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"Painful" Art Prints

In Honor Of Every Abuse Survivor Who Chooses To Heal And Use Their Experiences To Make A Difference

watercolor girl with head in hands
watercolor broken  heart with salt being poured on

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...

No Voice

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...

watercolor person holding fireball

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.

watercolor exhausted person on hands and knees

Weary Spirit

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...

watercolor crying face being trampled under feet


I lived in a situation where there was a lady downstairs  who was very narcissistic. She wouldn't stop talking to me or respect my boundaries when I told her to leave me alone   or that I wasn't interested. I felt like I was being trampled. And it made me feel like I was the crazy one. Read more here...

watercolor scared girl hiding in corner of bedroom


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.

watercolor angry parent holding gift out of reach of broken hearted girl

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.

Salty Words On A Wounded Heart

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."

watercolor crying person

I Don't Know How To Be A Friend

Tonight I did something that I may have subconsciously vowed to never do again: give a thank you note to a coworker. Yesterday I was reading 2 books that talked about the 5 laws of stratospheric success in which the one law is about giving value to the other person. One of my coworkers is a bright spot on my work days and out of the blue invited me to her house for Thanksgiving even though she barely knows me. I was nearly moved to tears and as I thought of adding value to her life I decided to write her a note and let her know how much she is a blessing to me because how will she know if I don't tell her? But I was not prepared for the emotions and memories that would flood me and the faint hope of perhaps a real friend. Not only is it causing me to grieve the rocky relationship that I had with a former employer that later turned spiritually and emotionally abusive(which causes me a lot of struggles in the workplace and elsewhere) but it also reminds me of how many friends I thought I had in the past only to lose basically all. Thus the title for this painting...because in writing that little note I was freshly reminded of how little I know how to be a friend and how exhausted I am of trying to find friends and build relationships...and I wonder if I just let down the wall by writing that note only to have another relationship crumble before my eyes. I want to be a friend...but, really...I have no idea how to be one. And I grieve afresh of the many people who I once thought were my friends only to watch them turn their backs on me or just drop me out of their life...I don't know how to be a friend...I never learned how to have healthy    relationships...and that needs to be grieved...

watercolor person flattened by all the expectations placed on them I didn't expect anger loss grief fear

I Didn't Expect

I never expected to be the scapegoat of my family. I never expected losing so many friends like I have. Or being shunned. I never expected to go through 3 different church families and end up with none. I never expected that as I left the abusive and dysfunctional home of my parents that I would keep running into more abusive situations. I never expected to have to go no contact with my parents to save my sanity and mental health. I never expected to lose so much. I never expected...

watercolor girl in fetal position drowning


I often feel overwhelmed, especially when I'm facing yet another move.  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. 

watercolor girl on stretcher being carried down a path

Carried By Friends

In my last move out of an abusive situation I was so burnt out and exhausted that I just didn't know how I could do it. Thankfully I had a handful of friends who stepped in and helped. It truly  made me feel like I was being carried. The support I felt helped to carry me through. 

watercolor shy girl in armor

Careful Protector

This is the part of me that tries to protect me from more harm and abuse.It is the part that people see as quiet, shy, reserved. Most times that all that people see.  You can read more here.

watercolor girl and lioness escaping claws

Escaping The Claws of the Enemy

I was moving to another state , or getting ready to, and I was being harassed by a person who had one time been my closest  friend. When I had left my parent's church of which they were members, they wrote me one of the nastiest letters I ever got in my life. Now  7 years later they were reaching out to me saying they wanted to spend time with me again as though they were a long time friend as though they had never written me a letter. I knew they were close to my mom and I suspected that my mom was partly behind it because a year earlier I had cut contact with my mom but even that was not respected. In moving to another state and keeping my real address and  phone number from all but a few people, I felt as though I was escaping the claws of the enemy. Read  more here...

watercolor little girl throwing boulder on top of her abuser casting all the fear shame and confusion on my abuser where it belongs

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.

watercolor broken heart with top exploding

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...

watercolor ocean inside person's head

The Storm Inside

A little  bit ago in a therapy session a suppressed memory came to the surface of being pinned to the ground so I couldn't move and  raped as a four year old. Not only were the muscles of my body  sore for some time after that, but the emotions that raged on the inside were horrible.  As I struggled with the shock , the anger,  the fear  it was next to impossible to release the tears that kept pushing at my eyelids. I tried to paint how it felt: a survivor  trying to heal and go forward despite the  raging storm on the inside that wanted to be let out but could only come out with a few tears.  Read  more here...

watercolor shattered rose

The Shattered  Rose

Sometimes I feel like this.  I have all these dreams and visions of things I want to do with my life  to help make the world a better place. And I try to make a better life for myself only to end up in another abusive situation and it is very discouraging. I try to heal, to bloom, only to be shattered again.

watercolor girl in prison and table with food just out of her reach

Food Deprivation Harms

To read  about this painting and what  inspired it; feel free to read more here...

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