ballard newborn photographer

Primal Panic and Your Seattle Photographer

What a title, right? Sheesh, Tilly getting right to it this time. No sugar coating it.

My Instagram may be looking sharp these days and my Facebook may look a little vague nevertheless happy, but a very un-Pinterest worthy life is happening.

Real Life is Happening for this Seattle Photographer.

Have you ever experienced Primal Panic? For the record, I didn’t even know what it was until I explained to my therapist what I was feeling. I explained it to her because I really needed it to stop. For those of you who aren’t paying $150.00 an hour to hear yourself talk and have someone respond, I will explain.

Losing the connection with a loved one.  We experience a primal feeling of panic. It sets off an alarm in the brain’s amygdala, our fear center, where we are highly attuned to threats of all kinds. Once the amygdala sends out an alarm, we don’t think. We act. The threat can come from the outside world or from our own inner cosmos. It’s our perception that counts, not the reality. If we feel abandoned at a moment of need, we are set up to enter a state of panic.

After the chaos of the day ends and I lay in bed to relax, I instead have a feeling unlike anything that I have ever felt before. I feel pain all over, my whole body gets hot, and I notice my feet are writhing under the sheets.  All of my muscles tense and I feel like I may be sick. Once I realize it’s happening I try to breathe slowly and wait for it to pass. I do my best not to sob and just let the feeling take over my body but not my mind. This is primal panic. I am losing the connection to someone I love.

This may be the hardest thing I have ever done. Real life is hard.

Everywhere I go, coffee shops, out with friends, at the dinner table next to my son, the feelings follow me. They pull out chairs and all sit down next to me. Disappointment likes to sit across from me in a blue sweater. Fear loves to sit on my left, and she always wears red. Sadness sits on my right, my dominant side, and likes to lean on me in the heaviest way. Some days before I leave I take an extra second to hold the door open for each of them. I know they will be here with me for awhile. Real life is happening for this girl.

Like all the other times, I know that what does not kill me, makes me stronger.


The realness and beauty of this couple are unmatched. They recently added to their perfectly imperfect family.  Seattle is a much better place with this sweet family living here. Please take a moment to enjoy these little moments captured in their home.

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