My art therapist has been working with me to learn how to comfort myself because I don’t have the kind of emotional support in my immediate environment that I need to help me through trauma therapy. That’s why I have a girl cave… to provide me with a safe place to go that is off limits to emotional turmoil. It’s supposed to be a sanctuary and if I go there my family is supposed to respect that I need to be there to protect myself. That’s why I have lilac scented candles… because that is a smell that wafted up through my bedroom window when I was a girl. That bedroom was a place where I felt safe and guarded from the world. The smell is associated with safety.
If I’m upset, and I go there, it means I should be left alone. But the problem is that because of the abuse I have suffered throughout my life, I don’t have boundaries. I don’t protect myself. I don’t say no when I should say no. I let people into my girl cave when I am in emotionally compromised states.
The first exercise in my trauma therapy is about learning the boundaries of my body. I haven’t done this exercise yet because it is so upsetting to consider that I don’t know my boundaries that I shake a little when I get to it. My art therapist says for me to take a break when things are too difficult. I have been taking a break from the book. I have finals right now and I need to be emotionally stable to get through them.
I had an emotional reaction to something that surprised me and felt like a violation of what I considered an agreement this week, and then immediately felt guilty for having the reaction and went to my girl cave. Now I am in a very low place where I don’t know what is right or wrong. I feel like I am isolated from the things that I like because I have made this mistake. I feel like I am at once at horrible fault for having a reaction and also being punished. I’m so incredibly confused.
I don’t want to go to art therapy this week. I don’t want to talk about it. I really just want this feeling of worthlessness and stupidity to go away. I was really happy and proud of how things were going and now I don’t know which way is up. My son held me while I cried yesterday .