Mrs. Nocerino and me
Why is my second interject Mrs. Nocerino at all? She could have been Mrs. Bania, the annoying neighbor that lived on the other side of my grandparents. If I somehow just “needed” an unpleasant older woman screaming at me, she could have been Mrs. Lewandowski; Mrs. Marciniak; our school music teacher; Miss Doolin.
I don’t think I ever interacted with Mrs. Bania, as I remember her always remaining inside her house. Mrs. Nocerino, however, spent a lot of time on her stoop, overseeing the neighborhood.
With Mrs. Nocerino as my introject, I’ve realized, my grandmother’s house remains part of my current life. My grandmother’s house, that was practically a person to me.
My grandmother’s house . . . For many years, I had this dream/fantasy that my grandmother would bequeath her house to me. I would live there, alone, just like she had after my grandfather died. I would have my own life, freed from living under my mother’s thumb. But I would retain pieces of our family’s history, which I could update to suit myself.
I hadn’t really thought through the particulars, but I can now imagine myself, in this dreamlike scenario, becoming some sort of greenwitch. What a lovely life that could have been!
I don’t have any reason to think that my grandmother ever considered bequeathing me her house. But if she had thought of doing it, my mother would’ve never allowed it to happen.
A wealthy grandmother could have made it happen anyway. My grandmother was not wealthy; her house was modest, in a small neighborhood.
For years and years after my grandmother died, I dreamed about her house. (Of course I dreamed about my grandmother herself too!) I gradually realized that my grandmother’s house, in my dreams, signified my . . . self.
I still walk through it in my mind sometimes. I miss it.
As I’m writing this, for the first time I’m realizing . . . but I don’t want to say it. Bah! I must face it. My mother grew up in that house, and she knew more about it than I will ever know. But I never think of my mother, or my mother’s connection to it, when I think of that house. (I try to never think of my mother at all.)
Is it Mrs. Nocerino, then, because I’ve gotten to the point where I can just ignore my mother’s voice [introject] in my mind? So someone who terrorized my own mother, and someone who has a connection to my grandmother’s house, should be utterly impossible to ignore. Because I don’t want to lose any more of my grandmother than I already have.
She died 16 years ago. Her house passed out of our family ~ 15 years ago.
I stopped talking to my parents 9 years ago. Since my mother is the only photographer of her siblings, every photo of my grandmother’s house that I know about (that neither I nor Spouse took) . . . resides at my parents’ house (just like every photo of my whole life before Spouse), where they are completely inaccessible to me.
Physical evidence that I was a child, that I was a teenager, that I was a young adult, has essentially vanished (from my perspective). All that remain are my own memories, many of which are painful enough that I don’t wish to recall them. Photographs show happier times, but I don’t have the photographs.
All I have is Mrs. Nocerino.
So how can I tell her to go away?