I recently went through my files and deleted all of the photos that made me angry or sad. They were all photos that had one or both of my parents in them. And now they're gone.
All except this one:
That's my mom, in the background. I don't know why I kept this. But somehow I can't bear to throw it out.
It makes me so sad, looking at this photo. It makes me sad because it ought to make me happy. Oh, look! It's you and me, Mom, on my third birthday! How sweet. But no. It's not sweet. It's poisoned icing on a cake made of worms.
I was happy that day, it's true. I was happy because this was the one day a year, the day of my birthday party, when my needs were above either of theirs. I was happy to be riding a brand new tricycle; not the dirty old one that belonged to the neighbor boy. I was happy because with all these extra people in the house, I was not going to be slapped, berated, or molested.
I wanted the guests to stay and stay and stay. But eventually they all went home. Eventually, my trike got stored under the makeshift lean-to, and the pretty red paint and shiny chrome rusted to orange. Eventually, my fun "watch" with the maze game inside of it broke, and all the colorful beads fell out and were lost.
And not eventually, but instantly, I was not so important anymore, and whatever mommy needed or daddy needed was my responsibility again.
October 8, 2010
Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad