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Journal Art : Family and Lupus

I’ve concentrated more on sewing dolls and bears (yes teddy bears) than I have on painting, however, I’ve not neglected my art therapy journal. I tend to pick it up at night and doodle what I’m feeling or I paint during my therapy session.

A few entries I chose to publish here are significant in that they deal with expectations of others.

My last CNA, the one I called Honey, used to tell me that I should make people in my artwork smile. She said, “How do you think it makes people feel when they see your art without a smile?” I told her that it’s not up to me to make people smile or feel happy when they see my art. Oh, she used to get on my last nerve hounding me about this. It was such a trigger since one of my aunts used to hound me about not smiling.

I didn’t smile a lot as a child. I laughed and giggled but I wasn’t much of one to smile. My aunt couldn’t let it go. A cousin of mine smiled and was told, “What are you smiling about? What are you about to do?” If he wasn’t smiling then he was pressured to do so. He couldn’t win either. My drawing is of a young girl in swirls of water proclaiming that she will smile only when she feels like it.

I tell ya, that family spent a lot of time telling me who I was and what I wasn’t worth. This second image was created after my aunt called me out of the blue and wanted to connect.

The image shows two figures by a large face. One figure is holding on to the eye of the large figure, me, as if to influence me. The hair is yellow and engulfs all three of them. Yellow for me signifies disgusting acts, perversions. I have a figure in red and red over one eye but I have no explanation for it. I do know that this was created after I wrote to my aunt and let her know I don’t want to be contacted. In the short text/letter I commented on the fact that she said she had worried about me and wanted to know if I need anything. I told her that I am cared for and that I am well loved.

The most important part of that letter was saying I am loved. My mother said I would grow up unhappy and unloved just like the aunt that contacted me the other day. My mother told me I was killing her love for me. So yeah, I made sure to tell them that I’m loved and then I painted the experience.

When I completed this small art piece there was a sigh of relief. I put away the few days of contact with that family and I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.

The last piece is of a woman being held by the midsection on top of an upside down sunflower. She’s being held by a purple ribbon, the symbol for Lupus. “Lupus holds me back” is written at the foot of the hill.

I had been in pain several days in a row and needed to express how it. That’s really all I have to say about this drawing.

Hopefully I will be able to complete some of the paintings I’ve started working on. They’re here waiting for me to pick up my brushes but I keep picking up the sewing needles. I guess right now I’m moved to sew more than paint. Even so, I’ll continue to work in my art therapy journal each session and in the evenings as well as work in my gratitude journal.

That’s all for now,

Faith

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