Hopeful Art

Hopeful Art

Recently, I have began to develop a little bit of an addiction to Pinterest. As a writer and artist who works in multiple mediums I have enjoyed searching for inspirational ideas. This piece of art in the photograph was inspired by the many mixed media pieces that I pinned onto one of my boards. I painted the canvas with forest green acrylic paint then did a light brushing with silver paint. I allowed that to dry overnight then used scrapbook paper, lace, a mirror, a Christmas ornament, old greeting cards and stickers to finish it. Hope is something so very central to enjoying life that is why I chose it as my theme. Wishing all of you a good week full of inspiring ideas.

Amanda

Advertisements

Finding a Safe Haven

Nicholas Sparks is one of my favourite authors, and I also greatly enjoy his films based on his novels. One of the ways that I relax is to take a few hours to watch a good movie. “Safe Haven” was a film that I greatly enjoyed, because the movie is about second chances that come from finding love in an unexpected place. The character of Katie carries a dark secret that causes her to leave everything that she knows, but the unexpected happens when she develops a bond with Alex, a widower, who has two children. The film appeals to me probably, because even if you have been through something there is always a chance for a new beginning.

Amanda

It Can’t Rain All the Time

This video above is for a song that I heard for the first time during a pretty dark time in my life. I was away at university, and the symptoms of my post traumatic stress disorder had just started their onset. Jane Siberry’s song, entitled “It Can’t Rain All the Time,” was on the playlist on my computer. The song comforted me enough that I managed to fall asleep to it playing. The song is from the soundtrack to the cult classic “The Crow” where the primary theme of the movie is that love transcends even death. The song is a reminder for all of us that the difficult times are temporary and will eventually pass even though they can seem so very long.

Amanda

Heart Bud

Heart Bud

This is a photograph of one of my paintings. It shows inside a heart this bud is still closed up before it is about to grow. As I write this blog post rain is pattering outside my window. The rain comes to nourish the flowers before they start to grow. After a long winter, signs of spring are finally here bringing with them new hope and the promise of new beginnings.

Amanda

Precious Moments

I thought that I would share this video with you that has thought provoking images, and the song by Bryan Adams “Don’t Let Go.” We are living in a complicated time in history where one can see political, and economic upheavel. Old systems are being replaced as they no longer work the way that they once did. Change can be a scary thing, but a global shift in thought has begun that could be much better for all of us. A moment where love touches our hearts and souls needs to be treasured and remembered. Those moments of beauty connect us as a human beings to one another. Love bridges illusions of difference created by culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and race. Fear of difference keeps us separated from one another. At our core we all wish to give and receive love. How will your heart answer the call?

Amanda

For Fellow Survivors

The letter that follows was both addressed to myself as a means of encouragement, because I had just started therapy a few months earlier. It was also something that I hoped to share with other survivors who have lived through the trauma of sexual violence to inspire and encourage them to fight their way back from the abyss. The book referenced below was the first time that I saw myself as a survivor rather than a victim. My journey back from that dark place required that I claw my way back towards life. It is not an easy to task to bring your body, mind, heart and spirit back when you felt so fractured. If you choose to leave a comment please be sensitive to that. Thank you and feel free to share this with someone who needs to hear this message of hope.

Sincerely,

Amanda Wilson

 

September 30, 2008.

 

Dear Survivor:

 

If this letter has reached your hands than you are beginning on your journey of healing. You may ask yourself why I have addressed you as dear survivor instead by your name. The truth is that I do not know who you are, only that like me, someone has betrayed your trust, and violated your rights. These two last facts mean that someone has victimized you in the worst way, but it doesn’t mean that you have to remain a victim for the rest of your life.

 

In this letter, I am writing a message of hope to you and any other survivors who read it. There were many things that I wished others had said to me when I was in the very early stages of healing that I wish to pass along to you. First of all, you may wonder what a survivor is. Aphrodite Matsakis in her book, The Rape Recovery Handbook, wrote that, “you will be referred to as a survivor more often than a victim to emphasize a truth more significant than victimization: the human capacity to bear what seems unbearable and to keep on growing; despite the wreckage of the past”(4). A survivor is someone who has the strength to bear what seems to be intolerable, and to move from that towards healing.

 

My own story began when I was a high school senior. A man who I thought that I knew and who I trusted brutally raped me. My strategy to deal with the pain afterwards was to numb myself to it and try to move on with my life. Heavy drinking was one of the many self-destructive ways that I tried to numb my pain. I also chose romantic partners who abused me, or did not treat me with respect because I hated myself so much. I struggled to complete university, and became a professional in my chosen field.

 

For ten years, I spent my life surviving, but never living my life fully. A few months ago the world that I had created so carefully and maintained by hiding my pain crashed down around me. I was hospitalized for major depression and put on suicide watch. The nurse who took my vital signs that first night in the hospital saw me crying for the first time in many years, and sat down on the bed next to mine to listen to me. Her compassion to listen to me started the real healing process and made me feel like maybe I mattered.

 

What ever has happened to you was horrible and was not your fault despite how much you might blame yourself. Our perpetrators are never around afterwards for us to express our pain and anger to, so we take it out on ourselves by doing self-destructive things. These actions are only a temporary distraction from the real pain.

 

It has been several months since I was released from the hospital. With counseling and by learning new coping strategies I am slowly healing. I am an ordinary woman who has faced what seems to be unbearable pain only to keep on growing and thriving. These days my ability to smile, laugh and sing has returned. I am learning to love and take care of myself. I am in a healthy and loving relationship. My strengths are contributing to the community through volunteer work. My rough days are getting less frequent the more that I am healing.

 

Abusers do not discriminate based on age, race, religion, appearance or sexual orientation. All survivors deserve to receive healing, respect and love. It is my wish for you as I close this letter that you will accept the help offered to you for it is not weak to ask for help, or to feel intense emotions. The numbness, anger, sadness and any other intense emotions that you feel are normal reactions to something traumatic that happened to you. You’re not crazy for feeling these things all at once either.

 

It is my wish for you that you have safety, good health, healing, and a future filled with lots of happiness.

 

From,

 

A Fellow Survivor

The Long Road

The Long Road

Hard times have captured us both

Sitting outside my window

Hearing the roaring of the wind

It froze us to the bone

You wrapped me in

your threadbare coat

Around my shivering body

We traded smiles on the fire escape

Until they called me back inside

To hear the yelling once again

Of their silence

Hoping

I can be your forever angel

Forgive me for I have sinned

I will sin once again

If it means that you will be near

Thoughts of those eyes piercing me

How did you know what I was?

How could you love me still?

Despite the long road

We are doomed to follow

Until we have a heart home

We will shield our secret

From their stares and jeers

Love can prevail

You taught me this

About the long road

(c) Amanda Wilson 2012