I was in hospital subsequent to a heart attack in July of 2017 and had had a stent fitted in a blood vessel supplying heart tissue. Back on ward, I reported that my speech was going slurred; and the doctor on duty insisted that I have a scan of the brain because a release of a blood clot and a resultant stroke could not be ruled out. In the event, there was no evidence of a current or ongoing stroke.
There was, however, evidence of historical brain damage. And, my curiosity was not sufficient reason for a neurologist’s report to be commissioned. That would only happen if there was any mental health aspect that could become better understood; or, if I was taking psychoactive medication and an expert’s report was required for that sort of reason.
But, of course, within my family environment during childhood, adolescence and later there were disturbances to my wellbeing; and it was the more general pattern that my mother would deny having responsibility for my wellbeing, claiming that she was entitled to have little to do with me. I did have a stammer and early-years learning difficulties and, in turn, my siblings became hostile and abusive toward me. Clearly, my childhood development pattern was unusual both because of the evidence of the brain scan that was now available and my mother’s earlier attitude toward me.
I don’t really think in any case my mother would have cared, even if the brain damage information had earlier been shown for her. She seemed to present that all that she did that was patently neglectful was absolutely correct, in the manner that she was some sort of autocrat coping with the situation as then known to her. There were many weird conspiracy theories that were invoked to account for my difficulties and I presume with hindsight these were mainly concerned with how she would navigate her life as a lesbian and simultaneously try to keep that matter as some sort of secret. It might be said that she had that bigger problem to attend to. Subsidiary to that endeavour was, of course, her endeavour to try to demonstrate to the other of my siblings that she was in all senses a conventional mother.
On being told that clinical news in my hospital bed, I was very much aware that I was exactly the same person I was one month earlier. But there are these other implications about the person that my mother said I was, and there is for me this life-journey aspect of getting a better handle on how I should address my reevaluations of these wrecked relationships. Clearly, for example, I was not as weird as I might have thought; and, clearly, my life journey had been made all the more complicated.
One year on, and there was been a whole host of directly-medical issues for me to address. But who knows really what new discoveries there might be; I would say, though, that I presume that the challenges can be coped with. Obviously, there are many layers to this; and there remains a marked difference of opinion between me and my siblings about whether my mother was entitled to disown me as she did or to be as moralising as she obviously was.
De facto, I am as separated as ever. But I guess the conspiracy theories are now largely debunked. Clearly, also, a mother does not have to bond with all of her children.