Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In which I confess to you all that I haven't been painting

... becauseI am really really struggling right now.

Kind of ironic, huh? Especially considering the fact that I just showed you all yesterday a video tour of my home studio storeroom that is literally packed (almost) floor-to-ceiling with enough raw art materials to last me if ever there was some crazy visual art holocaust that wiped out any source of visual art supplies for the rest of time and space.

A very old piece that I started and never finished because I would do anything to forget it and what inspired it.
I would tell you that I don't know why my life is like this - why I hit this severe and (honestly) debilitating creative blocks that make it darn near impossible for me to look at a paintbrush much less pick one up and put it to canvas but telling you all of this would hardly be any kind of real disclosure. So you want it? OK. Here it goes:

I am a survivor of severe trauma from my childhood years that resulted in me being diagnosed with PTSD about six years ago that got so bad that I had to quit "life" (meaning: I couldn't work a job and I had to move back home for about half a year) so that I could undergo intensive outpatient treatment in the way of multiple layers of therapy - both cognitive-behavioral and psychiatric.

I won't go into the nature and details of the trauma but I will tell you it was related to very severe abuse at the hands of multiple individuals who were entrusted to care for me during numerous occasions during my early years of childhood. Those people did everything else but anything trust worthy (involving me) and this includes robbing me of the innocence and purity that is being an unassuming little girl. (Read between the lines with all of this and I can guess that you still won't be able to imagine the horrors of all that I am alluding to. Seriously. It was horrific.) While the guilty parties are not in my life now or recently and haven't been for quite some time, I still have to deal with a multitude of consequences that have ensued because of the things they did to me. And it's only because of my faith in a sovereign and merciful God and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that has put me back together (time and again) and continues to fill me with the healing that I struggle with every day (for probably) the rest of my life.

Is all of this surprising to you? Perhaps it's not. I mean, it's my understanding that many artists - whether visual, musical, performance, literary, etc. - commonly struggle with severe madness within their lives deriving from outside of themselves and also coming from within.

I'm not sure why I am sharing any of this with you all. For the record: this isn't the first time I have done this and I don't worry what my coworkers and administrators at school might think of me. Why? Because about three years ago I shared my testimony with all of the female student body and faculty/staff members and every year since then I have touched lightly upon it with my individual classes (an abridged testimony, if you will) so all of this is old news to them.

I guess I share all of this with you all to (perhaps?) give you the whole picture of what I am dealing with. Recently, I noticed on my statscounter that a very nice and highly respected person nominated this blog and me (in a way) in a very big competition (of sorts) of art education blogs.  Also, last week, another very nice individual and highly respected individual (to me) left me an incredibly affirming and complimentary comment that I accidentally deleted during the comment screening/approval process. *shaking my head at myself*

The way PTSD works and the treatment of it is that it all goes in stages. I have already gone through about two stages - the initial intensive treatment and then a "check-in" when I entered motherhood - but lately my life is telling me that perhaps it's time for me to go and do the next stage of it. (There's no telling how many stages of it there are) Basically, as you hit different milestones of your life or when your life is really stressful, it's always important to go in to therapy and touch base with someone who can help you to "deal with" the curve balls (almost always originating from the PTSD) that are happening to you but you don't realize are affecting you. I have sneaking suspicions that this is happening to me and I am in need of a "tune-up." And I am thinking this is why it is such a struggle for me to paint lately or even do anything other than everything that will distract me from painting. What can I say? I have a lot of baggage.


Now you all know where I am with all of the "stuff" that I have been putting out here for you all to say such nice things about or nominate me for honors and stuff for. I just... I just want to be clear and honest with you all so there are no preconceived notions that it's so easy for me to do all of what I do. (It's not. It's SO not.)

Also, if You are struggling at all with things that are keeping you from creating? I just wanted you to know that even if you don't tell me about it, even if we never meet, I will be praying for you to overcome your challenges in the way that the Lord has helped me AND I know will continue to help and carry me through all of this.

Thanks for reading all of this and continuing to support and encourage me and my blogging and creativity efforts. All of that will help me just as much to get back to my easel and paint as I know I was created to before any of us know it. God bless each and everyone of you all.


  1. Wow. What a powerful post. You are so bold with your faith- I admire that so much. Saying a prayer tonight for continued healing. Thanks for your blog. Love it!

    1. Susan - Thank you so kindly for the affirmation. I was just about sick to my stomach presenting it here and in this way but I have prayed about it for a long time (the whole business of sharing it in no uncertain terms) on this blog and I really felt the call to finally do it. I never want to offer an incomplete picture of my life and the way the Lord has so graciously provided for me and lifted me up because my goal always is to not deceive anyone in thinking that I am doing all of this on my own. It's only been my faith that has kept me going and keeps me going every day. It's only been because of the love of Christ and the studies of His word that have sustained me in every given moment of "win" and true joy that I have ever had in my life.


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