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Author Topic: Pearls of Wisdom  (Read 1157 times)
helene
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« on: February 27, 2012, 11:44:00 AM »

My Dad was away for most of the first ten years of my life. I didn't know where and nobody told me, least of all my mother. So I was left with her and her pearls of wisdom. She liked to go on drives in the country and there were many fields full of cows, many cows, contentedly grazing on teh fertile, rich green grass that a rain-sodden, mild climate that we lived in. Mother suddenly said to me: "Remember Helene: you are NOT a COW. What is the difference between you and a cow?"  I saw differences all right but knew my answers would all be wrong. So I said nothing and waited. "You have CHOICE and cows do not. Cows are just cows. Look at them out there, eating grass and shitting all day. That's all they do. Is that all YOU do?!" No, I lamely replied while mother laughed.

Another time, when Dad had been away for a long time during another drive with mother she said: "I had a very strange dream last night. Want to know about it? She waited for a few seconds, saw my hesitate, smiled and continued: "Well, I was hungry and entered this Chinese restaurant. The waiter came over. A very ancient Chinese man. A wise man I think." Then my mother laughed a deep, throaty laugh. There were a lot of Chinese food restaurants in our town so I wasn't surprised that my mother had dreamt about one. She continued: "What is your oder?, he asked." Mother burst out laughing again before continuing. "I'll have a large bowl of Hooey Phooey, I said to him. Well! You've never seen such a commotion! Such an upset! They were all jumping up and down, waving their chopsticks in teh air, pointing at me because they didn't know what to do! All I wanted was some Hooey Phooey!" Mother was really laughing at this point while I seriously pondered the details of her dream and I said: "Perhaps Hooey Phooey wasn't on the menu....?" Mother laughed and laughed and agreed with me.


This was what she was like when she was in a good mood. When my mother was in one of her dark moods, or rages, life was a nightmare. As a 'single' parent without my Dad around, she had carte blanche as they say....over her underaged offspring. Anything went. And did.


Thanks again for reading.

Helene
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browneyedgirl
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 01:32:54 PM »

(((((((((((((((((((((helene)))))))))))))))))))))))))))
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Tony Repola 07/20/66 03/29/09
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helene
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 01:59:43 PM »

Things my mother said about my Dad:

"I never loved the man, you know, your father."

"He was no good at all in bed."

"Gawd I miss his MIND! This is such a gawd-awful boring town without him to talk to."

"All those years I accompanied him on the piano he never ONCE asked me if I'd like to do a solo in any of our recitals together. Not once!"

"I remember him hissing at me, right in the middle of a live performance, during some Duparc, Williams, Schubert, Brahms Lied or some such...to 'keep it DOWN - a-la-pianissimo - on my piano! He didn't have a very strong voice you know and he was, shall we say, rather self-conscious about all that."

"Oh, your Dad loved to phone me in the middle of the night, all  lovey-dovy, saying that we 'should get back together' - 'try again' - and 'how much he loved me', while I could hear the ice tinkling in his glass and the slur in his voice."

"There he was, suddenly appearing after the church Easter service while I'd been sweating it out on the g-damned organ for over an hour, his bald-red face, like some kind of giant, ready-to-burst Easter-Egg, appearing there amongst the Lilies, glaring at me over the organ-loft, so angry at me for planning on taking you girls down South to see HIS relatiions without him! Such a lark, he was!"

"I saw all those Playboy magazines he had stashed behind the toilet."

"All he wants to do is to take you girls AWAY from me with that new woman of his!!"  (Sob. Sob.)

"Dear Helene: Thank you for that very fine painting - portrait -  you did of your Dad. Signed: June R." (ie: my mother)


Thank you for reading this too.


Helene
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Terry
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 09:53:58 PM »


Well, she loved his mind and loved the portrait of him!

There is such a fine line (as we all know) between love and hate. Two very strong, overwhelming emotions but very much intertwined. I have to say that for someone to be that angry that there had to be feelings of love, initially because the hurt she felt turned to rage. And, all anger/rage is, is hurt intensified. (just Terry's humble opinion and I hope that's ok)

Sounds like a character to me. Laced with a very charming sense of humor.

Sorry...that's what I heard in those words. Thanks for sharing, Helene!
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"The amount of grief one feels is in direct proportion to the amount of love one felt." From C.S. Lewis in his book A Grief Observed.
helene
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 09:50:49 AM »

Thank you Terry. My Dad was no saint, that's for sure. I am now unfortunately estranged from my mother. She is a very difficult person and so am I as a result, partially, of being 'raised' mainly by her. I'll write more about her later. Your comments are very astute as always, but I need to tell you more about her because - as my Uncle Basil (my mother's older brother) once delicately put it: "June is - ahem - shall we say...NOT like other people." That is what we call the fine art of English Understatement! More later.

Love from,

Helene.
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sevenofwands
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 11:12:12 AM »

Hello Helene:

Just to say I liked reading your letter from your Dad.  And your posts too.

As you say, your Dad was maybe no saint (no one is!), but he loved you and was not a damaging person.  That is what I gather from what you write.

I think it is most inappropriate for a mother to slag off her husband to her daughter , whether a child or grown up at the time.  Wrong to take it out on you.   Perhaps she has anger, hurt, and other issues.  So do other members of the human race, but that does not mean they make life hell for their offspring,  instead of seeking the help they need.


