Medea killed her children. Thousands of years later, I can relate.
Posted on May 26, 2016
During the time I was trying to come to grips with the new realisation that my mother did not love me, not really, because she couldn’t, I discovered greek mythology. As I read the story of Medea, and other goddesses and women of ancient times I realised: the ancients understood mothers were not ‘nice’. They felt no need to pinhole women who happen to have children into neat, aproned packages of goodness. They understood mothers can be evil. They understood mothers can be more concerned with themselves than their children. That mothers can and do kill their own children – if not physically, in a myriad of small knife cuts to the psyche, a murder of the soul. That mothers, in fact, are just human, so are women, so are the goddesses that are just as complicated as gods. It’s the nasty truth. I loved it.
I have a Medea among my ancestors, an orginal Bad Mother. I learned about her only recently. She had children out of wedlock and neglected them so badly she was sent to jail for it. Her children were raised in a workhouse. She refused to be domesticated, refused to be ‘nice’, refused to mother her children. In looking for the reasons why my parents are so fucked up, it was enlightening to find her, perched there on top of the family tree, the original Shit Mum. She only bothered getting married after her children had long gone, a huge FUCK YOU both to them and society.
And that was in super religious pious sanctimonious Victorian times.
I want to bring back the pagans. I want to bring back Medea. Mainly because if she was still around as a cultural archetype people would stop looking at me and my fellow children of bad mothers as oddities, wondering why we can’t just ‘forgive’ or ‘but she’s your muuuum’ or whatever. They’d understand bad mothers have always been with us.
They’d understand we were raised by Medea.
They’d understand any woman can be Medea.
They’d shut the fuck up.