Sneaking Across Boundaries
My constant defiance when it comes to boundaries makes me wonder if it stems from an innate rebellion against repression/suppression/oppression or learned from some traumatic experience that I have forgotten. Or perhaps if learned, it has developed gradually from the various aftermaths of having my boundaries trampled.
For years, I have wondered what it is about my mother that I find repulsive. What makes me build barriers to keep her out? I can name endless trivial things and quite a few noteworthy offenses, such as her raving misogyny, but it seems to be more than just that. On the other hand, it could just be that.
Now, now after this latest visit, I think I have put my finger on it. Sure, if anyone had said to me before, “You know your mother does not respect your space,” I would have agreed but only instinctively, not deductively as now. My mother does not respect my wishes, –never. It is like a negotiation that she has with herself. If she does not think my request/desire deserves to be respected, then that request/desire is not granted.
She is not alone. Actually, I think what I find so repulsive about it is, it is a fundamental male trait. I am not interested in getting to the root of if said trait is innate or if it is developed socially. The point is, more males than females refuse to honor a request/desire if they do not agree with the request. For instance, how tyrannies and non-tyrannie-males will not leave us alone. They do not give a fuck that we want female born space. They don’t think we need it and/or it is not what they want, so our desire is not respected.
My mother is male identified to her core. Although the example I will relay to you may seem innocent enough, it is not. There are times that the slow and endless gnawing and grinding of a lone termite can be just as reckless if not more so as a swift and sharp shark’s bite. The shark’s bite does not always snag a main valve, however, consistent and persistent gnawing eventually hollows out to the marrow and beyond.
Twenty years ago, my father gave me a three-foot wide brass plate; it was one of two that he brought back from the Middle East. It is big and heavy. The other one he gave to my sister. When I left for my travels some fifteen years ago, I asked my mother if I could store it at her house because it was too big to go with me. I remember the day very clearly. I remember where we agreed that I would keep it, in what closet. Of course when my daughter told my mother that she will be coming by to pick up her mother’s brass plate my mother started acting like the plate was not mine but my sister’s. As if my sister would have taken such time and effort to hide the plate as I did. Besides, she would have sold it for drugs already. I calmed myself and ignored all the accusations and her fake benevolence, “I don’t think it is hers but I guess I will let her have it.”
If I would have dug a 12×12 foot hole in the back acre and buried the plate in a three-foot deep trunk draped in sequined pashmina with fresh earth piled on after wards and finalized by a topcoat of feces and fourteen strategically placed sows to stir the mud up real good, the woman would still make some remark about how it does not really belong to me and that she is doing me a favor by letting me have it.
The plan was for my daughter to go to her grandmother’s at a set time and pick up the brass plate while she picked up her four year old. This way I would have my plate and my wish will be respected. That is, I would not have to see my mother. At the planned time the doorbell rung and my grandson was standing there. I asked, “Where is your mother?” He said, “I don’t know, grandma brought me home.” I called my daughter and she was at my mother’s house. The brass plate was sitting on the porch and no one was home. Next thing I know, my mother barged into my daughter’s house. She did not say a word. She just walked around the room and did not look at me or the babies. She told the four-year-old goodbye and then left. In other words, she forced me to see her when it was evident that I had no intentions on seeing her while I was there.
My first knee jerk reaction was to accuse my daughter of being part of this plan, but she was just as dumbfounded and frustrated as I was, and felt set up.