Created by survivors of child abuse, these works of art are a part of the Resilience Art Gallery displayed at the 11th Annual Child Advocacy Conference.
What Does it Look Like to Be Supported?
All the pictures remind me of someone or sometime in my life where I have felt supported when coming out as transgender.
How Safe Do you Feel? (Interactive)
I chose, “What does it look like to feel safe?” because I feel like there are bullies and others making people feel worthless. It is nice to have supportive people to reassure us and know that we are worthy. They make you feel important and safe. Everyone deserves someone to make them feel safe. (Please interact by placing a mark where you are in your journey or mentally make your mark.)
This piece was created thinking about my future after the sexual abuse. The blue beach scene represents being able to be with my friend more and going to the beach with her. Green represents the horse I get to ride at equine therapy. Orange represents me when I am grown up enough to leave the house and move out. Pink is for the coping skills I learned in therapy that I will keep using. Purple represents my hope that I will be able to see my cousin again, who was my best friend, after the court case is over. White is my future career as an equine therapist. Yellow is for the puppies my best friend and I hope to get from the same litter. Red is for a date I hope to go on with someone who I have a crush on when I am older. Teal is for being able to drive. I have a lot to look forward to as you can see, even though some bad things did happen to me.
Blue means safe. Red means not safe. Purple combines the two to mean healing. That is why this painting is mostly purple. A male can be a victim and a female can be a victim of abuse. That is why I left the silhouettes black. You decide if they are safe or not safe. I started out trying to heal from past experiences. I was only safe for a short amount of time. And then, I went from safe to not safe because I was exposed to a toxic person. After, I was safe again because we moved in with a safe adult who could protect us and take care of us. That’s when I started healing. I needed safety to heal.
Growth and Achievement
On the left is a drawing made during one of my first counseling appointments. The drawing on the left is one I made recently. The recent one is a lot more calm. I feel safe.
I Am My Own Superhero- No One is Going to Lay Their Hands On Me
In the past, she felt the hands that pushed her around and pushed her down and now states she is done with feeling like that and is going to stand up for herself.
Seeing herself in the photo gave her a chance to see herself as a strong and beautiful survivor.
Sharing a Piece of My Story
They shared pieces of their written story with each other, and in turn, helped to hold a piece of someone else’s story. They are not alone in their pain/healing. They pieced their stories together to create their art.
We went camping and there were 4 large rocks in the shallow part of Lake Michigan. I jumped from rock to rock and also just sat on them for a while. The waves CRASHed against them and that made me feel relaxed and safe.