October 31, 2011


Excuse my extended absence from posting. My therapist and I decided it would be a good idea if I went for a stay in the hospital. Unfortunately I do not have my own computer right now and so I am unable to post any new pictures. I am doing lots of drawing though, so I'll have lots of new ones once I'm outta here!

October 24, 2011


This post may be triggering for some people - please be careful reading it as there is mention of self-injury as well as strong language.

There are thoughts that poison me. I was trying to draw a picture and it wasn't turning out anything like I wanted it to. I was angry. I scribbled words of hate towards myself all over it. Logically I know that they aren't true but these are the irrational thoughts in my head that drive my self-injury.

September 24, 2011

The green swirls represent despair. The red line through the middle is self-injury. It was hard to see the words so I shone a light behind the drawing when I scanned it. Again, please don't read below if you think you may be triggered by it as it contains strong language.

The words are:

"Failure. You can't do anything right."

"You are disgusting. Everybody HATES you. You are completely worthless. Who the fuck do you think you are? You don't deserve anything good. Cut cut cut cut cut cut cut."


"What the fuck is the point?"


"Disgusting little bitch."

"This is too hard. You aren't strong enough to fight it. Give up give up give up give up."

"Cut Cut Cut."

"Whore. Idiot. Cut cut cut cut."

"Everyone hates you. They can't stand you."

October 21, 2011


This drawing is a little bit different for me. This is the first time I've drawn something that represents specific trauma memories.

With PTSD, sometimes an event may be imprinted vividly into your memory and sometimes it may be stored separately and you may not even remember it at all until something triggers it. I struggle with accepting the way that the brain processes the traumatic events even though it is part of the diagnostic criteria of PTSD (an inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma - called dissociative amnesia) and is a well researched aspect. It feels so strange to me that I wouldn't have remembered it before, but I guess my inability to accept it is some sort of protective mechanism in which I'm trying to not deal with the memories even when they finally come into consciousness. I have such a hard time with it that I hate even writing them down because I'm worried that they aren't real and that if I write them out I might be crazy for writing down things that aren't real. So I drew this picture as a way to get the memory out without having to write all the details.


September 12, 2011
It's hard to explain this without going into a little bit of detail, but I'm going to try to explain it as generally as possible (because I'm too scared to share it all). Basically this represents a few memories of trying to clean every nook and cranny of myself, at the request of a perpetrator, after sexual abuse. I feel anxious even writing that much, but there we go. I drew water flowing over contamination, but there's so much internal contamination that it's impossible to wash it all away.

This drawing actually had a predecessor that didn't turn out the way I needed it to. This is the original that I didn't like.

September 9, 2011


You can see the same idea behind this, but I didn't think it adequately expressed the memories. And then I used a different fixative than I usually do that made some frosty looking streaks. So I decided to redraw it with a different style.

October 19, 2011


I've finally started getting around to reformatting my blog and changing things around so that it's more "me". So the background is now actually a small section of one of my drawings. (Bonus points to whoever can figure out which one!) Just be warned that I may still change some things around.

You also may have noticed that I am now Kate "Storm". I decided that a pseudonym would be a good idea since it looked a little weird authoring everything as just 'Kate S'. My roommate and I spent a good chunk of time picking it out. We finally settled on 'storm' because of how storms can represent emotional turbulence or chaos but at the end of a storm there is a sense of renewal. So I felt that it was fitting in that it relates to how dealing with PTSD is difficult but there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

It also coincided with a drawing that I had done a few days prior...


October 2, 2011
This one started with just the dark blue sky and black sea to represent pure depression and despair. It seemed to be missing something, so I added in the lightening to represent the destructiveness of depression. It didn't really turn out how I intended but I like how powerful it looks.

Hope you like the changes on the blog!

October 17, 2011


September 4, 2011
 All Better

I was feeling pretty pissed off at feeling so depressed and anxious all of the time when I drew this one. This is a big infected wound that no one can fix - so there's just a piece of duct tape slapped on to keep it together. The drawing is mostly a bit of "willfulness" towards DBT skills. It's very frustrating that nothing can really give quick and lasting relief from depression or PTSD, so it feels almost like the skills that we were taught in the DBT program were like being given a little Band-Aid for a gaping wound.

October 14, 2011

Inserting Hope

A lot of my drawings are expressions of pain, sadness, fear, anger and humiliation... All of these are pretty unpleasant emotions. While in the DBT program, I tried to create something with more positive feelings, so I drew something from the "other side" of things. I figured this is a good time to post this picture since I'm struggling right now and I need to find some more hope in my life.

