Complex PTSD and art therapy

Good morning readers

A few years ago when I started counciling full time I met a middle aged lady, well educated, outgoing and in a lot of emotional discomfort. During one of our sessions I told her she reminded me of a purple onoin, because of all the layers she hided.

When I first met her we had a quick chat. She told me that the previous day was her last day of her notice month and that she had to do a few things, before she could start her healing process. This included the decluter of her home, spring cleaning getting her driver’s licence and taking a holiday.

Two months later she was back very proud on getting her driver’s license. She was ready to start finalising the old work chapter.

The last trigger at her old job was being accused of something somebody else did wrong and her work security being threatened. When the boss realised she made a mistake she gave an apology but it was not sincere. Then purple onion told me about complex PTSD. Complex PTSD is abuse, harassment or bullying over a prolonged periods and it causes depression, anxiety ect. This type of bullying occurs over a periods of years. ( I am always amazed people try to identify a problem and start searching for ways to hep themselves cope)

The person bullied doesn’t have the courage or support system to expose it or they think it is there fault, for not setting boundaries early in a job. By the time they realise the mistake it is nearly impossible to turn back  the clock and change it. They then resign or become anti social in the work enviroment , this leads to even more bullying and it encourage other workers to gang up on the bullied employee.

We have to look at the bully as person with a low self-esteem, disfunctional home environment, lack of empathy for others and someone that only feel happy if they can destroy good in other people, so that there own good points are highlighted and that’s how they get there daily fuel to get trough a day.

Purple onion knew all these things but was still trapped. When we had our 3rd session she was already at the stages were she wanted to forgive them and release the hooks they held over her. The only problem was her memory that constantly jumped back to the hurt it caused. We had to set a new brain pathways to cope with the memory cycle.

As always I encourage her to meditate, pray and get the paintbrushes out. She opted for coloring books, prayer and joga.

The thirst few art works she colored, she judged it so harsh I had to pull her back. I had to tell her that being bullied left a scar and if she didn’t face it she would become a bully in her next job. This realisation shocked her to the core and that’s when the healing started.

Today purple onion is a well adjusted entripeneur,she has people working for her and as part of there orientation they visit me for a day retreat. Every now and then she pops in for an art lesson sometimes with a employee sometimes alone, still fighting to keep the demons of bulling at bay.

I sometimes look at her and wonder were are the bullies sting now? Did they realise by bulling her, she would go out and be a better person. I wonder it they are alone at night  and what chases them?

To all the purple onion’s out there you will have a success story like this to. Happy painting. I suddenly have the urge to paint something purple and have onion soup tonight.

Posted in Art

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