Daniella Fishburne | Madame MadFish

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Doors to Freedom {9/52}

It looks like this is turning into a three part story. Last week, when I posted Runaway, I wasn't sure I wanted to share the story behind it, but now it is turning into three parts, so I think it's important to do so. Originally this image was inspired by Doors to Freedom, a charity that Art Mecca is working with to raise funds to buy housing for victims of human trafficking. This was the concept I had in mind when shooting last week, but it didn't seem to come together then. Runaway was something I had thought about long ago and it just seemed to come together at that particular moment. I really believe everything happens for a reason...and I think I had a story to tell that I wasn't quite sure I was ready to tell until now.

When I turned 30 a few years ago, I left my husband. It was a negative, mentally abusive and sometimes volatile relationship. Part of me was afraid to leave. I knew he wasn't going to make it easy, and he didn't. I was not just a wife to him, I was his possession. When I finally made up my mind to leave, I ran, and that is the true story behind Runaway. I packed my bags and ran from the darkness in my life, as it crept in close behind me, until I was finally free. I forged down a new path that was terrifying, but necessary.

For a year I lived in fear until my divorce was final, while he stalked me and made threats. I even had to buy a new car so he wouldn't be able to find me. When that day finally came, a huge weight lifted from shoulders. I was finally free. He couldn't hurt me anymore...no more threats to sue me for alimony, or anything else. The divorce was final. Afterwards, I went to the beach and as I drove over the bridge, I saw seagulls flying high in the sky. They seemed so peaceful and free... and that was the moment I decided to get a flock of birds flying on my arm, as a constant reminder to always be free and let anyone treat me that way again. I included that symbolism here, with the birds flying over the glowing doors. She's walking towards the doors to freedom, where she will finally find peace. 

I made this image for the woman who are struggling to overcome the hardships they have faced in their lives. Any woman who has suffered from the hands of a man. You are so much stronger than you realize. There is peace out there waiting for you and many who are willing to help you. I don't know where I would be without my friends and family to help me through. So I thank you....you all know who you are. Without you, I would not be free.