Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits

RUTH'S SURVIVOR
MONUMENT PROJECT JOURNAL


June 27
Time to get my hand cast -- Oh God! No!!! I can't do this. It's too much. I'm in over my head.

Pour the plaster into the palm of my hand -- the white creamy stuff may as well have been squirted from a penis for all the way it felt.

I'm OK. I can do this -- it's just plaster. No!!! Get me out! Let go! I don't wanna be here! Please let me go -- I'm gonna get into trouble. Please!

Mother isn't here, Daddy is dead, I'm with safe people -- I'm going to tell -- it's OK. I'm OK. I'm not in trouble and they're going to find out they messed with the wrong person!

Alas, my hand is free -- Oh God! How ugly!! I did it wrong-- look at those air bubbles -- I messed it up -- now I'll never be able to do this, I did it wrong.

The wax is poured -- I can tell my hand by the warts on the wax from the air bubbles. Ugly -- cover it up quick so no one can see just how ugly I am -- just how ugly I feel.

 

 


June 28
Sit down, listen, don't feel -- just look around and know you're with safe people. Listen to the instructions, you can follow instructions. Just do exactly as he says and you will get through this just fine. Get your code number, sign the papers, -- no! We did that last night don't you know anything!

Look! Look! You are here now to start your sculpting. What makes you think you can do this!! You can't do this you -- don't know what to put on it. Look at the others -- they are ready to begin and you stupid ugly you! It's way over your head, you're too clumsy, you know your hands can't do the work -- it's too much!!!

Breathe deeply, just ask questions about what to do. Ask about the tools. It's safe, no one is going to stick them inside. See? Just take one step at a time. Yes, the square doesn't look right, but there are ways to work at it. Warm the wax, fill in the holes, don't think about it -- feel. This is important.

Challenging inner scripts and fears.

I can't do it. I don't know how. I want it to be right and I don't.

June 29
The panic is easing. If I stay in my head and think technically I can perceive and do. If I follow the rules, ask technical questions and just do, I'm alright.

HandPrints -- have to follow the rules -- with rules? Use the words on the paper, remember the English poetry rules. Rules take the feelings away. I can't do it right, time's up and I'm not finished -- this is so ugly.

Beginning the sculpted quilt square was an enormous challenge for many workshop participants. Often the greater the challenge the greater it was a step forward.



click on picture for
Ruth's address at the
Maple Leaf Gardens'
Martin Kruze Forum

The hands put people in touch with their support and their present day community. They also put many in touch with their greatest nightmares.


June 30
Showed my square to Bess. Had a long chat with her. It feels good to be neighborly and not isolated.

July 1
Showed square to Charles -- no biggy.

July 2
Tried to work on square, want to cut it to shreds! Can't do this alone. Waited for going to Sarnia to work with the group. Ready to leave and severe thunderstorm warning kept me home.

 


July 9
Every time I try to work on my square I want to carve it into little pieces. There is no way I can work on this alone. I must get help from the group. I tell Rebecca, Sue, Sheila how I feel. They suggest I talk about it with the group. Time to do our feelings and I keep silent. Time to work on my square and the wax is too hard for my pain ridden hands to manipulate. Tears rolling down my cheeks I feel so helpless, inadequate and awkward.

I get help, I plug along, I keep trying. It all looks so ugly even though what I think I want on the square is what is going on.



Ruth affirms,
"The eyes, the hands
will keep me silent no more.



July 13
Worked with Tracy and Rebecca. Got help, was shown how to use some of the tools -- but most of all we shared our feelings while working away. What a difference putting my feelings into the wax forms makes. The urge to cut it up isn't quite as strong with Jay. It's amazing how sharing my feelings can turn the destructive rage into energy for creating.

Sharing feelings, needs and wants with people who listen opens new doors.

 


July 16
Working together with the group is hugely affirming, encouraging and challenging. They, individually and collectively, keep reality in front of me and challenge me to see the reality of my life; then and now. My focus is no longer on not being able to do this, but how can I do this! Sharing my feelings, needs, and wants with people who listen is opening new doors to me (Or maybe I'm just better able to see that I can open the doors for myself!) I am feeling better about my square -- I'm even happy with the way some of the things are looking and feel somewhat confident that Michael can help with some of the details.

The only problem -- or change is the night mares -- the sleep is filled with dreams and I wake exhausted and with incredible pain in various areas of my body. Working on the square -- telling -- is reaching deep within and stirring forgotten memories, denied feelings, and horrendous pain. And yet, amidst all the ugly reality there is a sense of hope, of energy, of living.


TELL

July 18
I just told -- Huge! I had contacted the local newspaper and set an appointment for today to tell about the project. Oh my! I never expected it to go so deep inside and become so personal! The telling isn't about the project -- that's only the medium to tell about my life! Wow -- big feelings! The shame and fear are so big and overwhelming. I want to crawl into a hole and hide for fear of what kind of response I'll get from the community.

I guess I must be determined to see this process through, because when the newspaper reporter didn't show up for the appointment -- I called the paper's office. Two and one half hours later I got a call from the reporter asking if it was still OK for him to come and I said yes. So here I am, telling -- yes, telling about the project, but also about my history. This is an incredible powerful opportunity for facing the truth and for healing!


July 24
The journey continues. I believe I am as well prepared as I can be for a "telling -- sharing --reading" program at my church. It will be telling my story through scriptures, song, poetry, prose, and drawings. I will conclude the evening with information on the monument project and opportunities for others to make contributions for support of the project. I am terrified that after all my preparation and putting my heart and soul into the evening no one will show up. But no matter what -- I am telling -- and I am healing -- and I am becoming me.


July 27
And so, the workshop comes to a close. I have felt the image and reached deep within to find my soul. The essence of "ME" has been born. I have felt her fear, the pain of birth, the sadness of all she has lost, and most of all the rage. Rage for the tricks, for the hate poured upon her and for all the knowledge that none of the pain, death, loss, abuse, sadness, fear, torture, grief, and on and on ever had to happen. It never had to be!

Expression has been given to my doubts and I have found a solidifying of knowledge. The abuse was real -- for over 15 years of my childhood I suffered needlessly -- all I ever wanted was to be loved. Today, my reality is that the family of origin never loved me, they only loved what I could do for them. I see that now, I feel that now, I know that now! But in the end -- they messed with the wrong person! For I am being borne on the wings of angels and the love I need is coming from the "family" I have gathered around me.

Working together with the group is hugely affirming, encouraging and challenging.

Yes, I still see and feel the "Ugly,' but I have had a glimpse of knowledge - it doesn't have to stay there. I don't have to stay there -- I can grow beyond the ugly. Yes, I have lost forty-eight years of my life because of ‘them', but I don't have to lose another forty-eight! I can choose, I can choose hope, I can choose to grow, to risk, to feel, to love and to be loved.

Why do I have hope today? Because there are people who care about my pain and the agony of the struggle I had to survive. Those people afforded me a miracle -- one where I could actively express my journey from hate to love, from death to life; a journey that is found deep within the very essence of me.

 


New life springs forth
from telling and healing

Journey

Long ago the journey began
as innocent life was
enshrouded with incest and pain;
Knowing no love, needing,
wanting, trying...
Taken in the night by the eyes and
the hands,
the beat of the drum resounding in
the woods,
innocence was destroyed, the body
tortured,
the mind split, and a childhood
was lost.
Unknown to those around,
the essence of life lay hidden deep
within;
protected from the enmeshed
control,
only to be revealed in its season.
Daring to risk, to tell, to grow...
Choosing to let go of the old,
a new life has been found,
A circle of love gives freedom to
soar!


Ruth

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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