With brave wings she flies: Nadia's story


I have described it like being stuck in a big black storm cloud – their words are the storm cloud and they use them to make the cloud darker and darker so eventually you can’t see or hear anything outside of it. This is the isolation phase. He scrambled everything that I believed was normal and managed to tell me it wasn’t. And because his was the only voice I heard for a long time (and it was a constant stream of noise and pressure) I couldn’t tell what was reasonable and what wasn’t. I started to blame myself. To think that he was right and I was the unreasonable one. To question all of my friendships. To question the relationship I had with my family. At the time I was so broken that I was terrified. The thing is the cloud is so thick and the noise so loud that you believe everything they tell you / threaten you with.


Life is amazing. I am me again. I’m happy, confident, successful. I live in a great apartment near to the ocean (I can see the ocean from my kitchen window), I bought myself a new car, I’ve set up my own business from home (as well as working part-time in the city). I’m relaxed. I don’t fear my own name. I am rebuilding my self-worth and I am actually stronger than I have ever been.

Motherhood portraits in Sydney. A series documenting the light and dark of domestic violence survivors. Captured by Cindy Cavanagh, a Sydney photographer.    
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