Countless hours are spent in therapy, post trauma, learning coping skills for when the PTSD flares. I have done writings, drawings, and craft projects as those wiser than myself try to ingrain in my head, healthy ways of dealing with terrifying, unrecognisable pain without first destroying myself. I have spoken here many times of the torment that would send me to a more immediately helpful, though less adaptable way of coping, even to the point of ending life itself so as to avoid ever seeing or feeling another reminder of the rape or the face(s) of the men responsible.
Distraction has been the most positively successful for me, yet the short bouts of relief have been very frustrating. A song only lasts so long, a TV show can hold attention for a little while, talking to a friend is helpful (especially if there is food involved) and each of them seems to become quickly irritating in their own way at this time of my life.
Then along came a plea for various donations to raise money for a ministry I strongly believe in and love to support whenever I can. One thing I enjoyed very much prior to the attacks was making greeting cards with my friend L. I asked her if she would be up for making ten and I would make ten and she was very excited at the prospect of getting me back in the craft room.
I contacted the ministry and they were delighted at our offer so we innocently buckled down for a quick ten card activity. Three twelve hour days later and we had sixty beautiful cards to donate. Had it not been for the revelation after the first days work, ten alone would have been a stretch. However, for the first time in almost three months I went longer than a couple hours without thinking about the rape or the perpetrator or my past perpetrator at all. Twelve hours and I barely thought about food or water let alone what had been done to me. I did not think about, picture, feel, or flashback to the rape, AT ALL!!!
I don’t know if it was in the knowing where the cards were going or in the creative process itself, I believe some of both, but I called that day victorious. The Lord had prompted, I responded, I was rewarded, and He IS Glorified! Praise Be To The Lord!!
Art is something that is unexpected and creative and creates a space in time when we can hear God. ~Michael Card “Scribbling in the Sand”