Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mommie Dearest by christina Crawford: A Rebuttal (Chapter 6)

Miss Joan Crawford, trim and tidy at age 41 in 1946...

...and her gloriously beautiful and talented daughter christina at the same age (Cripes, she looks more like a dude than I do)

Following the point where I left off in this, my own self-created MD marathon, the two versions of the book Mommie Dearest diverge signifigantly, so that the chapter #'s no longer line up, the reason being that author christina Crawford, for her 1998 "revision" of the original 1978 book, decided to make the "night raids" a chapter all their own (if nothing else, tina knew what a crowd-pleasing hook she had with the night raids and accordingly adjusted their billing!). So this post will be an attempt to navigate the interstices between the two texts and keep it all somewhat coherent.
tina writes of her mother: "There were times when her fetish for cleanliness took possession of her. It was then that she took three or four showers a day and brushed her teeth every few hours. She could not stand to have her hands dirty and would wash them repeatedly. She had one closet with shelves full of cleansing potions for every part of her body and used them all with religious fervor. No matter how often she bathed or scrubbed, it never seemed sufficient; it just managed to keep the worst of the scourges at arms length" (JC in the tub in 1939's The Women)
However, in the '98 version of her book, the author's wording is ever so slightly different:
"She bathed and scrubbed and brushed and douched." Yes, gentle readers, christina actually added that. Really christina? You really felt it necessary to add that?
(a gleeful christina Crawford at a book-signing)
Completely unashamed and lumbering along like the tank she resembles, she adds that her mother's preoccupation with cleanliness permeated the house they grew up in. "She fired commands faster than any number of us could facilitate and this drove her into a frenzy. She was surrounded by dolts and nincompoops, dunces and malingerers. Was no one besides herself even remotely competent in this world?"
(Crawford showing all of us how it's done)
This is one of those occasional points in the book that actually has always rang somewhat true to me, for personal reasons. See I'm extremely, impossibly hyperactive (a bio-chemical trait which I believe Joan Crawford also lived with), and a monologue similar to the one above--albeit one laced with many more expletives, some of them extremely unprintable--has continuously ran through my mind for a big chunk of my life, so I can understand the frustration that another hyperactive person can feel with people of normal energy levels. Not one doctor caught it until about four years ago and the relief I felt when he explained it all to me really made a big change in my life, for the better. I'm still derisively/affectionately called "The Energizer Bunny" at work (because I never get tired-well, until I crash like the Hindenburg), but at least now I get why. Sorry for intruding with all the personal info but it really puts Crawford's behavior into perspective for me. Another touchstone (among others).
(And honestly, isn't that kind of normal "Mom" behavior-making sure kids keep clean? Annoying and tiresome though it may be, would any kid kid clean up after himself/herself if mom didn't make sure of it?)
The author then rapturously, avidly moves on to describe the "night raids" in much more detail. There's not much to discuss here; either you believe these events happened or you don't. Or maybe you think (as I do) that something happened (including some unpleasant behaviors on the part of all concerned), but also that tina amped it all up for publication. Both of Joan's twin daughters, Cindy and Cathy-
-as well as JC's friend and secretary of over 40 years, Betty Barker- believe christina "stitched in"--their words--these flagrantly abusive episodes after Joan Crawford's death from cancer, to increase her book's notoriety. As is now common knowledge, christina Crawford repeatedly lied about when she began writing the book Mommie Dearest (and the dying, cancer-ridden Joan Crawford was completely aware of the forthcoming book,because her oldest daughter made sure she knew about it). christina had casually threatened her about it on the phone (during the last five years of Crawford's life, when JC refused to see her eldest daughter at all), presumably hoping to blackmail her adoptive mother into leaving her the biggest chunk of her apprx/two-million dollar estate.
(JC with her two twin daughters, adopted son Christopher, and an extremely well-fed christina)
I must say that I was DELIGHTED to learn recently that xtina, right before the reading of her mother's will, quit a well-paying job at an oil company in anticipation of the windfall she expected to receive. Ummm...not so much. Although tina made a fuckin' fortune from the publication of Mommie Dearest, she blew it all and made the hysterically funny mistake of marrying a man who apparently absconded with her all of her ill-gotten loot, leaving her bereft of funds and back in the position of having to work for a living. Love it, for real. Karma blows, doesn't it?
(Smiling through her tears... tina's such a brave little toaster, isn't she?)

