I grew up thinking often that my mother was crazy. I'd say it jokingly to friends in the hallway or add it in the sporadic places in my journal where rants would trail into ellipses. But I never thought terribly much about it, that is to say I didn't take the critique of her seriously, I mean don't all teenagers think their parents are crazy at one point or another? Was mine particularly off her rocker?
I'm starting to answer that question differently in light of recent events...The most recent is when she casually mentioned that I should call my relatives in Puerto Rico for Christmas. I was taken aback considering that I had been under the distinct impression that we had never really been in contact with them consistently and that we had lost contact completely with them when my grandparents passed away. Yet she dictated to me the phone numbers and addresses, claiming she had kept in contact with them all along, and that she didn't know why I had decided not to go to Puerto Rico as a kid. She also mentioned that she thought it was nice of my aunt to offer to help pay for college. Upon calling my relatives, I found out that they spoke English(mother had told me that I needed to learn spanish to speak with them), that they knew where my half brother on my father's side lives, that they have kept in contact with my mother enough to know about my other 5 year old half-brother, Daniel... They knew as much about my mother as I did practically and I knew nothing about them except what my mother had told me which is falling more and more under suspicion each day.
As I realize the extent to which I was isolated growing up (rarely being allowed to go to friends houses, being banned constantly monitored or banned from using the internet, and moving every two years without ever going anywhere, only just outside of my school district so that I would have to start a new school), I realize that most (if not all of the) things I know about myself, my family, and the world at large have come from someone manipulative who has spent majority of my life controlling my access to information.
These days I'm thinking its a distinct possibility that my mother actually does have problems. I'm starting to recognize how for years I have justified her demand for total control, her often illogical responses, her propensity for only telling the most miserable stories about life, and her far-reaching paranoia. I realize to what extent I have compromised my own sense of what is real when it contradicted what she would tell me was real...aways yielding to her version of events when she would convince me that what I remembered happening didn't happen or that what I didn't remember happening actually did.
I'm starting to have memories come back to me that have been buried in the recesses of my mind for a long time (such as the prison one I posted).
Using the same logic as in an algerbraic problem that you can't figure out, you can start plugging in numbers until your find one that works, if I plug-in the idea that my mother has a distorted sense of reality and has done whatever it took to make that reality believable to me, then all of the inconsistencies and contradictions start making a lot of sense.
I guess now I'm stuck trying to deal with the fact that what I have always assumed to be true on face value may in fact be part of an elaborate system of exaggerations, half-truths, and lies...
While I'm utterly confused for myself, more poignantly I'm concerned for her well-being and for Daniel's childhood...