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Photo taken by contributor Livonne, a 54-year-old woman from the Blue Mountains in Australia who lives with complex PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Livonne had a tumultuous childhood which was followed by what turned out to be a violent marriage. With three young children, she set about making a new life as a single parent, but was put through over four years of being stalked and traumatised which culminated in the death of her only daughter on an access visit. After raising her remaining children, she finally had a breakdown after they were grown up. She was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and that’s when Livonne set about making as many changes to her life as she could. She went back to school in her fifties to study Diploma of Photography and has used that as a base to create her fine art conceptual photography pieces. She has always been enthralled by fairy tales as they provided a means to escape when she was a child. She uses the fantasy of her photos as a milder form of escapism now, trying to find beauty and magic in the everyday.
About this photo: “I’m currently undergoing enormous stress and retraumatisation of my PTSD, with a neighbour who is making life hell. If it wasn’t for my photography right now, I think I’d completely give up. I feel like I’m that same paralysed child from years ago. Just standing and watching the world go on all around me. Unable to participate. A ghost of who I should be. There’s nothing I can do. I want the freedom to ride the carousel. It’s right there but I can’t do anything. I can’t join in. I can’t get off either because it’s all moving too fast. I’m trapped. I can only watch. All the time, unseen, unheard. I was inspired by listening to the song Circle Game by Joni Mitchell. ‘And the seasons they go round and round. And the painted ponies go up and down. We’re captive on the carousel of time. We can’t return, we can only look. Behind from where we came. And go round and round and round in the circle game.'”
Find more from Livonne at her website.