Saturday, May 16, 2015

Five Year Old Me Knew

I "rebelled" early on. Imagine drawing a picture like this when you are 5 and 6 years old and knowing you have to hide your sketchbook from "Mommy". I did. I don't think she ever saw this picture because if she did, she would have shredded it and my sketchbook [actually a school notebook I turned into a sketchbook] would have been in the bottom of long ago 1970s trashcan. There are other drawings of my mother in this sketchbook and she is always yelling with a giant oval circle for her mouth and the ever present curly hair. A line across the forehead suggests the anger too.

In my papers, I kept this now 40 year old sketchbook. I had this weird thing where I drew myself as "Lucy" from Peanuts comic strips in this sketchbook.  My ability to read early came from Peanuts comics and they formed kind of an escape hatch for me. Here I drew the Peanuts gang playing baseball.

Maybe it was a way to find an identity of some sort at the time. There are cute pictures in it where I am playing with Charlie Brown who appears in place for my brother. Linus shows up too as another brother "replacement" on some pages.

 There is an especially poignant one with a favorite teacher from that year. Sorry it is so light, but I know that teacher showed me love and care. Teachers can make a difference in young people's lives. This teacher gave me some esteem based in schoolwork and learning. This would be a life long positive thing in my life.  She definitely had to be a good teacher to form a bond with a little Aspie. As you can see both are smiling and no one is yelling.

 I used to show this sketchbook to therapists, it has some disturbing pictures in there especially for a little kid to draw.  It probably has around 30 pages so here I am only showing a few. My work as an art therapist gave me interesting analysis too of this sketchbook years later and I plan to post some other pictures from it. You can see "Lucy" above sticking her tongue out and saying "Your Bad" which is supposed to be "You are bad". I was an art teacher long enough to know most young children will draw "I love mommy" pictures, but then abused ones will draw their own kind of pictures too. Art was my escape very early on.


  1. You drew that good at the age of 5, my gosh. I'm no artist, but I do appreciate it from others, We all have this gift to share with the world. No wonder you draw so good now.

    The pain at the age of 5 is so hard to bear I know, I'm glad you had your drawing to escape to. I like art too, but more of the crafty kind. I can't draw a picture. I think I wrote stories mostly. One time I wrote a story about my mother's head falling off or something like that.

  2. Hi Joan, thanks for saying I drew well early. I taught myself to draw via Charles Schultz and in comics still draw grass the way he did. Yes art was something I did share with the world and hope to. Yes the pain that early makes me kind of sad. A kid that young should have a mother who loves them. I am glad you have crafts and writing. LOL about the story with her head falling off.

  3. This was powerful, and tragic. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks smakintosh. I suppose showing that picture says it all. This is not the only time I drew her that way either. It appears SEVERAL times in the notebook.

  4. I remember getting upset at school whenever there were projects related to our family. I had to draw a family tree once and got really upset because I didn't know how - my NF's family were sensibly avoiding him so I never knew them.