Pandora's Box

I came home angry. I do not like feeling this way, but as I have previously mentioned, it is part of the healing process. I have spent much of my life blocking emotion behind a lead wall….so even feeling anger gives me hope. The problem is, too much of any one thing leads to a pattern in the brain, and it takes hard work to change the pathways and responses that no longer serve us.

I am in what might possibly be the most difficult time in my life- facing my demons. I have stuffed them way down into the bottom of my baggage, buried way below disappointment, illness, pain and loss.

The catalyst in the desire to face my past came after finding out my daughter had cancer last November. Twenty three years old, with a three year old daughter. I faced our collective mortality, feeling the deepest pain from watching her suffer. Since the survival rates of this cancer are a 50% chance of living 5 years, things had to change-and fast.. Our relationship was wrought with pain; only those who know me well know what happened in our 18 years together. Even fewer know what happened before that. And even then, I am only finding out some of the things that the subconscious keeps well hidden for safety.

I am a good actress. People often shake their heads and say “ Wow Patti, you are an amazing woman. Strong in the face of adversity, impassioned and driven by your art and business, while you teach art to damaged teens. “. I am a successful professional. I have a nice house and husband. Age has been quite kind to me. But inside I am twisted and my soul cries out for healing.

I am a workaholic. If I work hard enough I will not have to think. If I don’t think, then I can avoid feeling the pain. The only problem is, it seeped into areas of my life like a slow poison and threatens all that I do, especially in my relationship with men.

But what I am learning ever so slowly and teaching my students, is that out of the pain always comes a lesson. How we use this lesson determines the quality of our life and our growth.

Now that Megan, Alanna, and Dole are 1,000 miles away, I find myself alone a lot, the only person I have to take care of is myself. I don’t think that I have ever done that. In my journey I am conscious of the dark, and am learning how to bring in the joyful light. Both my daughter and I have learned this together. I am letting out the demons one by one in my Pandora’s box and I hope that someday she too can do it.

To the light-and an empty box. Patti

A quick painting I did for a project and then gave to a student who really liked it. One of my demons let loose!


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