Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Traumatic Childhood

Here I am, in all my nerdy glory. This is just one of the many nerdy pictures from my childhood. (Let's just say that I went through multiple "ugly duckling" phases.) Ah, my childhood. My project du jour is re-scrapbooking all the scrapbook stuff my mom gave me. My vision is to scan all my photos and have one 8x11 glossy photo book of my growing up years with a cd of the pictures in the back, one 8x11 memory book with cute notes, newspaper clippings, etc., in it, and one small memory box for little mementos. I've been sorting for four or five days. Nerdy photos, keep. Old homework, toss. Cute notes about the secret sister club, keep. Notes marked "private, do not read" expressing my teenage angst that managed to end up in my scrapbook, toss. Sorry, Mom, there are just some parts of my life I don't want to relive every time I pull out my scrapbook to show the kids. It's just part of my commitment to selective life chronicling.

Of course I'm doing this for my kids, so they don't have to cart a bunch of my life around someday, but its also been surprisingly refreshing and cathartic for me. I don't actually remember most of my childhood, (I read the other day that if you have a bad memory, you are trying to block a traumatic childhood--I knew those days picking rocks out of the fields on the farm would damage me somehow!) so going through the pictures and papers has made me feel like I re-discovered a part of me that was missing.

Since my current memories tend to get stuck on the anomalies like Mom losing her temper or Grandpa swearing, I liked seeing the pictures of the family trips I'd forgotten about, and remembering the great times that we had together. I liked seeing how creative I was as a little kid with the song, stories, poems, and crafts that Mom saved. I was pretty dramatic too. Multiple childhood notes of me hating this or that, and then notes of apology for losing my temper. How many of those do I keep? To me, they aren't cute. They bring back painful memories of sitting in the bathroom talking to myself in the mirror and trying to make sense of life. When you're little, the little things that happen are so big to you, and make such an impact on your life.

So it's been an interesting process. I'm glad I'm starting now. Life accumulates!


AC said...

And remember kids, keep multiple offsite backups!

Charity Z said...

Hey, when you're done with yours can you come do mine?

Sara said...

If that is your best nerd picture, I can totally top you.

As for sorting through the past, it always gets me a little nostalgic. There are memories that never would have come to mind if I didn't have a picture, journal entry, or other memento. Kudos to you for sorting through those things.

Also, I always enjoy reading your blog. Keep at it!

Job and Rachael said...

That's the cutest picture :)
What a great project! I know my mum would love for me to go through my memories and organize everything. It is all still sitting at her house. Haven't quite cut the cord... ;)
Your kids will love looking through your projects when you are done.

Post a Comment