The most important work we can do, individually and globally, is the healing of traumas so that we don’t pass them down to future generations. This blog is a working tool to contribute to this good work.
*SCAN OF MY ‘NONEXISTENT’ BABY BOOK
All of my childhood and adulthood, I and my siblings were told that “Linda does not have a baby book.” My siblings had one. My mother repeated over and over again as a part of her abuse litany: “Linda, you were such a bad, horrible, difficult, impossible child from the time you were born that I could find nothing good about you to write in a baby book. If one has nothing good to say it is better to say nothing at all. Therefore you do not have a baby book.”
Fast forward to 2002, the year my mother died and one of my younger brothers retrieved a massive amount of her belongings from a long term storage unit she kept for many, many years in Phoenix. (There were three other storage lockers full when she died. One was in Tucson, and two were in Alaska where she died.)
As my brother and I went through this collection, three baby books showed up in that locker. One belonged to my youngest sister, one to my oldest brother, and one to me. (The other three books were stored elsewhere).
There it was. The nonexistent baby book. I mailed the other two off to my siblings. When my brother received his in the mail, he told his wife, “If my sister Linda does not have a baby book, I don’t want mine, either.” He threw it in the trash without opening it. His wife secretly retrieved it.
I sent my baby book home with one of my daughters years ago for safe keeping because I feared I would destroy it. Last month when she came to visit me I asked her to bring it back to me, and here it is.
I took it to show a friend of mine when we had lunch last week. After she carefully read it and looked at all the pictures, she said, “Linda, if I didn’t know you and your story personally, and I looked at this book your mother made, I would not believe a word you said.”
My original birth certificate with my footprints and my mother’s thumb prints is in the front of the book, followed by pages listing my diet, weight and growth. Here are the pictures and comments my mother wrote:
So this was the cast-away baby book — minus the torn out pages — that our family was told never existed because — WHY?