dearest you, whoever you may be, whoever chooses to read, to the vast empty expanse of text and images that roll across our screen. Sometimes we need to empty the words that roll around our head, to share our feelings and life and pain and joy with other human beings. Each of us chooses different platforms to do this at different times depending upon our needs.
At the base of all human experience is connection, human connections. We all share the same blood, the same fears and pains and joys. Sharing our thoughts and experiences makes us all feel validated, people offering advice and guidance and support helps our journey and the joys and struggles within it.
In this increasingly digital age online platforms are a very common medium for each and every one of us to share our day and life and moments with each other. For example this lovely platform know as Facebook. We each use it differently and for a different purpose, people will inevitably cast judgment on how others may use Facebook. My theory is this, its your FB wall do with it all what you will, if it offends me or I get sic of your complaining or political rants I can choose to not read them. What is lovely but increasingly at risk is that we have the choice. To read and follow or not to.
Like all of us I have been through things, good and bad. Some things I have been through I am still processing. I reconcile something’s I have been through by painting or writing or creating images. Which for as long as I remember I have always done. Creating is one of the few things in this world that makes me feel healed and safe and alive and free. I feel inhibited and trapped when I do not have the space or circumstance to be creative. We each have different outlets to deal with our scars, creating is one of mine.
Whenever I write something, it is almost always a photograph or a painting in my head. It is just what my head does. I have always been afraid of being judged for all of that, that people may think less of me or that I am not a good woman or mother if I share my fears and pains and what I have created to express them.
nonsense events have unfolded during my work day today, my ex-husband reported an image I have created of my daughter as nudity and then told me he was going to report it to the police.
Given that all this nonsense has started in an online platform I felt it appropriate to share here, if you don’t that is ok, you can choose to not read.
the poem ‘Porcelain Doll’ was written a few months ago, you will find complete artwork in photographic art. It was creatively based around my marriage, a relationship that was very negative for many reasons. At the time I did a water colour image with it of a porcelain doll, I had a photo in my head I had wanted to do, but I did not have all the skills I needed just yet to create what I wanted to.
My daughter and I have been having lots of fun playing with dress ups and the camera, often at her request. The Porcelain poem I had showed to my daughter, explained what I wanted to do and asked if she wanted to be my model for it, at no point did I relate the poem to her as myself or her father or our relationship. I had honestly not thought any more into it than it would be fun to dress up and create a picture of her like the watercolour. perhaps I should have.
I love taking photographs of my children. They are both so emotive, and my daughter especially is a very strong and beautiful young woman. She is strong willed, she is my daughter, she has a strong questioning mind of her own, if she didn’t want to do it, she would have told me. I have not made any money off this image or have I had any other intensions at this stage of doing anything with it out side of social media and sharing it here. There is no exploitation involved in this image.
It has been heavily Photoshopped, this was very intentional and a creative, stylistic choice as I wanted her to look like a Porcelain Doll. She had a boob tube, off the shoulder type dress on and remained fully clothed during the shoot.
Outside of showing me how to set up the lights and teaching me editing techniques, my partner had nothing to do with this image. It was just my daughter and I in the kitchen.
I received a phone call and subsequent message from her father today (at time of post) , threatening me he is going to report it to the police, with a bunch of other negative words.
at first I went strait into learnt fear response. (which i have since learnt is a complex-PTSD response triggered by confrontation, I will post about this later) sick to my core and fear driven, wanting to just hide in a hole and delete the image and decided its just easier to never post anything ever.
I spoke with some beautiful women at work and had a much needed lunch date to calm me down and help me see some logic. again we come back to our core need to share our struggles and how it helps our experiences.
Came back from lunch, do a wee, take a deep breath, release. Let go.
Do your worst my friend. Do your fucking worst. think logically.
The suggestion that I have created a pedophillic image of my child is the most horrendous and ludicrous thing I could possibly conceive.
I will choose to not take this on board, you childish, divisive, ignorant human being. I can only surmise at his intentions, because they most certainly are not about protecting our child.
