Sunday, April 20, 2008

Maybe I understand after all ... So she's now totally bald! So...?

Do you suppose that -- given her mental retardation -- and, since her decisions must therefore be emotionally rather than intellectually based -- she's seized the lead in freeing us both from these past weeks of regression? She has always had these flashes of rationality that defy logic. I suspect that this is one of those times.

We'd gotten ourselves locked into a pattern that was destructive to her sense of self and relative independence. I couldn't allow myself to admit how guilty I felt at having left her behind to enjoy that great trip without. It's so hard to admit that I sometimes feel weighted down by the constant awareness of her needs.

Recently I've fallen quite comfortably into picking her up each day -- taking her to my apartment for endless and mindless television watching and mother-prepared suppers. She'd become glued to the Disney channel and little else as I read or poured over studies for my work.

Maybe taking the clippers to her head at the first opportunity when she was alone in her own place changed the pattern. She is too fearful to face me without her hair -- so can't possibly come home for awhile, right? I haven't seen her yet, though she's called several times today to tell me that she's sorry for "...doing a dumb thing."

It was a drastic move, but she accomplished something we both needed to have happen. She's free again. She's back home being the adult in her own household (to her two cats). I'm free again to return to my work and my usual busyness.

She is probably less lonely in her own surroundings than when she is with me as I'm off into my head or escaping into the Internet or conceiving some new outreach plan ... while she sits before the idiot box watching Hannah Montana -- hoping to understand a world far beyond her capacities but that charms her nonetheless.

Dori may have found the answer for us both; and I love her for it.

Maybe -- in a day or so when she's ready -- I'll stop by and pick her up to buy a new hat or some bright head scarves. After all, the media brings her visions of women of the world in head coverings every day.

We'll have dinner out; then I'll take her to her own home.

...then I'll return to mine.

Signed: A repentant mother.

Photo: Dorian with a painting in acryllics of her cat, Speedy Reid. We'd had to have her euthanized after a long life of being cherished . This piece was done to serve as the centerpiece for a lunchtime memorial service she conducted at NIAD (National Institute for Artists With Disabilities). Note the halo.

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