Home Coming

As the previous two blogs have been on this subject…… After I found my mother working for the UN in The Gambia she disappeared and transferred to Swaziland. I tracked her down again, it took three years and then shockingly she disappeared again. Years passed until I discovered her again this time in South Africa . And yes she moved on yet again. I started to get the feeling she was moving not because of the UN but because of her stalker. Each time I sent desperate letters and faxes. Each time I pretended as if nothing had happened. “Hi, it’s me. Hope you’re well…”

Meanwhile in England I'm reading from my books on stages throughout the country and eventually the world and I’m returning home in Manchester always to the question of my search. Any applause, any recognition of achievement only highlighted the all consuming search that feasted on my waking thoughts. Finally I discovered my mother was in NY. I tracked down a telephone number and called.

My brother, now graduated and back home, picked up the phone . The last time we met was nine years earlier in Gambia where on my newly found mothers wishes I disguised myself as a distant cousin. Not this time. “it's me” I said to him “I am your brother”. The proverbial cat was finally out of its suffocating bag. He called my sister in Paris and another in Senegal and they rounded on their mother. There was no way I could be ignored now

Since meeting her when I was 21 in Gambia it took nine years before she told me my fathers name and twelve years before I met my brothers and sisters. Later on she told me she was protecting her children from finding out about me so not to disrupt their studies. However desperate my search I was not the stalker. In answer to her silence my letters and faxes became more and more in search of explanation until I realized that she must have been ignoring me. So I I faced my worst fear. Each time at the end of each letter, some delivered by hand by friends visiting the country I wrote, I pleaded “I’ll stop this. I'll stop looking for you. But I can't do it myself. If you tell me to go away then I promise I will stop searching for you, but you must, you must tell me”.

1 thought on “Home Coming

  1. And I assume she hasn't told you. Perhaps because to do so would be a confrontation with herself, and the pain of the past, an all too conscious act. To ignore and evade and skirt around with small talk is probably easier, though actually it's effects are quite cruel and destructive.
    How to go on communicating when one side has so little to give? When intimacy is a minefield that family members stay out of or step around most carefully, people end up marooned. To move beyond the dysfunction could be a shared act yet it seems that's rarely the case.

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