"I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You're trying to save me, stop holding your breath
And you think I'm crazy, yeah, you think I'm crazy.
Well, thats not fair" Eminem
I first met Meredith 9 years ago . I liked her straight away, we worked together . She liked make up , clothes and having fun like any girl in her 20s. Underneath, though, Meredith had a story. Her parents had a messy divorce when she was two years old. Verbal and psychological abuse followed, she internalised the trauma experienced from the abuse which led to an eating disorder in her early teens. Life went down hill from there, more trauma followed. Attracted to the wrong men , wrong friends and wrong crowd. She lost her identity, was confused and mistrusted.
During this vulnerable time in her life, she gave up, not caring what she did to herself. She wondered if she would even die. Fighting hard to stay above water Meredith made a decision to get completely inked, making a deal with a tattooist who made her feel liked she belonged. She never thought she would walk out the other side of this part of her life. She was just trying to survive.
After meeting an amazing counsellor, the process helped Meredith change. She was able to see the Meredith underneath the person that had consumed her body. Pulling herself out of the dark place she was in, Meredith decided to study for a degree!. This year Meredith has graduated and has a great job .
She has tried to live with the tattoos but looking at them everyday reminds her of the past. "Its just to Hard" so she has decided to embark on a tattoo removal and recover process which will take about 2 years, 1 year to remove and 6 months to recover with new tattoos designed by her. She wants something to be proud of. This process is about giving herself a second chance and knowing that she so totally deserves it! A new chapter , one of hope and courage , to walk with her head held high , to love her artwork and to be proud of her achievements . I am privileged to document some of this journey and time of reflection and will go with Meredith to Auckland as she embarks on one of the biggest challenges of her life.
"Say something, I'm giving up on you
I'll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere, I would've followed you
Say something, I'm giving up on you
And I am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all
And I will stumble and fall
I'm still learning to love
Just starting to crawl" Christina Aguilera
Posted in Rotorua Photographer, Wedding photography.