“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood”
This post was a journal entry from a few years back when I was caring for my Mom who had Dementia.
I have resumed my morning ritual of painting in bed.
I pull all my supplies and my journal into the bed
and just begin.
It helps me remember that the raw dread I sometimes
wake up with is just a feeling.
Caring for my mother is difficult.
As silly as it sounds I am still afraid of
her. Afraid of displeasing her.
Afraid of awakening her rage.
My fear is old and carved into my brain,
like a mountain road is carved into the granite.
How many explosions does it take to cut through
a mountain– or a kid?
And she’s just a little old lady
frail with Dementia–and sweet
most of the time.
I love my mother,
But still she can fill me with terror.
I have learned–well I am learning–
to have compassion for her and for myself.
I have hired a care giver again.
Four hours a week.
That’s not much, but it gives me a break.
We will see how it goes this time.
She has already started to complain.
I think the thing is to not give in.
I think the thing is to hold my ground.
I have never been able to do that with her.
Now I have to grow up and be an adult,
and I think the best way, is to connect
with the child in me–and have my happy childhood now.
So painting in my art journal is part of that.
I’m an abstract painter and quite serious about that practice
but in my journal i am a teenager painting butterflies and pretty faces.
I write down my sadness and then I paint over it
and it is surprising how my spirits
lift and my view of things shifts.
It is amazing how spending a little
time diverting my imagination from
endless ruminating on impending disaster
can transform my whole inner world.
If you paint it’s hard to think resentful thoughts.
If you splash colour around it’s hard to have all that
mess in your mind.
Art can heal.