"It is my intention to make no provision herein for my daughter christina or my son Christopher, for reasons which are well-known to them."

(JC a couple years before her death in 1977)

In a sense, I really do think Joan Crawford did have "the last word".


FelixInHollywood said...

Holy Hell, I didn't know about the oil company job, but I just laughed myself silly when I read it. I was just about composed when I scrolled further to see the "Three Faces Of Joan Laughing From The Grave". You've made my night!

eva said...

I can tell just from reading these posts that I would hate that book. I'm always hesitant about memoirs like this, because people that write them generally are not writers. They always sound so amateur and don't know how to describe events like this without being sensationalist and clichéd.

I LOATHE sensationalism. Maybe it's just the influence of my English teacher who hated it also but I can't read phrases like 'this drove her into a frenzy' without cringing.

Rob said...

Felix, isn't that DELIGHTFUL? That little tidbit about the author quitting her job just about made my YEAR! Glad you liked it!
And Eva, your sentiments were uncannily echoed by a friend who emailed me privately about this post, who wrote that she just can't bring herself to read this book again, and wondered if I have trouble doing these rebuttal posts. Honestly I do sometimes! I'm pretty optimistic and happy most of the time, and opening MD can feel like wallowing in nastiness and negativity for its own sake. Oh well, I'm a man on a mission! As always, lovely to hear from you!

Janie said...

Nice bit about the job Christina gave up - hadn't come across that one - you always find something new for me Rob! I really missed reading your blog but have nearly finished the project I am on. I will then be able to buy "Just Joan" and the new Spoto book. Yippee! BTW re Christina's comments on Mommie's cleanliness fetish. I noticed in one edition of the book there is a pic of Tina as a baby with her giant Panda, looking clean and new - Panda and baby. Then there is a picture with all kids and Joan - the twins are babies, so at least 7 years on. On that one the giant Panda is in a corner looking very much played with and rather dirty. How on earth did Mommie miss that one - tell us please Christina?

Rob said...

OMG Janie! I always find something new from YOU, my friend! I never noticed the part about the stuffed Panda bear--according to xtina, all the toys were regularly disposed of. Hmmm, puzzled...could tina possibly have been LYING?! Thank you so much for this contribution-I always love hearing from you! And if you'd like to be in the running for my free extra copy of "Just Joan", just let me know @ robsisk9@aol.com-there are three other candidates but I'd love to toss your name into the hat-you're one of my very favorite persons in "the Joan World" and I SO appreciate everything you have to say. You've made my day with your comment!

Rivka Levy said...

Christina was my best friend during her earlier high school days. I knew Joan. All of Christina's revelations are, from my perspective, true, with gold as the denominator. There are, in fact, worse stories. Horrific events I personally heard and saw. It is arrogant to attribute unknown, mean meanings to Tina's work. Clever - and grotesque, these mindreaders of historical events.

Anonymous said...

To a child who receives such abuse it is always unexpected and may be exaggerated. Have some empathy people!

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why nothing was said about the
last person who posted a comment, Rivka Levy,
who attested to Christina's account as truthful.

I did not know anyone involved, but I see no reason why she would lie. Joan Crawford was a talent to be sure, but definitely appears to be a rigid woman.

Rob said...

Actually, I didn't see this comment for the longest time(I rarely check back beyond a few posts). I can't testify to the veracity of these words but there are a LOT of people who claim to have been there and their accounts vary wildly.
Actually, the more I discover about christina, the less I believe anything she has to say. She was sued (successfully, I might add) by her remaining sister for repeatedly lying that her sisters weren't twins. When she was forced by law to stop slandering her sisters, she suddenly announced that her mother killed her last husband--again, no facts to back it up, just saying anything that would get her attention.
She is disgusting.

