(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. Also added more pages: Work 1, Work 2, Journey.)
This photo blog came about through the helpful suggestion of my uncle who has been supportive through these challenging times, while so many people I’ve known all or much of my life do not understand. Photography is quite therapeutic and has been a great way to [re]connect with people.
I use a Canon Powershot camera – basically a small point-and-shoot. People at the former Photography Meetup always laughed at me! 🙂 And now, smartphones can pretty much replace a camera, so my recent pics (2018-present) are taken with an iPhone SE that I got from Best Buy last year (free!).
ABOUT ME: I am Toronto born and raised in the late 60s. A much different time. After university, 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 in my late 20s to go ‘save the world’ by pursuing environmental studies. After much thought about the world’s problems – social, environmental, economic – I came to the conclusion that fostering more co-operatives in Canada would be ideal. Co-ops create community, promote true democracy, and are the perfect counterbalance to unchecked capitalism – they would help solve so many of the world’s problems.
(What is a co-op: http://www.learningcentre.coop/content/what-co-operative).
Unfortunately, increasing mental health issues left me caring very little about the world around me. In my 30s, I apparently developed a more serious mental health disorder (although I disagree with the diagnosis). In any case, due to a combination of my sensitive nature and extreme life experiences, I now do struggle with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
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
- Can affect 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 paranoia [IMO, hypersensitivity] that comes and goes
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/activist and continue to attend various mental health and self-development courses (2014).
NOTE 1: I have also been serially employed (33 in hospitality). I continue to participate in various support programs, but even there I make waves (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. I CANNOT HELP THE WONKY VIBES I GIVE OFF. This is clearly reflected by my employment history; and by the various shopkeepers or co-workers who think I may steal; and countless people who feel I am prejudiced towards them. (Note: I don’t deal well with diversity now, although I’ve grown up closely with people of different races all my life and have always explored other cultures with interest.)
I now experience ‘sabotage’ in the workplace – and in other areas – on a continual basis. Despite my sincerest efforts to do right by people – my social ineptitude and hyper-vigilance around power cause people to invariably think I am politicking them.
Believe it or not, I was once well-liked and friendly. Yet now, so many people I come across daily feel I am bigoted, prejudiced or just plain antagonistic, deceitful and treacherous. It’s sad and lonely sometimes – yet, I can’t help it. I actually love and care about people, creatures, places, and I used to care about this planet.
I also understand oppression from pretty much every angle possible, having lived it myself, and having seen first-hand how it operates in disparate countries. I *get* socio-environmental justice issues. And I have intimately known people from so many races and religions – having had dear friends and many lovers from every background possible, both male and female, or gender-fluid.
Finally, I myself have various issues and represent different marginalized groups at various times in my life (including being low-income, which many people cannot even imagine; but for years, I was solely shopping at the Thrift Store and had about $50/mo after basic expenses; I also drained my mother’s savings by going to grad school and being unemployed for 4 years).
Having lived through 7 years of illegal government surveillance and harassment (they are 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 purposely 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 2: My hospital psychiatrist cares very little about the quality of my life and any progress I make. His sole concern is that I don’t go back into the hospital/psych ward (especially since my last stay was 6 months long). Anyway, I obviously need some talk therapy, but like most good therapies (holistic, natural, alternative, etc), it’s not affordable. I am also hopefully awaiting innovative PTSD therapy that will be coming to Toronto next year (2020) care of Montreal researcher and professor Alain Brunet.
I AM doing much better now, but dealing with relationships and controlling my physiological responses and emotional dysregulation continues to be a major challenge.
NOTE: The Header photo was not taken by me, it came with the template.