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
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.
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.
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
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.
Showed my square to Bess. Had
a long chat with her. It feels good to be neighborly
and not isolated.
Showed square to Charles -- no
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.
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.
"The eyes, the hands
will keep me silent no more.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
Long ago the journey began
as innocent life was
enshrouded with incest and pain;
Knowing no love, needing,
Taken in the night by the eyes and
the beat of the drum resounding in
innocence was destroyed, the body
the mind split, and a childhood
Unknown to those around,
the essence of life lay hidden deep
protected from the enmeshed
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