She came into my life when I was 9 years old, a little red-faced bundle, born in my parent’s bedroom, lying in a little bassinet by the bed, when I first saw her, sleeping fitfully. She soon became my favorite doll. She loved to be held. When I was left babysitting, I was obligated to hold her as she would cry whenever I put her down.

No matter how awfully she treated me near the end of our mother’s end-of-life convalescence (fast-forwarding fifty-some years) she assumed a hug whenever she felt like it. I felt abused by that and told her so.

I wrote my children, told them I didn’t feel like fighting anymore. One of my daughter’s wrote me back saying, not to worry about my legacy to them, just do what brings me peace. Basically an honest, good-heated human being, I was treated like a chronic liar and cheater by the red thing in the bassinet. So now I want to punish the punisher, make her life as miserable as I have the ability to make it (after all she did to me). Now I’m being the punisher, I’m taking on the very quality I hate in her! Now I’d rather not do that or be that. I won’t, maybe I will, but it will have to come from the authentic me, not the wounded me wanting to hit back.

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