Thursday, July 19, 2012

Family Tradition.

 The picture on the bottom is of my grandfather who died before I was born. The Barbarian. My grand mother. And my great grand mother who me and sis called Two Mama. The one on top is from the front and about 40 years later. It's also where my father died. Between the china berry tree and the porch.

My grand mother was very much into the occult. She also was a life long member of our town's Methodist church. To her, these ways of thought were not mutually exclusive. I kind of liked her for that. How she would be visited by the church ladies that buzzed around town keeping them selves busy. And also how she  immersed herself in all sorts of paranormal thinking.
Astrology. Reincarnation. Edgar Cayce.
I would lose a hoe in the field chopping cotton and she would sit there for a minute and then tell me the number of rows over to look and I would go there and find it. She told me she would pray to Saint Anthony and then just know where it was. She had too much on her mind to be yanking my chain, so who knows how she did it.
 If ever there was a house that was haunted, my grandmothers was it. I don't believe in things paranormal. But that house scared the shit out of me. Even up in my forties I didn't like to be there alone. And I felt the vibe I felt, long before my father snuffed it there.
She always told me. Who ever is there on the other side can not hurt you.  BUT! They can make you hurt yourself.
I never asked her how. I guess the ghost will scare me into running through a plate glass window.
I know my grandmother could not have foreseen her daughters hogging of everything and trying to pit me and my sister against each other. She had this Pollyanna view of the world and even though she knew the facts, she couldn't digest that her daughter recklessly got us so deep in shit.
She could have never seen that I was to be my mothers final conquest. The one right after my sister. I didn't recognize it myself until it came to pass.
My mother's domination was not a well thought out campaign.
Hers was an ongoing series of short term mind fuckings that ran together and added up to a life of bending to her will. Even through the years I barely saw her, I could feel her presence off and away liked a black hole whose gravity keeps all the matter of the galaxy swirling around it.
My grandmother was a smart woman.
Her knowing that the negative only causes you to hurt yourself.
Because that's what happens.
As bad as their actions are, they live in those degrees of separation that affords them the luxury of sleeping well and really think they are not evil.
We get what we get and we turn it back on our self.
I swear there were times living with my mother. if I had a gun, I would have walked straight out in the yard and continued the family tradition.
And you couldn't have blamed her. No one would have seen what led up to it.   


Calibans Sister said...

Q, this is a powerful and moving post. Your idea about MN being able to dwell/live in the degrees of separation between conscience and no conscience, and sleep at night, is fantastic. I wonder if your grandmother knew that you would be the one to break away. Thanks for this post. These photos you add are really haunting.

q1605 said...

Thanks CS. I am glad you liked it. I couldn't wait to come get from work and delete it because I thought it was bit thick in the belly aching department.

Tundra Woman said...

Wow, excellent Post. Thanks for the pictures.
IMO, it doesn't matter how "smart" or "self-aware" we think we are, the reality is we ALL have "Blind Spots." That can be impervious even to facts. (Holds up hand here.)I also considered "starting" a Family Tradition-or continuing one. Psychob had a sister who died under "interesting" circumstances. Aunt died in her sleep quite young (likely in her 30s) from mixing alcohol and sleeping pills. It was told to me as an "accident" occurred. This Aunt was the one who took Dad aside and advised him NOT to marry Psychob. Most of the kids were older than her including Aunt. Dad lived to regret not listening to her sister who described Psychob as "difficult."After Dad left and started divorce proceedings I was in my first year of college. I returned to the house where I was raised and "helped" Psychob sell the house, found us a new place, arranged for the movers, sherpa-ed the rest of the stuff, got her all set up over the summer. She told me there was NO money for me to return to college so I got a minimum wage job at a local factory to "help out" and "save money" to return to college. I insisted I would continue to see Dad once a week on Sun. She would NOT allow me to use her car and bitched about dropping me off in the AM and picking me up at the end of my shift. I paid out of my meager earnings half the mortgage and utilities while she damn near starved and froze me to death, all the while raging about him, me and how I HAD to complete my education. I returned to a state college for the following Spring semester-out of her geographic reach. According to her HE wasn't going to help. She INSISTED I take out a loan because HE was NOT going to pay, drove me to the Bank, marched me in and I signed my financial future away. When I told him what she had coerced me into doing and I had the money, his face just fell: He took the check he had written out and said sadly, "OK, TW. But you know I NEVER would have done that to you." I knew he wouldn't have either, but Psychob was RELENTLESS and drug him in and out of Court (and me too) over Support and BS that entire May through Jan. when I returned to college.
Living with her during that period was an absolute NIGHTMARE. I was STUCK. No car, no phone calls, and daily diatribes/rages about how I was "Just like YOUR FATHER!" interspersed with how I had "NO TENACITY!" because of the disruption to my education beyond my control, of course.
I knew I would NEVER go back to living with her again. Ever. It would have resulted likely in my suicide. That is absolutely the closest I've ever come to truly offing myself. Honestly, I do believe she was hoping I would-as much as SAID so, repeatedly-so she could point the finger at HIM for having "Deserted His Family." "The Family" was composed of her and me, an 18(?) yr. old. I'd rather starve, be homeless, what ever (and yes, this did occur later) than EVER do that to myself again.
I hear ya, q. And I have NO DOUBT she would have played the "Grieving Mother" to the hilt, while blaming Dad. He was my ONLY sanity "check." And likely the only reason I didn't kill myself-it would hurt him horribly. Considering the "Bag Lady" persona she embraced at that time in an attempt to bolster her loudly proclaimed "HE DESERTED AND LEFT US PENNILESS!" people would have believed her. What few had anything to do with her by that point. Reality? He left with his clothes, his vehicle and a few pictures of me and Nsis.
We never discussed money in our family. A few years later when I made my annual Christmas "Pilgrimage" Psychobitch decided Nsis and I NEEDED to KNOW what was in her Will. (Big dramatics.) As I sat on that couch while she read us her "WILL" my heart just..broke.
That lying, conniving, scheming bitch.

q1605 said...

God they are so alike. All of the psycho bitches and Barbarians.

CZBZ said...

I'm so glad to have read this, q1605. You are a talented writer. Extremely so. This was fantastic.

Like Cal's Sis, your description of malignant ghosts urging us to hurt ourselves is poignant. This is an insightful way to describe the behavioral influence of abusive ancestors.

Fascinating about the hoe in the field, too. My family used divining rods and other tools of the trade. By the time I was born though, they were shamed into giving up such practices or at least keeping them secret.

q1605 said...

My grand mother on my mother's side used divining rod's. My GM didn't care who knew.
She was as eccentric as you could find a person.But even the church ladies could over look these things.
No body in their right mind could talk with her for more than a minute and think she had one mean or evil bone in her body.
My grandmother swore that's how they decided where to dig the stock tanks.