Stephen Jeffries said...

Joan Crawford was and ugly tyrannical cunt. FUCK HER.

Rob said...

Gracious, Stephen (if indeed that is your name)!
You were spectacular in Fright Night.

maple0004 said...

I also noticed that one of the twins said "mommie didn't make me eat my dinner, I just went without". Did anybody forget? I was much more protective of my first born and even more strict because of a lack of experience in parenting. When my second came along, I was much more lenient and even, well, what the hey!, it we got home late, let him go to bed without a bath!!! (I'll wash him in the morning.) My first was wearing shiny, polished shoes and creased creepers, while my second became the dirt magnet. First-born/adopted are guinea pigs and unfortunately, pave the way for the subsequent sibs. I believe life was harsher for Tina... if her mother Mary made Joan part of the child-labor force at ten years old, some of those
'old tapes' played hard for Christina. Wake up all of you! This is the 21st century. This stuff REALLY DID HAPPEN!!!

maple0004 said...

@ Anonymous .. I agree. Why would Rika Levy lie? I believe Joan was abusive. Many parents were and just maintained what their parents taught them. Joan had it hard as a child.. so she reared her children the same way thinking that was the way to do things.

Unfortunately for Christina, she was the 'first-born/adopted' and the guinea pig. All the mistakes were/are made with the first child as it is with most things. We learn as we grow. Nothing is different with parenting. Joan was a single parent with no guidance or any support system. She did what she thought was right and eventually became a bit more lenient with the twins. I'm sure Christina is scarred and might exaggerate, but don't forget, psychologically speaking, she too has some ugly tapes that play over and over and can easily confuse what was real and what wasn't. She was a little girl and everything is larger than life as a child. She more than likely speaks from an emotional perspective, which might amplify the actions, but nevertheless are not in the mind of a child. Give some credit and empathy where it's due. She didn't ask for Joan as her mother. Joan wanted her and it was up to Joan to UNDO the misery she suffered. Joan was able to recognize it as a child, so why continue it?

okcman said...

That old hag was nuts.

okcman said...

the old hag was a total nutcase.

okcman said...

That old hag was nuts.

okcman said...

And ugly as hell!

okcman said...

That old hag was nuts.

Rob said...

Seriously, OKCman...tell me how you really feel!
I get it, if you find her un-appealing (quite a few people do)but honestly Joan Crawford had just about the only entirely perfect face in the history of film. (This isn't my opinion,
it's just a fact).
Hope you feel okay when you get up tomorrow, and I'd love to hear from you when you're in a less heated mood. You're obviously not a fan OKCman but that's cool-maybe you could provide some perspective.
But still...in my humble opinion, Miss Joan fucking Crawford RULES!
All respect to you, but my opinion aint likely to change anytime soon.

Leah said...

I must say that I have Chrisitna to thank. It was because of her bullshit that made me seek out to learn about the Legendary star. I was a child when I saw the movie even read the book, But it backfired on Chrisitna. I love love Joan.

abesbabe said...

Face it Rob...you just have a big distgusting hard on for Joan Crawford! A sociopath from Hell!

Rob said...

"A sociopath from Hell!" No, not at all Abesbabe, although I do believe she had some bio-chemical issues (maybe she was high-functioning autistic, which possibly might explain her occasionally unreasonably high standards and expectations).
She was an inpoverished, uneducated, abused and (most signifigantly) unloved child, and when she hit the big time, her parasitic mother and brother moved in for the kill AND THEN she made the appalling mistake of adopting two equally(if not more)damaged children abandoned by their biological parents and I think she assumed her fierce love could overcome their faulty biochemistry (both christina and Christopher were probably the results of drunken, druggy one night stands between emotionally disturbed whack jobs). Boy, was she ever wrong.
And (just for the record) there is NOTHING disgusting about hard ons. Ever.

Thom said...

