who are/were you?

Are you comfortable in your skin? is there a hollow or a ache, a longing or a absent sense of belonging? Yeah thats ok, i have it too. A piece of me is missing. I have my own black hole inside me. But, I am ok with that. I haven’t blogged in a long time, due to alot of reasons. When i become somewhat depressed if you will. I close down. I let very few people in. This is normal – I am told. My photography has always been a strength or resource to get me through the depression, to release the emotions the thoughts, to set them free. Before my lungs implode, from holding my breath, while screaming at myself not to cry. I learnt a very sharp lesson a few weeks ago.I was hospitalized because of previous physical problems. And in that week I learnt who everyone around me truly was. I had people who were two faced finally splatter how they felt and who they were at me. It was disgusting, and to be honest a welcomed relief. I wiped away the bitter and cynical slathering of a perspective that was projectile vomited onto me by this person. There was another person who i also let go from my life. This was a figure who comes with expectations when they are blood related, or at least paternal. But, i had alot of closure from their departure. A sense of relief and a knot that disintegrated in my stomach as soon as I saw the ‘real’ them. Again i wiped away the negativity that spat from their tongue. And like a snake shedding skin i felt anew. I decided to loose a man from my life and it was ultimately the fact that whenever i come to be in a situation whereby all i needed was emotional support, he is beyond unavailable. He was more….. ummm in a selfish coma of his own. But, there agin he always was. |I saw this man foe who he was, selfish and ignorant, and arrogant. I had seen these traits before, but they stung a little more this time.

When the fluorescent lights click off and the distant cough or shuffle of bed sheets on a ward are all you are comforted by. You realise who you actually would love to be there with you. The constant drugs through IV keep me numb enough not to scream or cry myself to sleep. The thoughts that whispered like the blue dressed ghosts on the night shift came and went. Leaving a sting in my body, somewhere. While in hospital i lost the choice. I had been told i was ‘lucky’ to survive. I had been told ‘it is time.’

It is a phrase that whirls as i go to sleep now….. ‘It is time.’ The time whereby a decision is made by you, for you. Or it is a decision made by another for you. I made so many decisions in that hospital stay. To lock two people out of my life. To welcome the one in and try to not loose him – i’m still working on that one. Also to never let myself believe or trust the intentions or words of the compulsive sleazy liar i knew didn’t care for anyone but himself and his needs. I made a decision he was a boy. He was/is/always immature, selfish and gutless. A coward to himself. I left that hospital knowing my dad loved me, even though he was estranged (through no fault of his own) for my childhood through to my adulthood. It was time to make a decision, and I did. I went to Paris and done my wedding work. I tried to make something work and I failed. Well i didn’t, just some people will never change its in their DNA. I decided to finish my last year in Uni and go to my graduation ceremony next year – I wasn’t going to go. And i have to book seats. So i decided that i want my dad to see one of my achievements, as he was denied so many. My uncle, whom is a/was a massive influence in my early years and later years in my life. Even his absences was a influence.A driving force so to speak. And my daughter as if it weren’t for her I am pretty certain i wouldn’t be here. And because she has had to sacrifice certain things while i study, and never once has she complained. The child who has given me more of everything, and anything, than i could ever hope to give.

The people in my life now are people whom I dearly love. From BBQs up my amazing dad’s, with my closest friend James, and my oldest friend Mark, to the ever surprising Justin. All of these men know me. They know me and observe me and connect to me for different reasons. These men combined have a weight to them. A sturdiness in my life. They have such vastly different backgrounds, and previous and current professions, and hobbies and interests. Yet, me my dad, James, mark and Justin sat with a current of intrigue and interest in each other. A genuine one a pure love, and energy driven by respect and principals. It would of taken my Uncle to of been there for it to be my favourite place and scene in the whole world. The lesson I learnt that night, was what comes with love. With the love I can relate too and understand. If i know someone loves me I can feel it. I can feel it in their energy their tone. And then i know i am safe. Thats all anyone wants to be, is to be loved and safe. With being loved as a child by my uncle, I felt, I was safe. A protector from the woman i called my mother. – so If freud had any theories the early childhood linking of love is a pretty solid one for me.

