The Long Journey Home: A Memoir

By Margaret Robison

First brought to the area in her sons’ now-classic memoirs—Augusten Burroughs’s Running with Scissors and John Elder Robison’s Look Me within the Eye—Margaret Robison now tells her personal haunting and lyrical tale. A poet and instructor via occupation, Robison describes her Southern Gothic formative years, her marriage to a good-looking, fabulous guy who turned a split-personality alcoholic and abusive husband, the demanding situations she confronted elevating childrens whereas having psychotic breakdowns of her personal, and her fight to regain her sanity.

Robison grew up in southern Georgia, the place the façade of Fifties propriety masked every type of demons, together with alcoholism, misogyny, repressed homosexuality, and suicide. She met her husband, John Robison, in university, and jointly they moved up north, the place John embarked upon a profitable educational profession and Margaret mentioned the youngsters and labored on her artwork and poetry. but her husband’s alcoholism and her cave in into psychosis, and the eventual disintegration in their marriage, took an immense toll on their relations: Her older son, John Elder, moved out of the home whilst he used to be undefined, and her more youthful son, Chris (who later renamed himself Augusten), by no means accomplished highschool. whilst Margaret met Dr. Rodolph Turcotte, the therapist who used to be treating her husband, she felt understood for the 1st time and quick fell below his idiosyncratic and, ultimately, damaging impression.

Robison writes movingly and in truth approximately her psychological affliction, her shortcomings as a mother or father, her tough marriage, her aggravating courting with Dr. Turcotte, and her now-famous childrens, Augusten Burroughs and John Elder Robison, who've each one written bestselling memoirs approximately their relations. She additionally writes inspiringly approximately her richly deserved trip to sanity and readability. An mind-blowing and enduring tale, The lengthy trip domestic is a extraordinary and finally uplifting account of a classy, troubled twentieth-century relatives.

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Fortunately, her physique stayed in a single piece in order that the crack used to be coated by way of her white marriage ceremony costume. mom wouldn’t be aware of. The teach persisted tooting and puffing. Bubba additional his personal sounds to these of the teach because it entered an extended tree-covered tunnel and got here again out back. Bing Crosby persevered his crooning. I walked to my room and received my pc and pen. Then I went again to the lounge, curled up at the love seat, and wrapped the afghan round me. i used to be lonely for leave out Brown, my fourth-grade instructor. i presumed approximately how ahead of Christmas, her boyfriend got here domestic from battling the Germans in another country and walked correct into the principal’s place of work and requested to determine her. The valuable despatched a fifth-grader to our lecture room to offer omit Brown the message that her boyfriend was once there. She rushed from the room, wordless, her arms trembling. I imagined her in his hands, oblivious to the relevant and his secretary, omit Muriel Adams, along with her tight, skinny gains and her bony arms tapping and tapping on the typewriter keys. I tightened the afghan round my shoulders. “I love you leave out Brown,” I wrote at the first line in my most sensible penmanship. “I love you omit Brown,” I wrote back. My respiring cozy. “I love you pass over Brown,” I wrote back, and not felt chilly. “I love you leave out Brown,” I wrote until eventually I reached the ground of the web page, then grew to become the paper over and persevered writing a similar phrases until eventually the paper was once crammed. I imagined so demanding that it used to be nearly as though I have been there, within the principal’s workplace, hugging them either and being hugged again. I felt like we have been in a circle of affection, entire and secure. “Margaret, you could set the desk now. ” Mother’s phrases shattered my bliss. My face flushed with disgrace. I wasn’t convinced why, yet I knew that if mom learn what I’d written, my phrases could disillusioned her. “Just a minute, mom. ” I ripped the paper out of my publication, beaten it, and threw it into the hearth. I went to the eating room, lifted the heavy plates from the china cupboard, and set them at their locations at the exact white linen tablecloth. Then I placed the silver beside each one plate. The handles of the sterling silverware have been coated with tiny vegetation of all kinds like miniature gardens. I enjoyed the desk environment and the tale of the way Daddy had noticeable a eating desk ready up in a window at Rich’s. He’d beloved it quite a bit he’d simply marched into the shop and acquired everything—tablecloth, napkins, plates, bowls, cups and saucers, salad and dessert plates, serving bowls, silver, and glasses—just as he’d visible it within the division store’s window. He introduced the whole lot domestic to mom. From that point on, this copy of Rich’s window used to be on our eating desk each Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, and each different special-occasion dinner. mom introduced the turkey in and set it at the desk, its plump thighs excessive within the air, breast browned with butter, juices leaking out during the holes the place she’d punctured the surface to check its doneness. The turkey, as continuously, lay at the huge, immense ironstone platter that had belonged to Daddy’s mom, and had held the entire Thanksgiving and yuletide turkeys of my formative years.

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