It’s hard to write about mom. I’ve been writing in my head for several days, and now I’ve been sitting in front of my MacBook for several hours. Everything that come out through my fingers seem like rubbish. Or at least blurry and unorganized. That’s okay, per se! Not everything I write comes out more or less perfect at the first attempt. (Nota bene. Only rarely something comes out perfect at first attempt. I have a couple of short stories, though… )
Well – all about Mom…
In a way, she was fantastic. But it took me a really long time to realize that. As a little one, I knew nothing, understood less, but felt some and reacted on those feelings. No! Wrong! I learnt very early how to hid those reactions, and most of the feelings. I also made observations, but I didn’t understand them to be observations until I was grown up. They were just some other sorts of feeling. Noticed – and then hidden somewhere deep inside. With everything else.
I never got to know anything about my Mom. Neither did my older sister, and probably not my older brother neither. She never told us anything about herself. Nothing from her childhood, nothing from when she was growing up. I know nothing about what she might have been dreaming about when she was young. What did she expect from life? What did she want to do with her life? Did she even have any dreams???
Was her life, as I experienced it, just as she wanted it to be? Or was it just a big disappointment?
The only thing I have are some facts, my own memories, and some facts I have been told. I have no documents of any kind, no diaries, no notebooks, no old cookbooks, not even a single photo any more. And of course no furniture, no household items, nothing left from her home. No. Nothing. Nada.
Mom was born the day before Christmas eve, in 1910. I can hardly imagine what it would be like, to live in Europe at that time. How was it to be a small child in the south of Sweden, when there was a big WAR going on at the continent? Even though Sweden didn’t participate in the war, there must have been effects on the daily life.
In the twenties she must have been going to some kind of school, and been having friends. There was a lot of photos blended together in a desk drawer when I was little, and among those were some of my mom at the seaside in the late twenties and early thirties. Bathing in the sunshine, on the cliffs near the ocean. Surrounded with friends, males and females. She seemed to be enjoying herself.
She married Dad in October 1937, and my sister was born in august 1938. Mom got VERY irritated (read: furious) when I once had been doing some counting and burst out without thinking: “Were you already pregnant when you married Dad?” She denied firmly, turned her back on me and went away.
I may have counted wrong, or maybe she got pregnant the first time on her wedding night, but I also could be right, couldn’t I? It was an humongous shame at that time and space, to be pregnant before married. And she was, as I and my sister knew her, very prudent.
My brother was born in July 1942. During that time, the time at WW2, the family lived in a suburb a bit outside the city, how many years in total they lived there, I don’t know. They had a house and also a dairy shop where Mom sold milk, butter and eggs. Cheese? Don’t know, don’t think so. But since it was a War going on, there were restrictions of how much milk, butter and eggs people were allowed to buy. They had coupons! Si and so many eggs per month.
I have one memory from this, a told story. There was a huge and steep slope uphill from the main road where the milk-car left the big cans with milk, and every morning Mom had to handle those cans up on a hand drawn trolley, and then pull the entire set uphill to the house and the dairy. Don’t know how many cans, nor how much milk each can contained. Two cans á 50 liters? I can’t even guess! Could she sell 100 liters of milk per day, in that neighborhood?
Well! After that nothing happened… nothing happened… nothing…. still nothing…
And suddenly in the Fifties, there was me… and there was a quite different world out there, post-war.
Painting by Van Gogh – Café
This sunday I visited church. I haven’t done that for a long time, not on Sundays, but I do have friends there and I wanted to catch up. Or – to be more honest – to be a bit more socially active.
We have a thing going on at church on thursday afternoons which I frequently attend to and love to be at, but there are no gatherings during the summer. Like a vacation. So I’ve begun to feel more and more lonely, and decided to attend the service this sunday. After all, I have friends there. All the people there are very nice – I have been working there earlier, so many of them are also former colleagues – and it doesn’t hurt to join the service. Not even in my back any longer, I noticed.
But what I longed for the most, was the coffee gathering afterwards. The togetherness, the talking, the good feeling inside of friendship and a good time together.
Me and two of my thursday friends sat at a small round table together, eating sandwiches, drinking coffee and talking. After a while, we reached the topic of child abuse. I told them I had read a couple of books by Alice Miller, and very briefly about physical contra mental abuse and how those children might be and act as grown ups.
We didn’t go deep into this, but L claimed that there are children born with no empathy, and G claimed you have to work with your issues from where you are. No one can change what has been. Better to change attitudes, habits etc.
I agreed. There are children born with some disability or another, mental or physical, and there’s no other way to deal with things other than in the present time. So I chose not to go in to any argument. After all! We were gathered there only for a short time on a sunday, so it was neither the time nor place to talk seriously about child abuse.
