A journey to reclamation
I'm inspired to share these drawings today along with the story of this part of my journey.
Alot has been going on for me around old stuff coming up and has led me back to spending some time with my inner child. Maybe this will resonate with you too?
I recall this time like yesterday except I believe it was about 5 years ago now...maybe more? This is when I really got it. I had been hearing and sensing stuff about trauma in my work and I had figured out that what I was observing in the Mental Health realm for years was largely unresolved trauma but it was still a distant concept not an embodied understanding for me.
There was a series of events that happened and landed me in a serious health crisis. I started touching into the reality of what I was experiencing as a manifestation of trauma. I entered an intense healing journey with my Art Therapist and Mentor to explore and unpack what was there. There was months of processing with guided drawing and conventional Art Therapy approaches and its a very long story but this was a remarkable spontaneous series of works that opened the door for me in such a huge way.
As someone who has CPTSD of course my healing was related to rediscovering a relationship with my inner child. That was very obvious. Knowing I had support made it easier for me to dive in and look for the one that had been exiled and was calling, desperately, for help.
I went searching for the tiny voice that was echoing through my nervous system, and this is how I found her. This is a vivid recollection of a defining moment when the enormous pain ripping through my little body was so enormous I thought I was going to die.
I cant describe the tenderness and the sadness that poured through me whilst I created this. I was taken aback and confronted. I had been trying to shut her out of my psyche for ever it seemed and here she was. Frozen, in shock, wounded and barely breathing.
I remember when I showed this to my therapist she said "You have just become a parent, now you have a very fragile child that you have to take care of." I was completely floored. I had to work out what to do.
I figured out that the first thing I had to do was get her to safety. She was not responsive to me. I had not been safety to her because I had ignored her for so long, she clearly did not trust me. She didn't want to talk to me. I cant tell you how much that hurt. All I could think of was to build her a place of safety and pick her up and put her in it.
I gave her a small soft companion and what I thought was a perfect balance between feeling held and not being smothered...........and I prayed, and I came to check on her regularly and told her it was ok that she didn't want to talk to me but I was here and I wasn't going to go anywhere. There was deep heart break and lots of apologies. I nourished her with gentleness and kindness and slowly she came around.
After weeks of healing and tending, one day she sat up in her innocence, her essence, her light and her joy. She was fully embodied in her Spirit Child Self. I saw how utterly lovely she was/is. It was so many profound moments of healing. Hard, hard moments and amazingly beautiful ones. I nourished her like a little bird and then one day she said she wanted to get out of the nest but she wanted her own Spirit family.
Together we created this family for her...exactly to her liking. There was so much joy in this process. She came out of the nest and was embraced by the family that created safety and regulation for her. Note Deer woman is here.
Trauma healing and nervous system care is so deeply dependent on us being able to calm the little one inside, I firmly believe that. To bring her to the light. To be responsible for what she needs. I went on to explore a whole realm of therapies and techniques for healing trauma including body work, Kinergetics, Cranio Sacral, Chiro, NET, Bowen, Somatic Experiencing, Life Alignment, devotional practice and the art, always the art. All of it was amazing and enlightening in remarkable ways. All of it centered around learning to soothe disregulation from within.
When I worked at the hospital in the Art Therapy groups I often found myself in a room of (adult) terrified children. My sole aim was always to create safety, and a very real sense of care. Together we made safe spaces for plastic animals, protectors out of clay, collages out of children's book images. I saw remarkable transformation and "home coming" of hurting children every time. Not for everyone but for many. I saw tender beautiful moments and I saw heart breaking suffering. I saw and felt so much with these people and their children.
My role was to support them in finding ways to reconnect with and soothe the little one as a foundation for moving forward into other dimensions of their healing. It was an absolute privileged.
I still struggle with my relationship with my inner child at times and it is a constant awareness that I live with. This experience, creating these images, was the key that turned the lock and opened the way forward into hope. I became a parent even though I have not had children.
In sharing this my intention is to remind myself of how important this work is and to remind you too. To check in with the little one. The world is so huge, there is so much for a little one. Its so important to make sure he/ she is feeling safe and taken care of by the adult you.
Huge hugs to all the little ones