Friday, November 27, 2015

My Most Personal Story: About Mom

My mom was an adept conversationalist, proper in dress and demeanor, and well read. In New Orleans where she grew up, she had been a high school radio announcer and member of the debate team. She knew me well enough to realize I had an irreversible condition even before I did, and she told me it was the only part about me that had ever really worried her. My mom had actually worried about me.

I’m going to tell this history in a non-judgmental way---as much as I can, I won’t allow emotion to muddy or cloud the telling of it. No matter how my mom had treated me in these particulars, I acknowledge the ways in which she operated against me were actuated by conflicts from which she herself suffered. They contorted her and attended to me via her in a vicious manner throughout the majority of my minor years.
The deepest root of the matter was that sensual and sexual feelings in me were enigma to my mom. They antagonized her. The innate desires that attracted me to girls horrified her and so as a child much of the time I was on high alert.

My parents when I was six and seven years old often monitored me in my bed at night for any slight, muffled signal that I was “touching myself.” Whether I was or wasn’t---if they thought I was--- I risked a spanking. I felt dread and associated pleasure with pain. I hid. I lied to escape bitter consequences of forthrightness.
I have always been enamored of women---as a kid I was--- and I am now as an adult. The feelings beg for satisfaction and expression. I always wanted to have fun with girls. I always wanted to hold hands with a girl I really liked. I wanted always to walk with a sweetheart in a park or on a beach.

But mom laid down rules. I was forbidden to deliberately walk with a girl home from school, i.e. seek out the girl to walk with her; walking home from school with a girl was permitted only if it should occur by chance.

Another rule forbade the entrance of girls I knew into the family home.
This next requires explanation. Every summer my parents sent me to San Francisco for a two or three week vacation at the house of my maternal grandmother. Before going one year, when I was eleven or twelve, mom issued an order forbidding me to enter the house of any girl while in San Francisco. I did anyway. This was reported to her by a sibling after the vacation, and Mom grounded me for the rest of the summer.
In 6th grade a boys' and girls' party was held for members of the class. After the party separate slumber parties were planned for the girls and the boys. Mom refused permission to attend the mixed party but granted permission to go to the boys' slumber party.
At my grammar school in 7th grade a sock hop was held in one of the classrooms and I attended contrary to the wishes of mom. A sibling reported the disobedience and I was reprimanded.
Mom forbade me to see the film “Westside Story.”
One afternoon--- a group of mothers who lived in the neighborhood and who had children, friends of mine, attending the grammar school I attended came to visit mom. They knocked on the door and mom let them into the house. I was watching and listened while perched up the staircase out of view. The women were asking mom to allow more freedom to me in regard to going to dances and mixing with girls in general. In short order mom curtly showed them to the door.
When I was 13 years old, our family went on a Catholic Church retreat to the desert. I met the most beautiful girl there I had ever seen, by far, and we clicked instantly. It was love at first sight and for two weeks I was living in heaven on earth laughing and enjoying companionship with this girl. Her eyes just sparkled. At the end of the retreat, we exchanged mailing addresses. A few weeks later, my folks called me into the living room. Mom was holding an open envelope and she had extracted and read the letter inside. She tore it to pieces in front of me and I realized then it had been a letter to me by that girl in the desert. On the inside I seethed at the insult and disregard to my privacy but didn't say a word.

When I was a junior in high school, I was on the phone with a cute blond and mom came with arms akimbo and stern face and stood inches away from me, making it impossible to have a private conversation.
These were all invasions against the heterosexual masculinity in me in a long standing war waged by mom.

When I reached 17 years of age I decided I had had enough. I began to devote myself to dissipation. I got high on drugs and stayed high on drugs as much as possible---I trashed the work ethic. My parents couldn't take it and kicked me out of the house and I joined the army. I took a discharge 16 months later and for the next nine years I lived on welfare in various northern California locations.

One day many years later, in another era, after I recovered and was leading a self-sustaining life, I was visiting my parents at their home in Los Angeles. Mom and I were sitting in the living room with other family across from one another. Our eyes met and mom’s body jerked erect. She stiffened. She didn't do the jerk; the jerk had been done to her. Then I saw a curl of what looked similar to black smoke rise above her, and felt that the demon---that tormenter---was revealing itself.
Last week, I was preparing to do the Essential Somatic Movements contained in the CD by Somatic Educator Martha Peterson.
I watched and listened to this gentle and caring woman explain how the movements eliminate pain. She encapsulated everything about the embodiment of the female gender that's especially wonderful. Innate wisdom, compassion, sincerity. And I couldn’t help myself. I started to cry--- deep sobs of tears because this Martha Peterson was in no way at all someone evil. She was good and kind and gentle and my mom for all those years had remonstrated against my feelings in favor of girls altogether as special and good. I cried for some minutes; until I didn’t have any more water. In my 65 years this was the first I felt not bitter or angry about the abuse but just hurt at the enormity of the crime done against me--- and my mom.





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