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Tag Archives: self-abuse

The Finish Line Is Only the Starting Point

I’ve been derelict in writing for weeks now. There are lots of good reasons or at least good excuses: I travel a lot for work, I have kids who I’m supposed to mother and a lot of volunteer work on my plate right now. It’s also true that I’m struggling to find the hook to get writing again, to make the words flow, and trying to find the way to give my history some shape and context so at least it makes sense to me, if no one else.

And I struggle with the meaninglessness of writing. Let’s face it: If you don’t know me personally (and few reading this do) and if I didn’t tramp this blog’s URL around on WordPress forums or Twitter, you wouldn’t be here. This blog is simultaneously an exercise in emotional decompression as it is an exercise in ego. I feel worthless and stress about that so I write about my worthlessness — but what I really want you to do is say, “oh, you’re such a talented writer – how can you feel worthless? You’re not worthless at all!” And some of you play the game and do just that — which simply increases the self-loathing.

How bad is the self-loathing? I celebrate successes momentarily and then move onto the next one (what’s the point in doing more? Success is fleeting) and I wallow in failure privately (I have no patience for sympathy). There’s no way to win here. But at least I’m being honest. Does that count for anything? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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My Mother’s Image

After being released from Sing-Sing for embezzlement, my grandfather’s first order of business was to remarry. His second was to retrieve his children from an orphanage where they’d been abandoned by their mother.  It was tough work: The children had been deprived of their identity having been left without papers, like mutts. My mother had been renamed ‘Patricia’ and her brother ‘Butch,’ names that are as foul to them still, more than 60 years later, as the most filthy of swear words.

It’s impossible for me to tell my mother’s story, much as I would like to. This isn’t even the post I intended to write this week but I’m at my parents’ home for the weekend and it’s a timely topic. All told I’ve lived with my mother for nineteen complicated years and I barely know her. There are some raw facts: She married at 16 to avoid going to the orphanage a second time but her husband philandered their marriage away leaving her with three children. She was in love with Elvis and Johnny Cash. Her favorite color is blue. She may be the undiscovered record-holder for the most phobias held by a single person. She never finished high school but got her GED in her early 30s. With five children, one grandchild, and a senile mother-in-law living with her, and the insistence of my father, Mother earned her associate’s degree. Then her bachelor’s. Then her master’s. Then her doctorate, each with a different scientific emphasis: pre-pharmacy, chemistry, physics, forestry all by the time she was 46. She is remarkable. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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