This painting says: “She will hold her and protect her. ALWAYS. (always)”
On the little girl’s neck it says “daughter.”
People ask me all the time where I get my ideas for paintings, and from the very beginning it has been the same. I paint things I want to express or tell myself or tell others. I paint to inspire and offer something positive. I paint to help make sense of the negative in the world.
And it’s interesting, every time I do a post about my background, like I did recently for #DayoftheGirl, I get a variety of responses. Some people think I’m still in that sad place and feel sorry for me. (Don’t.) Some people think I’m talking about parental “discipline” or something temporary and in the moment, something that every kid experiences. (Nope, that’s not it.)
Some tell me to “get over it.” (I am. You’re missing the point, but thanks for being you.) Some think I’m trying to tell everyone how wonderful I am. (Which I don’t think, but again, thanks for being you.)
And then there are the other responses, often done quietly and privately, that tell their own stories. And they are steeped with deeply rooted pain that even though they are adults, they struggle with self-worth. If you were never mistreated with systemic abuse, daily, all the time, from the time you were so small your brain was still developing, for no reason other than the people that abused you were selfish and ignorant, then you cannot understand this issue. And that’s okay. There is a part of me that is happy when someone “just doesn’t get it” because it means they didn’t experience it. That makes me happy that they can’t possibly know.
But there are others who do know. I hear from them. I see them. That is why I still talk about it, because I want to tell these people who instantly understand what I’m saying that there is a way out of it. It is not easy. But there is a way to be whole, to have a balanced view of self, to live a happy life and best of all, give and receive love in a healthy way.
There is a reason I paint and write the way I do. There is a reason I work in whimsical images and bright colors, because I want to give you a place that exists outside the darkness. If you struggle with the issues I mentioned, count me as the safe place to share your story without judgement. You are loved.