If there was such a concern for the safety of our children then why has it not been followed up further?? Oh, that’s right, that is because at his core he knows I would never allow such a thing in our lives.
I am done lying down. Done being quiet.
Report me to the police my friend, I dare you, I have done nothing wrong. I am not sure why there is a constant need to create drama and issues in mine and my children’s lives. I have no idea, but I am choosing to let it go and get on with my life. To be the best care taker of my children’s life.
All of this nonsense to a degree makes me feel like never taking or posting images of an artistic nature again in case their intent is misconstrued and my children are thrown into drama created by ignorant divisive human beings.
That would be a shame.
We shall see how all of this unfolds.
I feel sic and exasperated and exhausted with all of this.
Thank you, dearest you for sharing this moment in my life with me.
visible cracks in your porcelain: the next chapter of this nonsense story
My children came home today after being with their father for the week. I have been apprehensive how they were both going to be after the porcelain photo nonsense, goodness knows what nonsense has been put into their head.
Sometimes I underestimate their resolve and strength. They were fine. They are amazing.
I asked my children how their week had been, like I always do. Good they both noted. Then my daughter said, Mum, there was one thing… What’s that? Dad said something about that porcelain photo, and told me he wanted to tell me what happened before we came home in case mum lied.
That is rich, also lets consider the whole ‘not wanting to throw your children into the middle’ thing. Outside of him bringing it up with her, she would not have known about all the drama that had ensued. To her it was just a fun pic she did with Mum.
She noted: Dad said he was worried about people tracking me down and hurting me because it was on Facebook (thank you for putting that worry now into her head), He asked her if she had clothes on, He asked her if she knew what the poem was about and wanted to make sure she knew she was not the porcelain doll. He then told her that he has never bad mouthed mum in front of them and I should never have done the same, she just sniggered when she told me that bit (He clearly also didn’t understand the poem, also I thought this was about the safety of our child? Not a poem that could maybe allude to something he may not want to ever have to be accountable for)
He asked her if I had told her not to tell him about it, she said actually Dad, I had told you about it the next week. (Ha! She actually was wanting to share this with him and he didn’t listen) and the last thing, the most delicious thing, is that he said to Georgia that he felt betrayed, betrayed my dear boy? Betrayed? Shall we discuss all your lies? Betrayed? Had I not been so furious I would have LOL’ed like actually passionately laughed out loud.
This is an artwork I have created, she was my model for the image. That is all the Porcelain Doll is, a creative expression of an experience, and a neat little prose and pretty little image to go with it. There is nothing sexual or even aggressive or specific about any of it.
The photo was posted to my Facebook page, in the folder of all of my creative images, after the initial call form my ex husband it was reported to Facebook for nudity. To date: The photo is still up on FB, I am not sure how long these things usually take, but either way it does not contain nudity. And I have not been contacted by any police with a warrant to search my computer for child porn.
But the BEST, best part of this sordid tale is that on the same day he tried to call me, he called my mother. He fucking called my mother, in tears no less. That is a true fucking story. He couldn’t get a reaction out of me so he called my mother. It all sounds like a lie, like some ridiculous soap opera, the kind of shit I would never watch. The worst part is that its not.
So he rang my mother in tears, in tears!!!! Wonderful manipulation techniques shown here. He opened the conversation with how concerned he is for our daughters safety and he asked if Mum had seen the Porcelain Doll photo. Mum said she had, that I had shown her. He again expressed to my mother how concerned he was for our daughter, that it made her look so grown up and that it could be looked at by pedophiles etc.
He then asked my mother if she had read the poem and what she thought about it, Mum noted that she couldn’t remember it, so he proceeded to read it out loud to her. WTF?? Um why? I thought the concern here was the safety of our child and how he felt the image put her at risk? So what has the poem got to do with anything? Or is it the poem that is the real issue? The fact that I am slowly unraveling the ribbons? That the truth may come out? Is that the real issue? Is that why you feel the need to try to upheave us all? So I will get frightened again and back down? And crumble again?
