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December 31, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - PART EIGHT - Mother's Bitter Pill

Edited Jan. 02, 2011, 8:30PM

It's during your late teens/early 20's that you find the key, or you don't. I found it. It exists!

If my life is for no other reason, it would be my legacy and involvements in a new world order during the `970's. The '60's and 70's earned their place in history, and I'm certain historians will try to delve into people like myself during those years.

What we know of ourselves is not always obvious or understandable. It's obvious there are many different facets to our reality, who we are.

Sociologically We are:

1) Who we see ourselves as.
2) Who we see ourselves as reflected in others.
3) How we feel others perceive us.
4) How others do perceive us.
4) It's the empirical whole of all the above and that makes us who we are.

When I first moved out I faced my life... literally. I I realized I was "on my own". I had decisions to make. A life...

Sink or swim?

Mother's Bitter Pill is that for years after I moved out my mother hovered over me... today what we call "helicopter parents". Every decision I made was wrong. Every single one!

What hurts really bad still today is the fact that I made my decisions with considerable thought. My decisions made sense to me.

My father used to ask me, I think I said already, "why am I rebelling?"

I wasn't.

But to them, I was... and to my mother it was unspeakably and totally unacceptable, "my behavior".

So there, I've said it. But there's more.

I let my hair grow long, then; I worked full-time as a custodian at a college. I lived at the edge of the campus in an apartment. I rode a bike everywhere. I had a dream job, working at the college's Fine Arts Center. I had a bundle of keys I proudly wore from my belt. My position made me an employee, and a student. Tuition was part of the benefits, and I took a lot of free classes.

My father used to joke that "I'd beat the system". Ironically I was never sure how to take that. As sarcasm, since no one could, or as recognition -'job well done"!

As in the story by Ray Bradbury, "R Is For Rocket", and the short-story within, "Frost and Fire", I'd found my way to the "scientists"... I could make my life anything I wanted it to be.

And for four full years I did just that... to describe it is essentially what this topic is about... my Rite of Passage. Heaven and Hell...

Simply put, I was a disgrace to my mother. The phone calls every other day were meant to remind me of that 'fact'. With questions like "when am I going to get a real job?" When am I going to stop fucking whores and get married?" "When am I going to start caring about others?"

A total disconnect... The conversions were mostly one way and upsetting.

The farthest thing from my mind was being a disgrace to the family... but that is what I was! A total 180 degree opposite from the reality I was living.

At age 24 the shit hit the fan... the night before I was to move to Arizona. I didn't really want to move, but even my father said this town "is too small for you and your mother". At the time, the "go west young man" was on everyones mind anyways. Trouble is I gave up a lot when I moved. A huge "lot".

The night before I was to leave I called home... my mother wanted to know who I would be staying with? On the surface not a odd question, but her motive behind the question went far deeper... and I wouldn't answer her. I took the 5th. But eventually she got me to admit I was going to live with a friend that was a woman. A platonic friend.

Mother's Bitter Pill... she cursed me and damned me to hell for my choice to live in sin with a woman.

When people talk about PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), they generally don't consider my experience that night to fall into place. But after 5 years of living the good life, to hear her say that devastated me... it shrunk me back to "child". I stayed in AZ one month... and as if what my parents said would happen had happened, which it didn't, I got on a bus, left my cat, moved back home and it took a year for me to move out again. I was never the same after that night.

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