My name is Charlotte (a.k.a. Charlie for anyone that knows me and likes me) and the above picture pretty much sums up my crazy little life in a nut shell. Originally from Texas, my husband Chris and our K-9 kiddo, Bailey Anne have moved thousands of miles over the past 10 or so years thanks to the military. Right now we reside in Tacoma, Washington. Not our favorite of places but I guess it could be worse. Maybe! Chris and I met while in high school and have been together since I was 16 (although he thought I was 17 going on 18 at the time) and he was 19. We have been together ever since! Bailey came into the mix around 2005 and has been our only kiddo so far and I’m guessing that is the way she likes it!

While Chris does his thing with the military, I pretend to be Β a photographer with the hopes and dreams of actually becoming a real photographer. I currently attend The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Photography/graphic design and photojournalism although at this point I am not sure how much longer that is even going to last since I am getting a little fed up with how much hands on experience I am NOT getting and how very little feed back I tend to get from professors and peers. Honestly for the most part we really do a lot of reading and figure things out for ourselves so I kind of feel like I am wasting thousands of dollars a year just to teach myself something I could learn a heck of a lot cheaper on my own. I have found that as of right now I tend to favor landscape/architecture/urban/rural photography since that is mostly what we were told to go out and photograph but I really want to get my hands on some studio equipment and some models. I have done a few portrait shoots but I am never all that satisfied with the results.

Now, for the massive double edged sword in my life. Along with the thriving artist in me always screaming to learn more and get out there and practice, I also have another side of me that compares my work with everyone else’s and I always tell myself I will never be that good and I will never learn to be that good. I live everyday of my life in a chaotic, torturous, whirlwind struggle that only I can see. I have to deal with being a borderline personality and bipolar type 1. Β For a while I never even knew what those words meant until I actually started losing my mind. Honestly some days I wish I had never been diagnosed. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Everyday I have to struggle and fight just to decide to get up and live and not lay in the bed and give up. I have a lot of things driving me to get up and get out there and keep going, but then I find that I can just as easily talk myself out of it. I am the master of self sabotage. The last couple of years I have been on meds but the last month or so I have taken myself off my meds. I think this blog, in a way, is to help me see the daily ups and downs and everything I go through that I don’t see myself right away. Kind of like charting my progress I guess. I know this won’t be easy for me. I’ll have a hard time posting anything because I don’t trust people to know anything about me because they can use it against me to judge me (one of the reasons I don’t use fb).

I am also going to use this blog not only as a way to chart my BPD/BP progress, but also to post my photos and a little something about each of them and also to express myself through them. I’ll try not to let my blog become completely random. Those of you that decide to follow me, if any, I thank you. Β I also look forward to any suggestions, comments, and or critiques!


15 thoughts on “About

  1. first of all good for you for getting off the meds!! I was on anti depressants for over 10 yrs and am WAY better without them. My therapy is running now. much better for me and way more effective! Second, if I may, let go of the labels the doctors have given you. Yes you may have those things but they do not have to define you. They are a part of your life and you have to work with them, but they don’t have to be who you ARE. you decide who you are πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by my blog…best of luck with the photography! You may want to find a local meetup group of photographers.Often times they get together and do some shooting or tutorials. Good way to learn and to meet people. πŸ™‚

    1. Hello Kim!! Thank you for replying!! I really haven’t been off my meds very long but even so I can tell how different I was while I was still taking them. It kind of feels like night and day. Scary yet liberating in a way. Honestly I wasn’t even in my right mind when I did away with them but since then I can’t get myself to go back to my psych and have to explain what I did since I know what her plan of action would undoubtedly be. Before getting off the meds I didn’t really give a lot of thought to the labels anymore. I practically forgot about them. Now that I am off the meds I kinda feel like I am one giant jumbled mess just waiting to explode or maybe implode. I’m hoping through different techniques I can calm my mind and go about my life. I want to be as active as I once was and let my body and mind come together on its own!

