People | Mental Health

Take Care: Mothers, Daughters, and Inheriting Self-Hatred

“All my mother had done was try to love me while not loving herself.”

Maybe now, maybe this time I’ll be okay

arts of my brain sent out synaptic carrier pigeons with messages from the past, trying to guide me to safety. Was it in England, perhaps, where I had once been held so tightly by my father inside his dark green raincoat that I had wanted to live there permanently? Or was it on a canal boat where I had spent a summer watching my father, who for once was not sick, navigate manmade waterways from the back of a barge as we cut through the countryside? My father had listened obsessively to Willie Nelson as cancer took him month by month, skin by hair, veins pulling him like strings away from life. As if somehow the world Willie Nelson sang of might just rescue him. Time ago. Trains in the night. Wishes and dreams. And now, I too, at the edge of life searched my personal library for anything that could bring me back.

Brideshead Revisited

Gentle Ben