I am reading The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok. Her memories take shape as a.house or maybe a castle. Nevertheless, they take shape.
I feel close to Bartok. While she has a schizophrenic mother, I have an emotionally ill mother. Not to say that I am not an emotionally ill daughter, but I am here journaling while she is there staying mentally ill.
My memories are not as eloquent as Bartok’s, but they are just as potent. Just as sharp and haunting. She is afraid of her mother and the affect she will have on her life, her job, her friends, her stability.
And while my mother has not called in the middle of the night, accusing my “associates” of rape and kidnapping, my mother has called my job and my school crying that she has not heard from me and that I do not call her about my whereabouts. “Call your mother,” I hear. If you only knew. Is there a difference between a schizophrenic and a borderline?
Perhaps medically. But those affected by a mental illness, it’s all the same. The same pain and fear and instability. The same inability to move forward and away without minimal guilt and shame from where you come from and where you could inevitably end up.
While my memories are not as eloquent and organized as Bartok’s palace, they are memories nonetheless. And it’s the memories which bring healing.