August 25, 2009

 

Beauty for the Dark Journey

As I said in my "August Angst" post below, my plans with my therapist were to deal with the back-to-school trauma memories head on. I've been successful at doing this and have been able to avoid any really big firefighter dissociative episodes, hospital stays or running away in dissociative fugues. But, it has been a dark, ugly journey into the painful abyss.

Some of my pampering and comforting rituals have not been working lately. I had to cancel a massage appointment last week because I just couldn't bare the thoughts of anybody touching me.

What has worked, however, is I've been clinging to beauty. Visits to the Denver Botanic Garden, growing things in my own garden, sitting in my backyard sanctuary and listening to a soothing CD called "Peaceful Garden" have all helped when the emotions that have surfaced from memory processing have left me ragged and raw.

I've also been quite productive over at Polyvore with art therapy collages. Here's the one that prompted this update post.


Beauty For The Dark Journey
Beauty For The Dark Journey by Marj aka Thriver on

When I couldn't muster up the courage to visit my massage therapist last week, I decided to go "inside" and see what the fear was about and who was upset. I made the "mistake" of saying, "If I don't know who you are and where you are, I can't come and rescue you and help you feel better..." something like that. I immediately heard this little voice in my head cry out, "But, I don't know where I am!" Oh, Lordy!

I was in a panic as to how I would do my little visualization rescue technique with my therapist the next day, if I didn't have a firm "place" to go and rescue this little inner child part of myself. It's been fairly easy up to now as I just visualize returning to the house I lived in for the first 10 years of my life. But, recently, I've been retrieving ghastly memories of abuse that took place away from the "home."

I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I calmed every body down as best as I could and tried to reason that my therapy session was just a day away and I could wait. In the meantime, art therapy at Polyvore came through for me again. I created this collage as a visual representation of my commitment to find this little lost part.



I Will Find You
I Will Find You by Marj aka Thriver on Polyvore.com

As it turned out, the horrifying memory I'd been dreading was of abuse that took place at the school where my father taught for years. I was in the shower area of a locker room with no windows. It was very dark in there and that's why this part wasn't sure, at first, where she was.

I won't go into the gory details, but I believe there were some drugs involved in my abuse at this time. When I awoke in the dark, I was disoriented and thought for a moment that maybe I was dead. When I realized that I wasn't--I was very much alive--I was devastated. Maybe this was the first time in my life that I became suicidal, I don't know. But, what I do know is that my parents did, indeed, thoroughly break me. I hadn't been able to admit this to myself up to this point. I had thought I was stronger than that.

This realization is devastating for me. But, again, it opens up the channels of grief. And feeling the feelings is, as always, the key to my healing. So, I'm doing a lot of that. And, at the same time, I'm clinging to any comfort and beauty I can find. Right now, as a matter of fact, I'm listening to a track on my "Peaceful Garden" CD called "Tranquility." I have to have some beauty and tranquility to hold on to as I face my brokenness.


Hiding
Hiding by Marj aka Thriver on Polyvore.com

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Comments:
I'm sorry about the new memories. I hope now that they have surfaced you'll find some healing.

I do love that first piece of art work. Thanks for sharing.
 
And thank YOU, Enola. I so appreciate your support.
 
The memories are so hard to contend with, but necessary to retrieve and process.

It sounds as if you're doing a good job of working through your traumas, and being there for your parts. Your art is beautiful and so expressive of your haunting pain.

Keep up the good work!
 
Wow, I'm touched. Thanks for saying that, Beauty.
 
Glad you have found a way to express yourself. Your work speaks volumes.
Yes thats me in the lavender - and the smell is very relaxing.
 
Casdok: thanks for popping over here with a supportive comment. That's so nice of you! Maybe some day I'll get a chance to get to those lavender fields!
 
Hey there girly. I am so so proud of you. You just don't even know. You are so a fighter and someone I"m proud to call a friend. You're taking the steps required to ultimately find a balance in life. Its scary...uncomfortable...and hard but you're doing it!

I too have been clinging to beauty lately. funny you mention that. I have been living by the river these days. As soon as my work day is over I walk outside, down the levy and plop down on the river bank.

You are thought of often my friend. I'm sorry I haven't been around as much as I'd like, but you are always in my thoughts and prayers.
 
I think of you so often too, Jade, and wish you well. Plopping down on the river bank sounds heavenly! :)
 
Oh wow, I am at a loss for words dear one!!!

I am sorry for your recent painful memories. So glad that you have an outlet where you can express your pain through your art!! Wonderful!

I admire your bravery dear one and support you 100% in your journey.

Much hugs and blessings!!!
 
JBR: The journey that you are on isn't exactly easy, either. And I support you 100% on yours as well.
 
The art is amazing. You have such a great gift of putting feelings that have no words into such an imaginative medium.

I am so sorry that new memories are surfacing, but it sounds as if you are allowing them to not take you over. You are taking care of yourself and reminding us all how strong you are!
 
i am so sorry for your terrible childhood pain

Amelia
 
Your art holds so much emotion and beauty to me. It always stirs something up within me when I view it.

