"Painful" Art Prints
In Honor Of Every Abuse Survivor Who Chooses To Heal And Use Their Experiences To Make A Difference
Over the years I've tried different ways of expressing my emotions and experiences. As an abuse survivor it is a life long journey to try to heal and process the trauma and pain caused by others in our lives. The more I learn and grow the more I want to help others and therefore I've become more and more vocal on social media about my own journey and part of it is sharing some of my creative expressions. Not long ago I've decided I want to make an art gallery for abuse survivors after sharing some of my paintings and hearing how other abuse survivors can identify. I know how misunderstood and alone an abuse survivor can feel in the midst of their journey when they don't know who they can trust.My desire is to banish that loneliness by helping survivors feel understood and connected with a community of other abuse survivors that are trying to heal. It is an excruciating journey to travel at times and one of the things that has helped me the most is to know I am not alone. Therefore if you are an abuse survivor who has found this page please know you are not alone...there are so many of us around you...
Salty Words On A Wounded Heart
The motivation for this picture came about after starting with my 3rd horse therapist after the first one left when I was just getting to the point of actually trusting her. The second one did not work out and by then I didn't know how I could try yet again...So the first time meeting with this third person and several times thereafter she just talked and gave suggestions which made me feel pressured to perform. I felt like I had no voice, hence the name...
Fireball of Emotion
This is how I felt the other week when a trauma memory started surfacing after trying for several years to move on and go forward instead of taking time to process, grieve and heal. Switching jobs about a month ago is forcing me to face it because not only is it affecting me spiritually but also in the workplace because a former employer both spiritually and emotionally abused me and overstepped their boundaries. I was feeling panicky because of the emotions that were forcing their way to the surface causing me to feel as though I was holding a ball of fire that I couldn't get rid of and threatened to engulf me and make me go crazy, as I felt like I had no safe place or person I trusted enough to allow to sit with me in my pain...which gave birth to this painting.
For the last 6 years or more I've been sensing a weariness to the center of my being. In a way it is really scary. Most of the time I keep myself so busy I don't think about it but I know it's still there and my body has been trying to get my attention. Not long ago I finally was able to visualize the feeling and put it on paper as well as try to figure out how to honor this part of me and take steps to allow healing. So far the one thing I've discovered is to have time with no pressure to just do nothing or whatever I really want to do with no pressure to finish or continue if I sense that it is making me weary. If you resonate with this, just know that you are not alone...
Out of Reach
Children usually see God by how their parents portray him to be. Sometimes I still struggle to believe God is not just holding things out of reach. In those times I remember how my parents treated me, taking away things that were precious to me and putting out of reach such as on top of the fridge or the desk as punishment. There was no compassion,no learning to regulate, or being nurtured and cared for. Just anger and pain and trying to survive.
I've been doing IFS therapy now for a little bit and during a past move I felt like the little girl in me was so scared and hiding in the corner. I got mad at her and was hard on her. When I realized what happened I felt sorry for her. She's never had a place where she felt safe and to have to keep moving again and again is just so extremely hard on her...and on me.
Casting Off Shame
When abuse gets too overwhelming for an individual they usually shut down and disassociate because it's too much for their mind and body to handle. Later those memories may resurface when they feel safer or are trying to heal. For me one of those memories was being sexually abused as a 6 yr. old. As this part of me and all the emotions surrounding this incident came to the surface she was accepted and loved and given compassion. It strengthened her enough that she was able to heap all the shame, fear , and confusion back on the man that was abusing me. It was empowering to paint this picture of the healing that had happened in therapy.
I often feel overwhelmed, especially when I'm facing yet another moved. I try to keep my chin up, above the water, but sometimes I'm just too tired to fight anymore and I feel like I'm drowning.
Betrayal: Healing Comes by Feeling
At the time I'm putting this up I'm living with someone who has flipped on me, showing me that they are not the abuse survivor advocate that they had portrayed themselves to be. The betrayal is deep. Deeper than the employer and his wife who scolded me for 3 hours in their office and then wanted to pray for me yet. It is deeper than the ladies in church I looked up to who then dropped me out of their lives when I could no longer attend church. Betrayal is real. And it wounds deeply. But there's hope when in the middle of the pain you are accepted, cared for, and treated with compassion because it allows you to heal. Read more here...
One time after a triggering session with my horse therapist I posted on social media asking for prayer that somehow God would carry me through this time because I'm so exhausted of people telling how I should try to heal. I got some supportive comments but I also got one saying that I should praise God and sing songs to Him. I replied that it seems like the person misunderstood what I meant that what would have helped more would've been a short prayer or comforting comment. Later on I saw yet another person had commented in agreement with this person and that they heard that it helped someone regroup if they worshiped God. As soon as I saw it I deleted my post because it literally felt like someone had dumped salt into my open wound. It reminded me of the verse in Proverbs 25:20 which says, "Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, and like vinegar on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart."