I am with my Grandfather; I think we are in a Chinese Restaurant.

I am very small.

I am standing in front of a glass case.

In the case, on a shelf, is a doll.

She is at eye level.

I am looking at her and she is looking at me.

I want to take her home.

That is where my memory ends. I don’t remember asking for her. I don’t remember my Grandfather buying her or bringing her home. I know that I did because I still have her. She is the only thing I have left from my childhood. I have no idea how she made it this far.

She is fragile. She stands on a small, round, pedestal, which is made of wood and painted black. If you were to look under her long, orange skirt, you would find that she does not have legs. She is just a piece of Styrofoam. She has long, black hair. Her hair is in a ponytail, which does not move, because it is glued to the back of her teal kimono. The strong glue is probably the only reason I have not lost her head, which is always falling off.

A long time ago, I read in a book that it could be very healing to bury something connected to the person that molested you. I was going to bury my doll in the back yard. I couldn’t go through with it. I did not know why, but I could not let her go.

I did not keep my doll on display, as she was during her days in the Chinese restaurant. I kept her tucked away in a drawer I didn’t use or packed up in a box. I would come across her every now and then and I would think about where she came from.

My daughter found her and wanted to keep her. My first instinct was to tell her no. I was afraid that my daughter could somehow be tainted by the mere presence of the doll, but I did not say no. She sits on a shelf in my daughter’s room now. Occasionally, I notice her, and as I put her head back on, I wonder why I can’t let her go.

I think it is because she is just like me.

She is a little bit broken, but she has survived.

Photo Credit: Missy Booz