OOP: ORDER OF PEACE- An ongoing journal documenting the release of trauma.
Through methods like these, integrating art into therapy addresses a person’s whole experience. This is critical with PTSD.
"People experience PTSD through memory, emotion, and the body. Talk therapy and CBT may not be enough to address all of these areas. Reliving trauma is difficult. That’s where art therapy comes in."
Art Therapy and PTSD
"Studies have suggested that some traumatic memories are stored nonverbally (Gantt & Tinnin, 2009; Langer, 2011; Talwar, 2007) and may be retrieved through recollections of sensory, affective, visual, olfactory, auditory, and kinesthetic elements (Langer, 2011). Although verbal therapies fail to address nonverbal aspects of trauma experiences, art therapy can access trauma recollections by engaging the senses. Art therapy has been hypothesized to bring order to traumatic experiences by creating links to nonverbal memories so that dissociated memories may be organized and processed in a meaningful way (Gantt & Tinnin, 2009).
Art therapy provides a safe way to approach traumatic memories through the use of symbols, which may facilitate consolidation of experiences by converting an artistic form, representative of emotions and reactions to trauma, into linguistic communication (Gantt & Tinnin, 2007; Morgan & Johnson, 1995). According to Talwar (2007), art making is hypothesized to involve bilateral stimulation, engaging the integrating and planning functions of the prefrontal cortex to sequence narratives using left brain functions. This integration between the left and right hemispheres of the brain allows for complete processing and storage of traumatic experiences in long-term memory.
Art therapy provides externalization and emotional distance through materials and processes that use mediators, such as a paintbrush, between the patient and the image. The controlled distance encourages the patient to depict trauma experiences and to view the finished image at a physical distance (Tinnin, Bills, & Gantt, 2002). According to Tinnin et al., these techniques can be useful when the patient does not consciously remember the sequence of events in visual trauma narratives, and they can help the patient feel safe enough to address unresolved trauma memories."
OOP (ORDER OF PEACE), is the beginning stages of journaling the release of trauma. The drawings are free of critical thinking. Only after I return to them later, with new insight, do I look at them subjectively, and objectively. Sometimes reworking them, if ever so slightly, or not. Enhancing a once subconscious thought, bringing it to significance. I allow and invite the mediums influence on the pages that precede, and follow, the current entry. Embracing the marks or simply dealing and working with them. I akin this to accepting both history and the future, coming to terms, and finding peace. I rarely erase, tear out, or destroy an entry. I bravely turn the page.
Preparing for the Order Of Protection, and ongoing case due to the perpetrator’s intentional absence from hearings and purposeful delays, has me reading countless emails and screen shots of volatile text messages from the perpetrator in order to prepare for his ongoing control of me and the courts. Sadly, he is manipulating the authorities as he once did me. No longer in his control I am able to speak truth, he is unstable, calculating and violent. He made the choice to abuse me. These text drawings represent my experience of working through the trauma and triggers in reaction to revisiting these messages where he begs me to come back, promises to change and seek counseling for his abusive behavior, calls me racist if I demand he leave me alone, don’t return to or communicate with him, uses threats of revenge porn with intimate images, and pulls his child into the equation by noting she’ll be without a father should he be incarcerated. These journal entries are ladened with anger, fear, and remorse, while embodying and embracing a survivor's experience of intimate partner violence, coercive control and narcissistic abuse. It’s part of healing.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing narcissistic abuse, there is help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline recognizes narcissistic abuse and trauma and is available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. Call 1-800-799-7233 to talk with an advocate.
"Defined by emotional volatility, a lack of empathy, and delusions of superiority and entitlement, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is linked with interpersonal exploitation, rage, and aggression, most often directed at family members. Making matters worse, narcissists compulsively deny their behavior and project it onto the people they hurt, and they frequently cultivate a likable or even do-gooder public persona that belies their ongoing abuses behind closed doors."
“Adults can’t just leave the situation.
Leaving an abuser, especially a highly manipulative and vengeful narcissist, is rarely easy to do. Partners of narcissists, particularly women, are frequently isolated from friends and family, drained of financial resources, and bullied into compliance with threats of assault, withdrawal of support, loss of child custody, and homelessness.”
I'm Free To Be
Knowledge Is Power
Bug Art NYC
The Freedom Grill
Began September 2019, he immediately wanted a committed relationship “Are you ready for Prime Time”. Love bombing was textbook. As was the trauma bonding and future faking.
Control and isolation began November - December 2019
Violence started December- January 2020
Filed assault charges in January. Had OOP in both Criminal and Family Court. He convinced me to rescind. Cycle of abuse begins.
Made three attempts to go no contact after being physically abused, head-butts, punched in the head, stomach, bullying, intimidation.
January 19 2020, April 15th, May 10th. Final was October 7, 2020 after weeks of consistent, routine physical abuse, bullying and intimidation. I was granted a 5yr OOP.
When stepping on the path to justice and accountability, Activists face both persecution and prosecution by systems that are not just, they are political. I am not, simply, a victim speaking out, I am an Activist against violence. I am fighting for humanity. I not only represent myself but also those whose voices were stolen.
I've learned who and what my abuser is and continues to prove. This is what fuels my determination to hold him accountable. He is dangerous. A ticking time bomb as he races to destroy my character and my new life. He’s doing exactly what he said he’d do if I escaped and held him accountable. He's managing a smear campaign.
It took me four times to make a final break from the perpetrator. He could no longer convince me he would change and his threats of revenge porn, of fucking up my life for as long as he lives, of making me out to be a racist, could no longer keep me hostage to his delusions, manipulations, false accusations and violence.
Unfortunately, in order to recover from the nightmare I lived due to the perpetrator, I had to seek help, educate myself on his behavior, in order for me to understand how my life was hijacked by him, and how to recover. I now understand that I was not in a relationship with him. He is a predator. His aim was to gain access to my finances and my resources while beating me up and down physically, spiritually and emotionally, terrorizing, intimidating, and bullying me so that once he had what he wanted, he could walk away "in peace", move on to other "supply" as if we had a simple break up. The man is delusional. He almost cost me my life. I had to leave a good job, not only due to post traumatic stress disorder, but my coworkers were involved in the fear, chaos and trauma. The defendant stalked me during the first OOP in 2020.
Holding an abuser accountable can be dangerous
I am free and in this for the long haul. An Order of Protection was the first step. Accountability is the next.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."