Parental Parallels in Ghost Species

by Antigoni Karaferi

Everyone’s childhood is unique and different in so many ways – that’s a fact. Each of us has different experiences and memories that will eventually shape our future selves, and if and how we choose to raise our own children one day. In this blog post, I want to look at how Kate and Eve were raised and compare how different, or how similar, their childhoods were. Was there something in Kate’s childhood that influenced the way she treated Eve as a child?

            Kate (a single mother) raised her daughter Eve mostly by herself, just like Kate’s own mother did. Kate’s childhood was dominated by her mother’s alcoholism. Many times, this forced Kate to take a step back and fall to second place when it came to her mother’s priorities. Kate had to learn how unreliable her mother was and learn how to take care of and look out for herself at a very young age. She took over her mother’s role and even went as far as reversing their respective roles. Claire became the child, having to rely heavily on Kate. A perfect example of this is the numerous times Kate had to deal with the consequences of drunk Claire’s antics – which Claire never even remembered.

            Kate’s mother’s alcoholism negatively shaped her childhood: She had both her parents missing, her father physically, and her mother mostly mentally. Claire’s alcoholism had an enormous impact on Kate’s social life as a child. Her friend’s parents deemed Kate to be a bad influence because of her mother, which made it really hard for Kate to keep the friends she made or even make new ones. This isolated Kate a lot from other people.

            As a child, Kate felt as if her mother did not care about her enough, which in turn made her dedicate her whole life to her own daughter Eve. She did not want her daughter to feel the form of abandonment she had felt as a child herself.

            Eve experienced a very different childhood in comparison to her mother Kate. Eve had a mother who was physically and mentally there throughout her whole life (until Kate’s passing). What shaped Eve especially was how much she stood out – just by her looks and the way she socialised. This is one fate both women shared in their childhoods: this certain degree of alienation, not fitting into the groups around you. The reason for this alienation is what differentiates the two: Claire’s alcoholism caused Kate’s alienation while Eve’s biological differences set her apart from the rest.

            Because of Kate’s intense fear of being caught, Eve spent a big part of her childhood hidden away. Her mother kept her away from other children her age, and also made a big effort to be by her side at all times. This caused Eve to become very dependent on her mother, she did little to nothing without her. Kate turned her life inside out to keep Eve away from the people who were looking for them. Eve became her number one priority in her life. This is the biggest difference in the women’s childhoods: Kate was never her mother’s priority, so she made sure to not make the same mistake with Eve.