When I Write About Rape

Poem and call and response song

When I write about rape

It takes its toll on my body

As pain, grief, rage spiral

Threatening to pull me apart

With the tension of

Wanting to stay

And wanting to run.

Thinking she knew when I was 9

How could she not?

How could she not?

I saw the signs…

His body tightly sprung,

Ever more so as the day wore on.

How could she not?

How could she not?

As bedtime drew close

And I’m sick on the floor,

Begging to extend my time with the telly

In the relative safety of the lounge,

But no,

Disgusted by my plea,

She sent me to bed.

How could she not?

How could she not?

I hate bedtime even now,

40 years on.

It’s okay for him.

He’s dead and gone,

But I’m still here

With a tightly wound body

That remembers what my mind forgot.

Only now, I’m not losing the plot.

I’m seeing clearly how we forgot

Our connection to Earth

And the object projection that entails

The lack of relationship with

Our Great Mother,

Makes it necessary to treat one another

As things to conquer, to control,

But actually all we need,

As 4 young men once said, is love.

Reciprocal love that comes by

Singing and listening

To the animism present in everything,

Which makes things beings.

Alive! 

The chair you sit on.

The shoes that got you here.

The trees, oh, the trees with

Whom songs appear

When we listen.

Rejection Sensitivity Hurts Like Hell

a man sits on the ground staring ahead. Around his head are squiggles and question marks representing myriad thoughts he's having.

Rejection sensitivity dysphoria (RSD) is a term coined by William Dodson, an American Doctor who works in prescribing medicines for ADHD. Whilst that may be contentious because he benefits financially from prescribing drugs for ADHD, RSD is something that many people with ADHD and other neurodivergences talk about. Dodson describes RSD as: 

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Feeling Small in Awe and Vulnerability

Sunset Teardrop, Acrylic on unprimed canvas, 60 x 80 cm
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Emotional Flashbacks Don’t Have to be Destabilising

Mauve Daisies 2020, photograph
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Is Pain Part of Creativity?

Despair, 16 x 16 cm, pigment pen and colour pencils on paper

Is pain part of creativity? It seems to be for me. Often, I begin creating a piece of art because I’m in psychological pain and it can transform that pain into healing. The drawing above began on the anniversary of my father’s suicide. Despair was what I was feeling and, somehow, I was able to tap into that feeling and watch it take shape on paper. By externalising it and writing in my journal about it, I could understand it more. I wrote a blog post about the beginning of this process.

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Lonely Teenage Part Discovered Whilst Painting Dots

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Square Dots #1: sexism and dinero

Square Dots #1
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 in
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Locus of Evaluation Part 1

Perhaps the most fundamental condition of creativity is that the source or locus of evaluative judgement is internal.

Carl Rogers (1998)

When I was thirteen my art teacher told me I wasn’t good enough to do art at ‘O’ Level and I believed him. Perhaps what he actually meant was, “you enjoy making art too much. You don’t take it seriously.” I used to sing and make noises and talk during my mark making. I once drew a still life that had the words, “ahhh, shit!” in it (I drew what I saw). Perhaps he disliked my enthusiasm because he’d lost his own. I didn’t take art seriously. It was fun. Until he told me I wasn’t good enough. I stopped making art and began journalling instead.

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Being With Trauma Memories Without Shame

Painting black lines and dots on this work in progress abstract painting helped me to process some of my feelings about the childhood sexual abuse memory that emerged. Using arts is a way of expressing something creatively that cannot be expressed in words. The process of using arts can be soothing.
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