September 28, 2011

Expressing Some Anger

Fuck You, You Creepy Pervert

August 18, 2011
I wanted to try to direct some of my anger in the right direction rather than at myself. This was an attempt at allowing myself to be angry with an abuser. It felt good drawing it so I guess it was a step in the right direction.

September 25, 2011

A Motif

My Cave - Let Me the Fuck Out

August 15, 2011
The title of this pretty much speaks for itself. I feel like I'm in a disgusting dark cave and I can't find the exit. I can see light through some cracks but I have no idea how to get up there. It seems caves are becoming a recurring theme for me since I have a few drawings now depicting how I feel like my mind is a gross cavern that I'm trapped in.

September 24, 2011


These were both drawn at the DBT partial program that I went to. I used a different type of oil pastel, which is why they look a little bit different. They were much softer and easier to blend, but there were less color choices.

Good vs Bad

August 12, 2011
 I had folded the paper in half for this one. Originally I only intended it to be the left half, but when I folded it on itself the color imprinted on the other half and I liked the effect it created. In the original drawing I was trying to create the battle in my head between positive thoughts and negative thoughts. The red, purple and black colors are representative of the self-destructive thoughts that I have and the brighter blue, green and yellow are representative of the positive DBT thoughts I was trying to keep in my head.

August 12, 2011
Emotion Fireworks

This drawing (which is on the opposite side of the right half of the drawing above) just represents how my thoughts are uncontained and my emotions go all over the place. It's almost like an explosion of thoughts and feelings sometimes.

September 21, 2011

My Voice

August 5, 2011
...For Once

So I guess I have a lot of anger from not feeling like I'm being heard. This drawing is expressing my anger at not having a voice in many different situations - with my parents, at work with my boss, and during the abuse in my childhood. Mainly, I was trying to get out some of my frustration at how communication and expression of feelings with my parents is very hard (and still is, but has improved). Most importantly, I was trying to give my six to ten year-old self a voice. I needed someone to listen to me. I needed the abusers to stop and they wouldn't listen. I needed someone to help me and no one could listen.

September 18, 2011

Before and After

At the end of July, I had a really bad night in which I attempted suicide. Basically I was drunk, hysterically crying for a little while, and then finally just sick of feeling like shit all the time and didn't care what happened to me anymore so I took a lot of pills. This ended me up in the emergency room for a day and a half, the hospital for 10 days, and a partial program for DBT for the remainder of August. I found the hospital and the partial program SO helpful. Before the whole experience, I was so scared of ever being hospitalized - I thought that it would mean that I was a failure and that I was disappointing people, including myself, if I had to go. I just couldn't let that happen - but I'm really really glad that it did happen. There was nothing scary about being there at all and the resources that I was provided with were amazing. They helped adjust my medications, they gave me tons of new coping skills, and I met and talked with so many amazing people that understood and related to what I was going through.

But back to the sticky stuff: I have two drawings that relate to my experience with attempting suicide from before and after that night. They are both pretty hard for me to explain. When I'm overwhelmed, I tend to not know how to describe my feelings and so I put them on paper instead.

July 25, 2011

This was from five days before I had my meltdown. I was very quickly going downhill at that point. Or maybe I was already at the bottom of the hill and just needed to be a little drunk to snap. But anyways, I was feeling hopeless and exhausted and unable to fight any more. This was all I could draw before I just stopped because I didn't care enough to make it look any better. 


August 2, 2011
I drew this on my first full day in the hospital. This one I find hard to explain because I can't really remember any of my thought process behind it. I was in such an overwhelmed state that I was pretty dazed for the first few days of being in the hospital. I just started drawing and this is what came out.

Suicide Hotlines

September 15, 2011

I Used DBT Skills!

I'm not looking forward to explaining my next two pieces of art. So instead of posting those today, I'm going to rant about how stressful my job is right now and brag about how I threw DBT skills at everything! Yay!! Don't worry - there will still be a pretty picture.

I love my job - I work in a neuroscience lab as a research assistant and I have a wonderful coworker. However, like any other job, it has its downfalls. Example: We don't have a bathroom that we can access without actually leaving the building that we work in and going outside.... bad weather is not fun for us.

Today had EXTRA craziness! My coworker and I were at the epicenter of some company drama! Basically, there are some safety issues in our lab that we asked to be addressed. Apparently I work with a bunch of children because we got the cold shoulder for pointing out that we have a right to a safe work environment. And now the whole thing is getting twisted to make us seem like the bad guys. The rest of the story is very complicated soooo long story short - really stressful day at work.

BUT I used DBT skills! Yay! So now I'm going to talk about some skills that I find useful in stressful work situations! And maybe you will too!

1. I self-soothed! 
  • I changed my desktop background to a neuron because it's pretty and cool and nice to look at:
  • I bought a bag of candy and ate some. Yum.
2. I used interpersonal effectiveness skills!
  • I asked for what I needed at work and was assertive and confident. Even when I was being ignored I continued to ask for what I needed and attempted to negotiate. Too bad they couldn't be as professional.
3. I increased positive emotions!
  • I found something to look forward to: It was my birthday in the past few weeks and my brother sent me a present in the mail that arrived today. So I spent the second half of my day focusing on what awesome thing he might have sent me.
  • I used humor with my coworker to make fun of the situation rather than getting discouraged by it.
In conclusion, DBT sometimes pisses me off, but it's actually pretty helpful. And maybe I'll draw something based off of this situation... not promising anything though.

