My mother messed up my depth perception. It is not her fault, she has a made-up picture of what a model suburban family should be. Her own mother left her by suicide, leaving her to be raised by a cranky and inept stepmother. The result is that I have a mom-by-book, whose god is Dr. Spock.
Back to my depth perception problem. I have trouble crossing the street. Have I the right-of-way? Do I have enough time to cross safely? These are all important questions for a young person who wants to make her way safely to the corner store and back. I depended on my mom to teach me, and keep me safe. But my mom-by-book does not know. All she could do was give me the rules.
It is still entertaining to watch her navigate her street corner. Mom starts out confidently enough from that short light, but halfway across the intersection, she breaks in to double-speed. Afterwards, she stops to catch her breath and calm her beating heart. Every crossing is a terrifying venture, as she desperately tries to beat the flashing red hand. Marked crosswalks have their own problems. Especially if there is a clear line of view.
I have a persistent memory from my childhood standing at a certain crosswalk, holding my mother?s hand. ?When can we cross?? I would ask. ?When we see no cars coming,? was the reply. Simple enough. So I would stand at that crosswalk with my mother, holding her hand, looking down that long, long street, and wishing no more cars would come in to view.
So here I stand at the street corner alone, waiting to cross. Others bustle and bundle their way past me, in blatant disregard for the posted rules of the road. Have I the right-of-way? Do I have enough time to cross safely? Is it possible to gauge the speed of the oncoming vehicle, assume a regular speed, and determine if I have enough time to cross? I hesitate. My head hurts.
Oh, well, with time I will figure it out.
QUESTION: How much of what we become is our parent?s fault? How do our parents affect our perception of reality? How do we figure out which bits they screwed up? And how do we go about fixing it?