But the last and most vile thing of all was that after again raising concern about me putting our daughter at risk was the risk Brent posses. My partner. He noted that he didn’t know Brent at all and that anything could be happening with our daughter, he said that anything was possible. And how did he know it was not Brent that took that photo? And that our daughter had any clothes on at all??
I am so very furious I am losing my capacity to be fucking articulate.
Risk our children’s safety you say? Trying to go around and plant seeds that either I or Brent could be a risk to my children? Oh my dear fucking boy.
How about the string of random women you exposed my children to in the first 12 months after we separated? The random women that slept in my bed? Or the random couches my children slept on of random women you met online? How about that risk my dear??
How about the fact that I have never, ever introduced my children to any men I have dated in the last 5 years? Because I was protecting them, not wanting them to meet anyone that I was not absolutely sure of.
I will not even validate such nonsense by attempting to defending in any way shape or form. Except to say I have been expecting such things from him now that I am not backing down so much and just trying to get on with life, knowing full well he is capable of stooping to levels far worse.
If he was so truly concerned for our children’s safety then why did he leave the school pick up today to us? Knowing full well Brent would be picking the kids up? His actual words were ‘Its your night.. What’s to work out?’ This was after I had text just confirming what was happening as there was a disco at the school.
This next photo is of my daughter just being her beautiful, audacious self. An unedited photograph from the same shoot, She is wonderful.
(The nudity aspect/paranoia of this whole saga is for another discussion)
And as I have said before If you do not feel that this is appropriate to be shared in an online forum you have the right and freedom to not read it. We are all gown ups.
This type of negative interaction and intimidation occurs all the time, sometimes I find it unbearable, like I can not take another moment. I have spent so long with all of this inside, just trying to ignore it, but keeping things in slowly kills your soul.
…..And then one day she found her voice and she was never quiet again. Some days her voice is the only thing that gives freedom to her soul, the only thing that dissolves the black…
the above two writings were re-actively posted, as public posts on my Facebook wall. I am not sure if I handled this situation the best. but this was how I choose to react at the time.
Since all of this happened my daughter has not wanted to be photographed much, anxious every time I suggest it, it makes me feel so sad that something once fun between myself and my daughter, capturing them forever at different life stages, has now become something she is afraid of.
the below image was taken over a year after the porcelain image. the only image she has felt comfortable in me taking. even just a quick snap of a moment on our phone she has felt anxious about. she still responds with a rush of anxiety when I ask if she would like to do some photos. I adore images. they capture a moment in our time, our story. for me it has been an important part of capturing their life and how they grow.
I am also an artist and trained photographer, capturing people and moments in an artistic and stylised manner is just a part of who I am and what I do, that creativity will form a part of my children’s experiences as they grow, just like any aspect of any parents personality, and it is not something I will apologize for. It is always something that we have shared, during our marriage our daughter was often a part of making images with me, while together this was nothing her father ever complained about or made comment to me that he thought is exploitative or inappropriate. below is a few images of Georgia from two photographic series we did together. both done for photography courses at Uni, both with film while I was still learning and both when still within the marriage.
you may not like these images, that is completely ok. they were about learning the art of photography and about playing with my daughter and capturing moment in her life with her. to me these images a precious. to me they are treasures. the difference to these earlier images and the first one is the tools and my skill set. and of course that some were created while my husband and I were still ‘husband and I’ and the others were created when there was no longer a ‘husband and I’. the other difference is social media. during the earlier images I was rarely on social media, my ex-husband and I had a joint Facebook account. those earlier images were also film based. social media has altered the way everyone in our society shares moments of their lives and their children.
to me these earlier images set a precedence for something that has always been a part of my moments with both my children. moments that have been positive and moments that have had precious outcomes. the conflict and following actions that occurred after posting the porcelain images point to his true motivations and intentions. his actions scared me, they made me afraid for