Memories in drawings

This is so significant that I have to write about it.

A while ago I had the idea to get Pickle to draw out here memories and feelings. With no prompting she would draw bits and bobs that meant a lot but it was taking a lot of questioning to draw it out of her how she was feeling and what she was thinking. Until the last couple of weeks.

About 2 weeks ago she picked up her pencil crayon and drew herself, as a baby. Just a squiggly round blob to you and me but most definitely herself because she said “that’s me”. She then picked up a dozen crayons all together, gripped them tightly and drew, frantically, up and down the page ask over the drawing of herself. I asked what the lines were. Her reply: “all the people around laughing, I didn’t like it”. I wrote this down at the side of the picture as a note to remind myself (not Pickle as she can’t read yet) and then she was gone, off playing and so the moment was also gone.

Tonight, two weeks later, my mum, her Nanny, was sat looking at the picture and Pickle came up to her to see what she was looking at. My Mum showed her and Pickle said “that’s everybody laughing at me” then suddenly jumped up, ran to get a pencil and said “I must draw mummy. Mummy came to fetch me”.

My daughter remembers. She remembers feelings. She remembers situations. Babies feel. Babies know and are aware.

The foster family she came from was very very busy. They laughed a lot. They just “got on with it”. Maybe our daughter remembers that because she was scared, alone, small and frightened and they all laughed. Not at her. But still they laughed. She was alone in that sense. There was no sensitivity. There was no calmness. People just hustled and bustled around her like everything was okay. Everything’s fine. She’ll be fine.

One day, in the middle of intros, the foster mum told us that her grown up Son used to walk in and shout out “how’s the druggy baby”? And then scoop her up. I remember feeling shocked and saddened at the time. Did they think that was funny. Funny enough to actually do it. Funny enough laugh about it. And, oddly, funny enough to tell us about it! Now, knowing how much my daughter remembers, I feel angry. Really angry.

But at least she knows I came, in the end, to get her.


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