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The Role of Visual Art in Writing about Trauma

To write a memoir about infant surgery as I have, one must often ease one’s way into the material–find a less direct way to crack through: Take the story by surprise. In my case, I chose art. Here are the pastel drawings I made before I wrote one word of the story.

The first pastel I drew was of my face and then my torso, tracing the ropes of tension I feel in my chest and belly. Drawing my scar onto paper, the rest of the story gushed through the floodgates–the slicing, the scream, the pain, the shock, depression, numbness.

The pastels as positioned here in the photo are not in left-to-right chronological order, but in the next posts, I will present them one by one as representative of a timeline, accompanied by short bursts of prose. 

Thank you for taking this journey with me.

Do You Think You are Crazy?

Think again– maybe you had surgery without anesthesia as a baby. Do you wonder why it’s hard to be intimate with someone, hypervigilance charging your cells? Maybe you had surgery without anesthesia as a baby. Do you wonder why you don’t know whether to live or die– Maybe you had infant surgery without anesthesia. Do… Continue Reading

The Colors of Success: The Story of a Sacramento Meetup

Time to let go of a Meetup Group I’ve led for the last year-and-a-half called Freedom after Trauma. (Meetup is a network of free classes and meetings that one can sign up for online.) The meeting was an opportunity for folks with post-traumatic stress to ReStory their Lives and find more freedom through associative or free… Continue Reading