So now I am a month on….. I am free of cervical cancer. I am awaiting a big operation. I am at peace with the people in my life. I love and dote on each one and thank the universe every day for their existence. As I was able to compare the standards I should hold a man too, what a man ‘should’ be and what a person should hope to be. I am never going to be comfortable in my skin, locked in a purgatory with my mind. But, I am comfortable with being uncomfortable. I laugh alot, I smile at every beautiful sky. I watch the way everything can be magic if you look at it from the right angle. I am excited to close a chapter on a person I never thought i could ever possibly not want in my life. But, with what they brought with them, I am happy they took it all with them too. My anxiety is beautiful my nails are long. My quick witt is back and my dark humour. My passion for life and fun and love is seeping from every pour. I broke and now ‘It is time’ to put everything back together again. My way. For me. As thats what i deserve and i will take from the universe, everyone and everything that ignites me.

 

Finally today someone said to me “Being around you luc, it kinda feels like being around someone famous, or different – Like the way you light up, and are so raw and honestly funny. The way your are its like a bubble and when i see you in person its surreal. Its like you give me something, but you dont give me anything. I just feel good” – I am hoping that  what he said i took the right way. I am a spark, I am light, and I can make someone feel alive. Its a gift. Its what makes me, me. And those who meet me or spend anytime with me, will understand what this means. Today soothed my soul in a way i needed it lifted and rejuvenated my energy. (she says at 1am)

 

Its ok to be lost, as long as you’re not lost and hurting people. Thats not ok.

Compartmentalisation …..

Well, hello.

For those who read these things heres a few lessons….life is a puddle and you human made up of 97% water. To live you need to drink. So whether that be sicking, sipping, splashing, or face-planting that puddle to truth of the matter is the puddle is your means to living. So instead of saying life sucks, stop sucking from the puddle and splash in the damn thing. I have learnt it is sometimes what you need to do to smile while you are staying to survive.

‘Triggers’  – So I am bipolar. Hate being labelled but i have to admit i am learning things i wouldn’t if i wasn’t. Thats got to be good right? Well I know everyone has triggers to things that make them angry or sad. Well, I have a massive trigger that doesn’t so much trigger my emotions as my moods. Its kids. Other peoples, I cant stand them. To be around them or to even look at them. I have never been the most maternal woman in the uterus, and my uterus now is literally just for show. But it is children, they affect me so bad. I think its because as a person with bipolar i need stability and to a certain degree, control. Control of who is around me, as adults, their behaviour is somewhat more stable than a child. I recently went to a trampoline centre with my daughter and a friend. I had no intention of jumping on trampolines and my anxiety wasn’t the best (social situations another major trigger) However i was in the indoor centre less than two minutes before i bolted quicker, faster and more wild than any horse. What is it with screeching kids? Kids who scream. I cannot handle it, whether it be with fun or pain, or upset I cannot stand the screeching of a child. Now im sure a few of you think this maybe callus. But, as a woman a human I am entitled to say as I please and to not feel guilty for how i feel. I do not like other peoples children. I have no control over them so if the parent becomes angry at the child in my presences my mood plummets as then i have to be around a crying, or screeching or sulking or tantrum throwing child. The adult seems to go oblivious to this where as im in hell. The fact also some parents choose not to discipline their children ( i do not mean beating them, but being able to warn them that their behaviour will have consequences should they continue) So the child just goes around, ( in my house is the worse) with as much respect or regard for personal space as genital warts. This makes me detach so much from the people and children. I just want them gone as soon as possible. Which i suppose is why i never work  (photograph) children. As parents seem to think this thing that escaped their ball sack, or fell from their uterus is the most perfect thing in the universe, and does not need any moulding or refining. This is why society is slowly being ruined. Parents like these. Which in-turn makes me not like venturing out into society, as there are ‘these’ parents and ‘these’ children.  This may seem like such a harsh blog, but to those who know me i never sugar coat anything, for anyone. I am not that person.

