I sit on the couch watching the television, my eyes wander, looking at the piles of paper that surround me. I remind myself that I am no longer a part of this world. That I can walk away at any time.
One comment and instantly I’m now part of that world I thought I’d left behind. I’ve become the child I once was with the same responses that child had. The only thing different is that I have an adult body.
I sit on the couch watching TV when suddenly it shuts off. “I was watching it” I comment quietly. “I didn’t think you were” she says “and besides it sounded like a stupid program”.
“I’m hungry” “ Could I have some pudding?” I ask my mother. “Of course you can have a pudding”. I’m very hungry. I haven’t eaten all day. And since there are two flavours, I decide to have one of each. “Did you have two puddings?” my mother asks me with a slight edge to her voice. I quietly answer her with a yes. Somehow I forgot I couldn’t just help myself to the food. I need permission to eat.
And in the two days I stay at her house I only eat one meal. She has lots of food but for reasons I don’t know we don’t eat much. I guess I could cook but…
I have a bowl of cereal. She goes into the kitchen and notices the spoon I had used. “Why did you use this spoon?” “That’s not the one you should be using”. I quietly tell her that it would be easy for me to wash it up and put it back. I forgot that there are only certain dishes I can use and I need to ask which ones those would be.
One morning I wash my hair and grabbed a towel to dry it. “Why did you use that towel to dry your hair? “ “I don’t want you to use those”. I quietly say to her that I didn’t know that I had to use a certain towel. She is the one who will pick out the towel for me to use. And it will always be a small thin towel.
I get up to use the washroom. “What are you doing?” she asks of me from the living room. “Why?’ I ask back. “I ‘m just curious,” she says. I’m asked this almost every time I leave the room.
I try to walk carefully around the piles of papers but sometimes I end up tripping over something. “Boy you sure make a lot of noise for one person” she’ll say. I don’t even comment on this, just let it go.
And so I am instantly transported back into my childhood. I don’t know how to change this. Loyalty and respect for her was terrorized into me by Wayne, which is somewhat ironic since he used to beat her to a pulp. As much as I try I can’t seem to break out of that. Apparently I was a good learner.
I don’t how to become an adult in my mother’s eyes. I don’t know how to stay an adult when I’m in her house. The switch from adult to child seems to happen before I’m even aware of it.