Series: If These Walls Could Talk
Project info

From the series "If These Walls Could Talk"

If These Walls Could Talk is a series of conceptual narrative artworks based around the emotional experience of women who feel trapped by circumstance, speaking of lives truths within a domestic violence relationship. There is a vulnerability and hope that exists simultaneously, yet still speaks of the beauty that can be found even within the darkest of situations, reflecting the strength of the human will to survive.

Personal Narrative from the journal of Danae Thyssen
I close my eyes and try to remember what life was like before I found myself here. It seems like a distant memory, perhaps another lifetime before the darkness came. I struggle to find the light now. I seem to live my life in shadows, trapped and unable to set myself free.
The threat may not always seem obvious, especially to others, but it is real and I know it is there…hiding in the shadows ready to pounce and swallow me whole if I let it. It is hard to remember who I was when it all began, I have changed many times since then, constantly trying to adapt and be what I need to be, in order to survive. Every day I seem to lose myself just a little bit more. The me I knew is slowly disappearing and very soon there will be nothing left and I will cease to exist. All that will be remain, will be an empty shell that once gave shelter to the spirit of who I used to be.
I recall a time, before this place Where Broken Dreams Come to Die . However, it would seem I have taken A Step Through The Looking Glass, without ever considering I may need to find a way to retreat to where I was before. I have tried to go back a thousand times and a thousand times more, to Begin, At The Beginning of how things used to be, but to no avail. The rules of the game clearly state we can only move forward.
It is true to say I have always considered, that Home Is Where The Heart Is, but therein lays the problem, as we often find ourselves held captive by the emotional matters at our core. What is one supposed to do, When Things Falls Apart beyond all comprehension, recognition or repair. How does one reconcile the sense of loss and heartache that ensues? The oppression is overwhelming at times and I find myself Struggling To Breathe. The burden of my private nightmare has become almost unbearable. Alas, I now resemble a caged bird with a Broken Wing that dreams of freedom once more ... Imagining The Impossible, but hoping it is not. All the while knowing…If It Were So, It Would Be…When all hope is lost, there is only darkness. So how does one survive the despair when there is nothing left, to dare to dream?
Ironically, I have become my oppressor’s aide, his lies are now my lies, his truth now my truth, his shame is also mine to bear and thus I am now The Keeper of Secrets & Forgotten Dreams. As a consequence, I am trapped, caught in a web of lies, a cesspool of humiliation and degradation, the despair almost tangible. The pretence, too greater ordeal for one to endure alone, yet I must. And so to all who knew me long ago This Is Where You’ll Find Me now. As I reminisce on the promises made…‘not until death us do part, but for time and all eternity’…I knowingly ask myself, How Long Is Forever and is forever too much to abide? And yet, I wonder if there is the potential, that another might understand my plight, without the added burden of accusation, guilt or shame, but perhaps replaced with acceptance, support and understanding…maybe, just maybe I could dig deep enough to find the last of my courage to become The Guardian of New Beginnings.

By Danae Thyssen