By the time I was born my mother already had one son, and he was the apple of her eye - and was till the day she died. No one else ever mattered among my siblings but him. So I knew from the get go that I was just another kid to her, nothing was more important than he was. This is how I remember my place in the family. And even though I was the first daughter that made no difference. Now I know this sounds like I'm jealous and carrying a grudge, but seriously that couldn't be further from the truth, my older brother was THE only child our mother ever had! Let me tell you what I know: Mother was a paranoid schizophrenic, so her ability to create normal, healthy relationships was severely impaired. Of course as a child I didn't know what was wrong, I just knew things weren't right.
Therefore I can truthfully say that I am NEVER found smiling in any of my early photographs EVER. In my early photos I am very somber even as a baby. I'm fairly certain I knew where things stood with my mother even then. It wasn't until I was about 14 years old that I realized she was mentally ill. By the time I was 17 she had been in and out of the mental hospital so many times I couldn't count them. Yet she continued having babies, finally arriving at the number 8 by the time she finished. At the age of 15 I delivered her last child because she was so manic she refused to call for the doctor. I didn't call him until she had already delivered.
This - is - how - my life was ... chaotic!
My mother's parents both knew she was "off" even as a young girl. It appears from everything I've ever heard (from those who knew her best), that she was what people in those days called, "A handful."
My mother was physically one of THE most beautiful women I've every known. She was able to maintain her figure till the day she died. From what I remember she always dieted and exercised to maintain her figure. I can even remember as a young girl that she hand-made her own makeup because she didn't like the colors available to her. People used to mistake her for my sister, and I was proud of that!
Left - Ann Kirkpatrick Lindgren - My Mother
Now, even though my life was chaotic there were also good things that happened to me as a child. Like cousins! I'm still in touch with many of the cousins that I grew up with, and they are still very important to me.
Sadly I am no longer in contact with my siblings. That will be addressed in another part later.
Till tomorrow then. . .