1/13

2013.  The children are four and one.  A  diagnosed psychopath is intent on destroying our little family.  He stalks us.  He threatens us.  The police are involved.  Social services are involved.  Both failed to protect us.  we had no option but to leave home and run.  between march and august, the children and i are suddenly drifters.  For five months we sleep on floors, couches and other peoples' beds around the country and beyond.  All we have is a rucksack with clothes, a few toys and a camera.  We rarely see daddy as he is forced to stay behind to deal with the crisis.  As if things aren't bad enough, my eldest starts suffering severe asthma attacks and ends up in hospital several times.

Now, almost a decade later, I can see that we were lucky.  we had each other.  And we had some generous friends and relatives who shared their homes, their food, their music  with us.  I made a little money selling on ebay, so we got by.  I tried to give the children what all children need and deserve: love, security and space to grow, both mentally and physically.  I used what little savings I had to buy a camera, which I had so longed for , but not granted myself.  Sounds like madness, but something inside told me now was the time.  And it was the soundest investment I have ever made.  The camera saved me and therefore us.

We struggled on after the events.  For the past nine years, Life has often been about little more than trying to make ends meet.  I naively thought that we would find some respite after everything we went through, but life just carried on and we had to get on with doing 'normal' things like work and pay rent and get the kids to school.  There was no time to rest, no time to recover.  We felt totally alienated.  It was difficult to fit in and talk about the weather after so much turmoil.   Even now, we have to be careful so he can't find us.  Thankfully, throughout it all, making pictures continued to give hope.

I have avoided going back to that period, suppressing all thoughts and feelings about it, ensuring I am too busy to stop and let it catch up with me.  In a way, I have continued to be on the run since 2013.  But, I feel ready to share our story now.  It is too important to bury.  Almost a decade later, what happened to us is happening to others.  New laws and procedures must be introduced to protect the vulnerable.  From a personal perspective, I also want to turn these bad memories into something beautiful so the past can no longer haunt me. 

I am working on a book.  I will tell you about how we became homeless and what being homeless with small children was like for us, but The most important part will be the images.  though I had absolutely no idea how a camera worked or how to make pictures, I knew my my eyes and my heart.

The book will be released later this year.