This stands out for me:
You say:

"As a 'single' parent without my Dad around, she had carte blanche as they say....over her underaged offspring. Anything went. And did."

Seven


 
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helene
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 01:48:57 PM »

Thank you Terry and Seven. I really, really appreciate your thoughts and insights.

I will, gradually, tell more about my mother if that is ok. It's complicated - as they say!!

For now I will say four shocking things about my mother - and please realize these statements come from a lifetime of a) living with her and what that did to my 'life', b) seeing what she did to my siblings, d) reading many medical books and then observing her all over again from a much more 'educated eye'.

My mother suffers and causes others (especially those closest to her - including my Dad and Lesley especially) - to suffer.

My mother is ill with a mixture of the following mental disorders: a) Narcissistic Personality Disorder, b) Borderline Personality Disorder, c) is a Nymphomaniac and d) a Sociopath.

I know this sounds harsh but it is not. The pain and destruction of lives that she has caused, especially in her own family but not exclusively limited to that, is hard to believe or accept by those who have never experience being around a person like her. The closest example I can think of is the book Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford, daughter of actress Joan Crawford.

That's it for now. Thank you again for bearing with me in all t his!! I have never, I mean NEVER, had teh chance to tell the account of what happened to me and my family.

Love from Helene.
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helene
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2012, 08:37:12 AM »

Lesley once wrote: "A lullaby to the stunted infant who never received love, caring and proper nurturing, only attack, rejection and coldness. No more am I a catysworm in her Mummy Tomb. I won't step in her door anymore. And mother recalled, will callous fascination and derision, the I was a wrinkled red tomato when I was born. My mother said to me: 'You are in the way. You make me feel lousy. Go away!' She was self-made: permafrost on top.  I felt so alone, cold and painfully cut-off from the Source of Life where I was slowly dying. Inside I was a festering blister cut off from others in this prison." - Written less than one year before Lesley died.

I looked up the word 'catysworm' and apparently it doesn't exist. But I think I know what my mother meant. The closest word I could find is 'katydid', classified as any species of grasshoppers. Mother called Lesley a 'catysworm'. I know because I heard her say it to Lesley more than ocne. Mother used the word 'worm' in her fantastical word 'catysworm' because she was referring to a grub. Mother was fasinated by grubs. She used to talk about how the Australian Aboriginal People loved to eat 'witchetty grubs', large, fat, white, juicy grubs, which both grossed my mother out and titilated her at the same time (a state of being she liked being in). The fact that mother called Lesley a 'catysworm' is very suggestive - comparing her eldest daughter to some kind of grub or larva. Underdevleped and gross. Grubs are not liked in North America. They are leggless, mindless, slimy, ground-crawling, eyeless, grossy fat, wriggling, pale, colorless,  disgusting things. Certainly Lesley knew full well what our mother meant.

Mother also called Lesley 'the runt of the litter' and 'pink fog'.  Mother was criticized by her first husband and then by her seocond for never holding or touching or cuddling with her children. Trying to hug her was like trying to hug a board - totally stiff. My mother's first husband, Kenneth, the father of Lesley and Daniel, had a complete nervous breakdown when my mother had an affair with my Dad and had to be institutionalized for some time.

Thanks again for reading this.

Love from Helene.
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browneyedgirl
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« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 09:23:09 AM »

(((((((((helene)))))))))))  ((((((((((((((Lesley)))))))))))))))))

I am speechless, Helene.  Speechless...I am sorry.  Lots of love...I am so sorry that you and Lesley had to go through that.
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Tony Repola 07/20/66 03/29/09
I know you are fishing in the oceans and streams of heaven
helene
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« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2012, 02:00:29 PM »

Thank you Pam. I really mean that! Here's a dream I had the other night about my mother. I call it 'MOTHER ART'.

I dreamt about my mother last night. She came into my room at night and sat on my bed saying in a queit, purring voice softly spinning endless layers of silk around my psyche: "I am a painter now. I made a mistake choosing a life as a pianist." this, while I stare at the creature who no longer resembles my mother any more than a Tyannosaurus Rex resembles a snake.  She continues: "I would like to paint your portrait. Here is a preliminary sketch I did of you." Looking at the pencil drawing she carefully places before me, I see no resemblance to my self although it is skillfully executed. Mother offers to show me her gallery so at the appointed time I enter her hidden chamber, seeing, for the first time, what this 89 year old woman now does instead of piano!  The light is dim with the paintings lit up in a glowing, amber light. I am amazed. These are good. I think. Very good.
Landscapes, scenes showing her at the piano on stage, at radio studios, on the organ, at the ballet, the opera, the various School of Fine Arts, at the University's Music Department, with her favorite cars adn the many people she performed with during her long, intensely busy life, all done with bright, pulsating colors, a cross between Van Gogh and the art of my schizophrenic brother-in-law Jan, modern in every way, full of restless movement, uneasy, edgy, biting, exploding with something weirdly sexual but nothing giving, all done on cardboard and, being a painter myself,  I notice that not one of them is even framed! "These need to be framed." I tell my mother who watches me with a keen, hawk-like gaze. "You need to have a show - an opening." So my mother does have an opening. Many people come but I recognize no-one until mother's old friend Joan appears looking corpse-like because she's been dead for these past three years and it suddenly occurs to me that they are all dead. "Mother: only the dead are attending your opening." I say to her and she smiles her Cheshire-cat grin.

End of Dream.


Helene.
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