This small discussion gave me, nevertheless, some fuel on my own fire. I had already realized that confronting mom wouldn’t do! Even if she still had been alive! This is something between I, Me and Myself. I have to go back Memory Lane, understand and realize what happened. I must see with my inner eyes that I was abused, mentally and psychologically, and come to terms with that.
Do you know what’s the worst?
It’s these questions – How much have I harmed my daughters? Have I given them enough love, enough attention, enough respect? Have I given them at least fairly enough?
And now? Do I?
Surrealism painting by Vladimir Kush
Just the other day, I was lying on the sofa and my intention was to ponder my childhood according to my mom. Instead I suddenly came to think of my dad, and how much I still miss him.
I started to cry, and while sobbing I said out loud: “Oh daddy! I miss you so much, I wish you were here!”
A voice said inside my head: “You can’t have that, you know.”
“Of course I know! He. Is. Dead! Since. Long!
But I still wish we would have had more years together!”
I got married, left my parent’s home before I had turned 18, and moved to another city. Of course we visited my parents once in a while during the years to come, and they visited us, but not exactly on a weekly basis. Not even monthly. It was too far away to drive that often. And I was glad, sorry to say.
But I missed not having enough opportunities to talk to my dad. During growing up, we had always been talking, he was always there for me, and he has taught me so much about all and everything. And of lots of small nothingnesses. While out in the garden, or biking together, or sitting in his lap while he was reading for me or telling me stories from when he was a child.
Now – SHE was always around when we met.
It’s awful to say such a thing about ones mother, I know that, and it’s very difficult! It’s not allowed, and it hurts! But I have to tell the truth! To myself.
Yes! I have to realize the true truth.
They are both gone now. I was only thirty when my dad died, two years later my mom. An awfully long time has passed since, a lot of water under the bridges.
But I was lucky to be able to talk privately with my dad at the end of his life, before his cancer was so severe that he ended up att the hospital. It was a very good talk, and we were able to have some conversation by letters afterwards. At that time mom had had a couple of minor strokes, so he could obviously, and luckily, hide those letters and our conversation from her.
I could speak freely, and so could he.
The last time I saw him was at the hospital. He was very ill then and all yellow. But when I entered the room and he saw me, his smile lightened up the entire room.
Oh daddy! I miss you so much and I will always love you!
Painting by Axel Olson
Every day I listen to the Podcast “A course in… What?!”
A course in miracles, in other words.
Very often I lose my concentration.
Some of it I don’t get.
Most of it actually…
But sometimes I actually catch a glimpse of something.
And that glimpse touches me.
Gives me something!
I’ve heard, that when you start to study The Course, the Ego reacts and wont stand it, and – hence – you can feel the most unpleasant things. Get really ill actually! So! Are these ( highly worsened) stomach-things, muscle-things, pain-things… caused by listening more regularly to the Course? Is the Ego trying to stop me from listening?
OKAY OKAY! I KNOW!
I’m not actually studying the course!!! Just listening to it!
Or at least trying to…
As good as it gets…
Well, anyway! If so! The ego wont succeed. I’ll keep on listening. I like it, even though it’s not easy to understand.
Together with reading Alice Millers books – “Breaking Down the Wall of Silence” and “The Drama of the Gifted Child” so far – something IS really happening in me. With me.
Physically – I feel awful. Psychologically – oh gosh… Especially since I’ve now started to realize so much more about myself, my mom, and the lack of love and respect from her when I was growing up.
Thank God, I had my dad.
Painting by Erik Olson – Dead horizon
A snowy afternoon by the time of Christmas
The heaven is dark but lots of lights are glittering
from every street, every building in the city
I’m twelve, or maybe even fourteen,
a most sensitive age, for a girl
who still hadn’t been kissed or looked for.
“Ah”, I said
and stopped in front of the large store-window
“Look, mom, what a beautiful red coat!”
I could hear her frown when she said:
“You, who are so gray and insignificant,
shall not wear red.”
Later on I got a new winter coat, a gray one
with a collar buttoned up to the chin
And I can still feel the pain
Painting by Esias Thorén – Foot steps
Little did I know what would happen when I started writing. Every post, except for the last one, came out totally different from what I originally intended them to be. And I felt content and pleased.
The last post, though, I had decided should be about my first meeting with The Course of Miracles. And it did! But I was not totally content and pleased. Not this time. I could have written a much better text. But as always, nothing bad happens without a positive approach as well.
Later that evening, lying in my bed, I suddenly realized I was smiling. My heart was excited, and something inside me was jumping up and down with joy. I so looked forward to what I would be writing next, since I, my self, had absolutely no idea what that would be.