For you, the dress code is casual.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

seriouser and seriouser; sex crimes and legacies

i'm kinda stuck in this rut of thinking about my mom today. i was working on a show about kids that were abducted and/or molested all day yesterday and today, and for a few different reasons, that stuck my mother in my mind.

i'm pretty scattered about it. i'm not depressed, really, i mean, she's dead, i'm used to that now. it ain't changin', right? so. sad, yes. angry, yes. wishful, yes.

anyhow, there's probably a disconnect for you, the reader, considering what i was working on and what i'm now fixated on, so let's see if i can make that make sense for you.

the easier part to comprehend, i guess, is that the mothers in that show just had so much love and affection for their kids. you could just see that. i see it in the faces of parents all the time, and it just reminds me of how my mother would look at me. how she'd reach out to hold my hand as we would drive some place, or kiss me good night, even when i was in my 20s.

but i remember a time when we were talking about the subject of molestation and things like that, and she said, "if anyone ever hurt you, i would kill them. i would kill them."

and the look in her eye made me a believer.

it was years later, her death year, that i began piecing things together. i still have never learned the truth, and it's part of why this book i've begun reading has already hit home -- hard -- for me (my dark places, by james elroy) and part of why i someday want to sleuth out who my mother truly was.

who she was, that is, outside of being my hero, my confidante, and my biggest supporter.

who she was, i suspect, was a victim of a horribly heinous sex crime. at the age of 12.

at her death, she still claimed she never knew what it was that caused her to have a nervous breakdown and have to leave school for a year at the age of 12 -- something my father, who was childhood friends with her, remembers now. he says she was never the same after that, and that it's when he began to feel protective towards her. he never learned what happened, and no one ever said anything. (all i know of the breakdown itself was that family members had come home to find her barely clothed, sitting in a fetal position under the kitchen table, the chairs positioned like a fortress around her, as she was rocking, sobbing, and shaking.)

there are tangible facts i know, but i am not to speak of them as "no one else" is supposed to know besides the particular relative it happened to and my mother. those facts, in very general and watered-down scope, involve: two other relatives (male/female); three bastard friends of the male relative's; a kidnapping; a hotel room outside of town; a weekend of gang-raping; an abortion; the "secret shame" of being squirreled away by a religious family who couldn't allow the world at large to know about a bastard child; and the inability to bear children.

and this evil fucking incident correlates with the same time that my mother underwent her breakdown, and i suspect that something similarly wrong was done to my mother as well.

part of the reason i write about sex has to do with all the hang-ups that were transposed to me via my mother. there were always things she was awkward about and judgmental about. my parents literally never, ever spoke to me about sex. deep down inside, i believe my mother would be proud of my writing about sex in the manner that i do. i think she'd be happy that the shame finally stopped on my side of the tracks.

ah, sigh. i hate trying to understand my mother when she's not even six feet under; she's of the sky and earth and water, her ashes scattered in the sound off the Sunshine Coast. she's so gone i don't even remember her voice anymore, how her hand felt in mine. i remember how she smelled of baby powder, is about it. i hate that she gets further and further from me with each passing year.

love shouldn't fade, not like that. it does, all the time, everywhere, every day. i just never thought her love could.

i'm probably going to revisit this topic sometime. i need to. there's something in it i have to unlock, and it's a difficult topic for me. i suddenly have tears streaming down my face, so i think this is a good time to cut it off now, but this is where my headspace has been today, i guess. sigh.

i'm not depressed; just sad, angry. the horrible thing about these crimes -- violations and sex and molestation and rape -- is how much it poisons not only that person's life, but those who become descendents of them. i live daily with the legacy of my mother's inability to trust, her suspicion, her judgmental nature. i live daily with her inadequacies and her insecurities, her fears of never being good enough. they've been monumental challenges i've been having to overcome for my entire life -- be it through my relationship with her or through my relationship with others.

yes, legacies. they're not all they're made out to be. i could certainly do without.