So my ‘trigger’ is children, other peoples as they affect my mood so quickly and so intensely. Its the younger children more the 5yr old and under i suppose. Yes, those. I seem to be anxious around children which slowly begins to drain my emotions. Should this carry on for a prolonged period, just from this encounter alone, the following day i feel drained and numb. A bit dazed and not connected to reality. I find my friends children the worse, opposed to strangers children. Though some strangers children have that ‘i don’t care who you are’ attitude towards them and will just outright be a spoilt little brat. But friends children see me as more familiar…. which I do not like. As they then feel more comfortable to display negative behaviour around me which makes me become completely cold towards my friends as i want them to leave. Its a trigger. A trigger that always puts me in a mood I do not like. Its a trigger that will then ‘fuck me’ over the next day as the anxiety, the caution, the annoyance and the combusting anger i have to supress drains me so bad, i cannot cope with life the next day.  So another little lesson I learn is how much emotional impact things can have on me that i have not paid attention to before. The way a friend can argue with his/her partner on the phone, and if i am there and stuck (i have no car to escape in) it becomes a ‘trigger’ that emotional impacts me so bad that i don’t want to see that person again for a good few days. Because, to be honest, If i wanted to witness or be involved in a argument i would create one or i would watch people argue. It takes me hours to even be able to even smile after being subjected to that. Which then makes personal relationships difficult. As you don’t just get into a relationship with the person you like. You have to get involved in a relationship with their mother or father and siblings and friends. NOOOOOOO THANK YOU. As people come with their own problems, work, job, house, issues, and normal things. Which i can handle, but then their parents or siblings or friends are somewhat attached and bring their issues to the person you are in a relationship with… which then means you have to deal with them, although you didn’t sign up for that shit. Well i never do. I think of it like, your family? Is your family, your problem part of your life to deal with. ( don’t get me wrong if their mother needed a blood transfusion and i was a match i would do it in a heartbeat, but thats because i’m a good person, not because i like other peoples families. Other peoples mothers fathers etc have that attachment that warped perspective of their child or sibling and their loyalties will always be with them, not matter if you marry their son, friend or sibling. It is just the way it is. SO i learnt my lesson. Just  be civil and polite, avoid family gathering and social events, as this is just another situation whereby (if they know you have a mental health issue you are not judged, and you wont be put in situations that ‘trigger’ your mood to spiral) PERFECT SOLUTION to me. That way i have my own little world with my partner he still has his own friends and family etc and i have mind. There is no need for them to cross, or  burden our relationship as a couple or each other.  As lets face it when your relationship breaks down with your partner and it never really ends amicable not straight away anyway, then any relationship you have with THEIR family, THEIR friends breaks down too. FACT.

One thing in which i have decided to do it to be more selfish. I have decided if a mother of mine cannot be bothered to text or to phone me, or ask how her granddaughter is. That is ok. That is fine. I will not chase after a relationship with someone just because I have alike DNA to them. Neither shall i be bitter at the parent who puts a wedge between her two daughters and granddaughters by only bothering with one lots and not the other. That is her choice and i respect that. It saves me having to listen to the mother whine about the other daughter or bills that everyone has to pay and to turn such trivial things into such overpoweringly dominate things to create drama is mind-blowing to me. Life is complicated enough without wanting to complicate it even more. Any one with any form of intelligence in my opinion should consider two things when facing a problem or potential problem.

1) Can i control the problem or situation or change it?  If the answer is no, then accept it and move on.

2) Can i control or change or alter this problem and the way I feel? If the answer is yes, you can. Then do it, nobody needs to know about it, nobody really cares but you when it comes down to it, so quit wasting time and sort it. problem solved. Time saved. Be happy again.

