Friday, 28 June 2013

Photographs Part II

Yes, folks, I'm blogging on my phone at work. Because I'm so upset and tearful and raw that I need to get it out. I can't just sit on it and wait.

After sifting through various photographs and things last night, I came across another image. The most painful image of all. And I can't decide what to do about it.

Like I said, I thought I had destroyed almost everything that was associated with my rape and subsequent pregnancy. (Side note: why does a possessive pronoun seem so out of place? Claiming ownership of the event as "mine" feels wrong.) I destroyed the clothes, the shoes, photographs from that sort of time, notes for university, vocabulary books, everything.

But last night I found my ultrasound scan.

It shocked me. First of all, eight years doesn't feel like a long time, but looking at the age of the image really brought it home - it's a hell of a long time. But then all the other feelings, the sense of grief for the little girl I lost (it was early, but baby was lying right or something, so the lady was fairly certain) and everything else.
And then, inevitably, there's a decision to make. Do I keep the picture, hold onto it, or do I destroy the picture and let go?

My instinct is to destroy. That little girl didn't make it. She will always be a part of my life, in the same way that the rape itself will be, but it feels like it's time to let it go and put her to rest. Holding onto that picture or the associated feelings doesn't help me.

But I worry and question these instincts. Is it really that I want to let go or is it a need to bury things and hide them away? And what is the difference between "letting go", "moving on" and "avoidance"?

The problem with doubt is that it leads to a spiral of shame. It stops us talking and sharing our feelings, compounding the instinct to bury. Why is it that we make these subjects taboo and jeopardise each other's wellbeing in the process?

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