My mother had food issues. Being ill, and being served food in bed on a tray, was one thing she liked. Another was being in a restaurant and eating something unusual, warming and good. These events caused her great pleasure and she would exclaim: “Someone is taking care of me!”She felt that she had been very poor, and that she was still low income. I was one of the causes of the current precarity, and I could not possibly imagine what it had been like to be as poor as she was. My goal in life was to become poor enough that my mother will recognize me as real and respect me. I engage in self-deprivation and self-destruction to impoverish and weaken myself. Not completely, of course, because I want to be in good health to begin my life once I get my mother’s go-ahead.
Negotiating for existence with our parents, wresting care from them, taking care of them so they would be well enough to care for us, was important and became yet more important as time went on. Now I think it was just that they abandoned us too soon in favor of alcohol and protecting neuroses (how long have I been holding onto my own neuroses?). But I did not realize this; I thought we needed to work harder, improve, rise in quality, to merit inclusion in the family and the open kind of communication other people had.
I insist on privacy because my mother would interrupt work constantly, when I was young and then later in more serious ways. Time-space limits stricter than “I’ll break for lunch at noon, do other things until five, and then come back to this” cause me great anxiety because of my mother’s piercing cries, always just when I was about to solve the algebra problem: “Help! Come, now! I am hurt, badly!”
It is a bit elementary but this means I must absolutely remember: 1/ I do not have to let anyone interrupt as my mother did; 2/ I can be confident in my rejection of Reeducation–I need not seek further confirmation of my views; 3/ I should note that having to wrest or earn care and love from people who claim to be offering these things freely is not right; and 4/ It is not actually true that my mother did not see me as a person, at least part of the time; I should accept that gaze and distance myself from the deprivation compulsion. All of this would mean peace.