parents

I’m Sorry

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For many years, my inner controlling and punitive parent hurt my inner child. It was only through therapy that I learned that I was hurting myself and gradually stopped. I didn’t mean to hurt myself; it was one of those unhealthy adaptions to childhood situations. As part of my maternity care I encountered an older woman who behaved like a controlling parent towards me, and this triggered my inner child feeling the pain of what I did to her. Through therapy I have developed a more healthy nurturing inner parent and that inner parent has felt a strong urge to say sorry to my inner child. Pictured is nurturing parent me saying sorry to child me. I am sorry for what I did to myself.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Weaving: This Is Me

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I recently received a not very pleasant letter from my estranged father saying how I was expected to behave. This fuelled my desire to be my own person and to stand up for my needs and wishes. I wanted to say “This is Me”. Weaving was my chosen medium as I wanted it to be tactile and 3 dimensional rather than a flat canvas. As I worked on this piece, my feelings travelled from defiance towards my father into tenderness and love for myself. I finished this piece with care and I will hang it with love.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Accepting My Donor Conceived Child

 

I am moving ahead with IVF using a donor egg and donor sperm. I have recently gone through the process of selecting an egg donor and have found it unexpectedly difficult. After excluding donors who did not match the physical characteristics I preferred and those who triggered difficult feelings due to my longstanding issues, I exhausted the egg bank’s population. It was a case of accepting a compromise or waiting for a perfect match to appear. I have selected an egg donor who doesn’t match my preferred physical characteristics. Like many potential parents, I would like my child to share some physical characteristics with me. I have brown hair and hazel eyes. The egg donor has red hair and blue eyes. The sperm donor has blue/green eyes so there is a high probability that any conceived child would have blue eyes. I’m particularly hung up on the eye colour, even though nothing is guaranteed regardless of the donor’s eye colours. I am working towards acceptance of potentially having a child that shares few physical characteristics with myself. What I have done though is to choose two wonderful donors that I would liked to have been my parents.

The painting shows me with my arm around a child conceived of the donors I have selected, my arm around the child portraying acceptance of this child. The donors are depicted at the top. They will always be a distant but present part of our lives, and maybe in the future we will meet.

I shared this image with my therapist a few days ago and immediately cried. Sharing this image has brought me face to face with a child that does not look like me. It has brought my emotion to the surface in a healthy way and enabled me to feel the emotional pain.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Shackled

 

I live some aspects of my life according to unhelpful messages from my parents and my anxieties, rather than as nature and free spirit intended. I am increasingly aware of these things and their impact upon me. I created this image to express the sense of being constrained and shackled. The image makes me feel angry and sad.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Camping With My Therapist

I have experienced transference feelings and fantasies towards the caring adults in my life (excluding family) for much of my life and my therapist has been an obvious target for this. Going camping with her represents spending time with her and finding out about her and what she is interested in. It’s something I didn’t get to do with my parents. I created this image to express and further explore the transferential thoughts and feelings.

 

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tossing People Out The Window

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This image was created when I was feeling really angry. I’m tossing people who I feel have let me down out of the window. The background is grey and the people colourful because it is the people that are significant in this image. The house is orange because a grey house didn’t work; orange reflects my fiery mood. Of course I’m red as an expression of my anger. The people include family, former colleagues, people from an online community and people I’ve met over the past year. My therapist’s favourite word is “edge” and that word feels particularly relevant to this image. On one side of the edge my feelings matter and I have a right to feel angry and to express it. On the other side of the edge, is being understanding and compassionate towards the individuals, given that they are probably dealing with their own stuff; to depict them as I have in this image is also disrespectful towards them and I feel some guilt about this aspect.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Do No Wrong

I am aware that the punitive parent voice is particularly strong in my head. In this image I explored turning this voice into something concrete. The intention was to notice it from adult, but to hopefully avoid reinforcing the unhelpful voice.

© northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to northernrose17 and A Therapeutic Art Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.