I recently started reading from a website called What’s Your Grief? I need a lot of the articles right now as I struggle with my brother and mother….. I hope every February and March from here on won’t hurt this much.
In an article about Sentimentality & Holding Onto Items the writer talked about dolls that her mother purchased each year for her. Being a doll collector my interest was piqued. For me, each doll I collected had some connection to a part of me that was lost to abuse and neglect. I knew on some level that I was trying to regain these things but it took years before I could look at the dolls and say, she has this quality in her dress and facial features that reminds me of this particular moment of loss.
As I write this I am hesitant to touch the subject because I know how deeply hurt I am about not having a mother who loved me and not belonging to a family. To have her die in such an undignified manner and leave me with no resolution feels like blowing open my chest and tossing in acid. But i know this much, in my grief over the years I purchased a doll that represents my core self, one who represents the three year old who first remembers abuse and a young adult self. I knew when I purchased them they represented pivotal years, but I never expected to purchase a doll representing my mother. That one I never saw coming.
The doll that represents my mother is with the rest of the dolls but stands without touching them. She’s beautiful in every way, perfect…and hollow. She’s the only one I look at and see as hollow, the others I feel so much for that I try to block it. I hardly ever touch the dolls except to dust around them.
I feel as if the collection will be complete when I purchase a doll to represent the woman I am now. I have two dolls that are the type I had as a kid. One doll is nothing but a head and torso with a very cracked face. The other one has a complete body but she’s still very cracked. When I purchase the third and final 1930 German bisque doll she will be a reflection of what I feel my inner self looks like today. After her, I will have no need to purchase another doll. I will have symbolically collected the lost pieces of me, every step after that is future oriented. There is no doll to symbolize the future me because my future has yet to be written.