The first thing I notice about her face is that she has a slight smile and a rather hopeful appearance. The tree branch hair goes up and down. What I find interesting even more than a hopeful look is that I used the color yellow on her face. That’s the last color I’d use on the face. Noteworthy too are her blue eyes and blue lips.
I have used the same art therapy color symbols for over ten years. My color symbols for yellow shows a feeling of disgust, filth, humiliation and garbage. My color symbol for orange is ambiguity with blue being inalienable rights and dignity. I routinely add tree branches as hair or trees on top of the head. Trees and other symbolisms are explained in the Art Therapy Gallery.
Side two of the painting is normal for me. It fits right in with general feelings of dissociation, sadness and despair. However, the girl with the orange mask appears totally out of character.
At the time I did this two page spread I was dealing with abandonment issues concerning Betty. I said I needed my emotions to catch up with my act of forgiving her for a deep hurt. Even though I don’t think or analyze or even plan the arrangement, I do come back and look at them to measure them against color and symbols that are imprinted in my head. So when I look at this I see a woman torn and humiliated yet knows she has self worth and dignity.
The only way self worth and dignity can be directly seen is the blue eyes and lips. I see that the problem belongs to Betty. I’m hurt, humiliated, embarrassed but I don’t need to feel worthless because of abandonment. At the very top of the second page I have written: I want to be useful. That subject will be revisited.
This sketch diary page was completed while in the thick of issues with Betty. I was angry, thinking, you can”t just do this to me. You can’t tell me you wanted a daughter but not me. I’m not dirt. I have feelings. I’m not worthless! I’m not worthless!