“My perpetrator’s words are the deepest, most insidious part of my abuse.
I wrote them down, I read them, I saw them in black and white on the paper. And I saw them reflected in the looks on the faces of people in the street that day.
For the first time, I got those words off of me and out of me. It loosened my grip on the lie—the lie that somehow all of this was my fault, that somehow, at five years old, I caused it.
I held that sign, I bore its weight and I walked away lighter.” - Maile Zambuto in her introduction to Grace Brown; Joyful Revolution Gala 2012
Googling yourself while still in your pajamas at four-thirty pm on your birthday (this project is no longer run by a teenager!) is perhaps the lamest thing you can do. And I usually abstain from posting anything other than portraits on the website. However, Maile’s story about being photographed portrays exactly why I do this & I really wanted to share this one with you guys.
Also, side note: about a year ago, I was graduating from high school. It’s amazing to me how much has changed in a year. Thanks for your continued support of both the project and of the survivors who participate. I can’t tell you what it means to me to see everyone come together.
Looking at my project unbreakable photo makes me feel proud. That is powerful, especially since my trauma is so encumbered with feelings of shame and regret.