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Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

This weeks challenge brought up a mix of emotions for me. Living with chronic illness for almost twenty years has often led to feelings of abandonment.

Whenever emotion becomes overwhelming I try to let it out through art and poetry. It’s a hard thing to do when life and society knocks you back again and again.

I’m fortunate to have my art as an outlet and a wonderful support network of family, friends, care workers, Specialist Nurses and Consultants. They all love my art too!

These wonderful people have helped me to rebuild my life every single time that my illnesses have tried to break me apart. They will never abandon me and I love them dearly for that and so much more!

My featured image this week is a photomontage called “Not Yet Dead” (2008/9). It’s an evolutionary piece following an oil painting made shortly after my diagnosis with Crohn’s, entitled “To The Grave” (1996/7).

These self-portraits and their companion poems document the hard times but are also a statement of intent, I won’t be kept down or left behind no matter what life throws at me!

27 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

  1. The reason you’re surrounded by people who won’t abandon you is because you’re such a good friend and we need you! To me, your illness is only part of what makes you up, it doesn’t define you and it’s never adversely affected our relationship. I’m always so impressed how resiliant you are, you just seem to keep going even when things are really crappy.

    I like pictures where scars and odd things like your stoma are shown, instead of hidden away as if they’re something that shouldn’t be seen. They’re part of your story and what makes you an interesting individual (physically as well as in terms of your personality). It’s an interesting slant on perfection (which is what I’m getting from the Pygmalion reference in your picture) as it’s our imperfections which make us human. And whole.

    • A hidden illness only remains that way if we keep it hidden! I don’t think there is any one thing that defines me, which is a good thing πŸ™‚ I’m the sum of many parts! Including a few that got removed πŸ˜‰

      My resolve comes from all the things and people that I love in life. You’re one of those people! You and Joe have brought even more joy to my life in young Nate πŸ™‚ I now have a whole load of little people (who are growing up fast!) who constantly remind me of just how great life is!

      • A short while ago I was reading the chapter in the book “Thinking in Numbers,” by Daniel Tammet, about the number zero, which marks the presence of an absence. Then I came across the words in your comment reply: ” I’m the sum of many parts! Including a few that got removed.”

      • Not a book I’ve come across but I love that phrase “the presence of an absence”! Loss of anything or anyone can have an immeasurable impact on us. I’ve had quite a few interesting conversations about the number zero with my partner who is a software developer. Zero is not null or nothing!

      • I was happy to have come up with the phrase “the presence of an absence.” I don’t think I ever used it in the decades when I taught math, but it popped into my head when I started replying to your comment. You expressed the reality well when you said “Zero is not null or nothing!”

      • Oops. I can’t take credit after all. I began to worry that maybe I’d unconsciously picked up the phrase from Daniel Tammet, so I looked back at that chapter of the book and, sure enough, I found that he’d written “presence of absence.” Mea culpa.

  2. Wonderfully expressed through words and art. You are a brave and beautiful soul. … Having been abandoned emotionally as a child I had troubles of my own with this photo challenge. I am particularly sensitive to the abandonment of the innocent ie children and animals as I know their pain. It’s why I opted to end my own post with something heartwarming. The negative should never have the last word. πŸ˜‰ … Be well, Dorothy

    • Thanks Dorothy πŸ™‚ You’re so right about not dwelling in the sad places! They have to be acknowledged and understood, as much as we can ever understand these things, but as my dear friend Rachel said, they don’t define us, unless we let them. Using life experience to create positive futures, like giving a loving home to unloved pets, creating art, inspiring future generations is us winning πŸ™‚ I have a friend who, right now, is dealing with the emotional abandonment she too suffered in childhood. I’m really proud of her for facing up to her troubles so that she can look to her future and see the joy ahead of her! It’s going to take some time but I know she can do it.

  3. What a stunning self portrait Sarah and I can totally relate with you as I am struggling with Fibromyalgia and CFIDS (chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome). Taking one day at a time is indeed the way to go. Your creativity and posts are so inspiring and I wish I could be as creative as you are. Some days I just want to give up as it is so frustrating. Thanks for a lovely post and for sharing hon. Love your poems. πŸ˜€ *hugs*

    • Thanks Sonel πŸ™‚ I, too, have Fibromyalgia as well as the Crohn’s, which is an auto-immune disease. Fatigue is what gets to me the most! I lose about 4 days out of every week to fatigue and other days I can only be productive for short amounts of time 😦 It’s beyond frustrating isn’t it? There have been many times I’ve wanted to give up and crawl into a hole. I really miss painting and drawing. When the fibro stopped me from doing that I honestly felt like everything had been taken from me. Pushing forward with my photography and exploring all the ways of using it as an artistic medium has given me hope and joy. I hate that I can’t commit to much! I would love to do so much more portrait work but I’m terrified of letting people down. Some photo shoots just can’t be rearranged around my health! Engagement, wedding, baby, album launches for musicians. Photography really is a hard job! It’s not just the shoots, there’s a huge amount of time, skill and energy that goes into processing the work. I want to produce the best quality art that I can so I take my time with it when necessary! Thanks for sharing your story with us Sonel πŸ™‚ I find so much inspiration through the posts of everyone that I follow on WordPress! Great community πŸ™‚ Take care hun x

  4. You have always cared, loved and supported those around you, creating then generously sharing your work. Such an inspiration, giving fortitude to others πŸ™‚

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