“Some children can never grow up,” he said. “It’s as though their family of origin refuses to give over the deed to the psychological property. They cannot get free to live their own lives.”
That semester, I started to hate Waltham. It happened quietly, perhaps during the night. As I soaked up philosophy and family systems at TWU, I also became aware of a squatter who’d taken up residence in my body some years before: a model Church-of-Christ mother. She was like a tiny doll, wearing sensible shoes. She’d love to be spoiled by a lover, but this never happened. So instead she huddled inside me and passed judgment on my wardrobe, my hairstyles, and especially my social life. She worried I might be sexual. She disliked my friends. She loved the symphony more than she loved God, but she could never admit this, which made her confused and mean-spirited. Sometimes an unflattering stimulus, like Susan’s seat-grab, made me notice that little mother inside, and then I noticed myself noticing her.
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