When would this galling behavior of hers end? After all, she was an independent grown woman now.
And yet, one phone call had re positioned her on her haunches, expectantly awaiting a belly rub, a pat on the head; A mortifying display of her neediness.
A lifetime of negative observations and unjust critiques had forged an individual with a perennial sadness of heart and anxiousness of mind. A person unable to pull up and spit out all the built up bile within.
Sarah, much like Lady Macbeth, could not rid herself of her dirtiness and shame; with the one major difference, that she, unlike Lady Macbeth, didn’t know the reason why.
Dreading having to see Mary next week, Sarah has been losing sleep over what to wear, how to style her hair and do her makeup.
We join her now as she practices facial expressions and tone of voice in front of the mirror, late into the night on her third glass of wine. Unfortunately, instead of calming her rattled nerves, the effects of VINO VERITAS have underscored and magnified the diminished and pathetic way she is feeling.
And so begins yet another late night episode of torturous introspection.
How exquisite to feel like a winner; admired, adored even. Basking in the warmth of compliments and curiosity. But a win is never a complete win unless shared with and reflected in the eyes of someone you love.
This is where it always really starts to hurt Sarah, because the truth is that no matter what she does, says, or becomes, she will never be a winner in Mary’s eyes.
Sarah has achieved, excelled, from a very early age; falling down the usual rabbit hole that those in her situation normally choose, believing it will be the answer to all their problems.
But what, exactly, is wrong with her? wonders Sarah. What is so ugly and disgusting about her that not a day has passed in the past 26 years wherein Mary hasn’t looked at her without disapproval, disappointment, disgust?
Growing up Sarah had concluded that her mother hadn’t wanted her. Simple as that. She had been unwanted and a source of irritation from the get go; having apparently interrupted a life that should have gone a different route, as she was repeatedly reminded.
But, Sarah hadn’t been the cause, she had been the result of Mary’s decisions or mistakes. And yet the definition of mistake had been transferred to her tiny head the minute she had appeared. Each passing year the animosity towards her had grown as had the torrent of insults and cold observations that had struck her with the same violent force that a punch or a kick would have delivered.
When Sarah turned eighteen, she left home thinking that at long last she would escape the clutches of her miserable life. Yet here she was, with one phone call, after a year of blissful silence, turned into a pale and shaking anxiety filled blob covered in skin.
Why had she even agreed to see her mother? Now, that she had finally started to feel better, stronger, healthier? It was pure self-destructiveness to put herself once again in the clutches of that woman.
The truth of the matter was, that she needed to hope, needed to believe, needed to know that one day she would be told, that all that had transpired hadn’t been her fault.
She needed to be told that at whatever basic a level or misguided a manner, she had been wanted; she had been loved. And that there was nothing wrong and broken in her.