(This page used to be 2 short paragraphs, but I have expanded it to explain myself to the various people I come into contact with.)

Co-written and edited by kassyf (Fiverr).

About Me:

       This blog is the result of a suggestion by my uncle, who has been supportive through these challenging times even when others have not. People that I have known all or most of my life do not understand and some have cut ties. Photography is very therapeutic for me and has been a great way to reconnect with people.

       I am currently using a Cannon Powershot camera, though it’s a small point-and-shoot camera and some people at a photography meet up I used to attend laughed about it. 🙂  Now that smartphones can pretty much replace a camera, my more recent pictures from this year are taken with an iPhone SE that came free with a plan from Best Buy.

       I am Toronto born and raised, at the tail-end of the 60s. It was a much different time. I now have a passion for preserving the beautiful and relatively balanced Canada, I once knew and loved.

After university I lived abroad for 5 years and travelled to 12 countries during that time. The intensity of this travel experience left me disoriented. In my late 20s I chose to leave my job at an airline to go “save the world” by pursuing Environmental Studies. After much thought about world problems (social, environmental, economic), I came to the conclusion that fostering more co-operatives in Canada and around the world would be ideal. I feel co-ops create community, promote true democracy, encourage environmental stewardship, and are the perfect counterbalance to unchecked capitalism; they would help solve so many of the worlds problems. You can learn more about co-ops here: http://www.learningcentre.coop/content/what-co-operative

             Unfortunately, increasing mental health issues left me caring little about the world around me. A diagnosis in my 30s changed everything. I struggle with CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder), social anxiety, and BPD (borderline personality disorder).  The above issues (which are my and partly CAMH’s diagnoses), along with suspected schizophrenia (my current psychiatrist’s diagnosis, which I completely reject and disagree with) has lead to me losing my right to make my own medical decisions.

What is BPD?

Borderline personality disorder

  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as having unsafe sex, gambling or binge eating

  • Unstable or fragile self-image

  • Unstable and intense relationships

  • Up and down moods, often as a reaction to interpersonal stress

  • Affects job performance and one’s ability to “fit in” with coworkers

  • Suicidal behavior or threats of self-injury

  • Intense fear of being alone or abandoned

  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness

  • Frequent, intense displays of anger

  • Stress-related hypersensitivity/seeming paranoia that comes and goes

I have struggled with hospitalizations (10 in 10 years), been apprehended by police, manhandled by security guards, and each time lost a significant amount of weight from fasting. I also struggle to maintain employment because of some of the symptoms and behaviors caused by my mental illness. I can sometimes appear to be perfectly normal and yet suddenly I can get triggered by people or social environments, such as being at work.

             While I was once well liked and friendly, now people may feel I come across as bigoted, prejudiced, antagonistic, misrepresenting, deceitful, and even treacherous. It can be very lonely and brings sadness, but I can’t help it.  I love and care about people despite how it may appear. It is obvious that I need help with interpersonal relations, as I can bring out the worst in people. When they feel suspicious or wary, or watch me more closely, I conform to those expectations. I can behave as though I am lying when I am telling the truth; I can appear as though I am hiding something when I am not, or it is NOT what people think it is; I am afraid of being misperceived so I fulfill what I feel like their expectations are.  For example some shopkeepers watch me like a hawk. The more they watch me the more nervous and guilty I behave, even though I have never shoplifted since that piece of licorice at the age of 7. When I feel watched I can give off a negative vibe, which in turn results in bad service. This has resulted in me losing many jobs, and since new work situations are stressful and discombobulating, I have been through over 40 jobs since 2002. It can take me 4-6 months to relax into a new work environment, but I usually lose the job well before that time.

             In more recent  years I have found anxiety and misconstrued energies and interactions with people affects daily life, even to the point I have been unable to go out in public or even do the weekly grocery shopping with my partner Don. I’m doing much better now (relatively *normal* – fingers crossed), but I still take tranquilizers for every work shift I do. Simple social interactions (or rejections, gossip, etc) can take me hours to *decompress* from and can haunt me for days afterward. I left one 3-month bartending job because my co-workers thought I cheated another bartender out of tips. So now, I work in a non-tipping environment to avoid being around money at all.

             Whatever my weird behaviors or responses may be, please do continue to look beyond that to the humanity that wants so much to be seen, embraced, and accepted.

2 Responses to About

  1. gpcox says:

    Very pleased to meet you. I can understand the therapeutic value; I have a high regard for photographers because they can see what the rest of us simply walk on by without a second glance.

    • groovy777 says:

      Pleased to meet you as well! Yes photography certainly does slow one’s eye down to take in and appreciate the world around us. They say it can be learned, so here’s hoping!

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