MY BABY BOOK

My mother told me throughout my childhood that I was such a terrible disappointment to her and such a terrible baby that she had nothing to say in a baby book about me.  She told me that although all my siblings had baby books, that I did not have one.

This idea was so firmly planted even in the minds of my siblings that when my mother died in 2002 and various baby books were uncovered in her belongings, when my older brother’s was sent to him, he threw it in the trash.  He told me that if I didn’t have a baby book he didn’t want to have one, either.  His wife pulled it out of the garbage and hid it.  A few years later when I traveled to visit my brother and his wife, she brought the book out and we sat on the couch and looked at it, reading aloud the notes written inside.

My brother and I thought little about the ‘tone’ of her writings, but my brother’s wife commented that they at an eerie tone of hysteria in them.  I thought it was even more eerie that my brother and I, both having been immersed in my mother’s world, did not notice — though my sister-in-law was exactly accurate in her observation.

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The stranger thing was that I DID find my baby book among mother’s belongings.  It was the first that anyone other than her knew of its existence.  At some point I will scan its contents into the computer.  At present it is being held in safe keeping by one of my daughters — held against the possibility that I might have the urge to destroy it if it were in my possession.

There are certainly strange things written in there.  One confirms the suspicion that I had that my brother (mentioned above), who was 14 months old when I was born, was actually the person who taught me to talk.  In my baby book mother writes that my first words were echoes exactly of my brother’s voice.

She also writes that my first sentence was, “I didn’t mean to.”

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I did make a copy of a photograph of me at 11 months old.  I am dressed in a frilly dress with a bow around the curl at the top of my head.  I wanted to be able to see over time what the ‘happy Linda’ looked like.  I knew this picture was taken during one of my mother’s ‘public times’ when she would never have shown anyone her hatred of me.  It seemed in the picture that I was hence able, still at that time, to feel ‘true happiness’ as my face is radiantly beaming with joy.

Over the next two years that I had the picture on my wall here, I eventually came to realize that the brilliant happiness visible in my ‘over joyed’ eyes is disturbing to look at.  I can see the over stimulated intensity there that indicates to me that my baby brain was not able to regulate emotion correctly — a consequence of an infant who has been over stimulated during the first year’s formative development of the right brain limbic emotional center.  My brain and my body had already been overwhelmed by the time I was 11 months old.

I can no longer look at that picture it is so disturbing to me.  I see in those eyes that dissociation was already built into my brain’s processing capabilities.  That intensely over joyed infant was also the same one that experienced absolute pain and terror at the hands of its mother.  My feeling states were already divided into categories that to this day are not related to one another inside of me.

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There are also many pages cut out and removed from my baby book.  That doesn’t surprise me at all.  I know she wrote things about me in there that her ‘public’ self was not going to risk anybody else ever reading.

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Why she insisted during my childhood that I had no baby book I will never know.

10 thoughts on “MY BABY BOOK

  1. See, the BPD mother will try and dump her shame onto one of her children..my mother picked me.I was going to be all the things she hated about herself.She was going to toss all those awful things into one little bundle ( 7lbs 8 oz) and then kill it..I don’t blame her, BPD sufferers have a lot to be ashamed about.

    • Hello Helen — What tragedy, what terrible tragedy! A woman commented yesterday on the BPD mother post – it should still show up at the side of the first blog page – yet another one with a psychotic BPD mother – and another ruined life.

      Are you still doing the neurofeedback? Did it help? How about the study I think you told me you were going to be a part of?

      I am at the start of a long road now through the telling/writing of my story with my mother – minus really the first 5 years of my life although part of that was written for my first book, Story Without Words

      my daughter is too busy to edit – was hard for me to realize I just have to be patient hoping she can get to something by June

      the 7 volumes of my maniac mother’s writings are getting their pictures, and then they go in the waiting edit pile

      so now i tell myself my own story – all together, step by step, word by word – really for the first time in my life — how I see this story

      hard at work, a slow go – but once published – WOW will BPD rage/hate/shame survivors know exactly what this pattern is — as you do, as I do – from the inside out

      do you sometimes comment here under ‘outloud2’, or is it ‘outlook2’ ???

      I don’t BPD people, at least my mother, could feel her own shame — I’ll know more about what I know when these current books are written

      It took 52 years for my baby book to show up after being told it never existed while others did — that was strange enough

      So hurtful to you, EVERYTHING, so hurtful! I am so sorry!!!!! so sorry……… xo

  2. Sorry…but I feel that it’s important to mention that my mother’s hatred of herself and her own lack of cohesiveness is what led her to hate me.She chose me ( the dull, loner, difficult child) to carry her shame and she projected all of her life’s troubles on to me.”Why can’t you make friends like your sister?”Yeah, Tina has problems but I’ve noticed that you’re always smiling when she gets in trouble!!” I wish Derek didn’t have problems, sometimes I wonder if Helen’s the underlying issue to all the other children’s turmoil”? I think in her psychotic abusive mind if she rid herself of me her two precious children would behave or break free from my evil influence.I think she felt that she could release all of her inner misery on me by vilifying me..I’m the evil, sick and difficult one in the family.I personally can conclude that she refrained from taking pictures because she didn’t want any proof of her abuse and torture of me.AND WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DOCUMENT SOMEONE THAT IS EVIL?!!Why would she take pictures of the only person in her life that she hated ( me)…she hated me- WHY -because I represented her shame..

