On August 12, 2001, I drove to Lancaster to have lunch with my mother at a restaurant perhaps the only time in my life the two of us have ever done that.I was desperately seeking answers as I crumbled and I had a list of items:moving into Holy House in high school (a tiny guest-house on the property), moving into an apartment in the 12th grade, a number of things Paul asked me over the years including did my father always look at me that way and asking if my bedroom door had a lock on it.
But the biggest question mark was what I told Paul one afternoon our freshmen year of college.He was trying to get to the bottom of my unusual reaction to being touched the summer we met.I told him something quite extensive.I left his dorm and laid down on the ground and cried.He wouldnt make love to me.I could not remember what I told him.There were a number of other things on the list as well.
The day after the lunch, at , my mother sent me this e-mail and I had a glimmer of hope, Honey, you were right:there is a push-button lock on the knob of the Holly House door Is this e-mail address the better of your two for continuing the conversation we started yesterday?Id like to make some suggestions, ask some questions, etc.I want above all to be helpful, dear.Youve been going through a tough time and I feel really badly about it; youve been so extremely capable all your life and handled things for you and Chris so well.I hope this roadblock can be rolled out of the way a.s.a.p.With much love, Mom.
After conferring with my father, at the same day, I received the e-mail below.It was written in such haste that there was no salutation and the items were numbered as it appears below.I am still stunned several years later by the level of arrogance and control demonstrated in this e-mail.
Number 1 indicates the distance between a mother and a daughter.We rarely spoke or visited even though I lived in Philadelphia, and I never told her anything of a personal or intimate nature ever in my life.
Number 2 was discussed at lunch (I have deleted the name).I told my mother that if I didnt remember how could I have told the friend?They must have felt this was a strong point, however, because it was brought up again.
Number 3 is just astonishing, again for its arrogance and control and the idea that they would consult.The reference to a hypnotist was to try and recapture what I told Paul.I did go to a hypnotist shortly after this lunch.He did not hypnotize me and wanted five more sessions to discuss things at $75 a pop before he would.The man was a quack and had no professional license.I told him, no and it was shortly after that visit that I called my HMO and asked for a mental health referral. (Vati is German for father.)
Number 4 is also astonishing.My mother, who rarely sees her own children, suddenly kept thinking and worrying about a boy she met three times close to 30 years ago and was concerned for him because he must be in a real bind.She seemed more concerned about him than me.And it took me a long time to turn this around.Why wouldnt they say, Of course call him?You can get this all straightened out with one phone call.Hell tell you nothing happened and you can move on with your life.Why indeed?Everyone else, including a psychiatrist said, Call him.
1.Honey, Id like to suggest that your next move be a complete physical exam.This must be about menopause time for you, isnt it?And that can create all kinds of hormonal changes that affect body and mind.It would seem like a good step, to eliminate any underlying physical causes for your distress.
You and !deleted! were very close during all the years in question. Have you asked her whether she remembers your telling her any of the things you now believe happened while you were still living at home?
Well be operating on two very different assumptions in our discussions.As I said yesterday, I think you have some very serious misconceptions, dear.While initially I thought your idea of seeing a hypnotist next was a good one, I think now that youd do best to start with a psychiatrist who could, if he/she felt it desirable, recommend your seeing a hypnotist, and even refer you.Vati and I would help to the extent we could with the cost, on the understanding that the psychiatrist would be a top-notch one from one of the good institutions in Phila.If or when youre willing, wed want to consult on the selection.Would you like us to find you the names of psychiatrists who have strong professional credentials?
Lastly, for now, I keep thinking about Paul.Youve written asking him for some specific recollections from many years ago.But apart from the time element, I of course believe that his recollections have to differ from yours on the main memories youre asking from him, and he must be in a real bind.Its my earnest suggestion that you not try to approach him further until after youve had a chance to talk with that good psychiatrist mentioned in the paragraph above.
Hope this isnt too much to swallow all at once!In due time, give me your reactions, dear.