I was just going through some of the images I’ve used on this blog. One of them is a the beginning of a “trauma egg” I posted to give people an idea of what they look like. It’s here.
So I’m looking at this drawing and thinking where the hell did I get that? Because even though it’s my handwriting and my drawing, that little cartoon is supposed to be my mother sitting in front of my father, who was standing. She’s smoking a cigarette and holding my sister on her lap. That’s me standing there (with no mouth) looking as bewildered as I can make myself look with my limited artistic skills. So where’s the dad? And who’s the other kid on my mother’s lap?
We did a fair amount of art therapy in treatment. I thought it was a bunch of hooey. As you know, I’m not much into that “touchy-feely” psychobabble but for that much money, I certainly wasn’t going to be there and not give everything, even the stupid stuff, 100% effort. I really, really wanted to get better and if that meant drawing then so be it. One of the things the therapists noticed about my art is that I always drew myself without a mouth. That was an important insight that I have since combined with my first sponsor’s admonition that FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS. So although I feel like I am voiceless, I’m not.
So one of the things I learned in art therapy is that I felt silenced or unheard. That was a helpful insight because that feeling leads me as an adult to overstate things because my initial assumption is that I wouldn’t be heard.
But the trauma egg I posted here is NOT the one I did in treatment. I made a new one and scanned it in just to illustrate how a trauma egg is done.
So I know it’s my drawing, but that’s not my mother. It can’t be. My mother only had two children. And she wasn’t smoking that day they told us they didn’t love each other any more and were getting divorced.
I think that’s me on the chair. Twice in my adult life I’ve needed help from a therapist and twice I’ve taken up smoking. Which means that’s my oldest daughter standing there with no mouth.
I have absolutely no idea how to process this. For now,
- I’m reminding myself that you can take the whole interpretation thing too far.
- Also, I do not HAVE to understand this.
- Feelings are not facts. Although I fear that I have somehow “tainted” my children, the fact is that my husband and I have broken a horrific cycle of addiction and abuse.
- There’s a lot of stuff for me to do today. I can put this aside and think about it later.