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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Entry: June 15, 2005 ~ 10:00 pm


You suggested that I write tonight about feeling that you would leave me because of my bruising...All week I've been feeling really bad about my bruising and suicidal thoughts. Talking about the suicidal thoughts and having bruised myself and continuing to do so made me really want to withdraw from you...made me scared to say anymore and even to move. Couldn't get past thinking that you were angry and was going to tell me that you couldn't see me or work with me anymore. Today, I was really afraid that you were going to yell at me or hit me.

I keep thinking that my continuing to bruise myself will make you go away or that I need to go away or die because I am bad. In my head, you are going to leave if I don't stop bruising or having the suicidal thoughts...Sometimes, I even think that you hate me and are tired of working with me. That you are sorry you began with me in the first place especially with the five days per week. Sometimes, I think you wish that I would have found a different therapist or would be relieved if I quit with you.

Sometimes, I think that my continuing to bruise myself will make you stop seeing me. Sometimes, I even think if I continue to talk about the suicidal thoughts that you will stop seeing me.

Sometimes, in my head you really do not care about me and it wouldn't matter to you if I died...sometimes, I think you would be relieved. I guess I feel like a burden or too demanding.

With my continuiting to bruise myself and having the suicidal thoughts, in my head, you are angry with me and are going to yell at me, tease me, discount me, or maybe hit me. [that is what happened to me as a child, so I am projecting it onto him along with fragmenting...only the part of me that is that small helpless, rejected child exists and I am unable to access the part of me that really knows the truth...continuing to have an extremely difficult time] I know that stuff is not based in reality, but sometimes it seems so real, like now.

Right now, I really want to curl up and die. I really want to die. Can't take the pills because they are hidden. Besides, I really want to try to keep my promises.

I really think you are tired of working with me and hate me. I don't think my crying and needing to leave while I was still crying helped...just kind of reinforced things in my head to me.

Observations: Well, obviously I was fragmenting and not doing well. Everything I did and said was bad and I was pushing away the very person that could help me. I was really scared and believed what I wrote. (All of my behavior and thought patterns are part of the BPD). It is like, there is no access to what I know to be true only an automatic reactionary CC which puts me back into feeling like a child with no resources and wanting to die like I did as a child. My thoughts, at this point, are continuing to take over. I am in trouble. Self-hatred is also a running theme during this time, but I am not sure if I was aware of it at the time. I was too busy fragmenting. This is also a huge defense about what I probably need to talk about or what is about to come up in therapy. This was such a painful time in therapy. That day I also fingerpainted. These are the first two out of four.

(What looks to be yellow is actually orange. Only red, blue, purple and orange are used in this painting)

(The color on the left top side is red and the bottom orange is streaked with red)

How about today you leave me a comment and tell me how this makes you feel or what feelings you think it expresses. Thank you!!!


Scrappy Raven said...

In 2005 I also was self injuring by CSP (compulsive skin Picking). It lasted for about 2 years. My body was completely scarred all over. Your pictures remind me of how I felt then. There was an underlying anger and self hatred towards myself. I love your paintings but I can also see the emotion there. Eventually I stopped (almost completely) and the scars are finally fading enough that I can wear short sleeves. During this time I remembered seeing, as a child, a Medieval painting in which Jesus was covered in small open sores (just before crusifiction).
This memory was comforting, rather than disturbing, because I knew that Jesus had felt rejection. I knew that God knows how painful BPD feels because Jesus faced the ultimate rejection. Sorry to go on and on.

Clueless said...

Don't be sorry about going on and thank you for sharing about CSP...it is always helpful to know I am not alone.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing your artwork. When I look at them it makes me think about strong feelings bursting out - happy, sad, all of them together. The second one looks calmer, like the feelings are being absorbed back into the sea. Thanks for sharing them.

j said...

Those fingerpaintings -- intense. I know you had a kind of "key" for the meanings of the colors and how they corresponded to particular emotions in one post. It's hard to comment when the paintings aren't right in front of me, but for me, the first one looked, well, angry and pointed. The second is less clear to me -- a deep fear of loss? Certainly it would match your fears of being rejected by Geoffrey. These are just my thoughts and may have nothing to do with what you were actually feeling, of course.

(And on a completely unrelated note: the link to your blog is now totally, completely fixed. And it's spelled right, too).

Clueless said...

@A I think the first one scared me to see how expressive it was and how much rage and pain I felt. The second feels like I pulled back/reabsorbed, as you say. But, back into myself and into a sea of sadness that I didn't know was behind everything else.

