So, I was going through an album in search of a couple of photos in particular, and I ran across some of interest. This won’t have a tremendous amount of rhyme and reason, but there should be some continuity throughout.
First photo of discussion, I had short hair, not really dark yet, pink shirt. I was in 5th grade. Eleven years old. When I see this photo, here is what I see.
A girl who is trying. Trying to smile for the camera. Trying to keep curly, frizzy hair under control. Trying to be skinny enough, which I maintain is different from thin. Thin is healthy. Skinny is too much. In this photo, I was neither, but I wasn’t obese, either. However, people in my class called me names, especially one boy in particular named Robert. I can still remember the day Robert called me a fat pig. I stopped eating and began exercising all the time. I lost weight fast. I didn’t feel well. I wasn’t eating properly, and I had no parental guidance helping me lose weight in a healthy way. I should have been told that I was not fat, but that I could become healthier in even healthier ways. That didn’t happen, though, because my mom was busy being depressed and hiding away from my horrendous step-father, and I was busy myself ducking and hiding from said monster.
Next two photos with that weird vest thing I’m wearing, well, I was forced to wear that by my step-mother.
She often had my step-sister and I dress alike for some reason. I never understood it and was allowed no decision making of my own, even though I packed and took my own clothes along to wear at my dad’s house. And I was always made to pose for pictures.
Step-mother would chatter, “Smile. Don’t pout. Why do you look like you’re hurting? Stand up straight. Fix your hair; see how nicely your sister’s hair looks?” On and on that would go.
I ask you, if you took these photos of your kid, and the same expression was on his/her face over and over, would you want that in the photo album, and more importantly, why in the hell didn’t anyone ask me what was going on in my life? Dad didn’t. My mom didn’t. Step-people didn’t care. Lord, if you just look at a few photos, can’t you tell I just wanted to be left alone to find my own happiness?
Next photo of me in the green dress, with the purse and bonnet, I will admit I loved the dress. But that smile was fake.
Flip through most of my photo albums. Fake. Fake. Fake. I got really good at it in my later years. The pic with my hair a bit longer, pink backpack and wearing a skirt, still called fat by my step-mother and step-sister.
And hey, again, Dad, what the actual f**k? Why did you allow them to do that? Oh wait! I can’t ask you because you’re dead. In fact, you knew you were in serious medical trouble and close to dying, and you still didn’t seek help and ended up dropping dead on a baseball field. Always a good time when I drive by baseball fields. Thanks for that.
Then that fabulous photo with my mother, you see how we’re smiling at one another, that’s one of the first times in my whole life we began to get to know one another, because my step-father kept us separated, though in the same home, for years. I can say that to a certain extent only though because we could have gotten out of there, left, broken free but she chose not to do so. His ultimate removal from our lives had nothing to do with a decision she made.
The continuity I mentioned earlier, the common theme is what? Bingo! Faking it in every photo.
Pay attention to the people in your life. Treat them well. Love them. You don’t want to be left with a bunch of photos that only serve to tell lies.