September 12, 2011

Childhood Fears

After I did the happy memory piece of art, it brought up some other memories of being anxious during the same time period so I decided to do a little series of some of my weird childhood anxieties and fears.

July 18, 2011

Anxiety at the Cape

While I was drawing the joy that I used to feel when I went on vacation as a kid I also thought of the nights on vacation when I couldn't sleep and I didn't know how to cope with any of the feelings that would come up. I would lie in bed and stare at the ceiling and count to ten over and over again as fast as I could. And I would count how many times I counted to ten by tens... My goal was to count to a billion. That definitely did not happen but I did get to thirty-something thousand before I got sick of it and it was stressing me out more than helping me.



July 24, 2011

So when I was five, we went to California and we took a tour of Alcatraz. Aaaand it freaked me the fuck out. There's a photo of me with my brother behind bars where I look completely miserable... being in that cell haunted me for a long time. I had this absurd fear for a while afterwards that I was actually stuck in Alcatraz and that I was dreaming my real life. I was a weird kid. But it sort of reflects how I felt a year later when the abuse started - completely trapped while still living my life.

July 25, 2011

Always Watched

One of my weird anxieties that resulted from the abuse was a fear of being secretly videotaped in private places, like when I was in the shower or going to the bathroom. (Never watch 'The Truman Show' if you already have that fear...) I still always look around in public restrooms to see if there's somewhere a camera could be hidden even though I know how unlikely it is. I tried to represent that fear with a giant ugly eyeball that's watching and hanging over me all the time.

September 10, 2011

Happy Art!

Another parent influenced piece of art... This time it was my dad's suggestion to draw a good memory instead of all of the dark stuff I usually do. So I believe (though I'm not entirely sure) that this drawing is their favorite. However, it's actually a lot harder for me to draw something that expresses joy rather than painful feelings, so this is the only drawing so far that I have like that.

July 16, 2011

Happiness on the Cape

Some of the best memories of my childhood that I have are from being on vacation with my family. I would get incredibly excited for vacations because 1) it was a VACATION! and 2) for me, it meant being safe for a while. So being at the beach with my parents and brother are my favorite and most vividly happy childhood memories.

September 9, 2011

Something a Little Bit Different

At one point I was complaining a lot about how I was running out of pastels and I wanted to buy more but I was being too lazy to go out and find some. My mother very kindly bought me some in order to surprise me. However, she mistook a box of soft pastels for oil pastels, and those are actually very different. But I tried them out anyways and this is the product of that attempt...

July 14, 2011

Longest River

It's simple since it was my first time drawing with soft pastels. The river represents the long journey of dealing with PTSD and how it's like swimming against the current in painful red water. The sky is ominous and dark, which represents how easy it is to lose hope because it's hard to see clearly and it's especially hard to see the end of the journey.

September 7, 2011

Up for Interpretation

I kind of started branching out on the style of my drawings so the following two are a little more bold and controlled looking than what I had been doing before. They are also mostly up for your own interpretation - even to me they represent many different things. 

July 2011

While drawing this I was mainly attempting to create lightening-bolt cracks coming out from a bunch of ugly emotions and disgusting feelings and how everything can shatter from that. But I'm not really sure what it ended up being and I think I like it better not being able to explain it.

July 7, 2011

A Punch in the Stomach

I swear that all I was trying to draw here was the sense of being punched in the stomach as a visceral reaction to having intrusive memories... however there are some very obvious sexual "undertones" going on, but I'm just going to leave it at that.

September 5, 2011

A Little Bit of Chaos

July 4, 2011

Temporary Release

I scribbled this picture out when I was feeling frustrated. You can see some anger in red underneath. But then I covered it all up and hid it under black scribbles since anger makes me feel uncomfortable.

Windy Seas

July 4, 2011
 I didn't like this picture that much when I first drew it, but it's grown on me a little bit since then. I was trying to draw the sea in strong winds since I had just gone on a trip where I experienced that on a boat. I feel like it also represents the chaos of emotions that I was feeling on that trip and how strongly those feelings are whipped around inside of me and how they make me feel like I don't have much control over them.

September 3, 2011

Keeping Things In

To make up for posting some art that I don't like on Thursday, I'm going to post some that I like today. The second one is one of my favorites - it's one of the few times a drawing has come out like I had pictured it beforehand.

This drawing represents the cave where I keep all of the shame and humiliation stored away. I keep it hidden deep inside so that no one can see it. There's so much humiliation and disgust that it's dripping from the ceiling.


This is the pressure that builds up inside of me from keeping everything in. All of the feelings grow and grow until there's too much pressure and the walls start to break and everything starts to fly out and creates an overwhelming whirlwind.

September 1, 2011


I am 79.6% sure that life is just fucking with me right now. So, going with today's general theme of shit, I'm going to post a few pictures that I don't really like all that much but I feel that I can't just leave them out of the blog.


This is a bunch of "negative" emotions all imploding inwards on me.

This represents the crack that spirals out into something huge and then everything shatters into a huge meltdown.

It looks like a uvula. But it's not. This is simply pain and sadness leaking out because there's too much for it to all stay inside.