I have deleted my post of the letter to my mother. Its public appearance was apparently not a good idea, since it caused my sisters such distress, which was not my intention at all. In fact, I had actually hoped–WRONGLY, I find–that this letter might open some dialogue with them about our past, and act as a kind of amend for my childish behavior. Apparently not, and I’m sorry. One of my many defects of character is a tendency to reveal everything that I write, a real problem in the age of social media. I do want to thank so many of you for your support and good comments.
I did also want to say that my growing up wasn’t THAT different from thousands of other families in the 1950s. It had moments of lots of fun and friends and pet animals and camaraderie, and there certainly was communication, not brooding silences. My parents did the best they could. I have friends who suffered from real dysfunction, even violence, and have managed to construct good lives nonetheless. I gained some good solid values from my family despite the problems, and for that I am thankful.