I ended up talking with my therapist about seeing a boy & his mom leaving the dentist and some of the reprocessing of things from my own childhood. I also showed him some photos from my childhood and my parents wedding. In most of the photos I have, my mother is physically away from me and/or looking away from me. I wanted to know if I was reading my own feelings about our mother/daughter relationship into it or if it was something others could see. He confirmed that he noticed it in several of the pictures and I wasn’t imagining it. He also said, “you were a normal kid” (going by things like my expressions/demeanor in the photos). and that it was my family which was messed up.
I also brought a wedding photo of my parents because it’s how I figured out my parents lied to me about when they were married. The date they gave me was 5 months before the date they actually got married. When I saw paperwork about the date, I asked my mom about it. I was somewhere between 12-14, don’t recall the exact age. She lied and told me it was the date the Navy considered their marriage official.
I accepted that. Then I saw the photo of their wedding. My dad was wearing a white uniform. Which was standard for summer, not winter. No one was wearing coats even though it supposedly took place during a cold month, near where we live. Two of the women were in sleeveless dresses (my aunt and a friend of my mother’s). My grandmother was in a short sleeved dress. The date stamped on the photo is one month after the date on the document and 6 months after the date I was originally told. Who waits 6 months to develop their wedding pictures? That’s something people want to see right away (these were taken by friends/family members, not a professional photographer. Back before digital, we used to take photos of ordinary day stuff after a big event to finish up the film so we could develop it. Why would they wait 6 months?
Yet despite this photo which confirmed everything I thought, I disbelieved what I saw until a relative confirmed it for me. I have a very difficult time trusting my own instincts. The thing is I have pretty good instincts. Within in the last year, I sensed something was up with 2 major changes for work. And within the last couple of months, I sensed something was off with someone I considered a friend and the course of action a doctor was taking on a health issue (fortunately not serious).
But I doubted my own instincts until they were confirmed. One of my goals is to trust my instincts more and act on them.