I did not hate my mother. I feared her.

From Ariel Leve’s 2016 memoir, An Abbreviated Life:

p. 137
He tells me that scientists have found connections between children who are psychologically abused and permanent changes in the brain. We are discussing the neurological effects when a child’s rational responses are continually invalidated.

“The coping mechanisms that were adaptive in childhood become maladaptive as an adult.”

He gives an example.

“When you have an erratic, unpredictable, and aggressive parent, a child will detect signs and know when not to say something or know when to hide, so a threat-detecting sense begins to emerge early on. In the end, it wires the individual to be acutely aware and highly reactive to perceived threats.”

p. 145
The times I remember my mother most at peace is when she would stand without moving, unaware of passing time, reading or rereading passages from a book she’d picked off the shelf. Words were liberation from the frantic world she occupied. She could lose herself temporarily in the sanctuary of the lyricism. Unlike people, words were always enough.

p. 266
I did not hate my mother. I feared her. I feared her destroying my life. I feared her lies would turn others against me. I feared the incessant and unending conflict I would be forced to engage in with someone who couldn’t see past her own reality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.