Thanks guys, I think I will try the paper and see if I can replace it. It meant a lot to me, I try to conjure up the picture every night before I sleep in an effort not to forget it.
But on a positive note - I got the big box of old pictures from my parents yesterday morning and spent the day going through them and saving the decent ones onto CD.
Late last night I printed out two montages of the best pic's to take to the group today. We're doing the young boy stuff at the moment.
And looking through those old pictures, blowing them up on the screen, printing them out; And Linda helped me as well, was a great thing to do.
I hadn't looked at all those old pictures for about ten years, I'd forgotten what was there.
I found a sequence of the formal, individual, school pictures that went from about age 7 to 16.
That was interesting........ spot the difference at about age 11 !! Linda spotted it immediatlely. I think I did, but perhaps I didn't want to admit to it ?
The other's were even better for me, as usual there were many bent and creased pictures of my brother and me growing up, and many of them with a smiling, caring parent, aunt, uncle or cousin by our sides.
It was a fairly normal, caring family.
I have had some issues about whether my parents ever knew about my abuse, the headmaster knew and did nothing - but did he ever tell my parents ?
Logic tells me he didn't, my dad is a regular guy, doing the best he can. My mother is a bit scarey - still ! Back then she would have been going ballistic, they both would.
Logic told me that, but I had this tiny grain of doubt that wouldn't go away.
Looking through that box of pictures has dispelled that doubt, it's made my childhood a lot clearer, sharpened my perspective of what actually happened before my abuse.
Ok, I realise I was vulnerable. And that was due to my upbringing and the situation of my early life.
BUT - I can see now that they did the best they could. And I can't possibly ask for any more can I ?
They were different times, and I hate to use the word "ignorant" - but they were ignorant of many things that parents today take for granted, because of their upbringing by my grandparents.
And I can see they made many efforts to improve their lives, and mine and my brothers, but they had no role models to learn from.
So my vulnerability wasn't their "fault" - it was a circumstance of the environment we grew up in.
( My brother wasn't SA'd at all, but we share many hang up's )
So, there's a new picture up there, a montage of about 12 pictures from me as a baby to me at 50 with my mom and dad, Linda, and my brother.
I'm in every picture, alongside some who I now know did care, and love me.
It's an ill wind and all that, but some good has emerged in the end.