I’m working through a rather difficult exercise in therapy right now, but I can actually see the progress. A bit ago, my therapist asked me to draw the scene I saw on the day I found my sister’s body. It was harrowing. There, in black and white lines, was the memory that has been haunting me for all these years. My whole body was shaking, and I felt nauseous. I did a mandala to channel the feelings, which helped a bit.
We continued with this exercise on Monday. The goal, then, was to change the picture in to something positive. It was a very mixed process. In part, the exercise was nice. It was a way of making a horrible scene more approachable. On another part, though, it felt like glossing over what is, taken in its purest sense, a very important part of my sister’s life. I changed the furniture to reflect our lounge, a happier place in our flat. The shape of the blood morphed into the outline of my sister’s favourite toy, and the weapons became elements of art.
The hardest part was colouring her. At first, the experience was oddly comforting. I was bringing life to the image of her corpse. Pink lips, peach skin, blonde hair, blue eyes. All the things that made her my beautiful sister. I felt like I was giving her back the life she took, healing her as best I could. Then, the image hit me. I was focusing directly on the image that lives in my nightmares and flashbacks. At that point, my whole body went cold, and I asked the therapist if perhaps we could stop for a bit. Every sense of emotion was gone.
I’ll start again with the drawing at some other time. For now, though, I’m going to let it be.