Posts Tagged 'Our photos'

Perfect daughter – where are you?

While growing up, I tried very hard to be the perfect daughter.  I was polite, quiet, obedient, a good student, tidy, shy and seemingly happy.  This is the daughter my mother knows and loves.  She doesn’t know the daughter she is now faced with.  She doesn’t recognise the woman who can’t go outside unless it’s for work; the woman who will stand in the middle of the kitchen and start scratching her hand while staring into space; the woman who says that she can’t serve up dinner because the food has suddenly become dirty and disgusting; the woman who sits on the Internet until 2am because the idea of sleep is too scary for her and she needs the distraction.

This week, the mother has been faced more and more with the daughter she doesn’t know or recognise.  The session on Monday with Liz stirred up all sorts of issues internally and I’ve been struggling to cope with the reaction.  It got to the point on Tuesday night that there was going to be some fairly serious self-destructive behaviour occur if there wasn’t some intervention.  That intervention came in the form of someone coming forward to take photos.  They realised we were too unsafe to drive anywhere, so the usual routine of driving somewhere to take photos was out.  Instead they decided to use some props from around the house to see what they could do.  The mother could tell we weren’t well, so she ended up helping by having a look for different props to photograph and holding the torch we used as a light source.  This is one of the results…

Apple

Apple

Because the mother helped us with all of this, she could monitor us more closely.  She said that it wasn’t until after the photos had all been taken and we were putting them onto the computer for processing that we sort of “came back”.

Awhile ago, Sophie tried to apologise for the not being that perfect daughter the mother remembered.  The mother said that we were probably never that perfect daughter, but she didn’t see it.  She didn’t see what that perfection was hiding.  I think she really does want to help sometimes.  But her own dysfunctional thinking and lack of healing, mean that she will never really be able to help us.  I don’t resent her inability to help us, but I do wish that she would seriously look at her own need to heal.  She went to therapy for a couple of sessions, but then stopped as she thought it wasn’t going anywhere.

I’m aware this makes us sad or uncomfortable or something.  I’m not good at naming or understand emotions, but I noticed that the body was feeling very cold and I need to do up the jersey we wore to work.

Time to go back to being the perfect working daughter…

—————-
Now playing: U2 – Running to Stand Still
via FoxyTunes

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Bridge and night photography

We’ve started to go out at night taking photos.  When we first started doing this I took it as being a simple distraction; now I’m starting to think there is more to it.  The photo below is one of our favourites and was taken on a busy night in town under one of the bridges.  Under this particular bridge is quite busy – there is a road where cars tend to speed down and the homeless and drunk often gather nearby.  Put into this mix a dissociative woman walking into this area with a $2000 camera.  Are we asking to be robbed, attacked or both?  All of the places where we’ve taken photos at night have been in similarly risky areas.  Our neighbourhood is a rough one, yet we go walking with the camera knowing we won’t be able to take good photos because of our essential tremor (shaking hands and slower shutter speeds of night photography don’t mix).  I had sort of relaxed about our night expeditions as I thought they were innocent distractions.  Now I have to try to monitor them more closely…

Bridge reflection

Bridge reflection

Handprint

Handprint

Handprint

The hand-print below the chains for some reason affects one of us.  Possibly the symbolism???  Hope?  Being chained by the past and reaching out?  Not being able to reach out?  Or maybe it’s just a photo…

Time to take a deep breath

The last few weeks have been difficult. The prospect of ACC mediation on Tuesday (21st) had us going off on all sorts of tangents. Then last Thursday (16th), ACC made a decision which meant that the mediation was no longer needed, although they have yet to look at our corrections which will odds are require another round of negotiation.  Despite this apparent cancellation of the meeting, the potential sat within the system.  Some of us considered it to be like the tricks played on us when younger. At any moment we were going to get a phone call on Tuesday telling us to get to the meeting. Thankfully that phone call never happened, instead we got to spend the two days we had arranged to have off to recover from the meeting as time to breathe.

On Monday night we chatted with a friend who’d been on holiday for what seemed like a very long time.  He helped us smile, laugh and shed a tear.  Through a photo slide show he took us on a tour of where he lived – it was fascinating.  I’m always awed by the historic nature of where most of the people I talk to live.  To put this into context, New Zealand has had only been a British colony since 1840.  We don’t have the old buildings that are present elsewhere around the world.  To show him a little of where we live, we went out taking photos (at midnight)…

Mural

This mural is in a car-parking area in the middle of town.

This was the only photo that turned out viewable – we have an essential tremor which doesn’t mix well with night photography and the long exposure times needed.  We might have another go at doing a tour of where we live on a fine day.

