October 22, 2012

Good News!

First piece of good news - I have a guest article about art and trauma on Michele Rosenthal's PTSD website and blog: http://healmyptsd.com/2012/10/healing-art.html

Aaand  second piece of good news (with excellent timing in view of the first one) - I started drawing again!!

Desperate Pain

October 20, 2012
This drawing was a release of some of the strong emotions that I have been experiencing after some of my memories reintegrated with the feelings associated with them. Many of the memories I have are detached from many of the overwhelmingly strong emotions that I experienced when they were happening. Through various coping mechanisms, I managed to avoid feeling anything too scary for me, either at the time or after the fact. Though this was a good survival mechanism for a child, it turned into unhealthy coping and now it only does me harm. So even though it doesn't feel very good right now, it's actually a positive thing that I've started to feel the full extent of all of the fear, pain and helplessness associated with some of the memories. But I definitely needed a way to get some of it out of my head, so I'm glad that I finally listened to my therapist and picked up my pastels again.

October 11, 2012

Re-experiencing Feelings

I forgot to make a little celebratory post last month... It's been over a year of no cutting!! Something I'm actually kind of proud of... I still really really miss it sometimes and get urges, but I think of how long I've gone without and I don't want to start over. I can also see how not doing it has really improved my self-view in some aspects. I used to feel so horribly guilty about cutting and I would beat myself up about it and then that would make me want to cut more - it is just a really vicious circle of self-hatred and punishment.

I was actually struggling a lot with urges to hurt myself in the past month. I was feeling so helpless, not in control, and confused. Part of me kind of knew that I was going to remember something but I refused to accept that idea so I pushed it away and ignored any scary thoughts that I was having. But these memories always find some way to sneak   their way in... They wait until you're not expecting it and your walls are down - this one waited for me to be in the process of falling asleep to attack. Strangely though, once I remembered and figured out that the feelings I was having were my childhood feelings being re-experienced, I felt more in control and therefore I was having fewer urges to hurt myself. My therapist also had me think about what happened from an outside perspective so that I could see that it makes sense for me to be feeling trapped and confused because what happened is just too much for a child to handle. So even though I hate having this memory in my head and it makes me feel horrible, I can tolerate having it because I understand why it's making me feel bad and I can recognize what I'm going through emotionally.

I am thinking about starting up some art again. My therapist has been trying to convince me that I should because it has always been a good coping skill for me. It would probably be a good thing at this point to find an outlet for the scary feelings.