Hello Friday -- Lifted

We're having an uncharacteristically grey day today.  So unusual in the Summertime in AZ.  I am thankful for the cooler temperatures and only wish I had a portrait session today in such beautifully filtered light.

Here's a layout to share.  This one was recently posted on the Scrapbook Circle Blog.  I had the privilege of lifting a layout by Emmanuelle!  You can see her original layout here.

I was drawn to the large photo that she used, but I wanted to include a lot of journaling so I split the difference between my photo and my journal block.  I used the August kit and add-on for this project.  Unfortunately, the kit is sold out, but the add-on is still available.  Get it while you can!

So today, I'm doing some licking of my wounds.  I won't bore you with why, it'd probably be whining.  But I do have the sense that I'm back in Junior High and I never really grew up.  Is that possible?  Sometimes, it's so difficult to tell if it's me or the world around me.  Am I just insecure?  Or are people just mean?  Do I have nary a clue about what is going on?  Is my perspective all goofed up?  And how will I ever know for certain if it is.......or isn't?

Rant over.....on to story.

My thirteenth year had it's allotment of difficulties.  

One had to do with a fight I had with some girls from school.  I came out on the bottom, mainly because I was afraid to show my face right after the 'event' and so the other girl got the last word.  At the time, I just wanted to disappear into the ground, and so I did.

I had some run-ins with a young man who'd made it his job to put me down.  

On the other hand, there were some very sweet people that I went to school with. Paula, Beth, Lisa.  Kind young women who looked for ways to build each other up and enjoy each other.  I still remember those girls with a smile.

It is interesting to me how often the bad seems to outweigh the good.  I think this may be more true for a person who's had more trauma in their lives. There comes a point when any bad seems to feel equal to all bad.  By this time in my life, that is how I defined my life.  It felt like I'd never 'make up the difference'.

Summer came, and with it, more time at home with Mama again.  Her dissociation became more marked and I began to feel desperate.  I phoned my brother to request his help.  At that time, neither he nor my sister really understood my mom's issues.  They were still young themselves. They'd basically kept their distance since leaving home.

They urged me to just stay with Mama, telling me that she needed me and wouldn't be able to live without me.  But I felt I was losing my own mind and I simply couldn't let it go.

I turned to my friend Mandy's parents and begged them to help me. They'd watched the situation and knew that it was getting more and more critical. 

I felt so grateful when they finally stepped in.  They called my father and explained to him that he MUST get me out of Mama's house.  I couldn't tell you how they convinced him.  I'd tried before,but with no success.  With the Evan's help, my brother's help and Daddy, we convinced my Mama that I needed to 'visit' Daddy in Arizona.  

One overcast morning in August, we met the Evan's at the local Post Office and they drove me to the airport in Tampa.  Mama didn't know that I wasn't coming back.

I had dressed to kill.  I didn't have a lot, but I'd found an outfit at KMart that I felt pretty good about, figured out how to get my hair up into a bun and tried to look 25.  I was 14....just!  

I can distinctly remember that my thoughts were in the direction of wondering whether I could catch the eye of a nice, good-looking, well off man. (It was one of the messages my mother had always instilled in me.  She'd told me I could be happy if I could find such a man and marry him)

I sometimes marvel at how happy Mama looks in this photo.  She was always beautiful in front of the camera.  But when I contrast it with the phone conversation I had with her a few weeks later, my heart still breaks a bit.

On the one hand, I don't want to sound tragic, on the other hand, that was a very tragic time in my life.  As I look at this photo today, it still makes me sad that I don't have a Mama like everyone else's.  It makes me sad for her and how deeply chained she is to the torment of a broken mind.  

On the other hand, I am grateful that my own children have a mother who is present and (relatively) normal.  I am blessed to have a relationship with my children and to hope that will continue.  And I have the ability to appreciate in others what I don't have myself and that is unique as well.  The contrasts have allowed for appreciation.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Thanks for sharing. Your children are lucky to have such a strong mom.

  2. Thank you for sharing Ursula xxx

  3. Oh my gosh - you and your Mama are beautiful. I also did not have a reliable Mother - she was too absorbed with her own problems to be there for me but nowhere near as bad as what you experienced. But now, I also feel peace in knowing that it has made me be a better Mom to my own daughter. I try to give her what I was never given. I'm sure you do the same. Can't wait to hear more! YOUR LAYOUT IS ONE OF THE BEST I'VE EVER SEEN!!! I put it on Pinterest!

  4. I absolutely LOVE your layout. The use of that hymn (my favorite!) is perfect. LOVE.

  5. Your layout is beautiful as always...but I also appreciate the fact that you shared something so personal. When I look back at my photos of me when I was 14, i kind of cringe because I didn't look 14 either..just like you I looked a lot older and I guess that worries me because my daughter is 8 now and she is gorgeous already. Love the pic of you and your mother.

  6. Gorgeous layout, I love the title 'glorious' - both the word and the way you've created it! x

  7. Your layout is beautiful, love all the bits and pieces. My heart aches for you everytime I read your posts.

  8. I love your layouts and this one is no exception. I just received my September Scrapbook Trends and you have a lot of pretty, wonderful layouts in that edition! Congratulations!! Hugs, Shelly


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