In this autobiographical story my intent is to come to terms with and acknowledge the hidden scars of my past. Childhood was not accompanied by the usual troubles of youth. I was born to a poor Catholic family that never seemed to settle for very long. The first of my many nomadic changes happened just a few months after my birth. My parents moved from Oregon to Wisconsin and in the process became stranded for several days on a highway in the openness of the American west. They were ill prepared for the trip, and their old Jeep Scout broke down in the middle of a early snow storm. By the second grade, my parents were divorced and I had already attended nearly every elementary school in the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin. As I approached the point where most boys are starting to come of age, I was send away to live in a variety of institutions, shelters and a group home. This resulted in the loss of nearly four years of important life experiences, education and development. I was suddenly thrust into a world of violence, gang influence, doctors, stiff beds, and heavy medications. This only came to an end when I was finally old enough to set out on my own. During the decades since, I have often found myself mirroring my parents’ struggles with poverty and continuing to live semi-nomadicly. My self-healing process began during my mid 20’s after realizing most people saw the world in a very different way than I did. Healing over many years has lead me to rediscover what it is to feel emotions, be a friend and a productive human being. This “rebirth” has relied heavily on inner spirituality, close friends, mentors, education and forgiveness for myself and for my family. This body of work hints at this past while looking back from my new perspective from life as I know it to be today. By photographing those closest to me, my chosen family, this work aims to tell my story by observing their personal traumas and triumphs, feelings of solitude and depression, and kinship.
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