Self Portrait


February 12, 2017 marked 15 years as a survivor.

On February 12, 2002 I was violently raped by someone I loved and trusted.  A childhood friend I would never have thought capable of doing this to anyone.

Every February is a brutal month of surviving, mentally reliving what happened, and remembering I’m here, alive, and though I was broken I pieced myself back together.  I’m not who I was before it happened, that girl died.  I’m someone and something else.

It gets easier every year, but only by small measurements.  I spent February 12, 2017 painting all day, and couldn’t stay awake past 8pm.  I had to force myself to stay awake so I could take my medication at 9pm.  I woke up a half dozen times, sweating, shaking, and finally got out of bed at 10am.

This is my first self-portrait in over ten years.  My last was done in college and only as an assignment.

I never thought I’d create a self-portrait.  I love the way I look in photographs, and I used a photograph as reference.  It’s just…so different than what I thought it would be.  I have more texture to my face, more lines, and as I study the photograph while drawing I’m seeing more details than I thought were there.

Many would call them flaws.

They’re the marks of a survivor, battle scars, memory lines.

This isn’t the face of me 15 years ago.  It isn’t the face of the naive 18-year-old girl.  What I’m drew is the face of a 33-year-old woman who has seen, felt, experienced, and survived everything life has thrown at her.

I never thought I’d see this face.  Suicide was always tugging, pulling, held by the weight of shame, guilt, grief, self-loathing, self-hatred, and so many other emotions.  I was broken for so long.

This is my face, and I love it.
Prints and items with this printed on them are available on Red Bubble and Fine Art America.

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