That word defines my mother. She was at once child and adult, beauty and darkness, safety and absolute danger. Her multiplicity threw an interesting hook in to our relationship; I was more often parent to her than child. She was very abusive to me and even moreso to my sister. Even in her death, she left a sting. The suicide note blamed me.
It’s taken years for me to accept that her death was not my fault but a bad choice on her part. It’s taken years for me to learn that her treatment of me was not a reflection of me as a person but of her dealing poorly with her own Stuff. Now, as I make changes in my life, she is on my mind. I’m thinking of her as what she was, though: a person, separate from anyone else.
My mother had a very difficult life. She told me in graphic detail about things that happened to her as a child. She met my father early in her 20s. A handsome soldier, he must have seemed heaven sent to rescue her. She told me once he pitied her and married her for that reason. Instead of rescuing her, though, he brought her to a cult where she was abused further and used basically as a breeder. In an odd sense, she probably felt more wanted there than anywhere else. Early in to it, before the serious harm would have started, the cult must have seemed like the first place to *need* her. That breaks my heart.
She ran out of time at aged 51. She made the decision to end her life because, if the note is to be believed, she thought I wanted her out of mine. I had been making plans for both of us, though. Had she just hung on a little longer, I really think things would have improved for her. As it is, though, none of us will ever know.