“Past & Presents” is a collaborative photo project where I explore gifts that have been given to me in the past by people whom I have lied to, victimize, emotionally abused and exploited. I don’t know how to articulate that I am sorry with every inch of my being, but I do know how to use a camera, so for right now art will be my voice. SF
The Present: A beautiful cream and sugar set given to me in December 2016 by one person who has known me my entire life and the second one not as long. At the time I felt guilty for not also having a gift for them, I felt annoyed that now I had another thing to make sure I had out when they came to visit. What I didn’t see is this gift is exactly the color, style and brand that match my kitchen. It was not only a symbol of kindness but also a testament to how well these people know me.
The Lies: The deception and manipulation I used on these people has been the most damaging most unnecessary actions. I have lied about and to these people; I never came out of the closet even though it was a safe space to do so. I pretended to be happy; I pretended to have conflict with others so distance would be created. I told people they were angry, cruel and incompetent.
The Truth: These are kind, caring individuals who want to see me happy. I am and will always be connected to these people on a level that is unexplainable. My actions have hurt them in a way that is incomprehensible. I saw this gift as just another item, but the truth is it shows how connected we are. It demonstrates that these are people who know me better than I know myself. While they did not know the details of my struggles they understand my soul and the core of my being better then anyone else. I am lucky to have them. I was trying to impress them, to seem like everything was ok, to show them that my work life was successful to pretend I was happy, I feared rejection from them in so many ways that I was a coward when it came to telling the truth.
The kindness and love that continues to flow from these people is amazing. They will protect me, care for me, come and hold me when I need it. I feel ashamed that my sense of self was so arrogant that it was like I was entirely dehydrated of truth and this giant fountain of knowledge, kindness and resources was right in front of me and all I needed to do was reach out.