Pt 42-C:
and the Making of the Mexico-LeBaron Mind

Circa 1942: My mother Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer

Whatever we call the form–autobiography,
memoir, personal history, family history–
writing about one’s life is a powerful human need.

Writers are the custodians of memory,
and memories have a way of dying with their owner.

If it’s a family history,
it will have the further value of
telling your children and grandchildren
who they are what heritage they come from.
Trust the process,
and the product will take care of itself.

Writing About Your Life:
A Journey Into the Past
William Zinsser

Perfectionism—All-or-nothing thinking
helped form the Mexico-LeBaron mind.
It was my mother Esther LeBaron Spencer’s
biggest drawback.

She feared she wasn’t good enough—
wasn’t acceptable because she wasn’t perfect.
Yet, also held a narcissistic belief she was perfect—
the greatest woman in the world, in fact—
and her immediate family was God’s chosen family in this dispensation.

Such mental conflict caused an inferiority-superiority complex.
I know: She raised me with her same values.
It was in Mama’s blind spot (as it was in mine, for many years)
that it made no difference whether we are perfect:
We wouldn’t be on Earth if we were perfect.

These days, I believe we’re here to grow, learn, and self-actualize.
Good emotional health requires we accept ourself as we are
accept our good parts along with our bad;
and go from there—a la psychologist Alfred Adler:
“You need the courage to be imperfect
the power to not be perfect.” [3]

Yes, there’s power in accepting ourselves as we are.
Again, we wouldn’t be here if we were perfect.
But, in a sense, we ARE perfect—
perfect in our imperfectness;
perfect in our uniqueness;
perfect in being our own special self:
There’s nobody else like us!

We’re set apart in our individuality,
a gold thread in the universal tapastry;
here on our hero’s journey
toward enlightenment,
and individuation. [1]

When Mother tried to accept reality
and be the person she was,
worms, warts and all,
she couldn’t handle it.

If she wasn’t perfect, she believed she was worthless.
She didn’t understand people are acceptable just as they are;
despite imperfections, misdemeanors, and downfalls.

Only she and God knew of the worrisome skeletons
in her closet compromising the “perfect” portrayal of herself
she put forth to family, friends, and foes.

Despite the saintly posture
megalomaniacal Ma portrayed to the world,
she was actually a big bigot and hypocrite; e.g.,
she wasn’t all powerful and perfect!

When honest with herself, Ma knew it!
Faced with her frailties and failings,
she wasn’t equipped with the values needed
to qualm her conflicting realities.

Overwhelmed by troubles, trials, and mistakes,
sometimes mania could beset perfectionistic, hypervigilant Ma.
Then her life could take a tailspin and spin out of control
into despair, helplessness, and hopelessness. [2]

Fortunately, she had redeeming qualities
that helped bounce her back after bipolar breaks;
e.g., she stayed in good with her oldest daughter Doris
who nursed her back to health.

Mother’s Higher Power was there, also,
come hell or highwater;
always enabling her to regain self-control
once the split spent itself;
proving her oft’ quoted proverb:
Life is not to the swift nor the strong,
but to those who endure to the end.

(Continued February 27, 2020:
Part 43-D:
and the Making of the Mexico-LeBaron Mind“)

[1]. › wiki › Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – Wikipedia

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological ..

[2] Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem
by John Bradshaw

Family Secrets – The Path from Shame to Healing
by John Bradshaw 

[3]. In 1912, Alfred Adler founded the Society of Individual Psychology. Adler’s theory suggested that every person has a sense of inferiority. From childhood, people work toward overcoming this inferiority by asserting their superiority over others.

One thought on “Pt 42-C: Megalomania and the Making of the Mexico-LeBaron Mind

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