    Comments like; ” Why would want to wear a bathing suit with your figure…I wouldn’t wear one if I were you”.Was she ashamed of her body?Why would she be ashamed?Another one; “I pity the poor man that marries you, you’re the most difficult person to live with”.Does she think she’s difficult to be around?Oh, here’s one, “you were a slow, inhibited, anxious child.School officials said you’d never make it through high school and you’d probably be on some sort of pension”…painful words, that stabbed and blackened my already wounded heart.I have to wonder, what kind of mother she had…what kind of rejection and abuse did she endure during her early years?Why is she the monster she is today?Not only did she kill me emotionally, but she tried with all her might to literally wipe out my existence..SHE TRIED TO DUMP HER SHAME, ( ME) AND,THEN SHE HAD EVERY INTENTION OF KILLING IT, ( ME)..

    • That’s an interesting observation, and one I’ve meant to mention to Linda when an opportunity presented itself. This parental hatred is much more about their own self-hatred/shame than it is/was about the particular family child they target. I, too, was demonized by my father (not mother), labelled the ‘loser’, the ‘worthless bitch’, of the family, but I knew from my infancy that my father was not only targeting me, but actually setting me up repeatedly to ensure I simply *couldn’t* succeed — and then inviting disdain-for-me/commiseration-for-him from extended family members and his dubious ‘friends’, with which they were always only too ready to oblige. (There’s nothing crueller than a pack of authoritarian adults targeting kids.) I asked him once, “Why are you doing this to me?”, and he didn’t even pretend to misunderstand: “Nobody ever helped me, why should I help you?”, he replied — but it wasn’t just a matter of not helping me, he went out of his way to thwart and spoil my every hope and dream. “Get your goddam head out of the clouds.” My own conviction is that they started out much as we did, as we are, and they early ‘broke’ to the cruelties of life — which inadequacy snowballs — and then they’re ever more and more trapped. Not having had the character to resist the challenges to their own happiness as children, clearly they don’t develop the strength and determination to be happy and content with themselves in their ‘maturity’. They don’t emotionally/spiritually mature at all (and probably this can be said to be true of most people, with whatever more-or-less pathology attaches to each individual’s upbringing). And then they get married to someone who complements each-the-other all their weaknesses, and between them somehow bring an inexplicable little creature into the world that he or she can’t break, as they were broken…. –and it makes them frantic and sadistic. (“Break, you bitch.”) Like Linda, a sibling once said to me, “If you’d just cry or fuss a little when he [abuses] you, he’d leave you alone. You just ‘look’ at him and it makes him worse.” Words of wisdom, eh, she was maybe all of seven years old and I eight. But that would have been breaking, and even as a child I knew that if you break, you never get yourself back again, never again, not in this life, this long life, no. (With apologies to Gertrude Stein.) Which — truly — was the more degraded of my ‘loved’-by-him-sister and myself? You know, I really think the people on this site are wrong: you’re all assuming yourselves are the damaged ones, but the fact that you make your ways here, that you ‘re often conspicuously bright and can articulate the things that have been done to you, and that you’ve seen done to other people who were broken and maimed by them — you survived! We’re the winners! If you ever have any real contact with the milquetoasts you envy as ‘securely attached’ — they’re insipid as hell! “My father would tear you cell from cell,” is my bored and impatient mental response to most of them. Life is incessant challenges to autonomy and limiting for ‘everyone’ — and you’re ignoring that people can be just as effectively ‘broken’ by ‘love’ as by cruelty.

  3. I don’t have a “baby book”..a book that is designed to be a detailed history of new life or a symbol of a mother’s love and pride.I feel as though it was a symbol of her rejection.I feel as though it was a sign of things to come.She told me that my sister ( the oldest) was the only one with a “baby book”, apparently she gave up documenting/taking pictures after Tina.She lied, I knew that because my brother ( her beloved son), revealed to me that he DID have an album and a “baby book”, my heart sank at that point because it just reinforced my internal belief that my mother did hate me and that I was tossed aside even at birth…this was my fate, she’s always hated me.The lack of pictures, documentation is evidence that she could not bring herself to love me, she couldn’t take pictures or even write something heartfelt about me.So, she couldn’t fake it like your mother Linda..my mother loathed me so much that given the chance to ditch me, she would, and she has several times throughout my childhood.To this day, I live with the lack of cohesiveness because her stories about who I was or how I came to be were never consistent with what I felt or witnessed.There are no pictures, no baby clothes, no family recollection…no detailed description of my entry into this world.

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