Joan was a legend, THE legend as far as I'm concerned, and none of Tina's lies can change that a bit. In 100 years, I think there will be more perspective. Just like Christina waited for Joan to die, hopefully upon her own upcoming death we will have some people free to come forward and shed some light on her lies. Joan turned her horrible childhood into one of the most successful careers in film history. Christina has turned her "horrible childhood" into a career of spending 40 years complaining about something that today, would not even cost Joan custody of her children. It is laughable and sad that so much credence is paid to someone who was an ugly child, a homely teenager, a horrible actress, and the lowest, most ungrateful daughter in Hollywood history.

Just imagine the beautiful children Joan could have had with Doug or Franchot, or Clark.

Rob said...

Leah, I know right? There really ARE abused children in the world, not just professional victims...the statistics are horrifying. Little Billie Cassin (Joan Crawford)was one such child, and life seemed to work out pretty well for her! Thank you for your comment!
And Thom, I'm speechless...you've articulated (much better than I ever could) just what's so special about the the divine Miss Crawford. She really was something, wasn't she? Thanks! Rob

Anonymous said...

I loved joan crawford shes one of my favorite actresses of old time movies, yes she was a powerful bitch, thats a fact, she was gorgeous classic beauty,fiesty,tough,talented, didnt take crap from noone, lol she was fabulous, nobody is ugly thats a fact, its just some people look better than others, I dont want like some actresses whos to soft and boring, we all know joan stood out more than her eyebrows but let was a style back then and sometimes it still, @okman,,,,,,,you call her ugly, and people call you ugly, joan was never ugly, you have to understand the style back then and now are different, women back then was so gorgeous and glaceless, because they were natural beauties with just a little make-up no surgeries,botex, tummy tuck, e.t.c. They took care of thereselves more especially if they wanted jobs, most women today are a mess fvcking their faces and bodies up with all theses poisons bad surgeries,over tanning, injectioning to make fish lips,bad implants and ass implants, yuck some of the women today looks a mess, so to me yes the actresses back then was alot better looking, natural is the key, the only problem I have with joan is her drawn on eyebrows, they was so dam wide and big and got worse as she got older, I think she would have looked alot better if they were brought down some and a little thinner- but what ever she still was attractive, now moving along,,,,,,,, tina let it go, I believe you about joan, joan didnt play at all, you know that why didnt you write the mommie dearest book when joan was alive, because she would have whipped your ass lol, you waited to she died, no derespect but I saw the movie(LOVED IT) faye dunaway did a good job and looked just like her, but at the end when she didnt leave tina and chris nothing not even a penny lol lol I died laughing I didnt see that coming, I thought she was going leave you something but no she didnt, joan loved all 5 of her kids, I dont know but tina and chris must have gave joan alot of problems, she gave the other kids money in her will, so I dont know I see tina keep using joans image ro make money,what goes around comes around thats a fact, joan had a over the top personality that people love and always will, so r.i.p. Joan crawford, you will always have fans young and old, and okman I when you said joan was un attractive sorry hun, but I think you meant bettie davis lol she smoked so much ciggerates she burned a whole in her throat with her big owl eyeballs, lol:-)

Patrick said...

How sad that Christina instead of forgiving her mother and remembering her fondly has chosen to hate her, and condemn herself to misery and bitterness. Christina could be making money right now talking about Joan in interviews. How few people are left who remember Joan Crawford personally? A wasted opportunity.

Rob said...

Hi Anon, I'm in complete agreement with everything you have to say! Joan Crawford was fierce, and so are you and I think she'd love it that she has so many loyal friends, even today! Thank you so much for your comment!
And Patrick, you are SO right; instead of giving an honest account of "Life With Mother" (with all the ups and downs that would include) instead it's all "poor, pitiful me--I should have been the Star, not that monstrous bitch!" christina's bitterness, her overwhelming sense of entitlement (particularly in her "expanded" 1998 version of Mommie Dearest) is pretty insufferable. Joan Crawford might (MIGHT!) have gone overboard trying to make her 2 eldest children self-sufficient, but basically she ended up with two rotten, cannibalistic little monsters,neither of whom ever managed to hold down a job for too long. I do feel sympathy for Christopher (who was biologically fucked from the word Go--can't imagine the basketcases that were his biological mother and father) but for tina darling, I feel nothing but contempt. In the real world, children are abused at a horrifying rate (many, MANY people should never reproduce)and it does a great disservice to real abuse victims when she claims to be a survivor. Loser.
Thank you Patrick, for your thoughtful comment!

