February 25th, 2017 by Jan

I just finished reading Projection by Priscila Uppal – I was going to check it off my list as a memoir, but I’ve already read a memoir, so I’ll check off “read a book with a one word title” from my list.

Projection is the title, yet the sub title: Encounters With My Runaway Mother, is what made me check this out of the library.

This is a good read. I think it had a happy ending, others (including the author) may disagree with me.

The story got me thinking. Five star review just for that.

Projection made me think about the difference between the actions of someone who is self-centred and narcissistic; and one who has a mental illness.

I’m not trained to know the difference, and right or wrong.  I seem to accept and/or excuse certain behaviour through the label I alone assigned.

Uppal’s mother is definitely self centred; perhaps she is mentally ill, she’s mean and appalling. Personally, I don’t know how she is able to live with herself. In the end, I’m not sure if she is looking for credit or blame.

If we look at that fucker Trump – there is no doubt the guy’s a whack job. Some people say he is mentally ill, and maybe being a narcissus asshole is a form of mental illness, but then again maybe he is just a mean asshat. At some point this discussion needs to come up though, because how I look at the two are different. People with mental illness concern me; assholes just piss me off.

The story behind Projection was Uppal’s personal journey. I doubt she cared if anyone read this book or not. She is a writer by trade so, she writes.

In a nutshell, Uppal had a happy, normal life for her first 8 years. Her parents loved each other, and when a freak accident left her father a quadriplegic needing constant care, her mother could not or would not deal; packed her bags and left.

Just left.

20 some years later, the author comes across her mothers name on the internet by chance. She reaches out, and travels to where her mother is living in Brazil. Uppal holds hope of getting to know her runaway mother; maybe even come to understand if not her, then at least her actions.

I’ve seen the look in peoples eyes, when I’ve told stories of my upbringing. Especially when I mention some of the things both my parents and brother Bill have said, at different times in my life.

No matter how hard someone tries to be cool, the look is hard to hide. Reading this book, I had that look on my face often.

Again, it’s hard to know reading this, if Uppal’s mom is mentally ill or really just a selfish asshat.

Does it matter?

I admit — it does to me.

When I realized my mother was mentally ill, my love for her deepen. But, like I said, a self-centred asshat is just an ass, and I tend to hold contempt.

I think Uppal also, had to figure this out for herself.

Why do people write and tell their stories?

I’m going with — we have to.

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