This photo blog came about through the helpful suggestion of my Uncle who has been very supportive through these challenging times. Photography is quite therapeutic and has been a great way to [re]connect with people.
ABOUT ME: I am Toronto born and raised in the late 60s. A much different time. Many years ago, I lived abroad for 6 years and travelled to 12 countries. The intensity of the experience left me disoriented. I also left a good airline job to pursue environmental studies and non-profit work, ideally to support co-operatives – which I believe are the perfect counterbalance to pure, unchecked capitalism. Unfortunately, increasing mental health issues left me caring very little about the world around me. I have been diagnosed with a more serious mental health disorder, but also struggle with complex PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
UPDATE 1: Having been through various ups and downs (including 10 hospitalizations in 10 years, and dropping to 95 lbs each time – I am currently 160 lbs), I’m glad to say I’m currently going through an ‘up’ time. I’m a lifelong volunteer and continue to attend various self-development courses (2014). I have also been serially employed (45 jobs in 16 years) and participate in various support programs (2018).
UPDATE 2: Sorry, now going through a ‘down’ time (2018). People often don’t believe I have mental health issues. Not that I want to be labelled, but I’d rather start with an honest and open understanding with other people – especially because I know I have instinctual and behavioural issues. That is clearly reflected by my employment history; and by the various shopkeepers or co-workers who think I may steal; and by the often poor service I get in food outlets/restaurants because the staff think I look down upon them (yet I’ve worked in countless restaurants myself, and I deeply desire to be a good Server); and by the many people I come across daily, who feel I am bigoted and prejudiced, be it based on colour, creed, size, orientation, ability – whatever.
Yet I understand oppression from pretty much every angle possible, having lived it myself, and having seen first-hand how it operates in disparate countries. I analyze social and environmental injustices on a constant basis. I have also intimately known people from so many races and religions of both genders or who are gender-fluid. Finally, I myself am Asian, female, feminist, bisexual, low-income, have weight and eating issues, and have various disabilities, etc. (eg, My memory and learning are so impaired that my former library co-workers practically thought I was mentally handicapped, and of course they rubbed this in by placing differently-abled volunteers in my section repeatedly. Believe me, I experience ‘sabotage’ in the workplace – and in many other areas – on a continual basis. Despite my sincerest efforts to do right by people – my social ineptitude and hyper-vigilance around power issues causes people to invariably think I am politicking them.
Having lived through 7 years of illegal government surveillance and harassment (the most psychotic people around!), and having spent time in some of the most complicated societies in the world, I do catch onto the many games that people play, unbeknownst to them, but I never retaliate because: a) I have a naive belief in integrity and Canadian decency; and b) I’m simply not good at setting traps, game-playing, and baiting people, which our survival-of-the-fittest society thrives on. Frankly, my heart is now so battered and bruised it doesn’t even know which way to turn anymore.
The bottom line is: I *trigger* people, and they *trigger* me. I live in a constant vortex. (December 17, 2018)
NOTE 1: I’m extremely self-conscious about the fact that Chinese can be autocratic, intolerant imperialists, both within their own country and within the Asia-Pacific region, as well as here in Canada. Sometimes I’m too aware of how people *look* at me, so that I simply act and behave in ways that conform to their stereotyped perceptions about me. Hence, the presumed bigotry – people assume I’m basically a square and intolerant xenophobe. That’s why I get hyper-anxious in socially-diverse settings and immediately give off negative vibes to people. Just ask my many co-workers, past and present. But what does my hospital psychiatrist care? So long as I don’t go back into hospital, that’s all he cares about and is paid for.
NOTE 2: I use a Canon Powershot camera; basically a point-and-shoot. People at the (now-defunct) Photography Meetup always laugh at me! 🙂
PLEASE NOTE: The Header photo was not taken by me; it came with the template.