Archive for September 2009
Happy Birthday to me
22. September 2009 by Frank.
I don’t usually get personal with these little postings, as hard as that might be to imagine, but this time I thought I would be a little self indulgent. What the hell, right? I have been thinking about writing this story out for some time now, and finally the proper motivation has presented itself. They say God works in mysterious ways, but in my life, God tends to just drop a kitchen sink on my head and laugh at me while I stagger around. No real mysteries here. Today was my son’s ninth birthday. I suppose just his approaching ninth birthday may have been subconsciously stirring up bad memories for me. He was certainly excited about it for quite a while now, and I was happy to see all that excitement pay off for him. He had an absolute blast, and I was thrilled to make that happen for him. We cannot always meet all our children’s expectations in life, and it is a damn fine moment when we as parents are able to literally make their day. So what has me so wound up about this whole birthday thing, anyway? Everything sounds alright so far. Where is that black cloud that seems to follow me around like that kid from the Peanuts cartoon? I was brutally reminded today of my own, very much different ninth birthday. And the continuing fact that I married a woman as much like my own mother as I could possibly find was once again thrown in my face. Don’t take that the wrong way. I am divorced now for some time, but my ex wife is still the woman I married, and she still continues to score off the charts on the mom comparison checklist I have been accumulating for some time now. A day I will never forget. My ninth birthday. Try and bring yourself back with me, if you will, to remember all of the splendid excitement and anticipation we felt as young children, waiting for the big day to arrive. And when it finally gets there? Fuggetaboutit!!! Of the friggin hook, right? That is the way I felt the day I woke up on my ninth birthday. I was instantly awake, full of excitement and joy. It was my birthday. Attention and cake and ice cream and presents were about to be lavished on me, and I couldn’t wait! It was the beginning of summer, as my birthday always seems to be. School was out, and we were staying at our very dear family friend’s farm in
He never says a bad word about his mother. He seems happy to see her most of the time, but its obvious to me that all of her negligence and sideways neglect of him has had its effect on him. Just as much as she cannot seem to be bothered to see him or talk with him on any regular basis, he can no longer be bothered as well. He would rather stay home and watch his shows and play with his toys than make the effort to take a three minute ride to see his sick mother the day before his birthday. And that is a crying shame in my book. ‘Nuff said.
Frank’s Comments on Into the Belly
18. September 2009 by Frank.
Here we are at the bottom of it all, really. This is the piece my mother wrote that Gennyfer didn’t want to write about too soon. She thought it might not have the proper impact without some background information on crazymom. I hope you have all read enough of this crazy stuff to have a true and refined understanding of just how whacked out my mother really was. So without further ado, we delve… Into the Belly of the Beast.
My mother wrote this little bit of insanity about the time just after our father, Frank, had just gone to prison, and my mother carted us off from a quiet town in upstate New York right smack in the middle of downtown Philadelphia. She moved in with a drug dealing friend of my fathers, the man she called Bear. I was almost 4 years old at this point, and Gennyfer was still a 2 year old in diapers. She packed so much crazy into so little space in this little note she wrote to herself, it almost defies description. But here we are, describing all of this madness as best we can.
Here are the real standouts for me. “We are all looking for Charles Manson to tell us what to do.” Now I know you are all relating to this statement as much as I am. When life gets rough for me, I am confused and unsure of what direction to take, where to get the best advice possible, who can lift me up from the darkness and despair that seeks to overwhelm and consume me, my thoughts immediately turn to… Charles Manson.
Another highlight for me was “I remember the night I thought I should walk off the roof of the house. I wanted to die, end it all” I was just three years old at that moment in her life, and Gennyfer was only two. I have a child myself, and as a parent, some part of you puts your kid first, no matter what. But my mom was so wrapped up in her own self centered dramatic bullshit at the time that she was seriously ready to end it all right there. If she had gone off that roof that night, she would have left my little sister and me in the care of some fucked up hippie drug dealer we barely knew, in a strange city while our father was off serving his country in jail. I am sure my mother had no contact with her parents and sister at this point in her life, so I don’t know what this whack job would have done to even try and get in touch with our extended family. We could have ended up wards of the state. Lovely.
Last, and certainly least considering it’s intense competition on this list, is this wonderful gem, “plus the mystery of spending time in jail - What is that appeal?” Someone please tell me, what is that appeal? I don’t know really. Is it a chick thing? I have met a few women in my day who have been in prison, and believe me, they were not full of sugar and spice and everything nice, if you catch my drift. Anyone else’s mom out there have a thing for ex-cons? Fill me in on this one. I am truly at a loss. I do remember my mom always being attracted to the wrong guys, even as she got much older. She was the epitome of the good girl who went for the bad boy every time. I have personally known some truly fine men who loved and admired my mother. She would have absolutely nothing to do with any of them. And thank god for those fine fellows. I am sure it pained them at the time, but they really dodged that bullet big-time.
