© Patty Croom, Patty Pixx Photography. Published by permission.
This photo is from my hometown. The school I attended for most of my elementary and Jr. High years. It was a safe haven for me. Home has so many meanings and this place was more of a home than where I lived. Home was a terrible place where there was no safety. A wrong word, a look that was misinterpreted, a step in to the wrong room or an answer that even if true might not be what a person wanted to hear would lead to beatings that often left me broken in so many ways. Hours and days spent in a crawl space because I made him angry…and as I got older (4th grade) the sexual abuse began…leaving my mind a wasteland of confusion, fear, insecurity and self hatred.
This building has been falling apart for years and each year it seems to get worse. When I visited last I knew it might be the last time I saw it- you see, one of the few people I ever went back for, my best friend, finally left this town. As I stood and looked at the building I was filled with so many emotions.
- Sadness; it was the one safe place for me when I was young.
- Appreciation; It was also the place where people believed in me, where lifelong friends were met.
- Joy; I escaped from all of the insanity , pain, and betrayal of trust that was my home life.
- Recognition; The fact that it’s about gone leads me to also recognize that I’ve grown so far beyond those brick walls.
The insecurities and self hatred remain – the voices more of a distant echo than the loud amplifiers in my head that they used to be (I’ve found that no matter how much healing one does, the voices are quick to find an opening to come back and yell those things in your head that you once believed about yourself) but I’ve also realized that like my old school I once built walls to protect myself… and as love and healing came those walls of protection fell down and in their place I’ve built a life and a family. I live with passion and purpose and gratefulness. I am stronger than I ever knew. We are all stronger than we ever realize!
#RiseUp #SurviveandThrive #SexualAbuseSurvivor #Healing #pattypixxphotography
I am a wife, mom, and grandma (best gig ever!). Photography and writing have always been the best outlets for me–whether dealing with my abuse, handling the stress life throws us or simply as a way to find joy–these two things have always been my saving grace.