On Saturday, I was feeling pretty good after reliving some of my childhood happy times through music and experiencing the dances and silliness I did while I was younger. (ok, even now at times) After that though the day quickly went downhill and I ended up having to deal with someone misunderstanding me, which led to me feeling like I had done something wrong even though I had not. This is an area I am really working through and starting to make some really great progress, however, when someone derails me like that I have to recoup. I was able to do it a lot sooner than in the past so that is a positive.
I had plans for the day with mom and the kids so I didn’t have time to work through the situation.
While at my moms I received an email explaining to me why they had responded to me in such a way and though I understood I was still having to deal with trying to process the whole thing. As the kids and I were sitting at the kitchen table at my mom’s house, she came in with a big hat box full of pictures. I didn’t know why she pulled them out until later, the day before she had told Joshua all about the castles she visited while we lived in Germany. Joshua loves castles, so do I and so does my mom.
She has a ton of photos of Germany and other countries they visited while living there.
She has a billion postcards as well from every place my parents went. I was there too, but I only know this because I am in the pictures. As I looked at the pictures I was overwhelmed with an emotion that I was not sure how to describe. And this is part of the reason why I shared about earlier in my day. I am not sure because I was already thrown off with my emotions if looking through these pictures had caused a more intense response from me. There were several things that popped in my head as I went through all of these photos of my childhood that I have no memory of, I will list them as they came.
Who were these people in the pictures?
My parents looked so happy and free, they looked hip and cool, they were together.
Had I ever seen my parents together and happy?
I have no memory of my parents together as a couple, let alone happy.
What happened to all of the cool stuff that was in their apartment?
I remember some of that stuff, my mom kept some and my dad did and each place they lived in was decorated in awesome Gothic or mid-evil looking items from Germany and Europe.
What happened to my dad?
He was so happy and soft in these pictures. I have seen glimpses of him like that and I have experienced him being happy. I have witnessed and experienced him being soft, a gentle caring man but not the way I witnessed in some of these pictures. I want to know that man in the pictures and I think that I always have longed for that. I feel that about him, like I feel the real him but it seems like it gets pushed down any time it starts to come up.
What happened to all their awesome clothes because I totally want them?
Why did I feel so sad, lost, and blank when I looked at these pictures?
Then came the thoughts about me. The first question popped up because it looked like I had bruises on my face. So these questions I asked my mom out loud.
Are those bruises on my face?
They were bruises and there were several pictures with my face showing bruises or dried bloody wounds healing. My mom told me that I was constantly running into walls, doors, falling, slipping, and was so accident prone that at 2 1/2 yrs old she requested that the doctor check my eyes. She thought that I couldn’t see. The doctor said that I was too young so I continued to have accidents. My mom was accused of beating me or hurting me. That was not the first time in my life that my mom was accused of hurting me in some capacity. While she did spank my butt and freak out at times she never hurt me like that. They were going to call the authorities on her when I broke my arm. They did not believe I did it by doing a cart-wheel off of the couch. But it is true that is how I broke it and what saved my mom was that I was at the babysitters when I did it.
Did I always have that blank face, not really blank, I don’t know?
Apparently, I seemed to be staring a lot or fixated on things with great intensity. I had not noticed these things about pictures of me before, I don’t even remember many of these pictures. Interesting. When I asked my mom about me during this time she said that I had always been very independent. I refused to let her feed me as young as she can remember but I would freak out when I had food on my hands or face. She would have to lay a sheet down on the floor and let me feed myself. I also refused to let her dress me. Or help me with anything. I asked her if she thought of me as a little adult because of how serious I always seemed and how independent I was, she thought that was most likely so. She said that I spoke like an adult also.
Then there were the many photos of me running around naked.
This is a family joke about me because I was quite the exhibitionist. There is one particular story about me as a child at the lake in Germany. I would frequently go to the middle of the lake and take my swimsuit off. I would start on the sand and my mom would put it back on but I got smart and took the inflatable boat to the middle and would toss it before my mom or dad could rescue it. I would swim and play in my happy nakedness. I would like to say those were the only times I did that but no, my escapades were not limited to our lake days in Germany. When we moved back to the states I was throwing my clothes off whenever possible and shoes and socks. I have no idea when I stopped, if I stopped. I am very particular with my clothes, they have to feel and fit a certain way or else I am cranky or will rip them off. I had a lot of questions about me and my behaviors answered but I also felt very disconnected and as if I was missing large chunks out of my life.
I am still processing all of it.
As I went through more photos I was amazed at the way people look now compared to then. I enjoyed seeing my grandmother be free and so jovial in her pictures when she and her girlfriend moved to St. Louis, MO, the big city. She was from a very small town in MO. Then seeing her through the years it seemed things were lost. She is a joy to be around, she seems so young and innocent sometimes and I love that about her. She is always a little girl but not in a bad way, it is just her joy, like a child. I saw the pictures of my other grandma and I was sad because we no longer have a relationship. She is locked up in her house, she is a hoarder and she seems to have severe social anxiety. She will not even visit or leave her home to see her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. She won’t even open her door to her children, this was a woman who knew everyone in town. She used to be so social and entertaining.
My aunts and uncles all seem so different.
The life that was once in them just doesn’t seem the same. I am not sure how to explain it or how I feel about it but I felt as if I don’t want to lose it. Whatever “it” is I don’t want it to disappear from my photos as I get older or from me as a person as I grow older. I want to keep it. I may sound crazy but that is the only way I can explain it. I don’t want to lose my memories or joy or life that lives in me. I am at a point in my life where I feel like a lot of my life was gone for a while and now that I have the chance to see it, I have to keep it. It is a bit overwhelming to look at pictures of my life as a child and see this whole world that was a part of me that I do not know. I do enjoy looking at them, though I do not remember, I feel happy about those times.
I know I am all over the place with this post.
I am writing my thoughts about something I don’t truly understand but I feel that I need to in order to help me gain understating. I decided to scan all of these pictures so I will not lose them and so my kids can see this part of my life and their grandparents life as well. I am going to share several of these pictures of me and my parents and a few of my grandmother’s. I did not put any up of the castles or anything that may be another post. I started to smile a lot the older I got, I noticed that. These pictures make me smile even though I have other emotions brewing as well. Hopefully, you will enjoy them too. Trying out another new slideshow plugin.