GWW said...

wow! love your blog Rob!I shouldn't but I do! so it will become my secret guilty pleasure from here on.
I'm an avid b/w movie fan & thought I was a dying breed, so hat's off to you!I have avidly read tonnes about Joan & Bette throughout the years I can't get enough of them! I've never read Christina's books(this shall be rectified soon as..) tho I must have seen MD at least half a dozen times! I even bought my daughter a copy she loves marilyn can't wait to see her face when I tell her she had an affair with mommie Dearest!(is that really true?)
I can quite believe xtina was abused and others previous comments would support that, I can believe she became bitter and cynical after her treatment, as the first adoptees she and Christopher were clearly the experi-mental phase of Joan's Maternal elastic, Mental being the operative word there!
as an adopted and abused child myself I identify with the story but you do have to forgive to move on and live a full life even if at the age of fifty I find it difficult to seperate my childhood from that which I suffer now in anxiety and terror and am attempting therapy yet again! it has taken my siblings 30 years to admit they were abused too! and only in the last couple of years have they told me! and one or two would rather take it to the grave than face it, even tho our parents are long since deceased.
So have a heart Rob and publish this side of a survivor and fighter's viewpoint! and don't be too harsh on xtina after all she can never really have the last word as her mommies legend and star status will forever be encapsulated on Film! :)

Rob said...

Dear GWW (Gone With the Wind?),thank you for your comment! As far as Marilyn having a relationship with Joan, that rumor is tidily refuted by a woman of exceptionl brilliance, La Siren:
http://selfstyledsiren.blogspot.com/2005/08/resquiescat-in-pacem-once-again.html .
You seem quite friendly and sincere GWW, and I'm happy to publish your thoughts here. And ALL RESPECT & LOVE to you as a survivor of child abuse, as Joan Crawford was,and as xtina was NOT!
(sorry if we disagree on that)
But I love hearing from warrior girls, the real survivors!
I get so many comments from people with fake names/identities and most of those get deleted outright (especially the multiple personas that all sound like the same person comenting under the guise of various screen names in a drunken rage).
I recently got a comment from someone who dubbed herself "Heavy Breasted", who referred me to joancrawfordbest. The name seemed familiar but I wasn't sure why, so I dicked around on the internet and found something rather creepy:

I don't know how much of it's true, but if it really went down like that, that's some skeery shit!
Blech, but on the other hand it makes me appreciate all of the legitimate commenters even more, so again GWW, thank you for your insights. Please feel free to chime in whenever you like (whether we agree or disagree about Joan Crawford)!
Have a great day! Rob

Anonymous said...

Let me preface this comment by saying that I am a big Joan Crawford fan. I first got to know her work through, yes, Mommie Dearest. That was my first exposure to Crawford. I didn't get into her film career until I was older but I still remember my introduction to her well.

I'm not here to argue about if what Christina said was true or not. For the record, I think SOME of what she said might be true (Joan being a task master, controlling, etc). However, I don't agree that things were as bad as she said. She seemed more keen on trashing her mother's reputation than actually shedding light on child abuse. The fact that she won't stop beating this long dead horse is actually another reason why I think her motivation is more rooted in anger than anything else.

Having said all that, I am routinely disappointed that people who talk about Christina always point out her looks. Now, I don't think Christina is or was a strikingly beautiful woman. However, my opinion about her looks didn't shape my opinion about what she wrote or what constantly comes out of her mouth. I find it odd that even women who don't agree with her talk about her looks. I find this kind of behavior incredibly sexist. As soon as a woman says something that people don't agree with, she's either labeled a "bitch" or "an ugly cow" or some variation thereof.

Someone's looks shouldn't come into play because you disagree with them. Being ugly also doesn't automatically make one a liar or devious. Would people be more ready to believe Christina's stories about Joan if she was considered traditionally beautiful? Would her opinions then be valid?