Beauty, especially related to nature, can certainly be healing.

Goodness, those memories and that processing does seem very painful! I'm so sorry you went through so much when you were young. I'm glad that you have been working your way through it, freeing yourself from that darkness. Take care! <3
 
Lisa Marie: thank you for your thoughtful comment. Some days I don't feel strong, but I appreciate the reminder that I am.

Amelia: Thanks for commenting, sweetie. I'm sorry for you pain, too.

IK: I hope the beauty of nature can be healing for you, too. You take care as well <3
 
dear marj~ thank you for sharing some of what you've been going through and how you have found ways to comfort all the parts of you. you are so brave and such an inspiration~ i'm so glad you have found art and nature.

but i'm so sorry you've had to face such horrible experiences in your life at all and that you feel broken. it sounds like you are grieving and healing.

((safe hugs)) - hmm, i almost typed ((sage hugs)) - i suppose you might appreciate both kinds :) unless you're still feeling the need for no contact, even virtual, which i completely understand and relate to. i think it's wonderful you are honoring that need to keep your body to yourself. that is very important when we are feeling unsafe and overwhelmed by memory.

sending loving support~
 
New memories are the worst and it seems they keep coming. I am here for you. You art work is very revealing of the healing that is going on.
 
Mama: Thanks for the support AND the hugs. No, I'm okay with touch again now. As a matter of fact, my neck is killing me and I called my massage therapist yesterday but she hasn't called me back. Pooey! :P

Wanda: Thanks for being here for me. I so appreciate you.
 
Marj,
I am sending all of the tender feelings of my heart through this web of friendship we weave here across the miles, to you and sweet little marj. I love hearing about the things you do to comfort yourself.
I can't thank you enough for sharing your experiences, I know that you know they are helpful to others but really Marj, you are so courageous and bring so much light with you.
Loving your art, I really need to try that. I have been doing other art that comforts me, but I am drawn to this.
I wanted you to know that I started commenting back on my blog, I had never done that before and realized how much I look forward to others comments back and I wanted to do the same.

 
{{{{{Marj}}}}}
 
I've arrived to this blog by searching about "the silence" and related to sexual abuse in childhood.

My story, abused by my 4 years older broher for a few days, compared to so many other stories, (too many), isn't "as bad". At first my memories were weak and, slowly, came clearer. Lately, I've recognized, trough this new way to past, I was excited, and I used to think I never liked what happened to me. It makes my feel so bad...

My psicologist (almost my 2nd year with her) says everyone need a different time to recall all those bad memories. So, it would mean that you are now capable to support this taking out of new trash from your inside.

Forgive me for writing so strange. I'm spanish.
 
Vicki: Thank you so much for your heart-felt message. If you ever get over to Polyvore and you want some help navigating around, just let me know. And I'm glad you're commenting back at your blog. You take the time to put up such well-thought out comments. It's the least I can do to comment back.

EH: Appreciating those hugs!

Carlos: I understood your writing quite well. Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment. If I were you, I wouldn't think of my abuse as "not that bad." I've found over the years that trauma is trauma and you still need to heal...you really can't compare it to anybody else. I wish you well on your healing journey.
 
Marj, your artwork is amazing in its beauty and shows your feelings so well. Like everyone else, I just want to put my arms around you and hold you until you feel safe. We all need that love sometimes.

I will think of you as my husband and I pass through Denver in a few weeks on our way out west to visit our daughter.
 
Oh! Thank you so much, Patricia. You're sweet and I appreciate you!
 
Marj, I can see you are a really strong woman. Such memories would haunt anyone, I wish that your wounds heal soon. I admire your strength. Your art is excellent in its expression and meaning
 
(((Marj)))
 
You are a beautiful person. It shows from every nook and cranny of your virutal world.
 
You know intuitively what to do for yourself--cancel the massage appointment, surround yourself with things of beauty, take care of that hurt self inside. Good for you! I'm so sorry there are such memories for you. ((((((hugs))))))
 
Josephine & M.E.: Thank you for your thoughtful comments and thanks for visiting.

Cassie: So nice to "see" you! Always love those hugs, thanks!

April: You have such a wonderful way of helping me feel like I'm doing the right and healthy thing. Thank you for being you!
 
I love your art work Marj. You are very talented.

And I love your courage too.
 
This is great you are creating at Polyvore. I set up an account there and can't quite get the hang of it yet. But, hopefully, I will. For some reason I feel like a complete moron.
 
Wow, Kahless! I'm touched by your comment. Thank you.

Paul: Oh, I'm so glad you're going to give Polyvore a try! When I posted my first Polyvore collage ("sets" they call them there) it was the last day of March and the final product was less than artistic. But, I've come a long way, I think, in the last five months. The trick is to get LOTS of images in your items file so you have lots to work with. If you need any help, just give me a private message (pm) over there. I may just look you up any way. ;)
 
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