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A journey of self-discovery and awareness

Puppet

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The androgynous figure drawn here isn’t sexual in any way. Although WE had many abusive relationships, it has become OK to now define themselves as asexual.

Though the innocent child looks down on the figure, both of them feel deep shame that it must have been their fault the abuse happened. The figure’s mouth has been zipped because of course you must never tell. We have a ghostly image in the doorway. This ‘ghost’ would haunt WE for most of their life. However, it was discovered during therapy that WE created this ‘alternative reality’ to replace the reality of torturous abuse which their brain couldn’t handle.

Compliance is ‘being a puppet on a string’. WE had no choice but to oblige those who were ‘in charge’ of them. They were far too afraid and far too young. They also developed the ability of not being able to feel one’s body. WE used to pride themselves on not feeling pain as this ensured no one could ever hurt them. We see childhood toys—a longing for a ‘normal’ childhood perhaps? The legs are bound so they cannot move.

Interestingly, WE has a serious condition which left them disabled from the waist down. Could their brain have created this as they never wanted to feel those parts of their body ever again? It is amazing what our brains can do in a way to protect us.

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We are all in bondage, pulled like puppets if we allow ourselves to be. Like the toys in the image, we are bombarded by advertising telling us what we need. If it’s not the television then it’s our peers, as we all have a desire to fit in. But what if we don’t? Do we feel shame? We allow ourselves to feel shame about practically everything: our bodies, looks, height, weight, careers, financial status, clothes, homes; the list goes on. You know what you really feel shameful about. As represented by the dark mysterious figure in the doorway, that shame lurks with us no matter where we go, and how far we travel.

Do we allow ourselves to be innocent and playful like the child depicted, or have society’s ‘norms’ downtrodden us? WE—probably due to the abuse starting at such an early age—seems to be ‘stuck’ with a childlike mindset. It deems them vulnerable, yet they are also incredibly lucky because it enables them to daydream and fantasise about places they want to be—to be able to go, see and really live that reality, just like a child does when they play. This is really important for our mental health. Take time in and out of ‘reality’ and truly allow yourself to fantasise about places, music and smells, along with taking time to be in the present moment.

Getting out of our inner thoughts and off our phones and looking—truly looking at what is around us—allows us a greater appreciation of the world we live in, as it’s far too easy to feel like everything is doom and gloom. If we look at wildlife we’ll be amazed at the beauty and intricacy. Look at architecture and imagine who designed it and how it was built. That’s testament to how incredible the human race is. Taking this one small step and practicing it daily makes a huge difference to how we perceive our own reality. It makes each day far more pleasant along with helping to prevent us from dwelling in the past.