Telling Stories

When I first started to talk about the trauma I experienced, I learned who my friends were. They were the people who listened without judging. Who held my hand when I was panicking or so depressed that I saw very little light. They were the ones who called to check on me and sat with me. There were very few of them.

I would talk about what happened. And in the beginning there felt like there was no filter. I would just say things about what happened. Whatever was most pressing. It was as though I was a kettle under pressure and steam, or stories, kept bubbling out. I could not hold things inside. And that scared people. It would have scared me.

But after a while that intensity passed. I had told parts of my story. Everyone has a story. Everyone is a story. Our lives are stories. Fiction is lives and stories that have been made up. When we talk to people about what we are doing we are telling a story. When you have had trauma you hold on to the story. And sometimes for me the story was so much a part of my life that it felt like it was always there. That passed after awhile.

Some of the hardest stories. The ones that contained the most secrets were the ones that stayed there the longest. Stayed in the darkness the longest. And preyed on the bits of light that came near it. These are some of the stories that I let out when I created the quilt. While I was working on them and designing the different petals I struggled. Struggled to bring them into the light and out of the dark part of my mind. And when I had finished one of the drawings I was so overcome by the amount of hidden secrets that I had just brought into the light that I vomited. I felt the darkness of the secrets that I had held for so long purge themselves from my body.

And then there was a lightness.

The story was out. The tales were told. There are still some things that pop up and gaps that are filled in. But generally the story came through and found the light.

We are all stories. We all tell stories. And some of our stories are very hard. But there are people who listen and people who do not. And there are people who help us feel whole again.


Expressive Art 2

Due to the fact that I am not as fast with the computer at home due to having antiquated dial up Having a picture in the blog is taking me some difficulty.

I wanted to share this picture. This is my trauma quilt. I made this as my final project for my BA. What it is is a representation of my trauma and healing. It is a small picture so you can’t see all the details. In the center of the flower is inner strength. There is a flower with a Chrysalis on it and some emerging butterflies. The petals of the flower all represent traumatic events. The vines coming off of the petals all have something written on them. I wrote all the various symptoms of my PTSD. The butterflies represent the healing. Written on each butterfly is something that helps me. Some of those things are prayer, family, meditation and chocolate shows up twice.

Making this quilt was a huge moment of healing for me. It told stories that I had never told before. Other than at the college I have not displayed it. So this is its otherwise maiden voyage. Later I will post close up pictures of it.

Art is an amazing avenue toward healing. Through art things that I cloud not say came through in beautiful healing colors.