Mary Grace Romanick | Photography
The House that Built Me is a series of images that conveys the idea of identity and belonging. Growing up, I always knew I was adopted. This caused me to feel like I didn’t belong anywhere, especially in my family. As I grew older, I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t belong, it was emotional dysregulation that made me feel negatively about my identity within my family.
Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. These factors caused me to have a lost sense of home and family. Since receiving help, I am finding myself and learning to regulate my emotions.
In creating this series of work, I have been able to explore my feelings of belonging and my struggles with BPD so that I could come to terms with it. The struggles I was facing made me feel isolated and lost while trying to find who I was and how I fit into my family. This series of work made me reopen old wounds to make peace with them.
It was important that I capture these images in my childhood home. This house is abandoned now which is how I felt throughout my childhood. Taking the photos here allowed me to face and work through the feelings I experienced in my childhood. I was able to process my trauma and solidify my identity in my home and family. Spending time with my parents in order to capture the final shot, was also a part of my healing process. By the end, I realized family is more than DNA and I have always belonged.
Through my personal struggles with mental health, it is important that this series serves as a conversation about the struggles many face everyday. Becoming more aware of mental health is important to the wellness of everyone. Studies have shown that people who are adopted are at a higher risk of developing Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD affects 1.6% of the population, 70% of these people will attempt suicide, 8% will be successful.
If you feel like you are struggling and need help, please reach out to:
Suicide Hotline: 988
Suicide Chat: https://988lifeline.org/chat/