On Tuesday we needed to get out of the house – possibly the fear that they’d call and we’d have to go to the meeting.  So we went around the gardens and took more photos.  Photography is fast becoming our main means of distracting, focusing and self-soothing.  Part of the soothing, is to take photos of plants.  I know that many people consider this type of photography boring, but for us it’s about finding peace for a short time.  It’s something that each one of us can enjoy on some level – I’ll get a message to take a photo of the purple flowers…

Lilac viola

Lilac viola

Purple viola

Purple viola

Sometimes, the camera feels very cumbersome in my hands and I’ve taken to wrapping the strap around my right hand several times, I’m not sure if this is a switching issue, or me being a klutz. I also know that not all of us are happy with this new interest – I’ve been told that the camera is going to be thrown into the lake or smashed into the pavement.  I know that these threats are about us not being entitled to any form of enjoyment.  It’s awful to hear, let alone realise that part of this brain is wired to ensuring that we don’t enjoy life.

On Tuesday night we ended up talking to another friend.  I mention this because it was the first time in over a week where S didn’t come forward to self-injure, which had become more severe as the week went on.  Again, there was laughter and a sharing of knowledge.  It always amazes me that those who are going through difficult times can put that aside to help someone else.  To those friends, I say thank you.  I hope we can reciprocate what you both did for us one day.

This reminds me of Faith Allen’s entry over at Blooming Lotus about how we can Make a difference.  You don’t have to be rich, pretty or popular to make a difference, it’s all about being willing to learn and share that knowledge for the social good.  I stumble badly with this sometimes, the fear and anxieties put up barriers to my learning.  But I can’t use this as an excuse to give up.  When teaching information literacy to cynical and usually technophobic students, I tell them it takes practice.  Information literacy is all about lifelong learning – being curious about new things.  It would be hypocritical of me not to gently work on those barriers in the same way that I get my students to question every scrap of information they find.

Daffodils

Daffodils

Daffodils

Daffodils have always represented hope to us.  Could use some hope right now…

Please take care.  I know many of us are struggling at the moment.  One moment at a time and just remember to breathe.  (((warm safe hugs))) to anyone who wants them.

—————-
Now playing: Our Lady Peace – Innocent
via FoxyTunes
watch via YouTube

Raindrops

Raindrops

Raindrops

The ripple from each drop is similar to how each part of the system can impact on another, or be totally out of touch and isolated…

Photos and coping

It’s been a rough week.  There’s so much happening at work that it’s just chaos.  Work is usually our anchor – it forces us to get out of the house and interact with people.  But there have been so many changes that the anchor sort of got cut free for a few days.  We walked out on a meeting on Thursday – something we’ve NEVER done before (no matter how much we’ve wanted to).  Part of the changes, are a renovation to the office space, which will mean the area being reduced by 30m sq.  The flow on effect is that three people in our office are having to be relocated elsewhere in the organisation and another three people are going to have to be shifted from where they currently sit.  Ordinarily, we would have jumped at the chance to go to another office area, but the new office space is open plan with no walls behind the work station.  We HAVE to have our back to a wall, doesn’t matter where we are, we just do.  But everyone else in the office is suggesting that we move.  Our team leader and the manager know that we have to have a wall behind us, but the manager made a point out of talking about us during the meeting and using us as an example as to why some people can’t work in every office space.  That was the last straw, we had to get up and leave.  She’s a really nice person, but she’s not a good manager.

As a further blow, our cynical friend is one of the people moving out of the office.  She needs to do this in order to stay calm while her husband deteriorates from the cancer.  So the only person we talk to and laugh with is leaving the office.

All of this lead up to a fairly intense bout of suicidal intent.  We contacted (via email) the woman’s programme we go to and Liz detailing what was happening.  The interaction with Liz was interesting, it got to the point where we knew that if we didn’t head her off, we’d be sent up the the hospital for a risk assessment…

To Liz:
… shouldn’t have contacted you or anyone, it’s just attention seeking.  It will be fine, at work now and then go home and forget everything for awhile.

Liz’s response:
I have found that talking about things, hard stuff, etc does help.  If it had not done so, I don’t know where I would be today.

Are you attention seeking?  Doesn’t sound like attention seeking from where I sit.  Although saying it is, will be another way that you avoid talking / dealing with it, aye?  Of course talking about hard stuff can seem to make things worse. Do they get worse before they get better?  Sometimes it works that way.  Sometimes there can be immediate clarity and balance.  I would like you to know that I am available to talk about this situation when you are ready to.
Regards
Liz

She saw through our rubbish, avoidance etc.  Will be an interesting session tomorrow…

As for our photos… we’ve realised by taking photos that our focus of the world is very narrow.  We’re not comfortable with the expanse of a landscape and the idea of taking photos of people is absolutely terrifying.  We tried taking photos of the mother while she was here, but immediately dissociated.  Yesterday we went for a walk and tried to take some photos of the surrounding landscape (managed a couple – try 1 & try 2), but we much prefer the narrow focus (e.g. dew drop).  I wonder if this is about our style of photography, or being caught up in PTSD and dissociative issues?


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