“Broken Open” is a photographic expression of my pain and anguish, my heart being broken open and my path to healing and forgiveness. This body of work was inspired by my brave son’s recovery and my many solitary walks in the woods under a breathtaking canopy of cedars.
In the winter of 2011, I was living in a converted old barn in the woods beside a beautiful rushing river with my son Rami who had been slowly self-destructing after a decade of being gripped by drugs, drug dealing, mental health issues and addiction. Our small family unit consisting of Rami, his younger sister Eyla and I collapsed and fell apart. Rami was in and out of jail fourteen times and in rehab six times until he got sober and remains so today.
This photographic exhibition channels both the devastation and the healing that comes with enduring and surviving trauma. My therapist at the time said to me “your heart isn’t broken, it’s broken open”. I thought that was an appropriate title for the series.
By sharing our story of brokenness and renewal, we hope to encourage families struggling with mental health and addiction to keep moving forward and never give up. To know that there is hope and that people do recover to live healthy prosperous lives.