Who am I?
Updated: Jun 3
Becoming the Hero, Written Series
Once a month I do an art workshop at the local domestic and sexual violence crisis center. It is the crisis center that helped me as I decided to leave my abusive marriage. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to return as a survivor and share empathy, understanding, and some skills that help me navigate life after abuse.
I take some of my pieces and share my process of healing through art; inviting the workshop members to find the tools that work for them to process and work through their own trauma. Last night as I was sharing my PTSD pieces I was asked something along the lines of, "Do you still have a lot of work to do? When do you think you'll be ready to put your face on these?" Brilliant question!
I still have a lot of work to do and my face will never be on my PTSD pieces. Not this series at least. I am not PTSD. PTSD is part of my life. The emotions and thoughts caused by PTSD shape my lived experience. They are not, never have been, nor ever will be me. They will remain faceless as they are emotions, not a person, and certainly not something I wish to give corporeal form to. They are suits, or masks, that I inhabit for short periods, and then with diligence and extreme self care and reflection, move past. They are frequent visitors, yes. They do not define me.
This is me. This is who I have uncovered when I take off the trauma and the PTSD. This is who I see in the mirror and who meets the world. This is who remains even if I happen to be wearing one of the many suits of emotion that come with trauma recovery. This is who I return to when the heightened emotions dissipate.
Who am I? I am my hero. I am me.
Wonder Woman photo: Cat Palmer Photography