Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blame

My sister was born to my mother and step-father when I was about nine years old - so for nine years I was numero uno in my family of origin. That made me the Golden Child. My grandmother came to live with us at the time to help take care of me and my newborn sister. This memory takes place around the time my sister was a year old so I was just about 10 years old.

My mom put my infant sister on my bed with me whilst I was reading something (a comic perhaps). I had a dark blue blanket on my bed - actually everything in my room was blue. My sister was in pink plopped not in the middle, but close enough to the edge of the bed that she could easily fall off should her baby self roll that way. My mother walked out of the room, leaving my sister and I alone (at least, I think we were alone - my grandmother was living with us at the time, and I can't recall if she was in the room with us). I remember looking up and the rest seemed to happen in slow motion:
my sister leaned over to the edge of the bed and proceeded to roll off. I saw her falling and tumbling in mid air and I felt like there was nothing I could do. She landed with a dull thump on the back of her head and started screaming.

Here's where it blurs -- I can't remember what happened right after my mother walked in, but in the next moment I was in my mother's room looking up at my balling mother and sister. Yes, my mother was crying right along with her baby daughter. Additionally, I felt as if my mother was blaming me for my sister falling off the bed. I don't recall what was said, but I remember very distinctly the feeling of being blamed for my sister's Great Fall. This left the back of her head slightly more flat for the rest of her life and we were able to laugh about it years later, but still, I always felt like it was my fault my sister fell off the bed.

And now I ask myself: why would a mother leave an baby who can barely sit up with a 10 year old and expect the 10 year old to know what to do? Why would a mother put that child so close to the edge of bed....THEN WALK OUT OF THE ROOM? Why would a mother blame her son for allowing his sister to fall off his bed?

Because the mother could do no wrong and would never fully accept that she was a mother without conscience, a mother without empathy, a mother without a soul.

4 comments:

  1. My guess is that she was feeling bored and wanted a dramatic story to tell to all her friends and relations.

    Try asking some of them what her version of that story was, if they remember.

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  2. I actually think it was much more than a case of boredom, although that could be a part of it. Typically, manipulative people often seek out drama because it makes them feel...less empty, I suppose.

    I think LSV's blaming and shaming is much more heinous than just chalking it all up to boredom though. It's true that it gave her a "story" to tell all her friends, but I think she just didn't care about whether her infant got hurt because she lacks empathy. And then, when the baby rolled off the bed, it was much easier to blame her 10 year old son, and force him to feel like he was at fault for the accident. She was setting him up for a lifetime of grooming - she was grooming him to feel guilt/shame. In fact, I'm betting that she did it so well that eventually, it no longer required his mother to be covert in her guilt tactics, for LSV to feel badly.

    It was never LSV's responsibility to be taking care of his sister - his sister is his sister, not his daughter. The mother needed to take responsibility, and GROW UP...and she didn't. It forced LSV to become the parent, AND caused him to bear the burden of all of his mother's bad behaviors. No doubt, he's learned to blame himself whenever his mother acts poorly.

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  3. This really hit me, LSV. HOLY SHIT dudeski. Whoa nelly, that's a doozey. Such chaos and General Disarray (hat tip South Park). In normal land, yes, sometimes a mother will call upon her 10 year old son to watch the baby. When this comes up, the mother should ASK the son "will you watch the baby for me?" and then SHOW HIM what you want him to do, ask him to make sure she doesn't fall! For christsake that is so traumatizing for BOTH children. It's not a fucking on/off switch, mom now, not mom now, la la la la. I'm feeling so much compassion for little LSV, what an awful event.

    thanks for sharing this,
    upsi

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  4. And this isn't the only thing: my mother let me step into the role of father-figure to my sister since her father wasn't around very much. Little LSV was not so ready for fatherhood at that time. Nor should he have been. Oy vey.

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