Ways in Which I have used Dolls to Heal
In Buddhism, nothing is pre-judged as either Good, or Bad. It is usually a person's motivation, and the use a person makes of an object or situation which determines whether or not it is beneficial.
For me, dolls have been Very helpful. Most sighted people with what the shrinks now call DID look in a mirror and actually See the alter, person, inner part, which is manifesting itself through their mind and body. Obviously, a blind person cannot do this. But projection of the fragmented parts of one's mind happens usually, so that this part of the mind can be interacted with.
I heard of one blind multiple who only had toy dishes to play with. So Each of those dishes took on a character, a personality.
I was luckier in having farm and circus animals as a kid. They took on personalities.
But when as an adult, I discovered Dolls, and dolls with Black hair, (I hadn't played with toys for years) I fell in love.
My first doll as an adult was a Kira with straight black hair and turquoise eyes. She was very sad and I named her Kira Sky, because of her unusual eyes. That's how I picked out dolls. Some that I touched had no emotions. Others immediately seemed to Be a certain kind of person. It was These I was drawn to.
After bringing them home, I dressed some in the kinds of clothes the names I had been called, and internalized, would wear. Ann painted the faces and bodies of some of her dolls, and some of mine, upon request. So I have a Joey Benetarde who looks Latino, a Jesse doll from a TV show I never watched called "Full House" became totally Native and I made him a beaded powwow outfit. Sailor Moon became disabled, when her crown thing was removed, and her face was painted.
A number of little kids lived altogether with NO Adults, in an old closed factory building, (made by Ann and me of cardboard) in Oklahoma. Later I realized it was like the dormitories I grew up in at blind school. Some kids had names which told their stories, "Runs Away" and "Trusts Only Animals". Some dolls were painted as though a sighted person could tell that they were blind.
Some kids traveled around, looking for parents, but it Never worked out. Eventually I learned to stop Hoping for parents, I was too old to have them and had no intention of submitting to orders From them.
I used a lot of Kid Kore and other non-Barbie dolls for the kids. Some Power Ranger girls were teenagers, along with "Growing Up Skippers", actually usually Courtneys or African American Skippers, with dark hair. I have 2 Janets and one Stacie, but one Janet or Stacie face is just like another, by touch.
I am lucky I grew up at a state blind school, in a way. Though houseparents came and went without warning, I grew up with a lot of differing kinds of people. There were rural white kids, usually poor, suburban white kids, and some city white kids. There was a girl from an impoverished section of the state who was half African American and half Native American. There was an African American girl from the same area, and they were Totally different in belief (spirituality) from the African American kids of the inner city. There was a girl blinded when she was raped. There was a girl who was half Japanese and half European American. There were kids with mental disabilities, (I do not know the latest politically correct word for having a lower than average I.Q. or having brain damage). There was a blues program on the local African American radio station on Sat. afternoons, and Church on Sundays from the same station.
We had college students watching over us in the evenings after study hall, to give the houseparents a break. Two were Irish Catholic, one was Japanese, and others were from other states.
So I looked for dolls to express all races, and hair colors, but they had to be Distinct, so I could tell them apart by their Faces and hair.
Some dolls came to represent people I admired. I have two Tracy dolls, to represent Tracy Chapman. I doubt that Any doll really looks like her, but I wish one did. Several dolls have the name of my older sibling.
There were dolls to represent abusive relatives, (some of these are no longer in a sellable condition) and dolls like Captain Sisco and Captain Sulu to represent honorable men.
I took my rage at aspects of myself or abusers out on Dolls, cutting Them instead of Me, or instead of harming another person.
Sometimes when there was a part of me represented by a doll which was harmful and I couldn't control, I put them in "iso". They stood facing a mirror on my dresser, sometimes for months, being unable to look at Anything but themselves. When I checked on them, sometimes they hadn't changed and sometimes they had. All eventually changed. When a change had occurred, I allowed the doll to be with others, under supervision, and gave slowly more freedom.
Then there was the "Theater of the Mind", or that's what I called it. Dolls would take on roles and play them out to their conclusion. This took hours of imagining and obsessing over repeat and long lasting problems. But if I couldn't find a positive way to resolve the issue, I didn't know what to do besides Not acting on the problem at all. This was Definitely a better solution than taking it out in public which would have been physuically dangerous for a blind female to do.
I learned a lot froom my "Theater of the Mind." It's limitations were that if I couldn't Imagine a positive outcome to a situation in which I could Believe, I just had to drop the issue. We all know that imagination can be crushed or limited in most people by experience.
I had to forgive some dolls and let them go. They represented acts of which I was ashamed. Dolls also took on my confusion about sexual identity.
Eventually, I began realizing that there were just a few Core Issues left, each issue being represented in a slightly different way by a different doll. This helped me narrow down the Range of problems still remaining in my life. And I could stop buying dolls which just Seemed to have another angle on the same old tired issue.
Dolls helped me in many ways to make better choices about my behavior. They allowed me to project into them Much which was troubling or difficult. They were tools for Healing.
Then I just got hooked on fascinating dolls with unusual faces, hair, or Once in a while, clothing as well. I have never seen another person's doll collection, but Ann thought I probably had one of the most diverse and unique ones around, who knows?