I enjoy reading about other people's opinions on Joan and I love to hear about her career, but I lost interest when the author of this post started ranting about Christina's looks. Talk about her character or why you think she's lying. Don't label her a liar and then trash her because you think "she looks more like a dude than I do". That's just tacky and really uncalled for.

Rob said...

Hey anonymous, I do agree with you...to a point. When I wrote that I'd just seen a filmed interview of xtina onstage mocking her deceased mother's appearance, make-up, attire. Later on,she also awarded someone in the audience with a bedazzled wire hanger--because she was OWNING her alleged prior abuse (get it?) not just trivializing the very real, vile abuse that happens to under- priviledged children every day, everywhere in the world, in an effort to make it ALL ABOUT HERSELF--um, no thanks...
I do get where you're coming from anonymous, but considering the eldest daughters' afore-mentioned mockery of her mothers appearance (both in interviews and in Mommie Dearest)I can't feel too guilty for that particular criticism. Oh well(shrug).
Thank you for your comment, even though we seem to disagree.

Tamara Kirklin said...

Growing up, I was vere allowed to watch Mommie Dearest, if it was because of the "abusive scenes" or because my mother simply thought it was garbage, I'll never know. I'm twenty four now, and recently watched the movie for the first time. The only thing I had ever heard about it were what a terrible mother Joan was and those "poor poor kids." Well after seeing it, I honestly don't see what was so horrible about her. Yes, she ran a tight ship, but isn't that what a parent is supposed to do? Teach their children to have respect for themselves and other, apperance and otherwise? To be self relient? Cristina herself, in my opinion, was depicted worse than Joan. She was a foul mouthed, smartass, ungrateful child. Would she have even had an acting career (however pitiful it may have been) had she not been Joan Crawfords daughter? And her saying she speaks about it to help others cope and move on from being abused is complete bs. If that was the case, she would try to come to terms with her childhood, find peace, and then pass along the wisdow she gains from doing so to help REAL survivors of abuse. After seeing the movie, I will not be buying the book, because as interested as I am, I refuse to support such selfish misguided nonsense, and especially the woman who wrote it. I told my best friend after seeing it " I don't see what the big deal. She really didn't seem THAT bad." Needless to say, this is the first place, people or otherwise, who seem to see my point of view and not think I'm terrible for thinking so. So, thank you, for not being gullible and recognizing bs and hate monger when you see it :-)

Rob said...

Well, thanks Tamara, that's very nice to hear! One of the comments I get repeatedly is "you weren't there, she was, and furthermore I was abused, so Mommie Dearest is TRUTH!" It makes me roll my eyes a bit because I wouldn't defend someone if I really thought she was monstrously abusive, that's just senseless.
The Crawfords had all the problems of a normal family, but amped up by JC's hyperactive perfectionism and the oldest children's disastrously faulty biochemistry, the legacy of their biological parents emotional/mental, addiction issues, whatever they might have been. It's pretty sad all around.
But you know who was the saddest one of all? Joan Crawford. SHE was the abused child (a fact christina has gone to great lengths to obfuscate, ignore and dismiss). JC brought plenty of her own issues to the family, but I believe she truly was hopeful that she could love and be loved unselfishly, unconditionally by her 2 oldest children
and the fact that it didn't turn out that way is hearbreaking.
Ack, sorry for rambling on so long, but again, thank you for your comment!

GiGi baby said...

I had a "Joan Crawford" Mom and the persons she have the world vastly differed from who she was behind closed doors. People who are emotionally and mentally ill are the greatest actors & actresses. When my siblings & I talk about the "real" Nettie, people call us liars too but they didn't grow up under her tyrannical rule. Be careful how you judge what you have no firsthand knowledge of. Siblings can grow up under the same roof & have vastly different experiences with the same parent. I believe Joan was a cruel, controlling, cold, abusive, self-adsorbed, self-obsessed woman..........she has many, MANY unidentified, identical siblings out there who like her should never have been parents let alone adoptive parents , i.e. Joan & Nettie!!!

Anonymous said...

