About four years ago, I escaped an extremely abusive relationship. Although I had finally developed the courage to leave, the trauma I experienced in that relationship held onto parts of me- and those parts were not able to move on. This series of photographs examines the ways that I’ve grappled with being labeled a “survivor”, trying to remain strong, while still reliving my trauma on an almost daily basis.
In dealing with my post traumatic stress disorder, following this series of abuse, I’ve created ways of coping. Some of these methods are involuntary, including dissociation and repression of certain memories. Others have been purposely crafted, such as newfound dependence on faith, and forced projection of positivity. Remaining positive is often a balancing act; the longer that I focus on being “fine” and “happy”, the more legitimate those feelings of content become.
Thankfully, more people have not experienced this type of emotional collapse and rebuild than those who have. However, articulating my struggle to those who have not experienced something similar, is often very difficult. Although they desperately want to understand, often all they can offer me upon learning my story is sympathy. In visually representing my journey back from upheaval, I hope to turn that sympathy into empathy and help my viewers to better understand the depth of my healing process.