A couple of years ago I told Rick, my husband, to bring up from the basement and sell all of my dolls. We were trying to bring in some extra income to help with bills and I had all of these porcelain dolls in the basement that hadn’t come out of the basement since we moved into our home over 15 years ago. When we moved into our home we had 4 boys. 4 very young boys and anytime we hung up a frame or put out anything nice it was broke by a bouncing or kicked ball or wrestling. I realized quickly that my dream of dolls up in my home would not be a part of our decor and I was alright with that. I knew I loved my dolls, but I loved sports and my boys even more.
I was just about a month into my counseling when he brought up some of the dolls. I went through a bin of them and was like, ya, sell them. I’m good with letting them go. Then he brought over two dolls that were in their beautiful glass cases. He set them in front of me to see if I wanted to sell them and I just started sobbing. It was like a massive trigger. It was the craziest thing.
As I looked at these two dolls I found myself thinking about different aspects of my life.
Doll #1: All put together. All dressed up. Make-up done. Hair done. Smile. I dressed up as nicely as I could with going to college, school, work and things that I was involved with. I didn’t really even own a t-shirt or levi’s. I loved wearing heels and didn’t own tennis shoes. This was a way to portray to all of those that I interacted with, served, worked with, in school with that I had it all together and could do things professionally and successfully.
Doll #2: A little girl all dressed in her frilly dresses. My Great Grandma was an AMAZING seamstress and each year she would make us girls dresses. They were frilly and beautiful and I loved them so much. I would look forward to her dress each year. With these cute girly dresses, our hair done and all put together we looked so cute
I loved that I felt beautiful and all put together on the outside as a little girl, but on the inside I had turmoil. I was hiding things. Hiding a lot of pain. I believed my abusers that I was loved by them and that others wouldn’t believe me. I wanted to be enough and hide the abuse and pain. I loved the outside of the little girl, but she grew up to the “proper all dressed up doll” all too quick.
I kept those two dolls. They sat in my family room for a very long time now that my boys are older. I would look at them and reflect and think about what they represent to me. Eventually they moved up to my bedroom and as I’ve been healing I’ve found joy in looking at these beautiful dolls. I’ve been able to see a greater beauty to them - a deeper beauty.
What’s been interesting is as I’ve looked at these 2 beautiful dolls I’ve thought to myself I want a doll that really represents the internal me, the doll that would represent me from a young age to now. Not the proper, put together, beautiful dresses, hair done, etc. I wanted something that looked more broken. I wanted something that looked more in ripped up clothing, clothing that wasn’t put together. Something that didn’t represent beautiful, beautiful to everyone that saw her. I didn’t feel beautiful for a lot of years - a ton of years. I’ve looked many times for different dolls, but just haven’t found the right one. Haven’t found one that I felt truly represented me - the internal me.
Then in November / December I thought this is the time for me to get this doll. The doll I’ve wanted for so long. I started looking more for the right doll to get on Christmas. I felt that would be very symbolic. As I thought about it I thought inside I was raggedy. I was raw. I wasn't put together at all. I wasn't proper. I was in pain. I wanted my hair to be out of place. I didn't feel or look perfect or cute. I wanted to be loved as just a little raggedy girl.
I had looked for other ragged dolls, ones that looked more scruffy and not put together and in December one day I woke up and I thought, Raggedy Ann. She completes me. She's beautiful just as she is. She's the best doll of the 3. She's me. I've always loved Raggedy Ann. I've always wanted to embrace her and now I can. I can get one for myself. And she's adorable and loveable and ME!
I had to search - she wasn’t easy to find, but then I found one that had her arms folded into her. I thought yes, this has been me. Closed up, arms folded in, protecting myself for years. My arms weren’t open and welcoming. I was so excited to find her and I ordered her.
Then I got notification that she was on her way. I clicked on the tracking and another picture came up of her and it showed her arm outstretched. I thought I love that. I’ve opened myself up. My arms are much more outstretched and not closed up anymore and I feel safe, happy and great love.
I got her today and I was so excited to open the package. As I opened her up her hands weren’t folded in at all. Not one hand folded in and one arm out - both arms are out. I thought yes, this is perfect. Her button eyes. Her red hair, I had red hair as a little girl into my teenage years. Her hair is yarn, my hair is thin and had a hard time being healthy over the years. She’s beautiful just the way she is! And she’s raggedy and so am I.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity