Therapy comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. For some the best therapy comes from sitting down with a licensed therapist, but others prefer more unconventional methods such as cooking, exercise, dance, yoga, etc.
Life as a child for me was very stressful. The abuse, although “only” emotional, took a major toll on me. I had a very loving mother and 4 siblings. The two oldest, my brothers, were already out of the house by the time my mom married my step-father. The youngest of my older brothers lived with us for a short time, but as a 10th grade boy, he was either hanging with friends or locked away in his bedroom where I was forbidden. The last of my siblings was my younger (by 1 year) sister. For some reason, the emotional abuse didn’t exist between her and my step-father. Actually now over 30 years later she calls him her dad. My mother is an awesome lady, but she was not there for me the way I needed her as a child. She was stuck. She wanted to give us a stable life, a nice roof over our heads and everything we needed. She didn’t think what he was doing was that harmful. Emotional abuse was not really recognized in the 1980’s. Anyway…with 4 siblings and a mother who didn’t realize, I was alone. I grew up very insecure. You would too if you were told that you were ugly, stupid and would never have any friends. I believed what I was told. Of course I had friends growing up, but I never truly felt a part of “the group”. I never felt good enough. I asked my mom to take me to a therapist for years, but she didn’t listen so I started drawing.
I used to draw all the time in my room. I drew or I colored pictures in coloring books. I mastered coloring in the lines with heavy outlines and light shading. I drew the house I wanted to live in, trees, swing sets, animals, anything I could think of. I never realized it then, but that was therapy for me. Somewhere along the way, I stopped drawing and coloring in coloring books. In the last year or so, I’ve decided to take up painting. I’ve called out to my inner artist. I am no where near calling Le Louvre to see if they’re interested in one of my pieces, but it does help to center my thoughts. It first became really helpful when I was sitting in a week long training for work. There was information overload, but I wanted to soak it all in. I was having a hard time concentrating on what was being said because my own voice was having other conversations unrelated to the topic, so I started doodling. As I would draw details of whatever my subject was, I was able to concentrate and absorb every word that was being said. It was amazing. My own voice finally shut up. Drawing, doodling, painting, it quiets my mind. It allows me to not think and to just feel good about what I’m doing. It’s awesome. I plan to take some actual classes, but in the meantime, it helps calm my inner self and brings a bit of peace to my day and I need that.
What kind of therapy works best for you?