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Depression is a nasty thing. 5 years ago I escaped an emotionally, verbally and physically abusive relationship with . During that time I thought of suicide constantly. Sometimes, out loud to people close to me, but more often - to myself, just trying to find a way to keep going.
Let me start by saying, I know this is totally wrong. Having watched people very close to me struggle with it, attempt suicide and threaten it - I understand all too well how hard that is to hear. I'm currently dealing with someone extremely close to me threaten it for the last 4 months and there are days I'm just begging myself to keep it together for the others close to me and to stay strong for my family. It's killed a lot of my creativity but I'm working hard on being there for that person when they finally ask for help.
5 years ago I was incredibly low. When I left I did everything I could to keep going. I threatened to contact the police and wondered how could he do this to me. In one incident, I screamed at him, crying wondering what I did to deserve this treatment. Frustrated, I remember throwing something at the wall and it broke a picture frame. Not my finest moment I know, but I was terrified and equally mad that he could do this to me. I knew no one in London and felt like I was trapped. At the time, that was enough for him to do much worse....before and after that incident. But here's the thing - I never called that person a c$#t, I never laid a hand on him, I didn't throw items AT him, and I didn't say anything. For a long time. I listened to his cries saying that if people found out, it'd end his career - and he made me feel so guilty with his put downs and threats anytime I considered telling someone.
I grew up with a very abusive (biological) father. It was so humiliating to think that I would stick around even after the first incident with Philip. I felt weak. It was more humiliating to know that I would say or think thoughts of suicide when a few months before meeting Philip, someone I love dearly attempted suicide. Since then I've gotten the help I needed to help overcome my past and be strong for the people around me.
2 days ago that person attempted to have Facebook remove my post speaking out about the abuse. I was banned from liking, commenting on sharing anything on Facebook. Luckily they restored my post. Attempting to hide the abuse doesn't mean it didn't happen.
More of the story can be read here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155428654040473&set=a.10150334815350473.586295.511570472&type=1&theater
About 5 years ago, I attended a big event of a social media person that was Sara's farewell to Toronto and send-off to being married and living in London, UK. Somewhere around a month later, I saw a Tweet that had her back in Toronto, which gave me a bad feeling. It was a big deal when she left, but it was as if she was being up front about being back in the city, but at the same time, it seemed done very quietly, and there was no talk of her London adventure or nuptials. Some time later it came out that the engagement had been broken off. I only knew her from Twitter and this isn't really the media in which one asks someone personal questions. Some time later, after some banter on Twitter about something, I invited her to a lunch with my niece downtown. Said niece had just gotten a camera and wanted to learn how to use it. Sara joined us and it was a wonderful afternoon of conversation and photo taking. At some point, I asked how she was doing and she told me why she was back in Canada. It's taken 5 years for her to go public about abuse suffered at the hands of Philip Bloom and talk about why the engagement was broken. (And, yes, that Philip Bloom: filmmaker, camera reviewer, Kessler slider.)
I'm not on FaceBook, where the conversation broke and is ongoing, so I wanted to lend my support here. It's difficult to speak up in this situation in any case; speaking up against someone with a huge public presence, who is respected by many, is even more difficult.
, lifting a virtual glass of scotch: here's to honesty, bravery and to someone bold enough to pull off brilliant red hair and speak up about something so personal and difficult! ;)
- Sara Collaton PhotographyPhotographer, 2009 - present
- 500pxCommunity Manager, 2012 - 2013
- AppleCreative, 2010 - 2012
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