      1. well it sounds like you’re on the right track…be patient with yourself. you’ll have good and bad days. πŸ™‚ Ride them out

  2. Hello Charlie,
    Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment… Your comment means a great deal to me it is always comforting and sad to hear that there are people out there who fight the same fight as me everyday, it is a struggle and a wonder all the same. What i have seen thus far of Your photography is beautiful it is defiantly an artistic talent. I have been on and off medication for a good portion of my life and finally threw them all away in a “I feel just fine I don’t need this crap” moment a little over 4 years ago then lost my medical insurance and have not had the choice of whether I want to be back on meds or not since then so I cope to the best of my ability everyday. πŸ™‚ some days are harder than others. I appreciate your kind words it sounds like we are geographically close, Though I tend to stay away from Tacoma lol not my favorite place up north is where I call home. πŸ™‚ I hope you continue to do your photography and work through your struggles, you are so lucky to have a husband who supports and loves you through the struggle don’t forget to cherish him our struggles are our partners struggles as well. πŸ™‚
    If ever you want to talk you know how to find me lol.
    Tata for now

    1. Hey Naomi! Thank you so much for replying back to me. I must admit that I keep going back over your blog and I have to admit that I am envious and completely curious at the same time. I can see just how very much alike we are in mentality but the thing that astounds me is that you have this amazing, beautiful, angel of a daughter! At this point, Chris and I don’t have kids (not for lack of trying but it seems we just can’t seem to conceive) but I have to ask, how do you do it?! I babysit my nephew or friends kids sometimes and I don’t know that I really have what it would take to be a mom. As much as I love kids and would like to have my own little one someday, it also scares the crap out of me. My emotions and sometimes patience are all over the place but you seem to do AMAZINGLY well!! You have this beautiful relationship with your daughter that just seems like something out of a dream or a storybook. How did things change for you when she came into your life? Do you feel like she calms you down and just has that magic touch or is it just parental instinct? You and your daughter absolutely amaze me! I read your stories about your day with her when I need to smile because honestly, you both give me hope.

      1. Charlie,
        How i came to be a mother was not as gracefully as you may think, pure happenstance and life events played into the coming of my Wonderful daughter. Parts of the circumstance started when i was just 14 (though the events of my life and my childhood circumstance led me down this path im sure) I started having sex with an older man, almost exactly 21 years older than i. I fell in love, I had a father and a lover in him, a confidant and friend along with many other wonderful and painful things. I tried to live my life and figure out who i was and what i wanted from life, you know the usual age of rebeling and finding your way, while keeping him my dirty little secret, or I, his dirty little secret more so as he was not only many years older than I but also my teacher. This continued on and off for over five years, more specificially the day I become pregnant i had never had sex with another man so i was certin it was his. Inbeteen this time i was in a relationship with a woman who did not treat me very well (we were young and stupid)… my father passed away september 1st 2007 i shut down and depression set in like never before and continued for about 3 months when the mania came, my girlfriend at the time decided that she could no longer deal with the crazy and made it very well known by doing a few things that could really push someone over the edge, when the mania really hit i thought i could fly and on new years eve i found myself perched from my 3rd story apartment building atempting to either fly or end it all, i am still really not sure which. That landed me directly in the mental hospital, i spent 16 fun filled days with people checking under my tung for hidden pills, checking my blood levels, monitoring my sleeping and eating patterns and sending me to classes about what the hell is wrong with me. i did my best while i was there to learn about healthy relationships and healthy habits, triggers and signs and so on. January 16th was my fresh start, i got to leave those cold white walls and be free to utilize everything i had pounded into my brain and let the meds help me do so. while i was in the hospital i l lost everything, my house, my girlfriend, my job and all my posessions so from there i moved in with my mother and brother in their apartment, got a job as a hostess making a little money and tried to get back on my feet. about 3 weeks into this i stopped taking my medication because i convinced myself that i was fine and the circumstances had brought me to where i was, not some mental illness. i fell right back into my old behaviors and frebruary 14th came and i fell right back into that man’s hands finding out barely a month later i was pregnant. i was 19 and terrified beyond belief, i felt as though i had no options because i belive that i am to take responsibity for my actions and my actions got me pregnant therefor it was my responsibilty. The story goes on and on, I somehow ended up getting married at 6 months pregnant to that same girl that treated me oh so well the first time (sarcasm in case you did not catch it, lol) i was the most stable i had ever been while i was prenant everything seemed to be so perfect and everything was good for awhile, we brought that baby girl into the world with lots of love around her. we did well for the first 8 months of parenting and the first year of marriage up until my wifes father killed himself, everything just went down hill fast from there. we tried to make it work, i worked part time and stayed home with KD most of the time, i was everything that kid had and i had to keep it together no matter what monters were knocking at my door. so long story short, i spent all day focusing on her and her happiness everything i did was for her and after she was tucked away in bed the crazy would get me, i would cry, find myself under the kitchen table in the middle of the night, staying up for days and days at a time, screaming into pillows trying to get my mind to quiet. i would lay naked on the bathroom floor just listening to the sound of the ceiling fan spinning doing anything i could to get it all out so in the morning i could be who i needed to be for her. and so my life went on this way, very little support or help with anything i did the best i could to keep it all together until last year when my wife finally walked out, KD and i went on vacation to visit my family in eastern washington and when we came home after 5 days everything was gone including the cat… i have spent the last year picking up the peices and doing things to help myself and surrounding myself with people who support me and love me, which is how i ended up starting my blog in the first place. i had never thought about myself or what i would like to do with my life or who i could be before, i just took care of everyone else and held the crazy at bay until darkness fell over the sky at night and i couldent hold it back anymore. i am not perfect nor is my daughter though i like to think she is lol, we have our good days and our bad days but its just her and i and the love i have for her is infinate and unconditional. πŸ™‚
        sorry had to cut it kind of short in the end, or maybe just ran on to long in the begining… hope that answers your questions, if not feel free to ask anything you please and i will get back to you. I am running out of computer time i have to get a workout in and the love of my life is waiting on me in the livingroom to get started. πŸ™‚