Some lessons are learnt the hard way, some lessons are never learnt. The only lesson we should ever be taught both at home and in school is – ‘You have one life, so does every one around you, one day they will leave or you may. Do your best to leave them with good memories and a positive impact and you only get one ‘true’  chance with someone, any other chances are just because the person is polite, not because you deserve it’

Now i will bore you a little with his image and my concession of recent images, which i think have a additional element within them. The Art. I do like photo manipulation but the process from;

sourcing dresses

making props/buying them

to finding a location/another model

to taking the photogrpah setting up, ensuring all angles are covered etc

to them coming home syncing in lightroom and then editing

between taking coffee breaks, replying to texts, altering my you tube playlist

sourcing stock images or rummaging on my hard-drives for mine.

To the naming layers the lighting balancing and the sewing together seamlessly about twenty different photos I am then left with one image upon my screen. That i usually am never completely satisfied with.

But……….These last few of heavily manipulated photos i have been happy with. They are not as emotionally throat punching as my portraits. I like that. As sometimes even i look at some of my Portraits and I am like…WOW…FUCK LUC thats deep, or dark or rendering. Whereas alot of my heavily manipulated photos have more of a story….. than a emotion. But still can be something of a emotional piece if one attaches a emotion like the one that inspired me to create said image. So These last few images have been about change, rebirth, enlightenment and somewhat cleansing myself. My mental health hit a pinnacle point. And the only thing that calmed or soothed me and let me escape from reality was editing. As anyone who knows anything about lightroom or photoshop will understand how complex a interface it can be. A friend or two has helped, James because he is the Angel that has been ripped of wings and condemned to live on earth…..Poor sod. And more unfortunate for him he crossed my path a few years ago. But a kindred soul he is, and the person who is helping me to create a utopia out my garden, now my dog has died. I love a graveyard and James is helping me cast tombstones and lay some grass. I am so excited for this, i cannot comprehend the words. Not the fact i will have this graveyard out my garden but the fact he suggested we do it, and that he is the one pushing for it…. and the fact whenever i shall sit in my garden, James will always be the memory that i remember. The memories we shall create, casting and practicing, painting and laying the memories that make people the worst kind of people when they leave…. as then i’m left with painful splinters of memories that hurt every time they are remembered. Then i have a beautiful friend who isn’t a close friend but she is close enough and long enough old a friend by almost twenty years to know that my child will always be safe for as long I need that security should anything happen to me. There are a precious few people who come into your life and never leave… sometimes just sitting on the side lines. Then you have other people who cross your path… and you learn something from them… They never stay, they never mean what they say. So to those people, the door was open, now it is closed. Another chance i’m sure will arise because i’m polite, but the ‘true’ chance has a headstone in my garden ready to be laid.

These recent pieces of Art have not been inspired by sadness, as much and many of my images are…. but of progress, each one I am climbing unsteady chairs…. Or morphing from a human to a raven, symbolising freedom. The dark within me being wild and taking flight. The elements of nature, Earth, Air , Fire and water…. and me…..’Spirit’ The symbolic blue dress is the morpho butterfly i adore. Which cycles through a life recently like mine, Or I, like its. The UNKNOWN, was a image whereby i walk down steps and hands from beneath the slates wait hungrily for me. This was massively to do with a brief interaction I had with a man. He was the unknown, and I was walking blind. Lesson learnt. The puppet, and puppeteer with my Tim burton styled background, symbolised a lover i once had. Who showed me what i could have a lover and a happy life, but he was in control and it was never a situation that he proved we would ever be in. So i left. This was shortly followed by the skeleton and I sat on the floor. The skeleton my ex lover, the smoke from his cigarette another girl he would bring between us…. and me. It was me seeing what our relationship really meant to him, those precious memories, of laughing smoking and drinking coffee were nothing more than wasting time. The Egg timer and I, Is where my fears lie. This was me acknowledging my mental health was rapidly fading, and the less time i had, the more erratic i became. Then the last one within my ‘Progress’ images was me sat up against a wall with my demons, and how i fell back into their traps… how they laugh and mock, how the light in the corner seems like a escape… but misery loves company, and i know that I am not alone, with my demons, but in the light, in the scape, in the new batch of pills, i may never again find me.

