Undamaged

My childhood was not a "normal" one in the classic sense of the word but as I get older I often wonder if anyone’s
childhood was normal. Even what passes as normal really isn’t. I think
normal, like art is a subjective matter. I believe others had easier
childhoods than I by virtue of the fact their parents were simply more
balanced and sane than the ones I had.
Undamaged
is born from the realization I had not so long ago that in my forties,
I am finally beginning to feeling undamaged again. It came with a
collage I did entitled Undamaged that included an altered photo of me at four years old.
       
 

I
have found myself over the last several months drawn toward the
pictures of the child I was before the damage began. Before my father
began his betrayal. Before I began reminding my mother of the trouble I
was. Before I reminded her of my father. Before I formed my own
opinions that differed from her own. Before I began seeking and
creating ways of removing myself from her presence and household once
my father left. The pictures of the child I was and the child I grew to
be become markedly different as I grow older. It’s in the eyes
somewhere. Some spark or fire grew steadily dimmer until you have to
look hard to see a light anywhere in those small eyes. When I look at
the Undamaged photo, taken when I was still indeed undamaged, I smile
because I am reminded that the flame was only hidden while it needed
protection.

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