Innocence is perhaps that one element that we can never fully recover.

Childhood trauma, abuse or neglect can take the rest of our lives to comprehend and to heal. It is amazing to me how much damage a cruel or careless comment can cause and can how it can linger for the rest of our lives. I wanted this “shatter” to seem like a rock just missed hitting her. This child looks back on the world through a broken gaze. But she will survive. Thrive even. It is just a matter of recognizing the damage done to us at a young age. Realizing we were innocent and forgiving ourselves.

“Broken Vessel #7/ Innocence” Oil and 24k gold leaf.

The good news is that we can get back a sense of child-like wonder and joy from the world around us- even as adults.

The model is my friends’ daughter. She doesn’t have blue eyes, but I felt that blue would have a more innocent look. The more people I talk to over the course of my life the more I realize how much trauma can be inflicted on us as children. And how it sticks with us.  I was in a new school in 7th grade. I remember a boy coming up to me and saying I was ugly and that I should go back to where I came from. Yes, this was a Catholic school. I can still fully recall that moment. How he looked, how I felt. I can tell myself 40 years later than it was just kids being mean. That that one moment has nothing to do with me, but I can’t seem to shake it. It sticks.

Next week, the Trust Panel.

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