Processing the memories

Back Up Therapist says that triggers do your head in when you don’t know what they’re about. That’s true. I can’t make sense of this latest bout of flashbacks and, yes, it’s doing my head in. It’s frightening when images you don’t understand keep jumping into your head.

My father’s hands keep jumping into my head, along with the fish. I don’t know what the hands are doing. Not in this context, anyway.

I tried to do some colouring today to keep myself calm, but it didn’t work – I just got increasingly angst ridden about using the “wrong” colours. I also can’t talk to anyone at the moment, so instead I drew this:

Artistically I know it’s limited (I didn’t have the pens or pencils I wanted and I couldn’t make the ones I do have draw the image in my mind accurately – it’s at least 10 or 15 years since I drew anything), but it’s helped.

They are my father’s hands. They’re big, and rough. I still don’t know what they’re doing but there is blood from the fish. I’ve locked the hands in a cage so they can’t hurt me anymore.

A friend commented on the lack of a discernible thumb – that’s interesting, because in my mind’s eye there isn’t a thumb, just a hand. And fingers that I can see in great detail. As crazy as it sounds, I can even feel them.

I’ll probably still need to talk about this, but for now the hands are quieter and not tormenting me so much. They’re still there, just not as noisy. I’m safe, I guess, now that they’re locked away. May be now I can figure out why they’re there. And hopefully I can talk to the Back Up Therapist about it next week.


13 thoughts on “Processing the memories

  1. This is an incredible piece of art work Kerro… The detail in the fingers gives you a sense of fear surrounding them. Good job on locking them away so you feel safe… well done!!

    I know what you mean about being able to feel them…

    Are you going to take this into the back-up therapist when you see her next? It might be a good way to start the conversation, and also act as a visual clue that the hand is locked up and can no longer hurt you.

    Take care and (((warm safe hugs)))

  2. Thanks CG. I didn’t get the hands quite right, but I’m trying to cut myself slack on the artistic front. I think it’s enough that I was able to draw the hands in the first place, and that I’m comfortable with them now that they’re locked away.

    I will definitely take this to Back Up Therapist when I see her, though I’m almost too scared to figure this one out.

    It’s creepy that I can feel the hands. And smell them. The mind is strange sometimes.

  3. Thanks Paul, yea, the different perspective is good, though I’m generally not finding the Back Up Therapist good at the moment. That sounds a bit confused, I know. Last year she did a good job of helping me feel connected and strong, this time around I’m floundering and I feel lost and alone.

  4. Hi Kerro,

    I’m sorry this happened with the fish and you got so triggered and flashy. I don’t agree with the t that talking is the first step or a necessary step if you go at it from another angle. There are lots of first steps in healing and none of them have to be talking. Drawing was a great first step. Most creative healing doesn’t look good or well done. One way of evaluating it might be to see the healing steps it has helped you to make in the process of coping, dealing, and healing from these flashback(s).

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


  5. Thanks Kate. The Back Up Therapist knows I write a lot of stuff – here and personally, and knows that I’ve written about the fish, so I guess she saw talking as an extension of that. Now that the hands are safely locked up, I’m slightly more confident I can talk about this stuff – even if I still have no idea what the hands actually mean.

    Good and healings to you, too.

  6. Just a weird and random thought from some fragment of my mind to some fragment of yours — it’s easier to break the grip of a hand with no thumb, so although it’s a deeply creepy image, there’s some odd positive saving grace in the fact that the anchor of the hand is missing. Also some interesting symbolism, since opposable thumbs differentiate the human from the simian.

  7. Hi David – thanks for the random thought 🙂 I wish you were right, though I have never EVER been able to break my father’s grip, despite the absence of a discernible thumb. I would say perhaps he’s more simian afterall, but even simians treat their families with more respect than my father has treated me.

  8. It’s excellent how you have locked the hands in the cage. In art therapy, it doesn’t matter whether the pictures are artistically drawn or not. Most important is the content of the picture and you has captured this so well. These hands can never hurt you again! ((()))

  9. Thanks Shadow Child. I hope the hands can never hurt me again, not physically anyway. Mentally, it’s another matter. ((hugs back))

  10. Wow, that is amazing. I think creative outlets are an excellent way to process feelings, and putting the hand in a cage is wonderful. I’m glad that makes you feel safer too.

  11. Pingback: The joys « Kerro's Korner

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