Sunday, August 21, 2005

nanna, part deux

Nan is an emotional void, that's true. She's never been your regulation lovey, huggy grandma, but that's just how she is. I asked her if she wanted to know about her great-grandchild, and she did, so we talked and she oohed and aahed with genuine delight over the ultrasound pictures. She's thrilled at the news, and excited because that she never thought she'd get to be a great grandma.

Earlier this week, I remembered events, and that led to greater insight to the destructive influence my mother's words may have been to my abilty to relate to others. Mum puts a lot of energy into trying to please her own mother, so it's not too far fetched to assume that she may feel threatened by the relationship nanna and I once shared. I say 'once', because where once nan and I were as close as two damaged people could be, now we're not. Mum has told me on various occasions that the people I love 'can't wait to see the back of me', think that I'm 'too much for them', consider me a burden, have their own lives, bla bla, no wonder I'm so fucked up, bla bla bla.

As an aside, I can't believe I've just now remembered this quality of hers.

Last week, I was with Dorothy, a women I've known since her daughter and I were best friends at school. Because of that friendship, our families became entwined, then later when I had no one, they found me again and her family became all I had. We shared time and our lives, and then it stopped. Last week, she told me her family wanted me to be more involved again, like I used to be. I remembered then why I'd moved away from them all. It was a memory I may have even suppressed, because no shit, being told I'm that onerous for the people who matter to me hurts. I remembered mum telling me that Dorothy felt I was 'too much', and I rememberd drowning in the shame that comes with knowing your existence is wearing the living shit out of the people you loved, so I hid. Dorothy assured me that they had never, ever felt that way, and never, ever would, and I saw the proverbial light.

Similarly, mum told me nanna had moved to Queensland because I was so difficult to be around, and coloured this news with tales of things nanna (supposedly) said about me once she was there. So I distanced myself from nanna too, to save her from who I've been told I am, and created a space between us so as not to be the burden she'd moved so far away to escape.

Now I think mum is quite possibly full of shit and that chances are, nanna's heard the same from my mum about being a burden to me. It could explain why she was so polite, and so very removed. Maybe she was scared to just be?

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