My mum was another Joan Crawford, except that instead of a movie star she was a nobody who played with her dogs and chickens all day (she preferred them to human beings, and went to bed all week with depression when one of them died). Instead of a wire coat hanger, her favourite weapon of choice was a wooden spoon, she had five of them and whacked me with one of them so hard it broke (no I didn't saw a nick in it). Actually I might write a book about her. Not even sure I can be bothered to wait until she's dead as knowing her luck the bird-brained old bag will make it to 100. As she has consistently maintained that I am a liar anyway, despite evidence to the contrary, I can always retort "well then, you have nothing to fear do you". Seriously though I wish someone would put people like that out of their misery...Oh she is another Christina Crawford disbeliever, and against mother-bashing for whatever reason, however large or small.

Rougue said...

I realize I'm joining this discussion a little late, but I wanted to inform you that you've mistakenly posted Joan Crawford died from cancer, while it is true she had pancreatic cancer, her official cause of death was a heart attack.

Anonymous said...

Wooden spoon breaking? XD Reminds me of the time my mum broke a wooden BROOM while beating me. And then she beat me with the broken parts. Hahahaha! Honestly, I look back on these moments when I was a child with peace. Sure I was angry back then, but the past is the past- forgive and forget. Once you grow up, you gain the freedom to decide what you want to do with the life experiences you have under your belt-more often than not, you simply take them as lessons in your life. Besides, even though my mom beat me a lot (vacuum cleaner handles, thrown knives, bottles, glass at me) I still love her. :) I understand where she was coming from. Really, our parents are just human beings. Like what Maya Angelou says "You do better when you know better". How many parents in the past thought it was child abuse to beat their children? And nowadays? It doesn't justify the act I know, but it should put things into perpective-the people of that time just didn't "know better". And I remember the good things too like when my mom put ointment on my bruises, made me a warm meal, and comforted me when I least expected it. I think we all need to grow up a bit and not hold on to our hurts when we were children- what they are, are usually the cries of an unloved child. We focus so much on the bad that we forget the good moments. We focus so much on others that we forget about our own selves! We cannot change other people, but we certainly can change and improve ourselves. :) In such cases, I would think it better to try as far as you can to patch up your relationship with the parent that you don't like, try to understand them and perhaps you may come to love each other after all. :) Christina sounds a bit like my older sister, who seems to believe that my mother was the cruelest monster on the face of the earth, but at the same time is so unwilling to admit that she herself has any faults. I think she and Christina need to grow up and realize that their fixation on their hatred is unhealthy and a tad self-absorbed. If you have a problem in your relationship, go fix it. Like you said Rob, publicizing your problem with no focus on fixing it smells to me of self-indulgent sensationalism and the aim of making a quick buck. Anyway, if you have a relationship problem with any family member, try your best to fix it because once they are dead, trust me, you really have to be cold and heartless to not feel any regret for what could have been a completely loving relationship. :) Cheers fellas! And hope y'all find inner peace! Relationships are darn important to cultivate, because they are all that's worth striving for in our short lives. :)

Anonymous said...

Love this forum. Xtina was a troll, we must feel sorry for the bitch no matter why. Sure, she probably lied mostly about her mother. Not being in the will probably propelled her to be so nasty. There are many people who tell different stories about Joan. Sometimes she laughed at herself, showing others she was just human. One negative is the author giving Xtina an inch of civility. What a "C" Xtina was !!

Jerome Devereaux said...

Why is no one talking about the complexity of a relationship that is neither this nor that. While it seems clear that Joan abused Christina, it seems equally clear that Christina was no shrinking violet. She is obviously just as head-strong as Joan, which positions them as dueling personalities.
I suspect that Christina envied----even aspired to her mother's success, which explains why she always refers to her as selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed. Most of all I believe Christina----at once, loves and hates her mother profoundly, which explains her 30 year obsession with her. Moreover, as an orphan, she probably wanted all of Joan's love to herself(being the first child) because for most orphans the void left can never be filled. Hence, we see her still making Joan pay(accusation of murder) for the love she feels she never got.