Author

Kate Gillie

Browsing

Art Diary with a Difference: EMDR

I loathe floral prints. Floral prints make my skin itch. Imagine living with any number of apparently random but violently real aversions to certain things: smells, sounds and textures.  Add floral prints to that mix.  Add the 80’s and Laura Ashley (may she rot in hell for all eternity… apologies … but really, for me?  I’d have preferred to walk barefoot over hot coals then step into a Laura Ashley store). In the process of EMDR the doors in my labyrinth of horrors slowly swung open, what came out was never pleasant but often it was freeing.  I kept an art diary, as often flashbacks would start with a small image or smell, slowly building from there.  I’d start by sketching a foot or a hand, once the bark patterning of a tree… slowly the image would build as my pencil worked, my brain numb until it was finished and…

LIVING WITH GHOSTS: Early Childhood PTSD

What is it like living with early childhood PTSD? Life is never dull, that’s for sure.  Overwhelming.  Incomprehensible.  Frightening and lonely, but never ever dull. I haven’t always had a name for it, when I was a teenager and young adult I knew I wasn’t normal but each and every head doctor I ever spoke to shook their respective grey heads, told me to keep my pandora box of horrors tightly closed, never ever speak to a therapist because frankly, the child mind is a hell of a lot stronger than an adult’s and nobody would be able to put me back together again if I ever opened those dark treasures in my brain.  I avoided close relationships that asked more of me than I could give.  I was numb to pain and numb to pleasure.  I could walk the walk, talk the talk but it was just that, a…

Flashbacks are not Memories

Hyper vigilance is a fact of my life.  I grew up hunted.  No adult was safe to be close to.  Nobody was trusted.  Those that I had loved and trusted had been murdered, massacred, machete’d into tiny pieces of useless flesh, blood and vomit.  Sound extreme?  How could you understand.  You who sit quietly comfortable in front of your favourite cop show on t.v.?  The reality of violent death and torture are so far removed from you that words like this fall like hyperbole in a windstorm of make-believe. A childhood in an african civil war adjusts reality perceptions permanently.  Live to Die.  Die to Live. A heartbeat.  Perspiration.  Thoughts.  Emotions.  Subtle body cues.  Faces, so much information.  All the time, every day, every minute.  The noise in my head is deafening.  Mostly I just avoid big social events, when I can’t, I scan the room for safety.  Hide behind…