As the holiday season approached, one of my fellow Friends in Tech members, Douglas Welch had a great idea for a series of podcasts. Called the Wishbook the idea was to go take a look at on-line versions of old Wish Book catalogs from our child hood, and record some audio talking about a particular toy or memory that is sparked by the catalog.
When I first heard about the idea, I thought it was great. I still do, but in the course of looking through the catalogs from my youth, I also quickly realized that I couldn’t possibly take part.
Not that I didn’t see some toys that I remembered having as a kid, but that was pretty much it. Yes, I had that toy, and I remember playing with it, but that’s the sum total of my connection to my child hood. There are facts that I remember, with no emotions tied to them. Not exactly the warm, fuzzy holiday spirit, eh? 🙂
When I think about being a survivor, and what that means, I often think in terms of how it affects me now, and all the work I had to put in to learn how to make healthy decisions and take care of myself. When people ask me about the costs of being a survivor, or what the abuse took from me, those are the costs I immediately think of. I forget the things I missed out on as a child, the lack of any connection to my childhood. I almost tend to think that it’s normal, and it’s things like this project and hearing other people talk about childhood memories that remind me that it isn’t normal to look at a photo of yourself as a child and fell no connection to that person. To not feel some sort of connection to who I was or what I was feeling at the time.
I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it, because I have learned not to spend much time dwelling on things that I can’t change. There’s no way to change this, it is simply the cost of being a survivor for me. I accept that, but that doesn’t make it easy.