I’m a little nervous about this, but I think I’ll just jump in the deep end and hope I float. It feels important to post this today and let me add here that I worked on these darling little “blood tangerines” today and enjoyed the process very much.
I’ve been looking up symptoms of PTSD online, wondering if I can better understand my psyche these days. Then I heard a snippet of an interview on NPR with an author who wrote an essay about what is ahead for us as we emerge from the pandemic. She spoke of the deep trauma and grief we have experienced these past 12 months even if we haven’t seen a loved one die from Covid or lost our jobs, and that pain and upset are appropriate and common and normal. We are all bloodied and roughed up. That radio conversation helped me give myself permission to admit, mostly to myself, that these upsetting manifestations of loss and suffering are OK — for the first time in over 30 years, I have been experiencing what feels like PTSD. Those decades ago my frequent nightmares, inability to stop crying, panic attacks, lack of focus and general failure at normal functioning pushed me to seek professional help, and in those moments I began my journey of emotional and psychic healing from childhood abuse. It’s been a long and winding path but very fruitful and surprising — I have discovered that there are no limits to my ability to mend. So these past few days have been worrisome, when I have watched the same symptoms re-emerge for the first time since I was in my 30s. Until I turned on the radio.
I don’t think the term “psychic assault” is overly dramatic. I will get more help and will slowly reassemble my body parts; this has been a brutal time in the world, in my family, in my heart; even my body is expressing strange and mysterious reactions. Perhaps my writing of my experiences will be helpful to someone else worried that their sanity is wobbly. We’ll get there. And I know I will find the help I need to recover. You will too.
10″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90