My grandmother looked into my eyes and coldly said: What did your father do to you? He changed you. I swear, if I could, I would kill him. I felt an indistinct chill down my spine and thought that I was looking into the eye of evil.
She had my mother in her mind, who suffered from mental illness. She wanted me to keep being her daughter’s.
Today, I see that silent and impersonal outcry in her eyes for what it is the first time: The fatal hatred of a slave master who has invested twenty years in bringing up a little obedient sheep for the slaughter house. Looking forward to the meal. Now somebody stole it. Yes, of course she would be angry, I can understand it.
It creates an interesting perspective: The coddling, the caretaking, the mothering as the pretense, as the mask, as the play. And her face in that moment as the face of the person behind it. Uncanny. Imagine a beautiful sweet girl who wants to marry you. You reject her because it does not suit you for some reason, despite you wanting it. And before your eyes, she transform into something akin to The Thing. Then, no more bound to pretense – because she lost – she tells you with a creepy simmering monster voice: I would have gladly eaten you up, Tom, I was looking forward to you. Good for you, you outsmarted me.
And the devastation of seeing this lies in the fact that you know you would have blindly run into the trap, had not some random circumstance saved you from it. You know that it was not your reason and sharpness that saved you from the jaws of the monster, but pure luck.
You see yourself as the naive and stupid sheep that would have happily walked into the slaughter house, believing in the profound honesty of all the affection, believing you were special to be worthy of this extraordinary amount of love.
Suddenly, the world loses everything that seemed to have given it integrity before. You see that the only ones who told you you were special and deserving of everything were the ones who wanted to abuse you into being their own pet. And you see that you were completely oblivious to it.
You feel out of control. Suddenly it seems like the powers of life can lift, whirl and crush you at their whim. And all your pretense of understanding everything came from the people who told you that life consists only of the things they told you.
It fills you with awe and reverence; a profound fear of a cruel and relentless god. No, not a likable bearded man. More like a buzzing and hot energy field that will fry you at a moment’s notice without any regard for your sentiments or safety. A force so far greater than you that protest seems absurd. The most courageous thing to do, to surrender.