Tuesday, May 4, 2010

transformational self portrait: how i was in the past

i wasn't quite sure where to start with this, and to be honest it ended in a much different place than i thought it would. i knew i wanted to do a self-portrait of me as a child, so i went looking through my childhood photos and found one that spoke volumes to me.

i was six...the abuse had started, but i don't know how long exactly it had been going on. it was a candid shot, my grandmother took it. and the look on my face is the one portrayed here. sadness, loneliness, a bleak sort of numbness--detached. the next photo in the pile was one taken on the same day--a smile plastered on my face. a mask. that's what this drawing represents...the mask i forced myself to wear, i was forced to wear, to cover up what he was doing to me. surrounded by tangles of lies, of hurt, of pain, of confusion, of anguish, of darkness--webs of destruction that were wrapping themselves around me and sucking me down. hands waiting in the darkness for me. and all the while, he was telling me it was a game, it was okay, it was our little secret...and i wanted so badly to be cool, to make him happy, to be his friend instead of his obnoxious little niece. what i became was his object, his toy, his tool for his own sick mind.

this is me, in the past. this is me, six years old. this is me, what my child self still looks like inside.

explanation of the transformational self portrait


Paula said...

Thank you for sharing. You are a wonderful little girl. I love the mask because it implies she can take it down yet mask when necessary and in due time realising this mask has outlived its usefulness. I can relate so much. My Littlest one of my inner kids is reaching out for yours.
We are not alone.
We have a voice.
We have a face.
Facing the past and finding a future

* Sky * Jausi * Capree * said...

Wow this is so powerful to me. Thanks for sharing.

Marj aka Thriver said...

It's just like the old cliche: a picture is worth a thousand words. Very powerful. I hope this was good art therapy for you. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. (Would you be willing to share it for the blog carnival?)

Paula said...

had to return and view the painting again. It is incredible and so very meaning ful. Thanks for sharing it.

From Tracie said...

I recently saw some pictures of me from my childhood, and I recognize that mask so well. Very powerful!

Marj aka Thriver said...

Thanks for letting us use this for THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. I still think it is very powerful.

I just want to (((((((((hug))))))))) that little girl!

Patricia Singleton said...

Thanks for sharing this. I see sad eyes in my pictures of me as a child.