Healing tears painting abstracts for grief and trauma



My name is Xanthe Wyse. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (type 1) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

My emotions get shut down and frozen inside. Listening to music on a loop and moving and expressing myself in some way such as painting abstracts helps me to access emotion. I am currently processing grief emotions. Painting is very calming for me.

In this video, I show a short segment of myself painting an abstract that has many layers and has changed many times and has had many different titles – Hope – Courage – Euphoria – Sensual Goddess – Tragedy. Now it is currently called Treasure – to let go of the pain and to hold onto the memories.

I am listening to Butterfly by Delta Goodrem and quietly shed tears. During a few paintings, I have sobbed, but kept going. Sometimes I couldn’t feel the emotions but they were still expressed in the painting. For example, when manic, I may have felt euphoric painting about trauma but the intensity was still captured in metaphor.

This painting started off as an abstract bird in flight, then I painted magenta on its wings representing suffering, then I made rays of light radiate from a golden heart on the bird, then I made the rays of light colour, then I made ripples of coloured light to represent how I felt in euphoria, then I painted a dancing goddess (also how I felt in mania), then I painted a heart on her upper torso and a spade (like from cards) on her lower torso representing death and buried. The intersect was a diamond (representing my son, the treasure). The goddess now looked like a mannikin with smudged makeup from crying. She was frozen in pain. I put blue boots on her and turned them into rollerskates and gave her a purple ball dress and a yellow X symbolising my new name from trauma. Then I turned it into a golden butterfly. Nearly finished I think. Just want to highlight the treasure.

The painting about the transformation of healing from trauma.

Source: Youtube