I will never forget about a year before my mom died, I was at her house helping her to get rid of some old boxes in the closet and consolidate a bunch of her old stuff into a more manageable space. I came across a framed poem that’s title was dedicated specifically to her. I read the thing aloud to her, and there were several personal references to her that were unmistakable. Some guy had definitely had it bad for my mom, and had taken the time to write and frame a very lovely and intimate poem for her and about her. She was always a big poetry fan. I asked her after reading it to her who had written it. All I got in response was a blank stare, and a scratch of the head. She had no idea. WTF! “Mom,” I said, “How in the world does someone write something like that for you, some guy who was obviously totally in love with you, and you can’t even remember his name?” She thought about it for a minute, but could not place who had written it. Wow. I guess unless you were a guy who had been to jail, you got short shrift from my mom in the love department.
Someone who has been reading these little missives asked Gen and me if we experienced some form of personal catharsis from writing these stories out. I immediately denied that what I felt from writing these things down was in any way cathartic. Then I went home and looked it up, and I feel that I was right about that. Catharsis is a release of emotional tension that restores and refreshes the spirit. I am a Cancer, and Gen is a Scorpio, and believe me when I tell you this, we don’t like to let go of nothin’. Confronting these things head on is no easy task, and the rewards from writing these stories down are not a lightening of any burden from the past. I simply want people to know what it was like for me. For us. And, if they can make the leap, and it somehow pertains to them, what it may have been like for them in some small way as well. TTFN
Into the Belly of the Beast
6. September 2009 by CarolesJournals.
Excerpt from Carole’s Journal:
The man I called Bear - another capricorn another father figure I remember thinking
“We are all looking for Charles Manson to tell us what to do” That was probably truer
than I thought - again looking at myself and all this self-hatred - I kept looking for someone
to follow - Bear had it all the Capricorn, testosterone, plus the mystery of spending time
in jail - What is that appeal? that persona that force I was attracted like a moth
to the flame. I was very hurt, disappointed, and numb by Bear and Susie –
I was emotionally gone - dead. I remember the night I thought I should
walk off the roof of the house. I wanted to die, end it all - I was so disappointed,
sad and confused - I didn’t go off of the roof and the next day I met Bawa.
I have never discussed this night with anyone - including myself.
this is important
At issue was Susie and Bear leaving for California. So now I see Abandonment -
neglect - my doing something wrong to cause them to leave me I felt betrayed -
no support I was miserable - going back to B-town. R.R. opened a door -
what was I thinking? He was good looking, very bright, he introduced me to the work
I was attracted to the distraction and the glitter - Being in the center of everything.
Big shot ism at its best
As if it isn’t crazy enough that my mom thought of Charles Manson as someone to look for to tell her what to do. The way she dealt with it was the real crazy making part for me. I remember watching TV with my mom one night when I was about 13 yrs old, and their was an advertisement for an interview with Charles Manson. It seemed like a big deal and I wanted to watch it. At the time I didn’t really know that much about the man or what he had done. I asked if we could watch it, and my mother went off on one her long tirades about how evil he was and how mislead and easily manipulated those people were. How stupid they had been for following him at all, with her ever present air of “I would never do anything like that, I would never not think for myself, I would never do anything to hurt other people so much”. At the time I was disappointed that I couldn’t watch the interview, but didn’t think that much of her over reaction to it.
When Frank sent me this posting it put that night in a different light for me. She was deeply embarrassed that she had thought so highly of Charles Manson, and still pissed off that her friends had gone to California without her. I understand not wanting to admit that she was into the Helter Skelter thing. But what really bakes my noodle is that she was so over the top with her judgment of them and herself that she had to change her life story; to admit that she had anything at all to do with them. But that is, after all, how she rolled. My mom changed her facts and even her own experiences to fit her mood or her current philosophies. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about normal emotion growth, like learning life’s lessons, growing through your pain and experiences to become a better person. That’s not what my mom did. She would just change her story. Actually, she would change all her stores to make them fit together. There was no admitting she was ever wrong, or even that she has learned something. Just that she was better then everyone else, or that she knew more than others, or that she had all the answers.
Now that I’m older, and dare I say “grown up”, I look back at my childhood with so much emotion sometimes; anger, pity, grief. The list goes on. It’s a wonder that I’m sane at all. And I think that ignorance may have in fact been my saving grace. How else could I have come through? I think that if I had known then what I know now; that my mother, the woman who once slapped one her 5th grade students just for “lying” to her, the person who was constantly punishing me and my siblings for lying to her, never really told the truth about herself or her life. I think it would have crushed me. It’s hard enough to wrap my mind around it now with an adult frame of mind. But as child, it would have been too much bear.