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European Tribune - Non-Committal
the mother sat there stiff in her mink-lined coat and ashen face

When I first saw the TV adaptation of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and made out the stiff figure of Geraldine McEwan as the girl's mother in her coat and hat, I nearly had a heart attack, it was the image of my mother. Who was, in life, certainly not to be outdone in Christian madness by Jeanette Winterson's semi-fictional mother character.

Part of the problem is to know who's mad, or the maddest. But that is speculative compared to the power one can have over the other. It may come down to a question of brute force. I broke off with my mother when I was still young, and put a fair physical distance between us. I think that's how I preserved my sanity.

If you think your friend's committal is abusive, perhaps you can help him get free of it, but what he probably most needs is to get out from under his mother's thumb. Which of course you know, and no doubt measure how hard it is to bring about.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 03:57:23 PM EST
You're right. His financial difficulties had put him back with the family - not completely, but in any case, closer. The tangled undergrowth of family relationships is always hard to make progress through, even if benign on the surface. I have an older sister in Australasia with whom I have a fraught relationship. It's been on the wrong foot since we were kids and I've never known how to rebalance it.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 04:13:02 PM EST
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I can only offer that you be strong and clear as you can, and do what's within your decisions and power. All else...?

Aren't you going to all-inclusiveland very soon?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 05:35:04 PM EST
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I will be away, but John has many friends. He called for help to one of my close colleagues first (a friend from school), and we then went to see him. My colleague will activate the rest of John's network.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Jan 27th, 2011 at 03:10:21 AM EST
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Don't presume your relatives are your friends. You didn't pick them.

Society tells you that you must love them, but you know, society sometimes lies.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 06:33:41 PM EST
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to fly ideas that are too far ahead of the social curve, no matter how visionary and inspired, requires grounding in reality based thinking, or Bad Things Happen...

history is sadly replete with illuminating examples of this.

i also had to put a lot of space between myself and my family of origin to find the thread out of the labyrinth.

i feel for your friend, and wish you luck in somehow ameliorating his situation. tragic...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 08:26:38 PM EST
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Oh this is so hard...hard to explain and understand.
I had some experiences in the family in past long behind...Where exactly is that tin line between madness and "healthy" rebellion?
Well I think it comes to finance nowadays at least...Not to finance as such because some people will always be short of money and will depend on others but to basic financing your life which means that you are working or are able to make money through any socially admired way. That means that you are functioning...socially. So you are not mad no matter how bizarre your behaving is. You'll be strange but not mad.
To be put in a mental hospital against your will I suppose that must be much more serious problems that occurred. But what do I know?
I have a daughter that is at 34 still overwhelmingly rebellious (well this goes in to the family and I was rebel as young person and still am in many of my views).We are fighting almost all the time all tho I try to take her as she is lately cause I lost power to fight with her. But she studied university (a little bit late in her late 20s) and was a very good student. Now she has finished studying and is working. I still do not agree with her life style (especially because she had young daughter) but there is not much to be done there...
What's socially acceptable? I do not see myself as conservative (maybe just old, ha-ha) but for my taste too much is acceptable nowadays. Maybe the best advice for sanity and good life would be "do not hurt yourself and do not hurt others"...But people do just that a lot through life...  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Feb 3rd, 2011 at 09:13:31 PM EST
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