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Walks by Herself, All Places Alike
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Still reading my mother's journals. Sometimes the comments are startling, and very revealing. When she writes about people I know well, it's crystal clear how far she strayed from reality.

She wrote that my uncles sexually abused me and beat me. They never laid a hand on me and were welcoming and generous until my mother hid us away from them in fear and hatred and I never saw them or my cousins or other family ever again.

She wrote about the "horrors" of her early life. She was raised by an aunt and uncle who fed her, clothed her, and didn't know what to do with the bizarre chick in their nest. She would lock herself in her bedroom for days on end, refusing to come out, and then claimed that they never fed her and made her live on the crackers that she secreted under her bed, and water.

She wrote that I was "born suspicious"--talk about projection! If you talk to people who know me, their comment is often, just the opposite, that I'm too trusting. As a child, I'd be friendly with just about anybody. Through life experience, I've learned over the years to be more careful around strangers, but I love people and they love me back. It's easy for me to make friends.

It's true I had (have) an independent and rebellious spirit. I was inclined to do exactly the opposite of what someone suggested and to reject whatever others said, simply because they said it. Over time, I've learned not to react that in ignorant way, but to listen and learn. Most of the time.

I was, she wrote, impatient with restraints, duties and routines. True. I had (have) a great need to be free and to do something quite different, maybe even a little bit off-the-wall. But I'm usually pretty conservative and extremely reliable, so what's rebellious for me is not really too outrageous. Doing something different and a bit wild can be a very liberating experience. "I live like a monk" (quoth KW).

So I am the cat who walks by herself and all places are alike to me, walking in the wet, wild woods, walking by my wet, wild lone.

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