      2. Naomi,

        Please don’t think I have been avoiding your post or anything. I really haven’t. Honestly I have been trying to figure out how to answer back. Reading your post hit me like a brick. It was like all of a sudden I was reading about myself in some parts. I have been trying so hard to document what I feel like was my journey from being sane to insanity and it just seems like the harder I try, the less I tell the truth about it. I want to get it out there so that maybe other people will know that they aren’t alone in this. Ok I’m already thinking too hard about this reply so I am just going to start typing and if I start babbling I’m sorry but I feel I really need to get this out and please please please if you feel offended by anything I say, I promise you it was not my intention. Sometimes I just don’t know how to word stuff. Ok, here goes. Reading your reply has made me feel like I finally have an understanding that when I started getting sick and feeling like I was losing my mind and being seriously impulsive and reckless and seeking the attention and friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, Dom’s, and others, that I am not the only one that has gone through this. There were times when I couldn’t move or think or speak because I felt like if I did, the world around me would shatter and I would be lost for good. I would search for acceptance and do anything for it. I’ve done so much that I don’t know if I will ever be able to ever admit it to anyone, much less myself. My husband and I have been together since I was 16 and around 2008 I started getting sick (mentally) I just didn’t know it. I was seriously lonely because he worked all the time and then slept or played his games all the time. I had recently had the gastric bypass done and had lost a ton of weight and was a beautiful size 8 and I was thriving on it and all the attention I would get from girls, guys, anyone except my own husband. Honestly I cheated and long story short we separated for a bit (my doing also) although we never divorced. Thank the Gods. I ran away for a while to the other side of the country to be with a fucking loser that I thought I loved and loved me back and gave me the things I thought I could never feel or have again. I was used. I did practically everything except drugs. I even started calling myself by a completely different name and convincing myself that everything I was doing was just me having fun and it was ok because it wasn’t really me, it was this other girl I was. The entire time I still practically hated myself and only saw myself worthy of what another person saw in me or liked me for. You have no idea how much I can relate to your reply. Now that I am off my meds again, I feel a lot of these feelings trying to bubble back up to the surface and every time I have ever tried to talk to my psych or therapist about it, they always just told me to not live in the past. The past was gone and I did not need to dwell on it. I needed to look strictly to the future. But I needed to to talk about it. I needed to tell someone what happened. I wanted to know why I did those things. All my life I had learned to just stay quiet and keep my head down and often times more than not I was the pillow between my mom and sisters fights or my mom and dad’s fights. I always played peace keeper. I always let everyone take everything out on me instead of each other so that I didn’t have to be around the confrontations that would paralyze me and keep me wrapped in fear for days or even weeks. I walked on egg shells around everyone. I never said a word. I spent more time alone in my room with nothing but my music and journals for company. I feel like eventually I just broke and lost control. Part of me still doesn’t know how to handle or cope with what I did or the people I hurt even though I know they have forgiven me. I can never forgive myself. I used to drink myself into oblivion just to quiet my mind and the world around me. I am incredibly sensitive to energy and people around me and everything seemed to effect me. If I had prescription drugs, I would use those but I never became addicted. I loved being manic. It was fun and I love the danger and excitement. Now that I am older I am terrified of ever going back into that state but another part of me craves it. I miss being active and having fun and being out and all. My psych meds made me gain some unwanted weight back so now I struggle every single day with my body image and how my husband views me (he says I am still beautiful but after things that I have allowed to happen, I think he actually thinks otherwise or wishes I were someone else but I don’t know.) Maybe it is just me reading between the lines again. I can’t thank you enough for being so truthful and blunt with me. You are the first person that has openly been willing to talk to me about this. You really have no idea how much it means to me.

