Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Took A Long While

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.


  1. Wow, what a letter! I can relate. My greatest fear is that I will hear--after the fact, as well--that my heroin addicted English father has passed on. I guess I should brace myself for the anger, hun? Maybe I'll write him again. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Simply amazing! I love the honesty in this layout. Thanks for sharing your work and your story.

  3. Wow stacey! this is just heartbreaking... you are such a strong woman making this page.....
    Its just beautiful, and Im so proud of you making this, and share your pain with the rest of us.

    Big hugs


  4. Stacey, what a Moving LO!!!! I can imagaine just how hard this was to do and can imagine that you did cry!!!! My daughter is in the same situation as you with her biological father, and she has so many issues of abandonment!!! It saddens my heart and I hope that she too can find a path in healing!!!! God Bless Your Hear!!!!

  5. Wow Stacey I'm so sorry that happened to you. I had to get a hankie reading the journaling & your post. so heartbreatking that must have been for you. As scrapbookers we understand how hard these kind of tear stained layouts can be but they're also a way to help heal yourself.

    You're an awesome woman in spite of him & all the hurt.

    Hugs, Suz

  6. Oh my gosh, what a powerful journey...this is truly beautiful. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. WOW!

    Sorry you endured this. What a great way to document this, I always say scrapping book should not have to always be all frilly and nice all the time, somtimes you just gotta get it out and I am glad you did ..

    I see many more to come .. hugs.


  8. That is very powerful and healing it sounds like.

  9. wow. that is so powerful stace! i hope you are finding some healing in scrapping this - hugs :)

  10. Wow! Great page and great journaling. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  11. Thank you for sharing a very private part of ur heart with us ! Ur layout gave me goosbumps and I felt ur pain in ur writing. I pray God sends u healing thru this creative out let. Many Hugs !!!!

  12. this is fabulous Stacey and I hope it was therapeutic (sp?) for you as well! what a great way to document a difficult subject!

  13. This must have been really tough for you to blog too. Having spent a great deal of time working with patients with liver disease, that's a tough illness, and most likely he had hepatic encephalopathy (google this), and he didn't remember, couldn't remember. The toxins from his liver made his brain sick. Not to defend him, just to comfort you that part of the forgetting might have been medical and not intentional. Hope this helps you, hugs to you my friend.

  14. Wow, Stacey! What a powerful layout, and so sorry that you had to go through all of this! I was crying along with you as I read about it...

  15. Beautiful and poignent Stacy.TFS

  16. Stace,
    I wish I could give youa huge hug & I do not think I need to go into details to explain why.


  17. Such a powerful layout, Stacey, truly touching. Thank you for sharing this as I'm sure it is touching many others. I hope you find peace and healing. {{hugs}}

  18. My husband has just been through something similar. Hugs to you. x

  19. This layout is one of the reasons why we scrapbook. Truly touching and meaningful, as anger is one of the things we must touch on in our books. This is amazing, Stacy, and I applaud you for writing and scrapping about it.

  20. thank you for sharing this. my parents divorced and my father remarried and now is busy with his new family. i try not to worry about it but i am sure a time will come when the lack of concern and attention to my children (his grandchildren), let alone me, will cause me to burst. My heart goes out to you and you are brave putting your feelings out there.


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