I’ve written a little bit about my mom. I do acknowledge that this was almost three years ago and was probably the worst time in her life. We had never gotten along and this was just one of the worst times for me.
When I told her as a teenager that I had found my place, had found where I belonged in Judaism, she went ballistic. She searched my room while I was in school for any sort of Judaica and anything she found she threw out or burned. I had to sneak books about Judaism home from the library and read them by flashlight in the middle of the night. A high school friend had given me a mezuzah with the scroll inside. I don’t know if it was kosher or not but I guarded it like a priceless treasure.
My depressions in high school were bad enough that it came to the attention of the principal who called social services who threatened to have me removed from my home unless my parents got me into therapy. They denied there were problems. They denied all of the abuse. They set me up with a psychiatrist who wanted to drug me and when I refused they demanded I tell them about each of my sessions. When I refused to do that as well because the psychiatrist said anything I said was confidential so long as I wasn’t a threat to myself or anyone else they refused to pay his bill. Therapy ended before it could do any good.
My track record with my mom is not good. So please allow me some shock and surprise in response to the email I received from her tonight. I wrote to her and told her about this latest depression, about maybe having to be hospitalized, about adjusting my meds. The times I’ve told her about previous depressions she’s told me many of the things I suggested were not good choices for someone who’s depressed. I expected more of the same but decided honesty in telling her what was going on with me was preferable to ignoring her.
I got nothing of the sort. I got an email that sounded genuinely concerned and supportive. She even asked what she could do long distance. She has never asked that before. I know people can change but I am stunned. I wonder if it has something to do with her having a new relationship. If so I hope he stays forever. Her email left me feeling like I wanted to call her and not just email back. I’m a little scared that she might not be the same way on the telephone but it may be worth the risk.
Like the mezuzah from all those years ago this is an email I will treat like a priceless treasure. My mom reaching out to me in a loving way. That really is priceless.