“I Hate My Mother”
As Marlene approached adolescence, arguments led Marlene to bang her head against a wall or viciously bite her own forearm. She eventually developed scars.
In Marlene’s sixth-grade class, the teacher, Mrs. Pasquel, was pregnant. The class discussed motherhood.
Marlene raised her hand. She announced, “I hate my mother.”
Marlene said her mother was not her “real” mother since Marlene was adopted.
On another day, Marlene asked Mrs. Pasquel if an adoptee could find her “real” mother. Marlene said Jim had promised to help her learn the woman’s name when Marlene turned 21. Marlene did not want to wait.
Mrs. Pasquel said she did not know how to find the biological mother of an adopted child. She said it was not important but could see that Marlene regarded it as important.
In early 1973, Jim was again fired.
Jim found a job in March 1973 for a business management service. The job necessitated a move to Marin County, California.
In California, Marlene entered the last term of eighth grade in an unfamiliar environment.
Marlene became ever more ashamed of her mother and distressed by hearing her talk with phantoms.
The Olive home once again filled with fish tanks before which Naomi sat, chatting with the fish.
When she entered high school, Marlene started stealing. She was first arrested for shoplifting while a ninth-grader.
Naomi forbade Marlene to attend a cousin’s wedding. Marlene yelled that her “real mother” would have let her go.
Naomi answered, “Your real mother was probably a whore!”
Soon after this quarrel, Naomi paraded naked in front of Marlene, gyrating her hips, grabbing her crotch, and taunting Marlene that this lewd performance represented what her biological mother was probably like.