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Is this really me?

I have spent the morning going through childhood pictures my Mom brought yesterday. I can’t get over the difference in the looks on my face. Am I seeing something that is not there? Did I go from looking like a happy child to looking like a nervous, blank, hollow child? I’m thinking of bringing these to therapy tomorrow. But I’m not sure. And why is it  that I can’t seem to connect any of these pictures of this child with me?

I was happy, smiling girl before HE entered my life

I was a happy, smiling girl before HE entered my life. This is me, age 3. 

I had confidence in myself.

I had confidence in myself.

I think the abuse began at age 5. This is me, age 5. I feel like I have smile, I biting my lip. Pictures after this have the same expression.

I think the abuse began at age 5. This is me, age 5. I feel like I have no smile, I’m biting my lip. Pictures after this have the same expression.

The year the HE took the abuse to the next level. This is Christmas Day. I think I look blank, hollow. Dead. Shouldn't I be smiling, happy? It's Christmas. I don't know.

The year the HE took the abuse to the next level. This is Christmas Day. I think I look blank, hollow. Dead. Shouldn’t I be smiling, happy? It’s Christmas. I don’t know.

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6 thoughts on “Is this really me?

  1. Seeing these photos made my heart break 😦 The change in the years is palpable to me, and I think to most people who will see them here. I remember another blogger with some of the same history you have took a few childhood photos of herself to therapy and it proved to be a very intense but enlightening and strengthening experience. Seeing the visible pain in her therapist’s face strengthened the alliance. Her therapist also made it clear that she saw a child who was worthy of love and goodness, even if that wasn’t what was provided. Quite moving. Good luck whatever your decision x

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    • Thank you Jay. It helps to hear I’m not crazy for what I “see” in the photos…just to be validated. And, of course to hear of someone else who had a similar history to me who brought photos to therapy and had a positive experience. Thank you.

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  2. You look like you are carrying the sorrows of the world on your tiny shoulders. It makes me so sad and want to cry. You do look so different. They didn’t notice? How could they not notice? So little, so young, so sad. I’m so sorry!

    I didn’t realize how I changed until I looked through old photographs at the dentist’s office as an adult. I was a skinny kid until 8 then blew up like a balloon eating myself sick to escape emotionally because there was no way to really escape the house of horrors I lived in.

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    • Thanks, Grace. I wondered too, (if I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing on my face) how did no one notice that something was wrong?

      I’m so sorry for the child you were. How awful to have no escape. Children are really so tiny, so vulnerable. It’s so easy to forget that.

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    • I decided I’m bringing the pictures with me. I have a whole stack of them, crammed into my journal. I don’t know if we will look at them today, or not. But whenever we do, I do think it will be an intense session.

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