28 Days of Truth, Art and Healing - Day #14 When Painting Heals [entry-title permalink="0"]

kristen 014

I shared progression photos yesterday of this painting. It is a gift for someone in the family but I didn’t realize it would be so very healing for me.

I became pregnant at the age of 16, had her at 17 and never was able to enjoy my pregnancy. I was alone and living with my abusive mom, I slept on the floor till I was 8 months pregnant,I didn’t have a partner and of course the pregnancy wasn’t celebrated.

I went to my last year of high school pregnant and have no memory of whether people looked at me funny or not and very little memories of that time… that is how much I protected myself and how much of an out of body experience it was.

It was not a sacred experience for me at all and the delivery was also traumatic as my mother was in the room half the time, snickering and finding pleasure in my pain.

I’ve spent years feeling “robbed” of a having a special and sacred pregnancy and childbirth. I’ve always looked at couples with their new baby and felt a pang of hurt. There was no one to share the beauty and sacredness of this baby, no one’s eyes I could look into and say, she is ours.

And although I had support, there is nothing like having a baby with a partner, with someone to say I am in this with you. So traumatized was I, that I never had another child. There were other very big reasons for not having a child with my husband, but I didn’t want another child so much, that when I was given a hysterectomy as one of the options to deal with a large fibroid tumor, I said..”take it out”. The doctor looked at me and asked, “and you are not planning on having any more kids?” I was very clear, “No way.” I was 37 at the time and I knew that I could never go through that again.

There is still pain there.

And so last night as I kept painting over that belly, I could feel this beautiful emotional caressing take place, I could feel the love I felt even in the midst of the chaos, I could feel the beauty of being in this place with a life growing inside of you.  It was as if I was reclaiming something that was lost.

It felt very sacred to me.

That is why I love painting so much, it touches my soul in different way than words, it speaks my heart in a subtle yet powerful way. It heals me even when I think I am “just painting”.