Love Penetrates

August 26, 2011
I tried to draw how love can pierce through dark shameful feelings and start to break them up. I didn't want to just draw something that was joyful and happy like I did before (here) - I wanted something more realistic. I drew something that shows both pleasant and unpleasant feelings. It's always this battle between them and the hope is that the positive will overcome the negative.

October 11, 2011

Art Therapy: Bonus!

A Thing I Made...

The Front

The Back

I have no idea what I was supposed to be making. I was all dissociativey when I walked in on art group and all I wanted was ice cream with Oreos, but, since art group was taking place in the kitchen, I couldn't eat so I did this instead. It has pockets. And it's labelled with different emotions. I don't know what to put in them though. Any ideas???

October 10, 2011

Art Therapy Part 2: Partial Program

This is part two of the art I have done in therapy. These two are from the DBT partial program that I went to. You can see part 1 here, which includes art from while I was inpatient.

August 16, 2011
Moss on a Rock

The theme for this was to draw something that you feel represents you in nature. I drew moss on a rock. I can't really remember why... I think I was trying to show that I grow on hard surfaces and can thrive in the darker places but I'm also stuck there because moss can't really survive in the really sunny areas.

August 23, 2011

Safety Mask

This one scares me a little bit. The theme here was to draw how you represent yourself to the world and how you feel you really are. So my mask has this giant fake smile but it just looks very empty in the eyes and mouth. The blues and yellows represent the happy, calm exterior that I show to everyone around me. All around the mask is what I'm covering up - the pain and sadness and anger that is now leaking out from behind the mask because there's too much of it to hide anymore. Again, my scanner didn't like all of the oranges I used so it just looks very red...

October 8, 2011

Art Therapy Part 1: Inpatient

While I was in the hospital I went to a few art therapy groups. The groups had a theme so each of these pieces is rushed and based on what we were told to think about - but they were helpful for me in that they brought emotions to the surface that needed to come out.

August 2, 2011

 Ta Da!

The theme for this collage was to find an object, image and place and put them together to create one idea. This represents me holding everything together in a difficult environment and pretending everything is OK, and yet I'm still judging myself and believing that it's not enough. The woman is holding up a hot iron in a uninhabitable environment. She is obviously struggling with it but still has a strained looking smile on her face. The cloud, which represents my inner critic, is looking disapprovingly down on her.

August 8, 2011
Three Doors

The theme for this was to draw three doors that represent different parts of yourself. I chose to draw three that represented my journey of healing. The first door is Denial: It is showing how up until last year I pretty much refused to accept that anything was wrong and that anything bad had happened. I wanted everything to be OK so I shut all of my memories and negative emotions behind a big heavy door that is bolted shut. The second door is Flooding: It is kind of what I'm dealing with now. I can't deny all of the feelings and memories any more and they are scary, uncontained and chaotic. It is more of a door frame because I don't feel in control of what's on the other side and it's leaking out towards me. The third door is Finding Hope: I wasn't exactly sure how to draw hope since I don't really have a huge amount of hope (I do have some). I kind of drew it as a bright pathway into lightness but it's smaller than the other two doors since I'm not sure how to get there.

Containment Box

August 8, 2011
After drawing the three doors I was pretty upset and feeling overwhelmed after explaining the Flooding door. The art therapist suggested that I draw some sort of container for the feelings so that I don't feel as overwhelmed by them. So I drew a combination of the three doors. The first door makes up the strong box in which to keep the feelings in the second door. However, there is a release valve so that they don't get too built up and I can deal with small amounts at a time. On the outside of the box, I used some of the colors that I used for the Hope door.

October 3, 2011


This is exactly where I am right now....

A Difficult Valley

August 20, 2011
A representation of feeling stuck and depressed. Really feeling lost in that valley right now - I feel like it's sucking me down. 

October 1, 2011

PTSD is Sneaky

Self-Destructive Serpent

August 19, 2011
PTSD likes to mess with your head and does it in super sneaky ways. So this is the snake of self-destruction because it disguises the fact that I'm feeling so depressed and sad because I'm actually very angry. The red and orange at the top represent the underlying anger. The snake represents feelings of worthlessness that make me direct the anger inwards. The blues and purples represent the sadness and depression that are a result of that. And the black represents the despair and the self-destructive urges that I get.

As a side note: Sometimes my HP home scanner doesn't like my drawings all that much and unfortunately this drawing was just too intense for it to handle...  Basically all of the top looks red when really there are a lot more oranges and yellow in it - but I guess this is the general idea of what it really looks like.