Author Topic: When a boarding school experience can made you wish to die many years later  (Read 868 times)

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Offline Oscar

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The reason my mother died (Thomas Victor)

The biggest lie of our culture is that children are resilient.

Absolutely not. They’re fragile. Putting my mother in a Catholic boarding school killed her eighty years later. The nuns made her stay at the dining-room table until she’d eaten everything on her plate. Sometimes she was there for hours. In her letters to her parents, Mom is careful to concentrate only on trivia and lightness. This was the way my maternal grandparents distracted themselves from their problems.

When Mom was in the hospital and nursing home in 2013, she refused to eat. Absolutely nothing we said to her penetrated. She was too angry. And then, when the inevitable happened, and she developed cachexia, she panicked and died crying, in terror. Yet she turned down all offers to see a priest. Her religion didn’t comfort her; it frightened her. She thought that she was doomed to eternal damnation.

As an aside, I know she wasn’t. The Planner doesn’t send anyone anywhere. We choose our own destinations. Mom went somewhere nice, as she merited.

She said to us that her suffering was her penitence. We told her over and over that we rejected the notion of physical suffering as atonement. There was no need for her to be punished. Yes, even though she and her husband had made terrible choices, killing herself wouldn’t solve anything. It would just cause us more pain. But the lessons of the nuns had taken hold. We couldn’t comfort her, help her, or save her. At five years old, her fate was sealed.