Who we are & why we are

Welcome to the gallery site of Broken Light Collective. We are artists of all levels and abilities who are affected by mental illness. We create and we share our work for the therapeutic benefits to us, as well as others who may be struggling and feeling scared and alone. Together we can move from disconnected to collective.

Photo submitted by Danielle, a woman who suffers from a severe mood disorder. She experiences extreme depression – the kind where it is hard to work or even get out of bed – as well as anxiety, panic attacks, and at times agoraphobia. She loves taking pictures and hopes to be able to travel if and when her moods stabilize.

About this photo: “My father and I had a complicated relationship. He worked a lot when I was a child, and traveled for weeks at a time to China or Mexico. When he was home, I remember him being terribly moody. Getting home late from work and needing to be alone with a drink and some jazz. I remember him yelling and slamming doors. I remember his lack of patience.

It was not until I became an adult that I found out that he had been suffering from mental illness, and that these moods and reactions were not all his fault. It was not until I got moody myself and began losing patience and yelling that I realized that these things are not always controllable. So I try not to blame him. I try to remember the good. To focus on the nice moments and things he taught me that contribute to the woman I have become…  

-My father taught me to love music – all music, from Motown to blues to jazz.

-My father taught me to be silly, to appreciate old SNL, Monty Python, and prat falls.

-My father taught me to be honorable. To honor all promises, business and personal, even when it is difficult.

-My father taught me to work hard. To persevere and be proud of all that I accomplish.

-My father taught me to love food. Maybe he taught that one too well!

-My father taught me to keep creating. He was an artist in his heart if not in practice.

-My father taught me to love animals. Love them as family and they will love you, which proved especially true when he fell ill.

-My father taught me to be generous, complimentary and to treat all people with kindness and respect.

Thank you, dad. I’m sorry I did not understand what you were going through. It may have taken 12 years, but I do now. It is not easy, and I am so sad that you had to struggle too. I only hope you are happy now. Laughing, rocking out, and playing pranks wherever you may be.” 


Happy Father’s Day to all of the Broken Light dads!

**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

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3 responses to “For My Dearly Departed Dad”

  1. Paula McLane Jennings Avatar

    fun photo. How wonderful that even though you had a difficult relationship with your father you got many wonderful things from him and you were able to understand and relate to why he was the way he was.


  2. Tiger Lillies Avatar
    Tiger Lillies

    I can relate all to well with your message. I lost my Mother 14 years ago. The last couple of years I have grown to have a new respect for my Mother. It is a shame that we don’t truly see our parents while they are with us in body. I’m sure your Dad is with you always, and he’s very proud of you. Lovely message. Wishes for all the best.


  3. autisticaplanet Avatar

    Thank you for the photo. My dad also went for doing fun & silly stuff like that. I lost my dad when I was 14. Aneurysm. He battled health issues all of his adult life, and though physical, they took their toll emotionally. He could be very hyper and snap at times, but he always resolved things with me. I am hyper and was once too quick to resolve. He did not always understand my autisticness, but he accepted it, unlike so many others both in and out of my family. He taught me to appreciate the free things in life such as a full moon and nature. He bought me my 1st camera. I hope to discuss much with him someday.


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