Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My doll and me

This is the four-year-old me, holding my poor Nameless Doll.

It is one of the rare photos my father took in which I'm not posing for him with a dutiful happy smile. I'm being me, unaware of being photographed. I wonder why he took this picture and why he scanned it and gave it to me. Perhaps to prove how happy I was with the doll he'd bought for me.

This is the doll I hated for being so dull and needy. The one I brutally spanked but then held in sorrow and despair. I remembered her again and wrote this:

A sad doll
Plastic, cloth, and dullness
Too hard, too soft
Stuck up and cold
Weepy and needy
Whipped, beaten, kicked
Then thrown away
She stays there all alone

Picked up again

Because I have no one else
To hold

If I could have that doll again

I remembered, in the past several days, the delicious solace of hugging an inanimate object. It is a comfort I don't remember being able to get from my parents.

I finally made a real connection between the doll and myself. I used to feel so sorry for what she had to go through, but felt nothing for the child - who probably went through the same - because the child was boring, annoying, whiny, needy, unlovable (and had it coming) and she was also cold and tough (and could easily endure it).


  1. Children will adapt and become what parents demand...ensures survival but that doesn't mean that was what you were. Soft, cuddly and adorable was not accepted so you did what you had to do. I suspect you are right when you say you acted out on the doll what was probably done to you. Hugs.

    1. Thanks, Ruth. I have no other explanation for a 4yo abusing her dolls and drawing a comic with horrific scenes of violence, complete with welts and bruises, and just *knowing* all my life in my bones. Having no clear memories is frustrating, though.

    2. Children do not come up with this stuff on their own. My 4 yo is constantly holding a mirror up to me. I see in him, the way I treat him. In his tone of voice, his words, the way he treats his brother. (and may I point out, I use the "mirror" my son provides of me not to punish him for what I don't like in me, but rather to make changes if necessary in ME). Most times I see good things, sometimes I see ways I need to change me, but I always see that he is learning and imitating me.

    3. Fuzzy memories are difficult. However, sometimes the vivid details are not an improvement. You can probably guess that it was done to you or you watched someone be treated this way. Either way a child learns what hurting is.

  2. I'm looking at a picture of a wistful, lonely little girl. A little girl who needs to be held and comforted and wasn't. And your description of your feelings around that doll, the inanimate entity in the world of just a 4 yr. old little one who "treated" the doll as she was treated.
    You already knew your "value." In your world then and now.
    There is such sadness here.

    1. Thank you. I just realized how crazy it is that I have very distinct and clear ad powerful feelings for that doll, still, but only a few fuzzy fleeting ones for my parents or myself at that age.

  3. You were a beautiful little girl, PA. She deserved so much better. I wish I could give it to her.

    A friend told me that once you're an adult, there is no one (except perhaps a good husband or wife) that will be interested in helping to nurture your inner child. The only person who can parent and love your inner child is you, the adult.

    So he bought me stuffed animal to hug to nurture my inner child. I thought it was BS, I really did. But I hug that teddy bear without even realising it now.

    Have you got a stuffed animal or doll to hug now? I have to say I rather recommend it. Treat it how you would have your inner child be treated. :-)

    1. Thank you, QG. I hold my kids' toys sometimes, but really wish I could have that doll back.


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