isn’t any “self” there. I went back and read the episode with V after Fiona’s death and that reminded me again that the cruelty is unconscious, the result of a powerful intuition combined with no awareness of unconscious process and a conviction of one’s “niceness” that leaves no room for questioning one’s behavior. That made me think again that mother’s cruelty is probably the same sort of thing. or else a defense of her drinking. I just typed up the part from last year where I said that it really hurt me to be with her when she’s drinking and she said “well then you’ll just have to hurt for a long time won’t you” in such a cruel way. I thought at the time that I would hurt until the day she dies, but now I see that I’ve cut off from her so completely that that particular pain is not there any more. I’m no longer trying to connect with her, my concern is how to protect myself from her. The irony is that now I would be able to go out on the porch and “talk” to her (what she wanted last year that I refused to do that set off her cruelty) because I have now found the safe way to do it: volunteer nothing at all. She called Saturday night from Cincinnati because the electricity was off, I’m sure she was hoping for some entertainment. All I said was “yes”, “no”, and “nothing new — we walk the dog, we water the garden.” If she feels it as sad and impoverished, she has no skills for dealing with it —— ah! but perhaps she sees me as sad and impoverished, not the conversation — oh, freedom! safe under my cloak of invisibility. No, mom, my life is not “exciting”, it never was exciting enough for you, though I tried so hard to make it sound exciting (now I understand why I was so put off by mom talking about her birthday “I want to go some place that excites me”). I suppose you could call “Journey into Courage” and Neskaya exciting, but I choose not to tell mother about them. But I’m not really interested in excitement any more, I don’t know that I ever was, I think all the “excitement” in my life came out of the search for truth. And the real depth and richness of my life is not something that mother is capable of perceiving.
For Fiona’s death, see post for December 8