A few weeks ago I was approached by a local photographer to take some photos. I wasn’t looking. I did’t seek anyone out. I simply took a man up on his offer after checking his credentials. I’m not camera shy. I’ve shot with photographers my entire life. I know what to do, how to pose in order to “not look posed”. Having my photo taken has always come natural to me.
When he arrived I was having a rough day. I had been dealing with an ongoing situation that was causing me IMMENSE anxiety and strain. For the first time in my life, I was unable to focus. This had went on for months!
When he arrived, I hadn’t even had the time to shower. This is how overwhelmed I was after a phone call that should have been pleasant but ended up as a disaster. A disaster that could have been avoided had someone recognized their avoidant communication style that wasn’t serving either of us.
What John (the photographer) said was encouraging! He said “you’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, grab a few outfits and lets head to the beach”.
On the way to the beach he asked me what was causing me to feel so stressed. It had been years since anyone had asked me about my feelings. I shared with him about a situation that had me feeling awful about myself. A situation that I was fully aware of that had been handled in an incredibly insincere, sneaky and outright cruel way. I told him the story of two adults who were both a decade older than myself being careless and cruel to innocent people. One of those people just happened to be me.
John, (the photographer) said “it doesn’t sound like this person/these people care about you. Then he asked “how did this person express that he cared for you before”?
My answer had me in tears within seconds. He showed me he cared with money. I scoured my brain to find another way…any way I could think of. Any moments I could tap in to where I had been shown love. Genuine heartfelt love. I couldn’t think of one. The only moments that came to mind were times that I expressed my love to this person. This human. This man thats face now escapes my visual memory.
I recalled creating ambiance for homemade dinners. I recalled looking him in the eyes when I made love to him trying to connect. I recalled searching for an animal I knew in my heart we would find. But I couldn’t for the life of me remember a connection that came from this mans heart to mine. I couldn’t recall a time when he made me feel important or even loved. I couldn’t recall a time when he wasn’t making up for avoidable mistakes he created. Always with money. Never with heart felt communication or by touching me in a way that made me feel desired or needed by him.
I had become a voiceless woman with a low self esteem that allowed a person to make me feel as though I held no importance in this world.
Before I knew it we were at the beach. I was out of the car and this was the first photo John took. It was a pretty scary moment for me. I felt “woke”! I felt sad. I felt foolish. I had spent the past three years of my life with a person who never loved me. I had spent the past several months waiting for answers that were shown to me with words that were unkind and heartless. I had spent the past few years alone while being right next to a person who I had expressed love to time and time again. I had spent the past few years with a man who was stuck in the past while chasing everything that glittered along the way.
John had just wiped the mascara off my cheek from tears of realizations. Realizations I had avoided. A painful ending to a situation I knew if I truly wanted I could return to. A situation that would be hard work all because one of us didn’t understand the power of his words and the other didn’t know the power of her worth.
In the end, we both chose the easy way out ~ thats what fools do
I love this photo! Mascara streak and all! It is me! Untouched , un loved while loving herself me!