I can't help but peer at the photos and try to see any semblance of happiness on my face after the third grade. Most of these photos were clearly taken by outside parties during Christmas. Others were taken by my husband for me. None were taken by my S Donor so he could "show off" his beloved daughter, trust me.
The one my husband took where I had to lighten it to show S Donor on the other side of the table, disinterested, is a photo of two strangers (I am smiling at my husband who is taking the photo, and that is what I look like when I REALLY smile). It is the real relationship, and not the "put on" during holiday festivities.
I fail to see one real smile on the S Donor's face, one look of love towards me, or kindness for that matter. It was always about him, and whether I was reflecting his whim of the moment rather than any interest in my whatsoever after the third grade. The significance of that is the third grade is when I began having my own thoughts and opinions.
The photo in front of Mountview School, this was a day I was feeling pretty and was celebrating with my best friend. My E Donor took me inside and said how disgusted she was for my grandmother saying she was proud of me. I mean, I didn't think it was any great accomplishment either, but apparently it was inconceivable that I should revel in any love or affection on that day (or any other as time went on). Gosh, I wonder how I got that feeling of worthlessness that I have fought against by being arrogant my whole life, and making myself do things no matter what? In that way, it was a blessing. Especially because later on, I knew the kind of people (kind also being an adjective that describes people that I enjoy) that I would surround myself with and live with.
Regarding the graduation photo (I am holding up my diploma and the monster and s donor are behind me), I am looking off to the side away from the group. I am pretty sure that I am thinking, why are these people behind me in the photo? They had NOTHING to do with this. I have another of me and my husband right before the ceremony. That is who should have been beside me, as he was the one there supporting and encouraging me NOT my family. Sadly, that does include my grandparents as well. They were alright with the monster hitting me and being verbally abusive towards me. They loved me, but in this they were very very wrong, and at that very moment, I was probably not feeling very kindly towards them. I think I thought of my family as interrupting an otherwise lovely day. The thing is that I probably invited them, because that's what "one is supposed to do".
Here are the sum total of all the photos that I could find of me and my father: