Today a friend is coming to help me with a project that needs to be done for many reasons. This is a task that I cannot do alone, also for many reasons. I am wondering at this moment how I will feel once this afternoon has passed and all these family history slides are sorted, titled, dated and organized.
This friend of mine is very jovial, pleasant and happy. I hope that with his help this task that daunts me will not seem so ugly or so overwhelming. In so many ways at this point in my life I wish all memory of the first 18 years of my life spent under the constant stress of abuse by my mother could be completely erased. I no longer want any trace of it — not even a memory of the Alaskan homesteading experience. I want it ALL gone!
I made it so close to completing the writing of my childhood story up to my age 10 1/2. I completed the first rough draft. I was totally unprepared for what happened to me as I began to edit this draft for the second – and nearly final – one. I find I cannot do it!!
This collection of slides that lie in a disordered heap under a sheet on the table in my front room contains the visual record of the story of my childhood — minus the abuse, of course, which only appears in traces by my absence from so many photographs of my siblings. The abuse I suffered also appears in my body language and placement in relation to the rest of my family in many pictures I do at least show up in.
In many ways I feel I got left holding the ‘bag’, and it’s a BIG one! Being the child ‘chosen’ as the target of Mother’s insane abuse left me with nobody to share my experience with. I still feel that way. The numbers of children who suffer the kind of infant-child abuse I did is so small our stories are recording in books like “Sybil” and “Mommy Dearest.”
We have freak stories to tell. And as I work to tell mine I feel again as I did as a child — absolutely alone in a reality that exists to NOBODY ELSE.
I ask God every day to show me any point at all in my proceeding forward with my writing task. Today my friend and I will at least make progress in ordering the disorganized mess this pile of slides IS as these pictures portray the mess that is the history of the Lloyd family — especially my history.
I never chose my childhood. I never chose my position or role in my family of origin. In some ways I am enraged I did the suffering that allowed my siblings to get off ‘Scott free’ — other than the fact that they witnessed what was done to me — as they went right on playing (as kids SHOULD be able to do). Other than the fact also, to be fair, that our mother was an advanced Borderline Personality Disorder mad woman which made all of our lives nuts. But because I did the suffering for everyone else my other five siblings escaped the unnameable torture that was MY childhood.