Today’s my birthday. I spent it doing what I love and live to do, work with people within our local community, listening, photographing, connecting, understanding.
After making my usual carers chores at home (I work as a full time carer for my mother.) I visited with Carl. Together we have been working on an introductory film and photo essay, covering many aspects of his life, both past and present.
One devastating element, that has spanned his entire life, has been the constant storm of abuse and bullying that he has had to endure.
As I arrived today, Carl’s eyes seemed extra bright, his mood elevated, happy. This is always wonderful to witness. Nervous excitement was racing within him, evidently he had news.
"I’ve something I have to tell you, can we record it right now, please?." he asked "Yes, of course!." I replied, frantically rifling through my bag, reaching for the recorder.
As soon as I pressed the go button, a story unfolded that I could never have expected, a triumph, a pivotal moment, a new beginning.
For the first time in his life, Carl had said “No!.” to people that had called abuse out to him in the street.
Confronting them, not with anger, and not turning a deaf ear and taking the pain they had given him and inverting in upon himself, he explained to them how he would appreciate being approached, spoken to and why.
Learning that this decisive moment had arisen as a result of confidence gained through our working together, upon his story, well, that’s the most beautiful birthday gift, ever.
Carl, keep strong, brother and thank you!. X
Full film and story coming soon.