Samantha Geer

Mending Memories

Mending Memories is my process for finding my voice and creating closure from a sexual assault that occured when I was 16. In my photographs, I perform gestures that are ingrained in my memory and show my history of emotions and turmoil in this time of healing. The video, Paper and Dish, is a response to people who did not react well to news of my assault and would not talk about it for years.  When they did address it, I heard questions like, “ Why did you let them? '' and “Did you put yourself in that position?”. I found myself working through this trauma alone. I would have nightmares. My route to school took me past the locations where I was assaulted giving me flashbacks and phantom feelings in my wrists. It wasn’t until college that I had the courage to confront my assaulter. My assaulter said, “Yes, I knew what I was doing”.

There was the daily struggle of watching my back and difficulty receiving hugs from family and friends. I felt disconnected. Photographer Rosem Morten said, “that memories fade but the body still remembers everything”. That statement feels true from my experience. Creating these images and videos has helped with my process of mending these memories and getting some closure over my past. I have worked extremely hard to work through this trauma and to grow in self-love. The days have proven to get brighter and better. In the final component of this project, I leave you all with a dance to say goodbye to the memories and to look forward to the future.

If you need help, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.