Monday, July 7, 2008

One Old Photo

I have a photo of my parents and me when I was a baby. I have it in 8x10 framed in my bedroom. It's always been framed in my bedroom - ever since I was little.

Two weekends ago we went through all the photos in my parents' basement to look for old photo frames I could have for my redecorating project. We came across a huge by huge copy of the same photo. I had never seen it hanging anywhere, and I didn't even know it existed. And that's strange because when I was young I had a hobby of looking through everything in the basement. Maybe I was looking for treasure - but all I found were family photos and Darin's Legos. For me, the photo a little too large and a little too 80's to hang in my place. I have the 8x10 that will never move - but the huge by huge? It's just too big. The people are almost life-size - and that means the large glasses are almost life-size too.

Why I'm writing about this photo is because my mother pretty much ruined it for me. I have always seen that photo as my parents being happy despite my having CF - my parents taking the opportunity to have family portraits taken, even though I'm sick. Some families with kids with CF don't take photos - in case the child dies. I don't get that, and apparently that's not how my parents saw things either. But when we found the large one, I made a comment about it - and my mom replied, "Your father had been drinking, can you tell?" And no, I had never noticed it before. It took my mom pointing it out for me to really look at the photo.

So I guess my dad was drinking because of the stress of my CF, and my mom was just depressed because of my CF - and they weren't having a good day. Apparently, the only one in the photo having a good day was me - and I was an infant.

I've always felt guilty that my mother became so depressed when they learned I had CF - and maybe it had something to do with the fact that they lost the previous pregnancy in the 7th month, and she (my sister Sarah), also would have had CF had she lived. But now I feel guilty about my dad's drinking. Was he on the road to being an alcoholic before I was born, or was I the trigger? Was I the trigger for all the addictive behavior? Am I the reason the addictive behavior still lingers?

...I need more therapy.


Chris S. said...


Janelle said...

I agree. It's definitely not your fault. You can't control how people react to things, and a bit of an alcohol addiction is your dad's problem. Not yours. And not because of you. Probably occurred because of a lot of things, as was the case for my dad.

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