Last night I’m sitting on my comfy couch with Batman and Whippet (one of my Best friends forever), I was searching through a green shopping bag of old photos looking for a photo of Wheels when he was 3-4 sitting in a bath with a Spider-man figure with no head and in place of his head is a delightfully large and wet Poo nugget. We affectionately call this photo ‘The spider poo photo’. Whippet really wanted to see it, and I mean, it seriously needs to be seen,. I found it, him sitting there with a huge grin on his smooshy little face posing with a glistening Spider-Poo, smears of poo on the bath wall in the back ground. A rare and beautiful moment I will remember forever and I will forever remind him that I have it if I ever need to bribe him.
I was searching through these old photos, some of which span from when I was as young as 3 months old to about 22 years old and oh them boobies were so youthful then, so not pancakey. I spotted a photo, one I’ve seen a hundred times before, my heart stopped, I felt a stab of breath come out of me as though Whippet and leant over and punched me in a boobie which is actually highly possible. The little girl in the photo was me in the house I’ve written about before with the bay window where we once watched a fire caused by a strike of lightening, the house he watched me dress in my bedroom, the house he forced me to let him wash me because I wasn’t doing it right (fucking kids, hopeless bastards). Anyway (see photo above) I’m sitting on the floor with my littlest brother Chops, I’m about 8 and he’s about 6 months old. That girl is me.Thats me, that long haired smiling girl is me. How did she cope all that time? How did she deal with that? Mind blown that she was even brave or strong enough to still at the end of the day be this doting sister, playful and creative child? Just how?
Sitting there with Batman and Whippet I kept my unease, confusion and intense elation at my discovery quiet at the time because I am so tired of having these moments and making the moment all about me, all the dang time, so instead of telling Batman and Whippet about it I quietly sighed and then hummed to myself, I hummed, so fucking weird. I couldn’t contain it, I couldn’t understand how I had never really ‘seen’ myself before, even though I’ve looked at this photo sooooo many times before. I put the photo away and reminded myself to come back to it and talk about it with Batman later. I kept digging to see if it would happen again. And It did with two more photos, two more photos of this little girl, who then I had never connected with, me, that is me, doing whatever it was that i did, thats me, sitting in HIS house on his couch, his house, where it all began, but I have looked past that every time and not even realised, not even connected the dots before.
How have i never connected with this before, why have I not recognised This girl as me, I never thought my abuse had caused me to be dissociative with myself before now. The feeling was almost dream like, like I almost couldn’t believe it really was me as a child. I’m not saying i didn’t know it was me in these photos, but more that I didn’t recognise me I guess, I guess I was dissociated from the girl in them because she was barely in them? Now all of a sudden in like an amazing ‘What the actual fuck’ moment I connected to her. Like the paths in my brain connected up exactly right and everything was right in the world. Thats exactly how it felt. Like that feeling you get when you walk outside after days of cold wet weather but when you get outside it’s oddly warm and you feel the sun on your skin and everyone is happy and the kids didn’t even fight or poo their pants yet and you are about to do something fun, that’s how it felt. I know, I know… so many ands.
In these photos before I began this soul discovering journey, it wasn’t me, or maybe I wasn’t even there? Or was I almost not present when I saw the photos once I grew up so when I saw them I couldn’t connect with her because I as an adult didn’t know who that girl was, or what she even represented.
What does this mean? Has this really changed since I have begun doing all this searching and healing? Looking at those photos now I feel love. I never felt that for them before.
Then I started to focus on the baby photos, photos from way before i was abused. Photos of me with my Birdy or my dad. I know her as me. I didn’t ever see those photos as though the baby was a stranger, I knew she was me and I know the love she must have enjoyed.
Last night I said to batman:
“There’s a photo of me sleeping at a few months old, someone took that because they loved me, people took photos of me as a baby because I was loved.”
Why does that seem like such a strange idea to me? I knew my mother loved me, I knew my father loved me, so why does it seem strange to me when looking at baby photos that someone actually loved me enough to take these photos.
I feel like I’m seeing myself for the first time, it’s incredibly daunting and exciting, I feel the trust in myself grow the more I learn about my inner child, about me. Connecting back in with her in those photos changes things, like when your dial up internet in the year 2000 connects up with that screeching sound and when it does a sense of relief washes over you because it worked and you can go get your ICQ on uh oh…
This, it changes me, changes the way I see her.
One day will I be able to go as far one day so I’ll no longer have to refer to her as her but as;