      3. The tendency you and I both have, just like honestly everyone else in the world, we are too hard on ourselves. We see flaws in ourselves whether they actually exist to others or not. I spend a lot of my time apologizing to the people close to me for the more ridiculous things like borrowing milk from my neighbor, asking for help when I need it, feeling a specific way about something, not joining conversations, I apologize for needing to take a bath and relax for goodness sake lol… It’s pretty ridiculous. I’m always afraid ill do something wrong or say something that will offend someone. I seriously constantly apologize for being me and that is obviously due to a lot of self hatred. I feel guilty for every feeling I feel and undeserving of the love that is given to me everyday. I understand!!! I cannot stress it enough! I have my good days and my bad days but now I have at least a little bit of a support system, people who care about me and are there for me when I need it which helps beyond belief and things have slowly been getting better, I can see the future instead of just the past. My past will always be with me just like yours will always be with you one thing that use to help me when I had trouble letting go of my bad decisions or painful memories was writing them all down individually on different sheets of paper with specifics like actual situations or generics like feeling a certain way about myself and once I ha writing all the bad in my head I would go to the beach or my backyard or anywhere build a fire read them one by one and toss them in a fire, take a deep breath while doing so and tell yourself you are letting this go, it’s just a peice of paper, just a thought, just a memory and so on. πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Charlie (what a cool name!). It’s so very nice to meet you and I commend you on your courage to deal with the challenges of your life. We are all beautiful works in progress and you have all of my best wishes that your path, despite its challenges, will take you to your intended destination. I believe that your creativity will be a great outlet for you. I see you have the Crazy Chick badge on your site, and it would be an honor to have you as a member. Let me know …

    1. Hello Dear! Thank you so much for your kind reply! I would love to be a member of Crazy Chick!! My husband and I often joke that I’m already crazy so why not make it official!! lol. I really like your blog and your humor! I am finding that since beginning my own blog, I have a new outlet which really helps with my mentality at the moment along with being able to read “real” writings and thoughts instead of quick meaningless or overly dramatic posts on facebook. I have always loved photography and writing so I am hoping once I really get into blogging here and figuring out this site, I will become the eloquent writer I used to be a couple of years ago! It is really great to meet others like myself and others who are different minded. It helps me gain a new and better perspective on things in a way!! I look forward to reading more submissions from your blog!! Hugs!

      1. We’d love to have you as a member! I saw the logo on your blog and thought she should be a member. We re-define crazy on my blog. And I say “we” because we are waaaaay over 100 members strong!

      2. Lol I just went back to the page and saw how to actually join instead of just liking or following the page! Maybe I need to read these pages closer to get a better understanding of them! I’m still trying to figure my way around here but having a good time doing it nonetheless! I posted in Crazy Chicks!!

  4. I like Tacoma, it’s a shame there isn’t more going on there. We actually almost moved there at one point! I really like that North End around the Stadium HS. Very cool up there. I also like it down by the water out that way too πŸ™‚

    1. I really like Tacoma for the most part. Downtown is my favorite part. I could walk around down there all day! I always try to find new places that I haven’t been just yet and spend a few hours there! I have also gotten quite good at sneaking in and around some places for some amazing pictures!

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