Old photograph, new memories

I was looking at an old photograph of my sister and me when our facial expressions came to mind. Out of the two of us, my sister was always the serious one, whereas I was more carefree.

Looking at the photograph now, my whole life has been a lie. I don’t say that in a disrespectful or malicious way, because that’s not how I am, but up until the point I found out about Cerebral Palsy, everything attached to those times, was a lie, because my condition should have been talked about, brought out into the open.

All of the decisions should have been based on what I was dealing with from what I wore, to my shoes, to my physical constraints. Over the years, my thoughts and feelings were put on the back burner, with decisions being made by my parents, which had nothing to do with the presenting problems.

Given the family mechanics, things were how they were supposed to be. I can see that of course, but my own take is that all of this could have been presented differently. If people take the time, they care enough to make a difference, there is no reason why those differences cannot be made. We just have to want to care.

No matter what happened in my childhood, outwardly I never looked unhappy. In the photograph I look happy, whilst my sister looks reflective. Although I talk about my own life, I choose not to stay reflective for long. I do think about things. Of course I do; as I am sure we all do, but I choose to move forward, every time. I choose not to dwell on the things I cannot change.

My past wasn’t great, there were a lot of things I would have liked to be different, support from family for one, but to dwell now would make me a bitter person and to live in the past would hurt me more.

No one can change their lives from the past, what has passed has gone, but we need to deal with some of those issues. For me now, if something concerns me, I will deal with the issue and move on.

21 Feb, 2011

8 thoughts on “Old photograph, new memories

  1. When I look at an old photo I do just that – look. It might bring back memories but nothing like the feelings that you have explained.

    1. It will of course be different for all of us. We all see different things from the photographs we look at. I feel I have always had this ability and am comfortable with it.

  2. This past Christmas I was given a old photo of my Mother that was restored by my brother.

    The photo is a beautiful picture of her when she was 21. It is sitting in the living room and every time I see it it amazes me how attractive my mother was at that age.

    I had a thing about my mother after she passed away, that there were very few pictures of her in the house. I now treasure the two very good pictures of her, ( the one I just mentioned) and a picture with all 5 of us together. I think that picture is the only one with all of us in it together.

  3. I have tons of photos and everytime I go through them I usually have good memories.

    There are some of my father in the last few days of his life that make me sad because he went down hill fast and just gave up, but I’m still glad I have the pictures for memories sake.

  4. Photographs for me were a mixed bag of emotions while growing up and come in a couple of different perspectives.

    There are the photos of me taken from my waist up (portraits, if you will) then there are the photos of the entire me involving the crutches, contortions and all that make CP obvious to the casual observer. I have to say that when I look at these photos, it’s hard to see that it is really me inhabiting that distorted shell.

    I’m not trying to pull pity out of the bag, but I am trying to convey that who I am inside and how I feel day to day really can’t be shown in a simple photograph. Although I have to say that when I see the ones where “normalcy” shines through and the obvious limitations aren’t apparent.

    Still I try not to be nasty when folks unexpectedly take my picture at social functions. I do have to say that I tend to handle still shots WAY better than video of me moving from point A to point B. These do still make me cringe when I see them after the fact and again, I don’t think it’s related to self-pity, but more from the fact that that’s not how my mind’s eye sees myself.

    But hey, I am who I am, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. The only thing I can work with is today. Thomas.

    1. I completely agree Thomas. I believe that what we portray in photographs is not what we portray in real life. We make assumptions and form opinions of people without really getting to know the real them behind the photograph. There are so many emotions attached to photographs of ourselves.

      I think when we live with something like Cerebral Palsy, that in itself brings many emotions that we have to deal with. Working with today is all that we can do. Thank you for posting.

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