Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Autobiography

Here is a little girl, dressed in pink and white, clutching a fistful of daffodils. In this moment, she is completely and simply happy.

What the girl in this picture doesn't know is that her parents will be divorced before she turns a year old. She doesn't know that her father will get drunk and beat her mother regularly. That once, he will come close to killing all of them in a car accident. She doesn't know that her mother isn't ready to be a mother, that she is still just a child herself. Neither of them will realize this until years later.

She doesn't know that there are men out there who will take advantage of little girls. She will find this out at five and again at eleven. She also doesn't know that eventually, her mother will choose her idea of love over her child and slowly begin to disappear from her life.

She doesn't know that she will spend most of her teenage years living in a house where no one speaks to her. Where she will become invisible until she leaves for college and doesn't look back. That she will never feel like anything but a stranger to her father.

She doesn't know that she'll repeat her mother's patterns, choosing the wrong men over and over. She'll throw herself blindly into love and stumble out on the other side, wounded but not broken.

She doesn't know that one day, she'll pick up a pen and unleash the flood. That the waters will cover her head but she will eventually wash up safe on the far shore.

I have no memories of that little girl in the picture. I don't know who took it, or when, or what it was that made her smile. For all I know, that moment may have never existed. Here's the proof, though, in this photograph. And I do know this: once, I was happy. Before the rest of the world crept in, I was happy.

That girl gives this girl hope.

5 Comments:

Blogger Lynn said...

Oh, I am so, so sorry about everything you've dealt with in your life. Mine is strikingly similar to yours. I hope we both wash up safe on the far shore.

5/04/2006 12:41 AM  
Anonymous The Good Life said...

Deep down inside I know that you can be that little girl again. Don't dwell on the past and just look forward to the happiness that awaits you... always think happy! It's hard at first - I know, I can relate to some of your life's experiences - but eventually the happy you will shine through...Come to the good life...

5/04/2006 1:07 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

That is devastatingly sad. But beautifully written.

5/04/2006 11:06 AM  
Blogger Gerald Huml said...

There are pictures of me as a child just like this one, and things happened along the way to make those happy pictures of me seem so alien now.

5/04/2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

I don't even know why I wrote that or why I brought it here. I just saw that picture the other day and it came out. Still, it's nice to know that someone else appreciated it.

5/04/2006 1:12 PM  

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