Funny how these bursts of clarity about my parents' twistedness (especially my mother) come with no hard and fast answers. I feel good that I can reflect on situations and incidents, seeing them slightly differently than before, but I still don't know for sure if I'm possibly over-inflating how egregious they might be.
1). Before my terminally ill, elderly En-probably Inverted N father died, he wrote an autobiography, which I re-read recently (6 plus years after he died). I was left with that familiar combination of feelings--missing his appealing personality traits (intelligence, humor), but also noticing his aloofness, and his self-centeredness (yes, it was his autobiography, but still!). Yesterday, one of the phrases he'd used several times throughout really struck me as manipulative--and very familiar/typical of him, and I had that sense of being incredibly irritated by him again.
2) Another sudden thought I had just this morning had to do with my malignant Nmother, and what happened when I was about 11. She became friendly with a deeply disturbed colleague of hers, who eventually attempted suicide, but didn't succeed in killing herself. She was brain damaged for the rest of her life, and institutionalized. I had tried talking to my mother about how uncomfortable she made me. One of this woman's things was that she'd leave hardcore porn magazines lying around, for my brother and me to find. My mother told me at the time to ignore them and just do my homework
. The whole 6 month long episode of this person in our lives ended with my mother blaming me for her friend's attempted suicide, accusing me of not being kind or sensitive enough. It messed with my head for decades in a way I can't describe.
Anyway, the thought occured to me today--what if this lady was trying to "groom" my brother and me??! Maybe she wasn't just deeply f--cked up and completely clueless? Maybe it was deliberate? And then I wondered, well, how complicit would my mother be in this grossness?? I've always had a high level of disgust and revulsion towards my mother, and this thought popping into my head only bumped that up another notch.
I'll never have the answers, and I still ask myself if I'm devoting too much head space to past events. But I'm glad that I keep trying to uncover whatever is there. As I get older, I get more and more appalled at how they behaved.