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  • My mother is a social worker. She firmly believes that it's always the parents' fault. People on drugs? depressed? unhappy? anorexic? overweight? a bully? racist? Blame the parents. Happy? well-adjusted? successful? compassionate? loving? Blame the parents.

    Grammy is judgmental, fun, worried, nervous, pessimistic, loyal to her family, compassionate to strangers, loving, kind, generous, believes she's a burden.

    Mamma is kind, compassionate, loving, caring, pessimistic, generous, loyal to her family and friends, fun, forgiving, thoughtful.

    I am selfish, depressed, despairing, self-centered, hateful, spiteful, self-absorbed, suicidal, and a mostly worthless waste of space.

    I know I didn't learn this from Mamma or Grammy. Mamma thinks it's her fault. She doesn't see that she has been the buffer, and that anything good has come from her. It's not her fault the rest of the world chops me to bits.

    Maybe one could lay "loyal to her family" at Mamma's feet. If I could kill myself without hurting my mother and grandmother, I would have done it a long time ago. I've spent countless hours trying to work out a foolproof method of suicide that looks like an accident. Drive my car 80mph into a concrete abutment? Could wind up a paraplegic instead. "Fall" off a cliff, bridge, tall building? Why was I up there to begin with? Drugs and alcohol? Could wind up a vegetable. Swim out into the Atlantic too far and drown? I can't swim. There must be no hint, no suspicion, and no room for error.

    Blame that on Mamma
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