About this Image
This creepy creation is a layering of two photographs. The first one being a picture from my mother’s childhood photo album. Originally, she was standing with her older brother. I digitally removed him, reconstructed the space he was removed from and inserted a self-portrait, photographed in my studio. The blood stain i added on the left, represents the pain, stain and taint of surviving childhood sexual abuse.
The poem expresses how the cycle of abuse continues from one generation to the next when we don’t speak up, when we don’t acknowledge, when we remain silent. My mother didn’t speak up and didn’t cope with what happened to her and, as a result, could not bring herself to acknowledge that the same type of abuse, was being repeated with her daughter (me). SEE POEM BELOW…
I call my mother’s inner-child Jane, Red Jane.
In this picture I step into my mother’s childhood
And I take her hand.
I relate to her pain,
My heart weeps for her.
My heart weeps for me.
Her pain bled through, seeped into me
And the cycle
REPEATS . . .
Poem © Jaeda DeWalt
Creating this series proved to be a cathartic and healing experience. This is a deeply personal image for me, symbolizing the shame and silent suffering associated with surviving sexual abuse/incest.
I had to wade through the darkness of surviving, an abusive childhood, to come out into the light. I am happy to say i’ve arrived at a good place in my healing journey. This image, my words, they reflect a time and place, when things were very dark and the pain was difficult to navigate. Pain is a predator, if you run from it, it will hunt you down, face it and it will move through you . . . eventually.
Make your pain productive and you can turn tragedy into triumph.