I have always believed that scrapping is more than just documenting family holidays, daily events and my loved one's personalities. For me, it has been how I express myself. My form of journaling. I have scrapped hard subjects and real feelings, getting some creative therapy along the way.
This layout had been in my mind for about 6 months. But I couldn't sit to scrap it. I finally did because my March column was about letter writing. I assigned different emotions to some peeps and took anger for myself. My mom and biological father divorced when I was just a baby and he basically abandoned us. I had so many nightmares growing up about him coming back and kidnapping me--they were real fears for a 10 year old. I finally met my father when I was 16. He lived in Georgia, but has family near me. It wasn't so scary after all. I learned he had remarried twice after that. I have two sisters and a brother (I have recently started a correspondence with one sister and have never met my other siblings.)
My biological father was in my life for about 3 years and then disappeared, again. When I was 29, he walked into my mom's workplace and then contacted me. I opened my life to him again, forgiving him because I honestly believed he did the best he could. He was an alcholic from an abusive family. He tried to be in my world, but drinking and anxiety stopped him. And quite honestly, it stopped me from getting too close. We lost contact in 2004. Not in a bad way, we just faded. I figured we would find our way back again.
About a year later, my mom called to tell me that he had passed away. His body shut down from the drinking. I grieved on the phone as if I knew him my whole life. It hurt. I found out that he had been in a comma for a few weeks. No one involved bothered to call me. I wasn't notified about his services. I was given no choice, again.
The journaling on the layout will describe the rest, providing the reason why I HAD so much anger. It is written as a letter:
To Whom It May Concern:
His obituary reads, “Bill is survived by two daughters and a son.” Much to my dismay, I abruptly realized that I was left off the list. It should read as three daughters. It is as if I don’t exist. I suppose I should be used to this because I lived my life the forgotten one. When I was finally contacted, I learned that he had been in the hospital for a while. If I had known, I could have made a choice. We had made peace, and I tried to understand. But, obviously, that wasn’t thought of during this. I wasn’t thought of. So I am here to say that I do exist. I matter. I am valuable. I won’t be forgotten!
I don't mean to be mad at any one person. Yet, I don't think I will ever understand how you can know that I exist, yet don't put me as a daughter in the obituary. I guess we all do the best we can. I was so angry though, mad at the universe. My hope is that I have released some of the anger. I have honored my feelings in all of this.
I cried like a baby making this layout. In turn, I healed some more. Sharing it helps me honor who I am. And, I heal some more.
That is the power of expressing yourself.