It is funny people keep calling them my paintings or art, and even though I may refer to them as that, I think of them of some fingerpaintings that I needed to do with no intention of anyone other than my therapist seeing them. People have even suggested that I sell them...feels like selling my soul. I just wish that the brilliant colors would show better, but I just have this inexpensive digital camera. Thank you for visiting and commenting. By the way, how did you find my blog?

@ Jennifer. Thanks for reminding me. I mean to put the color thingy up each time. But, I think your interpretation fits.

Anonymous said...

I saw your post and paintings yesterday and there were no comments up yet. So, I waited because one of the things I can't do is see emotion in art. When I was hospitalized many years ago we did finger paintings and mine were very controlled and recognizable, like flowers or something. My doctor explained that the abuse can block ability to access creativity.

I have since begun writing poetry and I have learned to paint but still it is controlled, now I do landscapes. I yearn to be able to let go and paint my emotions but can't get there yet.

So, I read the comments today and tried to see the emotions in the paintings and...no luck. This is clearly something within me and nothing to do with your emotions not being evident in your paintings.

I would, however, hang your paintings on my wall. I really like them. It is understandable that selling them feels like selling your soul. You put your soul into painting them. I think that is wonderful to be able to do that and very brave of you to share them.

Sorry that I couldn't see the emotions in them. And, I'm not sure why I shared all of the above since I couldn't tell you what I saw in the paintings. Maybe I will get there some day!

Clueless said...

Tamara, thank you for leaving the comment. It seems like that would be a frustrating thing. For me, the fingerpainting was a tremendous breakthrough in accessing those emotions. So much so it scared me. My therapist is currently holding my last set as I don't want them in the house. I can see how abuse could block that way. But, I'm sure that you have found other means. Maybe, one day I might sell my art.

Anonymous said...

First off, your work is awesome. The very first image makes me sad. In it I see a blue figure bending over purging red but the red is coming up at the blue instead of going the opposite direction. This particular image brings up strong feelings of eating disorder stuff for me. I use to purge a very long time ago. I needed to get anything good out of me. As long as I ate junk food I could keep it down but if I ate a good meal I was nagged by self loathing until I brought it up. So I guess I saw my blue self with red anger and self loathing coming right at me. Very powerful piece.


Clueless said...

Thank you for the compliment it means a lot coming from an artist like yourself. Thank you for sharing. With my eating disorder, I just would not let anything in not the good or the "bad". I know it is all metaphorical. I see the painting as purging all this pain and rage; hence, trying to cover up the terror and sadness. I'm glad that I asked others what they saw. Thank you for sharing what you saw.

Tracy said...

Not sure how i missed seeing your artwork! Now i am sure you will relate to what i was saying in the above posts.

I can feel your pain, anger pushing through these paintings.

Thank you for sharing.

Clueless said...

Thank you for looking at my paintings. They are fingerpaintings that I started to do during my hospitalization in 1992 and was a huge, huge breakthrough for me. It really scares me sometimes as I see the intensity of emotion or the emotions that I have hidden from myself. The ones here are from the period I am writing from my journals in 2005. They are still relevant now as I have to still work through these feelings.

Fingerpainting was a Godsend as it also was a less-destructive coping skill. I am surprised that I have had people want to purchase them...to me they are my soul and just some old fingerpaintings. I will share more. Also, if you want to see more, look in my label cloud.

Thank you so much for your encouragement and support.

Anonymous said...

CC, your fingerpaintings are bitterly, achingly beautiful. Thank you for putting them up. I can really connect with them.

Clueless said...

You are welcome. I'm glad that they touch you. It is scary to put them up, but somehow cathartic too...lots of pain, anger,anguish and terror...that I am still dealing with.

Spin Original said...

I don't understand what "fragmenting" is, but it intersts me. Can you explain that??

I know the feeling of thinking someone hates me or does not want to see me anymore.

I am not good, at all, at reading emotions in paintings. I seem to be too structured and look for actual objects. I can, however, feel the emotions in songs and poetry.

Clueless said...

It is okay if you don't see anything...my husband can't see anything either.

In terms of fragmenting, it is like when you cut off a part of yourself like anger, or feeling like a helpless kid, or suicidal and that part is all that you can access, so everything is experienced through that sense without your logic being able to move you out of it. It is reactionary. Everyone fragments and the ultimate in fragmentation is another personality. I hope that answers your question some.

Anonymous said...

Sorry it took me so long to reply... I found your blog through MyBlogLog - surfing around... -A

Clueless said...

Thank you for the information. I honestly am surprised when people answer my questions, so thank you. Take Care

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