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eleanor
tesla 2
akmed
this is my mother's mother, eleanor ruth. i have yet to be able to put human members of my family on the altar of the day of the dead. she was not very nice to me and in fact spent the 8 years i lived with her after my father disappeared being unaccountably cruel to me. many years later, when i finally told some of her other children some of the things she said to me, they seemed shocked and apologized. " we didn't know our mother said those things to you". i am quite certain my mother knew, though. i feel i was on the receiving end of the fall out spray of their mother/ daughter bullshit that had been raging on for years. that i tried to kill myself when i was 10 years old is indicative of how little self worth i had left after the tragedy of my parent's violent and and ultimately failed marriage tossed me into the maelstrom of hate, illness and severe physical violence that my mother's family appeared to think of as business as usual.

people, of course, have reasons and excuses for their respective damage. at a certain age one must make an effort to understand one's negative emotions and behaviors and strive not to inflict them on others, particularly not upon children who are dependent and have few defenses against adults. my grandmother appeared to me slightly more sympathetic once her husband died which suggested that the source of her lashing out at me, the only one in the house who was still a child and had no adult male to come to my defense, was based in some failing in her relationship with my grandfather.after years of basically bullying me and telling me i didn't belong in her house and it wasn't my home, she used to beg me to return. i still am not sure if this was because she was trying to make up for the past or just trying to drag me in closer for more abuse- such was the extent of the perpetual, surreally violent disfunction that i was never in a position to trust my own family.

i have found this day of the dead i am perhaps being slightly selfish in begrudgingly putting my human family members at last of the altar. at least i find i can finally do it. it deeply saddens me that those to whom i am blood related have spent their lives within the limitations that result from unresolved, unspoken conflicts and abuses. i do not understand the roots of their abyss of disfunction although it has profoundly effected me as well. that i have better things to say about cats than i do about humans is a symbol of how destructive and ultimately flawed families based on patriarchal christian values are- and how very damaging they are to the human psyche.

i wish eleanor peace- because she did not have it here. when the capacity to love is hindered by the incapacity to forgive it's the soul that suffers and grieves. we're here to love on another, not control one another. eleanor had a beautiful voice and was artistically talented. she worked retouching photos by hand on boylston street and as an usherette at the big band venue, the totem pole, at newton's famous norumbega park. i always recall her singing ' cry me a river' while working in the kitchen. her many interests and talents were side lined by raising her family and the depression that results when one's life is unfairly limited. perhaps death is the only real freedom we will ever come to know.



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