For the past couple of months I’ve been working with an excellent trauma coach to release past trauma from my body. Trauma gets stored in the nervous system, and can contribute to all sorts of physical and emotional complaints.
I’ve had health issues for most of my life that seem to stem from an oversensitivity to everything — foods, chemicals, electromagnetic radiation, the environment, sounds, touch, smells, etc. I react to everything, and my body goes haywire producing a plethora of painful and debilitating symptoms.
New scientific research has discovered that the likely cause of this sort of overreaction is past trauma. Even though I’m not consciously aware of the trauma, it’s apparently affecting my body.
In my case, I don’t remember any big trauma in my life. We all have traumas that we have to deal with, and I’m no different in that way. Since I don’t have any memory of major trauma, my trauma coach suggested that I use art therapy as a way to explore unconscious feelings.
I decided to use collage as my medium for the exploration, because there are so many wonderful images in magazines that evoke emotion. I looked for images that spoke to me, and then built each piece around a central theme.
These pieces are each 14 x 11 inches, collage on wood panel. I used the symbol of the heart to depict love and compassion for myself while dealing with difficult circumstances. Hearts often appear in my collage work. Click on the images to see them in a browser.
This first piece speaks to a feeling of being between worlds — one foot in this world, and one foot somewhere else. Not being fully present. Maybe not of this world, or not fully incarnated.
The second piece is about being a lone voice in a lonely world. Not believed, not heard, not seen and not understood. Feeling alone. The sanded-down text and splatter in the background is the noisy chatter of the outside world around me.
The final piece is hard for me to even look at, and I debated whether or not to use this image. It’s a pig in a stockyard squeezed into a tiny space with a lot of other pigs. That’s how these animals are treated and raised. It’s painful for me to see, but I used it because it’s a powerful image about suffering. The look on the pig’s face breaks my heart.
I think the trauma release work is helping in a way that no other treatment has. I feel like I have more energy and less pain, and I’m hopeful that I might someday be able to have a more normal life.
Have you ever used art as therapy to help you understand your emotions? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us hin the comments section below.
With love and appreciation,