It feels like women have, through the ages, expected to get through their lives by welcoming being unconscious, tolerating this negative thing, doing everything in her power to right this unrightable problem, forever cleaning up utterly avoidable messes left by people who maintained a blissful ignorance that meant never seeing, appreciating any of it. Of course it was done – – that’s why SHE was there.
For most of her life, my mother was the queen of unconscious. When anything didn’t fit into her view or if something she did went horribly awry, in her mind it didn’t exist, never happened.
It was pretty jaw-dropping to experience. Before I was married, probably 33+ years ago, Mim, Mom & I were in a conversation. Can see the three of us: Mim & Mom at the end of the dining room table, stsnding near the door to Mom’s room, while I was across the room, sitting at the breakfast table. For some reason, the fact that Mim didn’t love me came up. Not as a slam or to hurt, just a reality. Mom was flustered & protested that of course my sister loved me, turning to Mim to back her up. Instead, Mim stated – “But I don’t love her.” Again, Mom protested; again, Mim calmly, dispassionately, stated she didn’t. Mom said not a word, turned on her heel, went into her bedroom & shut the door. Unconscious. She never brought it up again.
I wasn’t hurt by Mim’s honesty; had been conscious since age eleven of my sister’s antipathy. What mattered less to me, then & now, that Mim did not love me & more that I loved her.
Far more serious was the time, in 1997, when all hell broke loose due to Mom going emotionally unconscious. She did something that blew up in her face & responded by completely wiping out any memory of what she had done. Since the other people in loved had no clue about Mom’s tendency to go unconscious when it suited, they chalked up the mess to me. Mom never did regain any memory of what happened & to this day the others place total responsibility for the nasty fracas that ensued squarely on my shoulders.
Mom was all about being unconscious. The pain of being aware was too sharp, painful, dangerous. She was not unusual for a woman born in 1910. Sadly, such a tendency – one that disguises itself as self protecting when it is anything BUT – still messes up too many lives. Men have probably fallen prey to its wiles, but women remain particularly susceptible.
In her own “final four,” Mom did step away from unconsciousness & raised uncomfortable clarity above her once cozy blindness. Wishing the same for any unconscious soul, man or woman, old or young. It wasn’t easy, but oh the unexpected rewards – – bold new experiences, astonishing connections & an unexpected use.