E.W. had a very troubled childhood and was first introduced to the mental health system at six years of age when their headmaster noted disturbing behaviour that wasn't commonplace. Looking back, this was radical of the headmaster to have acted upon this in the 1970s. Now forty-seven and still in the system, it has been a long road to gaining stability from severe childhood sexual abuse, most of which they still have no access to, as it was too horrific for their brain to deal with. This is a common phenomena with severe torture and sexual abuse at a young age: the brain simply blocks it out as a protective measure to ensure survival of the individual.
When E.W. first decided to put things on paper they did not know what was going to spring forth. They simply let whatever came from the subconscious without hesitation nor judgment. The images highlight where E.W. was in terms of self image, self worth and mental health. E.W. truly loathed themselves. There were multiple suicide attempts and many hospitalisations along with many diagnoses: Hysterical Conversion Disorder; Aspergers Syndrome; Histrionic Personality Disorder F.1; Bulimia; Severe Anxiety Disorder; Anorexia; Alcohol Dependency Disorder; Borderline Personality disorder; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Non-REM Parasomnia; Psychnogenic Non Epileptic Seizures. With all of these labels, how does one transcend into a ‘person’? For E.W. it meant going through a lot of mental and physical pain and two near death experiences. However, the turning point was not about them—it was the act of caring for a terminal cancer victim from beginning to end. They then opened their eyes to the possibilities that everything didn’t revolve around them. They learnt how to care, how to empathise, how to share deep pain, and what love truly was. They learnt how to gracefully put a dear one at rest when they really wanted to live. E.W. wishes to be called ‘WE’ as we are all in this world together struggling, and fighting with something our minds have created. We are all united.
WE had no understanding of spiritual beliefs, either Christian, Muslim, Sikh, nor Buddism. They had very little schooling, so had to rely on their own reasoning to find their solutions. Many of the accompanying explorations may be familiar or common place to some, but WE had always lived on the edge of existence so they came up with these ‘ideas’ or ‘philosophies’ by grieving and thinking—something they had never allowed themselves to do as they were too busy being ‘out of their mind’ because they didn’t want anything to filter in.
This is a journey of recovery and if it can help one single person then WE will be joyful and grateful. Thank you for taking the time to observe and contemplate.