Feelings of Unreality*

Trigger Scale: (1/5) *

During a session on January 05, 2009 I created this drawing:

Unreality

Unreality – can also be viewed in the In Session Gallery

This was a response to my therapist asking me to draw the “unreality” that I had been having trouble with at the time. I had explained to her that I sometimes did not feel alive, or real. I would say now that at these moments I feel like a marionette doll or like a Sim controlled by somebody else. This was especially happening while driving. All of a sudden I would get this feeling and then become very afraid that I was going to crash, so I would pull over to calm down, and the feeling would pass. Sometimes it would pass before I could pull over. But it happens others times to, such as when I am taking a shower.

For some reason, and especially when I am having trouble with memory flooding and flashbacks, it is triggered for me to take a shower (I know why, I just have not gotten to the abuse memories associated with it yet). It happens almost everyday now, for the last two weeks. I just feel like I am watching myself and there is a broken tape in my head repeating, “This is not happening, this did not/could not happen.” I eventually recover and ‘snap back’ to reality and move on with my day.

It is a feeling of being disconnected from myself, from my mind and body. ‘I feel’ is not really the right term either, more accurate would be that I DON’T feel at these times. I sometimes think that ‘I’ am dead or that I have died.

So that is the background behind the unreality I was trying to represent in the picture above. I felt like there was a spotlight on my brain that is run by my memories. I also mixed into the picture how I try to solve problems, or maybe the problem of the unreality, which is represented by the A, B, C purple path and the grey/brown square symbols. I explained to my therapist that the grey/brown squares were like binary computer information.

On the back of the drawing my therapist wrote the following notes:

  1. The path – I noted some was connected and some not, she insisted that it was connected. There would be loops, but she didn’t want it to look that way.
  2. She drew her own circle, even though I offered!
  3. List of words:
  • Hypnotize
  • Path
  • Brain
  • Sun
  • Archaic

The first note frustrates me because I tried to explain that the path only looked like it was not connected, but that was only because it went into the “hypnotize” area.

However, I still am not sure what this drawing says, expect that I feel it is related to dissociation. It did help to calm me down to create it at the time.

My Monster Has A Name… actually many. This blog is a safe place for me to share my healing journey from childhood abuse. The topics covered are at times controversial, offensive, horrific, and hopefully sometimes inspiring. Thank you for sharing in my journey.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you Paul!

    I have not yet learned anything profound from this piece, but I find that after 6 months or more they really tell me something about myself and/or the situation I was in. I recently did a session where we went through some of my first art therapy works and it was very informative!

    Like you, I am also hoping to do some more art therapy since my ‘art self’ has finally become unblocked.

  2. Wow, this is a really powerful piece of art. It’s complicated. The circles on the perimeter are almost hypnotic, kind of like an optical illusion. Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to draw more of my experiences. Paul.

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