These are a few more collages that I made in 2007. Geez, that feels like forever ago. I hardly even remember what my life was like then because it honestly was pretty chaotic. I had so much going on with my eating disorder and my self harm, lack of good therapy, being severely over medicated by my psychiatrist…things were pretty crazy. I used making collages as a safer form of self expression. When I wanted to cut myself, instead I’d grab a stack of magazines and just cut out words and pictures that jumped out to me. When I felt like I didn’t have a voice, like I couldn’t speak out my feelings and thoughts, they would come out through my collages. I think that using collage as a therapeutic art form was truly the beginning of using art as a form of healing. Within the past few years, I’ve definitely branched out in my artwork. I’ve learned how to paint, draw, make ceramics, make jewelry, and many other art forms.
This drawing represents the inner struggle I sometimes have with sensuality and sexuality. Because I was taught so many conflicting things about sex, sexuality, my control of my own body and pleasing others, I really struggle with this area of my life. There have been times when intimate moments are wonderful and amazing, but there have also been moments where they are filled with guilt and shame. When I was being sexually abused, I knew that it was wrong. It felt wrong to me. I knew that sex was something that only grown ups should have. But I was forced into it. It wasn’t fun. It was extremely painful, often causing hours, sometimes even days of pain following the episodes of abuse. Because our bodies are made to respond to sexual stimulation, I didn’t understand why it felt good sometimes. I thought that meant I liked it and wanted it. These are still thoughts that get all tangled up in my mind sometimes and I’m still working on these issues in therapy.
“Danger lurks in the shadows”
I was never really safe when he was there. I tried to hide, but he knew where to find me, it was as if he was a blood hound, out to track my scent. My house was not a safe place. I couldn’t hide in my bedroom, the playroom, the bathroom… Not even my toys were safe. He used them to hurt me too. My parents had no idea he was hurting me. I was forced into silence. They just thought he was a good guy. I mean, he was a student at the local Christian college, so I guess they just assumed that he was a good person. But that was all a lie. He was evil. He was a liar and a pedophile.
Meet my friend, Dudley. Dudley is the brave security guard that protects my little girl from being hurt. Yes, that’s right…my little girl. Not my daughter, but the version of me that lives inside of me who was the little girl who was so terribly abused. She lives in almost constant fear, sadness, anger and is always alone. She is scared to let anyone in because people hurt her. But now she has Dudley to protect her. In my mind, I kind of envision Dudley as Aslan, from The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. He’s kind and gentle with the little girl, but he’s fierce when it comes to guarding and protecting her. She can snuggle with Dudley, lean her head on his chest and feel him breathe when she feels like she can’t breathe. He’s soft and fluffy, but has strong muscles beneath his fur and she knows his sharp teeth can rip any predator apart. His roar and growl will scare anyone away, yet his purr comforts her.