A project on resilience after trauma

The forest has held an undeniable power over me, a power that evoked fear, anxiety, and an overwhelming sensory onslaught. As a woman living with autism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), taking a walk into the woods seemed like a huge challenge.
The thought of stepping foot into this environment would send waves of resistance through my body. Actually walking there and taking in all the sounds and smells would cause me physical pain. This had to do with the fact I was sexually abused there.

Armed with my camera, a transformation began to unfold. The act of searching for and plucking mushrooms from the forest floor became a form of meditation, a way to anchor myself in the present moment. A way to shift my focus and attention to the small details and the beauty nature has to offer.
Going from mushroom to mushroom led me further into the forest, slowly helping me overcome my fear. Analyzing the mushrooms I collected became a process of self-discovery. Each species held its own story, its own unique characteristics, functions, and properties. Through research and observation, I discovered their medicinal properties, role in ecological systems, and profound cultural symbolism.

Mushrooms have the ability to thrive in unimaginable circumstances, I realized that, like mushrooms, I too had the capacity to adapt despite the challenges I faced.
Once a place of fear and trauma, the forest became a sanctuary of healing and growth, a space where I could confront my fears, a place of resilience.  

More images available on request.