I could start with the first time she was hospitalized, in what was supposed to be my last year of college. In the hospital, she greeted me in her nightgown with one of my stuffed animals, a mouse, in her hand. In her room were the rest of stuffed animals of my childhood. Or maybe … Continue reading Where Do I Start When I Talk About My Mentally-Ill Mother?
I’m moving to a new place at long last. I’m over-the-moon. Years of San Francisco rent being too damn high is finally starting to turn around. I found a sweet little garden apartment in a quiet neighborhood. Just my speed. While I’m full of excitement and anticipation, I’m also crumbling. I wish I could share … Continue reading My New Home and Homelessness
I meet her now for lunch. We share food and conversation. I can check in on how she’s doing. She can see that nothing bad is happening to me. Her mind is lively. She’s still interested in art, architecture, politics. She showed me a couple political books she’s read lately. She’s in there, interested in … Continue reading Staying in Her Life
She asks me if I even spoke in Meddler. I tell her no, I don’t even know what Meddler is, except for what she has told me. She says it’s a communication system. She says that someone in Meddler spoke to her who she hadn’t heard before. She had a young voice, which is unusual … Continue reading She’s Going to Disappear For a While
Here we are, approaching the end of the year. It’s been nearly three years since my mother has reappeared. I’m no longer in full flaming freak-out. I’m no longer in the deepest despair of her situation. There is a low murmuring grief that we are here, another year of my mother on the street. Another … Continue reading Closing the Year
I got a call from the police at 10:30 p.m. They found my mother in a park and saw the open missing persons report I made from the last time she disappeared. They asked me about my mother’s history. We talked about involuntary commitment, which they said they did not have cause to do. I … Continue reading Mom’s Been Found
I have made the calls, which was easier this time. It was easier because I know what city she’s hanging out in now. It was also easier because I’ve done this before and we were reconnected in time. It’s become part of the process of my life now: mom disappears and I call the hospitals, … Continue reading My mother has disappeared again, the fourth time.
So, I’m at the regular meeting spot on the appointed day and the appointed time and there’s no mom. Two weeks ago I missed our meeting because I threw my back out. As is our agreement if either of us misses a meeting, I came to meet her same place, same time, same day. No … Continue reading Again
I remember the moment when she stopped being my mother. I realized that even as a grown adult that I could not count on her for my most basic needs. It was 2003. I had been on vacation and couldn’t reach my mom by phone when I came back. When my boyfriend and I went … Continue reading When She Stopped Being My Mother
My mother is reading “The Handmaid’s Tale.”