when i first started painting i thought everything, absolutely everything, i painted had to cover the entire canvas, i joined deviantArt and saw that a lot of artists whose work i like often left blank spaces in their paintings. i honestly thought it was very daring. i commented on it to someone who had a painting like that and i think he was chuckling at me when he replied, “i’m not the first person to do that, you know.” i felt kind of silly, but decided to try it. i was learning to do things differently, to break barriers that i thought were absolute. the first time i did it, i actually felt daring!
after that i started to do it a lot. i even moved on to painting minimalist works. that actually is kind of daring. this is one of my favorites….
i started thinking about it, and realized that i had a lot of blank spaces in me. there are huge spaces of time in my life that i remember nothing about. there are a lot of things that happened yesterday, or the day before, or last week or a month ago, that i can’t recall. it’s disturbing to think about.
when i was drinking heavily it happened on a regular basis. i’d wake up at home, in bed with my clothes on, not even remembering leaving the house to go out drinking. it was terrifying.
i’m sober, maybe not quite, but i only take the things that are prescribed for me. but there are still these big spaces. some might attribute it to my substance abuse damaging my mind and causing these losses of time. i wouldn’t rule it out, but i think i have a different explanation that feels more like the real culprit.
my mother was abusive. some of the biggest chunks i’ve lost are memories of my life, both as a child and as an adult, that relate to the amount of hell she was putting me through. there are other traumatic things that are hidden from my memory; but sometimes things break free and make me feel even more damaged. not surprisingly, i have PTSD.
i think embracing the idea that i have to step back and see ways to do things that i didn’t realize were possible let me start to let go of the weight of the blank spaces in my memory. i’ve been disassociating for almost my entire life. but now i need to move on, let go, break free from the past.
i think i’ve done enough digging through the past, during the 20 years of therapy, that it’s time to leave the wounds of the past in the past and continue making new memories. 🙂