Bringing awareness and healing through art by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
This blog spot offers 5 mantras for victims of abuse whether they are being bullied by their spouse, a classmate or someone else. In my art journal, I created mixed media mantras to help victims of abuse.
Words can hurt
Why am I writing about this? Normally, I use my art journal to self-reflect and help myself with words I need to hear. However, this weekend I had to visit my friend who had checked herself into the hospital because she was afraid she was about to end her life. My friend has suffered from depression and anxiety for years, but this episode was triggered when her husband took her kids away from her and called her “sick”, “a bad mother” and “a failure as a wife.” Apparently, this was not the first time.
When people think of domestic abuse their minds often jump to a battered woman.. but what about when a spouse is bullied by her spouse with words? Psychological abuse is just as damaging if not more because the problem often goes overlooked, denied or excused. The spouse can be so beaten down and depressed that it will start to appear that the problem is with the abused spouse, not the abuser.Worse, the abuser can be manipulative and uses the abused damaged state as proof that the victim is not worthy and deserves ill treatment.
Abuse does not discriminate
Most of this blog post will refer to spousal abuse, but we know that abuse does not discriminate. Anyone can be bullied, whether they are a man or a child. Abuse can come from a husband or a step-father… a classmate or a teacher. The end result is that the abuser has used words to humiliate, shame and control. Spousal abuse can also take the form of isolating the abused from their family, their friends and controlling them by limiting access to food or allowance. The abuser abuses to feel power over the abused. They beat them down with their words, or with their silence.
|Just because someone says so doesn’t make it true. collect Quote Art|
Words can Heal
When sitting with my friend I told her she needed to come up with a mantra to say to herself. Just because her husband says these terrible things to her doesn’t make them true. I told her I wanted to make an art for her to remind her to be strong… so I went in search of mantras that heal.
1) Just because someone says so doesn’t make it true.
I went searching high and low for mantras. I knew that Tina Turner had used the practice of mantra meditation to heal herself from her infamously horrific experience with her husband and thought something similar could heal my friend. Although there are a lot of powerful mantras out there .. the simplest ones are still the most powerful. Essentially, a constant reminder that the abuser is wrong about you.
|Reclaim your truth. You are enough.|
2) Reclaim Your Truth
Even more powerful, is for my friend to reclaim her own truth. She has to repeat to herself. “I am a good mother.” “I am worthy.” “I am worthwhile.” This is all a process for reclaiming your truth.. not the untruth of the abuser.
3) You are enough
Adriana Mesa, Principal Psychotherapist at The Nest Child & Family Counseling and Lecturer at Australian College of Applied Psychology suggested Brené Brown’s “I am enough” mantra. Brown’s mantra comes from her book The Gifts of Imperfection and asks us to embrace our imperfect selves. As Mesa says, “[This mantra] is quite inspiring for her patients to see too. Shame can be so debilitating and reclaiming our truth is really self-honouring. So the word TRUTH is beautiful – we know our truth and when we do no-one can convince us otherwise. Incorporating this in a mantra may bring your friend strength” For my friend (and for others) I felt they need to be told what they don’t hear from others… that YOU are enough. I wanted the power of having someone else say it to them.
|Breathe in Strength. Release your fear. Collect this healing mantra art|
4) Breathe in Strength
Another Buddhist concept is to use breath to give peace. Breath is all part of meditation and yoga practice and can be very powerful when done mindfully. I stumbled upon a mantra that was basically about breathing in peace and exhaling joy or something like that but what about when there is negative energy all around you? So I adapted the mantra to say “Breathe in Strength” and “Release your fear”
5) Release your fear
A big part of spousal abuse is that the spouse fears her partner– and in fact this is the number one sign that there is abuse going on. Fear can be debilitating and prevents the disenfranchised from seeking help and changing their situation. So, I thought an important part of the mantra is to release the fear with each exhale.
|Reclaim Your Truth: You are enough.|
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