“To know your limits you have to be able to go beyond them. In other words; you have to be able to jump right over your own shadow.” (Simone de Beauvoir)
I have first met Lizzy in an antique shop. My then husband (now my ex but remain the father of my children) insisted to buy me another porcelain doll for my growing collection as means of appeasing his guilt for yet another sin he committed towards my person. He was (and still is) generous to a fault equipped with good taste and the means to acquire anything he deemed necessary. In my case, oftentimes it was jewelry; sometimes car, motorbikes (yes, plural. I had three) plane tickets to somewhere far to get me out of his way, or money in exchange for a personal favor.
I saw Lizzy sitting in a box under the table half-buried in old books and other trinkets the only thing visible was half of her face and her beautiful mass of curls, my heart skipped a bit. Abigail (another doll but belongs to a more posh collection was the one the antique dealer was trying to shove in my face, but I kept refusing the offer, stating that what I wanted to see was the African one down there. Either he was deaf or deliberately trying to make a better sale for he pretended not to hear me. In the end, I walked out with two dolls.
She is my favorite one. I had all 27 of them residing in a lighted glass display cabinet in the living room, but it was only Lizzy who got to go out on a regular basis. I bought a basket to hang on the front of my bike so she could go with me touring. I walked with her as well, carrying her heavy form in my small arms. Contrary to others in my collection with the exception of Abigail (the posh lady) Lucy (the vampire doll) and Tom (the very tall- the tallest in the group-peasant boy with piercing blue eyes) Lizzy’s legs, arms and body are made up entirely of porcelain. She alone has the privilege of movement, which makes her so desirable to me.
I love looking into her eyes when talking to her, believing she can really understand me. I adore her pouty lips, sad expression, long eyelashes, baby limbs, and traditional clothing. I used to sit her on a lawn chair while I was gardening to keep me company. I like being with Lizzy.
But that is not the reason why she is my cherished possession. Lizzy is a survivor. She managed to escape the murdering wrath of my ex one night when having yet another episode, he decided to mass murder all my dolls using a screwdriver; stabbing them one by one right on the face, mostly in the eyes. She was also abducted by my son, holding her captive and using her as a bargaining tool to make me succumb to the demand of his father for a truce. He threatened to throw her down the stairs if I will not accord. I have no ill-feeling towards my son in regard to that incident. I understand that all he wanted was/is peace.
Lizzy accompanied me when I decided to flee from the horror house, away from the maddening circumstances we all found ourselves in. I stuffed her inside my flight bag and disappeared into the night with only the clothes on my back. I didn’t wake up the children. They suffered enough already. Others will drag their offspring with them no matter what even if that decision is not for their own good in order not to be labeled as a bad mother, I will never do that. I would rather suffer myself when I know that they will be taking care of in the best possible ways with resources that were and will never be at my disposal even if I work day and night. I asked though, once the preliminary troubles had subsided but they refused. Again, I understand. I have no right to uproot them from their safe habitat and take them away from their friends and the only family they know. Besides, I lost them already to the clan the moment they were born. Once again I found myself an orphan. Good thing that I have gotten used to the idea already. Years of practice with my own family taught me that I cannot rely on nobody but myself.
At least, I have Lizzy with me. We’ve been through a lot of battles, Lizzy and I. From the moment I became homeless to going back to school trying to stand on my own two feet to finding back ourselves and a place we can call our own, me and Lizzy are together. She helped me to stay sane; she listened when I need someone to talk to, kept me warm in bed, watched me with knowing eyes when I made wrong or right decisions and through it all keeping her own counsel.
She never blamed me, not even once; even the time when I hit rock bottom and put her up for sale. It took me overnight to realize that Lizzy belongs to me. That I alone could appreciate her real worth which goes far beyond monetary aspect, then and there I promised to her I will never do that again. But what I value the most about my relationship with her is the fact that she accepts me the way I am, totally and unconditionally. I also know for sure that she will never leave me no matter what. And for that alone, I can declare without hesitation that Lizzy is my most valuable possession…
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