Why I do photography

Before we get down to business I want to post a trigger warning for sexual assault.

You're looking at the first photograph I ever took to make prints of. Before hand I just took photos to document things. Progress views of a new costume, the cats doing something funny, or just general all around stuff.

I called the print "Sailing Day." One of hope and promise.

The second photo I took was called "The Aftermath" showing death and the sinking of the Titanic.

I started doing this a year ago, shortly after my Dad joined Mom on the other side. Both my parents died from cancer.

In biology class we were told that sexual assault COULD happen to us. Like others I didn't think it WOULD happen to me.

It's been years since my ex-boyfriend assaulted me. I STILL think of it and sometimes it's damn hard to trust people. I've been assaulted twice in my life. The first time I was kicked in the head and am missing four teeth. Two wisdom teeth and two molars. My ex-boyfriend promised to take care of me and that he'd NEVER let anyone hurt me, and more importantly, HE would never hurt me.

When I told not one person believed me. I was accused of trying to ruin his life. My then best friend said I was just saying it because I was angry at him because he wanted to break up with me.

I still have that scar on my arm that he gave me. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It showed me how strong I can be and how I survived. At the same time I hate it because of how I got it.

He took things from me that I can never get back. Ironically, a friend said something rather comforting. She said when picking up the pieces you can choose what to work on and what to throw away.

Though it IS hard for me to trust strangers I AM working on it. I CAN smile again. I CAN go out and about. I CAN joke with people and mingle.

I've had thoughts of getting a tattoo honoring my Irish heritage and yellow daffodils. Yellow daffodils are the flowers for cancer patients.

Due to the past I was hurt, I was angry, and I wanted to lash out. I wanted to tell the world to go to hell.

And yet part of me knew that if I did this then it wasn't going to make me feel better. I would've hurt someone else and I would've felt worse about myself. I don't want to hurt anybody. I don't want to be the source of someone's pain. I want to give healing. I want to give hope to others.

I started the photography. It wouldn't give me answers but maybe it would help me understand the questions. Maybe it would help someone else. Maybe it would give someone joy knowing they had a nice print AND were helping out a charity. Maybe it would do good.

I still have more photography in the near future.

Despite the death of my parents, the assaults, and other things life has thrown at me I can say I've done something that NO ONE can take away.

I SURVIVED.

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