Art Therapy Trauma Healing

Trigger warnings.
If you have experienced trauma, you may get triggered here.
Also, there is art with swearing, so please do not continue if swear words offend you.

This year I ended a five-year abusive relationship.

I have had a lot of experience with abuse and narcissists in my life.

Through the healing process, a question came up:
How do I serve others with what I have learned in all this?
I have a tendency to learn and learn and then not share, so now I share.

Various sources told me to simply create healing art for a few weeks in September of 2017 and not do anything else.

Not easy for a workaholic.

As I have read the stories of others, it helped to feel better and get stronger to know I was not the only one going through these things.

This Art Therapy Trauma Healing journey has the goal that others will benefit by seeing and reading my process.

During this creative time, I was mostly quiet and contemplative, and not writhing around in an intense contorted rage.
The below is different from my usual art in that some of them are very dark and not ‘happy.’
The goal was not to make anything PRETTY or RIGHT, just to let the art and feelings flow.

I received many requests to post this art, and have been resistant to it because I am a private person.
It feels weird to publicly admit to ‘negative’ feelings.
Especially those around anger.
It needs to be more acceptable for us to feel and address all our feelings. both ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’.

Bringing the darkness into the light creates a better world.

The results of this healing art journey have been magnificent.
I feel calmer and happier.
More in love with and able to forgive myself.

September 10, 2017

The first day of my art therapy.

Remember, my rules are that I can’t make rules.

I don’t have to make anything representative or ‘right,’ just let what needs to flow flow.

Here I used India Ink. Except for these therapy sessions, I never use black in any paintings.

September 12, 2017

Sitting in a park in Greece, NY.
This painting turned out both sad and beautiful.
Here are some process pictures.

Warning: this one is not easy to see for some.

September 16, 2017

The tree was so fun to do.

You can kind of see the tree I was painting in the center of the picture of the field and blue sky if you look close.

I was in Braddock Bay Park by the hawk watching platform.

September 16, 2017

Had a hard time getting going today, but eventually mined up some juicy stuff.

September 17, 2017

 Some art to heal my body today.

I have had gall bladder and liver issues for a long time.
This art was to address the emotions around that.

Also a bit of rage action…

September 18, 2017

Today, I felt happy and had fun helping a friend.

September 19, 2017

A little art therapy mind mapping today. 🙂

September 21, 2017

This was because I have had to hear television more than usual.

September 22, 2017

A wonderful mix of loveliness today.

September 23, 2017

Banshee day.

September 24, 2017

Blobs and rage.

Dinner With Rage

The style of this is inspired by Matthew Inman at The Oatmeal

Resources

Book

There is so much out there now that says ‘everything is your fault.’
You must have attracted/wanted/asked for that bad situation/abuse, etc.

This began to frustrate me a lot every time I heard it.
I discovered a book called ‘It’s Not Your Fault’ by Patricia Romano McGraw

It describes scientifically what happens to a brain during a trauma.
The stories and science are powerful and helpful.
The solutions are lacking and it also seemed exclusive.

The book suggests you build a support network of a great therapist and friends who will be there for you.
Often, people who are healing trauma are poor and can’t afford a therapist long term, and/or not able to do this because of the dialogue in their heads.

The book also recommends connecting with a church group, and this leaves out those who are not religious.

Even with the setbacks, this book helped me to truly move forward more than many other things.

Another good article on how the ‘It’s All Your Fault’ concept can be harmful.

No more “You have to…”
An article I referred back to many times.

Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Why Can’t I Just Leave?

This article is helpful for those who are in an abusive relationship and for those who know someone who is.

Another thing that relates to the above that helped me was minimizing or stopping my contact with people who said or implied that ‘I have to get out of there.’
(“There” meaning the abusive relationship.)
This kind of non-acceptance from them, made me dig my heels in more.
The people who said something like ‘you are where you are at. You can do what is best for you. I believe in you.’ were the ones who helped me to leave the fastest.

We have to be okay with where we are at before we can get to where we want to go.
Sure…
You can force it
Beat it
Just do it
Hate it out of yourself,
…but, then it is likely that you will replace it with something else that is not nourishing for you.

EMDR therapy

EMDR Site link

Video link. You are not supposed to do EMDR alone, but if you are in a strong place, and have other support, it is very helpful.

EFT therapy

YouTube Channel of Brad Yates – a beautiful man and EFT practitioner.

Counseling

Intuitive Fish – Incredible intuitive counseling using astrology and tarot. I never had a tarot reading, and my experience with her changed my life.