My family operates from a cloud of avoidance and denial. My mother has anchored her perception of me onto some strange fictions. I’ve always let it slide as the price of secrets.

On occasion my therapist will describe the person who walked into his office so long ago. He had rarely seen anyone as embroiled in as much shame as I was. He knew I had been through something. It’s a painful reflection, but oddly comforting. Of course I am proud of my progress. But there is more. It was a relief to be known and understood. I wasn’t judged. He saw into my core with compassion. To be seen and validated is a precious gift. These are things the mythology portray as qualities of Home.

My mother isn’t a bad person with an agenda. At 89 I want her to enjoy her days without ruffles or complications. But yesterday she shared one of her stories that was so grievously wrong, I had to correct her. It wasn’t a confrontation, I didn’t force enlightenment on her, I simply corrected her. And then we moved on to flower pots and travel plans.

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