So this is me…. and today, I like me. Someone gave me my smile back, and a happiness in my heart… but tomorrow they have the claws to tear it apart… lets see what becomes of us……

It can be …… whatever you so wish it to be.

The freedom of a artist is boundless, as boundless as the mind it is conceived in and born through whatever medium deemed by said artist. I guess I am luckier than most, because I have a mental health disorder and i take little pills that keep me as balanced as they can. I often wonder however without such medication what i would be like, and i find it quite said that the chemical imbalance in my brain causes me to live with such a stigma. A stigma that is attached to anyone with a mental health disorder. I know that based on my family, that I am different from them. I have such little in common with them, and it causes me to drift further away mentally and emotionally, and also physically. I see them maybe once every two weeks, maybe. My mother does not understand my illness and as a parent feels somewhat responsible, as for all intents and purposes she created me. I understand this as i am a mother myself. However how she handles such a situation is completely different to what i would with my daughter. But as individuals we handle things different. Me and my mother are not close, she is closer to my younger sister which is understandable as she can relate better to her. Me and my mother have one thing in common our love for my daughter. My sister another subject, we have nothing in common, at one point when she was growing up when i had moved out at 15 were so close and during the period of me being 17 she lived with me and my daughter. I know all families are different, i do not envy families whom are close, as to me, to keep everyone happy is somewhat exhausting. I cant help but wonder however what a close family would entail, a curiosity like anyone would have.

I find it fulfilling however that I have such a private life from my family, although i actually have a sister and mother i find my family is my daughter and partner which is nice. Its like a subdivision that im a major fan of. Those this does pose some issues, As a mother i often wonder about my illness in later years with my daughter. WHen i relapse like everyone with a mental health disorder eventually encounters. I have had two relapses in the last four years. One was primarily due to stress with uni and my partner his ex and a situation that was pure hell. As she was lying he was lying and i didnt know what to believe. Thankfully all that has been dispelled despite a little cloud still being there. Her checking my blog daily and a few times a day, my facebook page, within seven minutes of me uploading something the hit was clicked. Although this does not bother me, its somewhat flattering in a way, it also makes me think why? so then i check her stuff every couple of weeks. And still bitterness ensues. Although she likes to think she has the upper hand unfortunately still does not, knot knowing that my phone has changed and my internet provider three months ago and what she talks about in-depth with on her social media sites has no interest to me. I visit her twitter occasionally because of her daily visits to my in-depth blog, and flickr account. Considering such a toxic situation was apparent with us I am unsure what she thinks she is gaining or what she thinks she is gaining, or winning, by constantly mentioning her ex or having digs. Unfortunately the only person whom perceives themselves as mental unstable at the moment is not me but her. But because i have a label, I have the stigma attached. Which leads me to think that the most dangerous and unstable people are those whom are not diagnosed yet. As they are blind to their own mental state, deeming it as normal. when it is anything but that.

I am a pretty open person regarding my illness I also volunteer a day a week at a call center to offer support to those with mental illnesses, and I attend a self help counselling group whereby i counsel people whom suffer from self harm. This has made my life be somewhat more meaningful. Alot of the people i counsel with self harm are young girls, and this is so alarming. AS a mother i want to hug them, but as a person whom knows and experienced this myself all i can do is educate them, and their families. Their parents namely as this is where the biggest misconception lies in the parents view on this. I know this sounds alarming for those whom do not suffer with the impulses to harm themselves but i think it healthy and normal. A ancient tribe practice this, and call it blood letting. In which they view it as releasing and cleansing their souls through releasing negativity and toxins from the body.  I find people whom binge drink odd, or people who go out start fights, or take drugs, as self harm is seen as a coping mechanism, but so are so many other ‘normal’ things. I use the word ‘normal’ as society deems these acceptable but self harming is not. Maybe its just my perspective, maybe its just i think different because of my illness. But i wouldnt change the way I am ever. And if bipolar makes me think this way and provides me with little additional gifts of intelligence and creativity that defines me different from my family, I say I am glad that I have this disorder.