How does it feel to fall into a black hole? To suddenly lose your breath and within seconds, experience an immense array of extreme emotions. To feel so low and empty that one does not clearly see a way out. Only black. To have so many thoughts at once spinning inside your head yet, you can not focus on any of them. To steer away from social activities because you cannot see any good in yourself. To desperately hope that someone, anyone, will notice you, a silent scream for help and offer you their hand or their ear. To listen to your story and never leave you.
I want to portray visually, the psychological after-effects of domestic violence from the victim’s viewpoint. I do not want to tell a story because they are tired of telling their story. It’s humiliating, and it is terribly sad.
I want you to see their emotions. What they have to go through every day, mostly alone, due to PTSD.
PTSD is an abbreviation for post-traumatic stress disorder and affects people who have endured long-lasting emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Minor events can seem, to them as life-threatening. A sound, familiar place or a smell can trigger old memories of violence, resulting in emotional flashbacks, social anxiety, hypervigilance, heightened inner critic, disassociation, self-harm, aggression and suicidal thoughts.
The images I have presented show the variety of emotions/symptoms they experience. Their feelings come and go unthinkably fast and are incredibly unpredictable. It is as if a bomb has exploded. And when these attacks do eventually stop, they are left with both an emotional and physical low parallel to witnessing death.
I wish to produce through my photography a feeling of confinement which they experience when they are alone and to point out how they have no conscious awareness of their environment during these attacks.
I hope that with this project I will bring social awareness to PTSD, the ongoing struggles they have as victims and the saddening fact that many victims cannot afford therapy, have access to any form of a support structure and that the court system does not recognize emotional abuse.
I wish to make this project life-long.