It Isn’t Just A Picture!

After the last betrayal, I couldn’t look at myself in a picture. I didn’t want my picture taken. My life felt so out of control, and so much had been taken from me. I didn’t feel as though there was anything else to take.

But taking my picture felt like someone was taking some part of me that was mine. I didn’t want anyone to touch me, or own me, or see any part of me. I was broken.

I couldn’t bear to see the pain and sadness in my eyes and on my face. I no longer recognized the person who stared back at me in the mirror. Who was this stranger? What happened to the person I once was?

I lost something. A part of me died. It was unbearable to be reminded whenever I had to see what was left of me. My reflection became a stranger to me.

The problem was that no one would take me serious, would honor my request. It just became a challenge, a determination of others to take a picture of me. To everyone else it was a joke. And while it took a lot to ask for my picture not to be taken, I could not stop it from happening.

To this day, if I am forced to have my picture taken against my will, everything inside of me tenses up. I brace myself and feel as though I just have to take it. I end up feeling violated and betrayed.

This is what you can be reduced to when you lose control of your life, when someone takes your ability to say no. And when someone does not care what you want, or feel, or need. Every time someone takes my picture against my will, it elicits these same feelings inside of me.

I want to scream, “No, you can’t take my picture! I can’t bear to look at myself, why would I want you to!”

I did have wedding pictures taken. We went away alone to a different state and had a photographer we chose. It was private and felt somewhat safe. When I look at those pictures, I was happy that day. I can see a sparkle in my eyes and a glow on my face. So I do get that what I feel is something others cannot see, that it is something deep inside of me. But it does not change the degree to which all of this is important to me or how it makes me feel.

One time, just once, I was so overwhelmed that I grabbed the camera out of someone’s hands and yelled at them. I could only do it once. It is hard enough to say what I want, it feels impossible to fight with someone to get them to take me serious.

And so with each click of the camera, to them it is just a picture. To me it is taking something from me, something that is mine. It is something others have no right to!

With each picture, they take my brokenness and it feels as though it is then put on display and exploited. For me, if you can’t comfort me in my sorrow and grief, then don’t try to exploit it. I do not feel safe.

The power and influence abuse has cannot be measured by someone else.

I don’t know if you can understand this. But it has been a powerful source of creating a feeling of re-victimization by people who don’t care enough to even ask why!


19 thoughts on “It Isn’t Just A Picture!

    1. Thank you for your comment!

      I didn’t write this just for me, but for you and every person that has been raped, sexually abused, and beaten. Since just telling people about sexual abuse does not seem to be working, it may be helpful for them to be able to feel what it is like to be abused. Maybe that is what my blog is, what it has become, a means to help others feel our pain. And hopefully it will instill a deeper sense of compassion. I can only hope!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There are very few pictures of me from my forty-one year “sentence” with Loser. I refused to let his mama take my picture and just in general, didn’t like to have my picture taken.
    The saddest….my daughter told me that I ruined her wedding. She said “there’s not ONE picture of you smiling. What did I have to smile about? My husband was a drunken asshole the whole ceremony…he had betrayed me and given me a disease…, what did I have to smile about?

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I get feeling that way, but I do want to give you hope. Not ALL men are beasts. I never thought I could trust again, but there are great men out there. My husband has been beyond amazing with me even when I wasn’t able to trust him.


        2. I get your feelings. Not even a great man can make those feelings go away easily. But a great man will stay and keep loving you until they do. And I wish that for you when you are ready.


        1. Probably a lot of people don’t. I didn’t either before this. Not understanding is one thing, but not respecting someone’s wishes is something different, especially if they are clearly distressed.

          Liked by 1 person

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