Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Amnesia

Anyone know how to submit articles to the American Journal of Medicine or other medical publications? I swear my Mother would make an eye-opening case study. She has a disease that I have coined "Selective Amnesia". I would love to know if anyone else's parents suffer from this affliction. It drives me crazy! I have a vivid and very detailed memory. I remember the good stuff AND the bad stuff.

Since my Mom seems extremely keen on being my "best friend" now, and not just my Mother; I thought I would sit down with her and lance some old wounds. Festering boils really. I feel that if I am to be friends with someone that I have such ambivalent feelings towards, I need to clear the air and get some long overdue explanations. Over a casual lunch, I was able to insert one of my most painful questions into the general conversation. She was giving me her opinions on "parenting today" and how kids seem to be getting more disrespectful and violent. I laughingly commented, "Oh yeah, I wouldn't dare get out of line as a kid or Dad would remove his belt." *giggle snort cough* Reaction: glassy-eyed stare and slow blink of the uncomprehending. *ahem* "You remember, don't ya Mom? Dad used to hit Mike and I with his belt (and other stuff) when we got out of line? We were terrified of him..." Reaction: "What on earth are you talking about?! Your Father and I NEVER hit you kids!" *sputter CHOKE* "You're kidding me, right?"

Nope. She was serious. Selective Amnesia...no memory of abusive behavior toward my brother and I. "Remember that time you broke The Board Of Education over Mike's butt when you were spanking him?" *slight giggle inquisitive lift of eyebrow* Reaction: "I don't have any idea what you mean. I remember that paddle but I think your brother broke it. It was a decoration...we never HIT you kids with it!" OK. I am getting no where. Time to bail out on this conversation.

[heavy sigh]

There are many other examples. According to her I was never a fat preteen...I gained all my weight AFTER I started dating my now husband (translation - my weight problem is all my husband's fault). "But Mom, don't you remember finding all the candy hidden in my room and grounding me for a month? Don't you remember monitoring my eating like the gosh darn FOOD POLICE and never allowing me to eat bread or have second helpings? Don't you remember taking me to that dietician when I was a high school freshman...I had to get weighed in every Friday at the clinic? I lost so much weight you had to buy me a new school uniform half way through sophomore year because my old one was literally falling off me?"

Nope. She doesn't remember ANY of that. It never happened. According to her, I have a VIVID imagination. Uh huh. Selective Amnesia strikes again. Must be nice living on Planet Carol. Nothing bad ever happens there...it's all pleasant memories and a perfect life. On Planet Carol, I am her best friend...we have an open and loving relationship. She brags about it to all her coworkers and acquaintances. Have any of these people ever seen a photograph of me? No. Have I ever been personally introduced? No. Why? She hasn't told them I am fat. On Planet Carol, I am still a college student, thin, beautiful and she isn't in her early 60s. I guess I should be grateful that she has, at last, embraced being a Grandmother. She wanted to be called "Nanny" and not "Grandma" for the LONGEST time. At least her peeps have seen pictures of my son. He is worth bragging about, I guess. My Mother...I love her, but I don't like her very much.

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