Encouraging Tussila

What’s the matter, Tussila? Why are you so sad and reluctant? You think that nobody will be interested in you work, that nobody will bother to read your words or view your paintings. You think that you are a failure and a tragic combination of a traumatized wreck, and wanting to make a difference, all at the same time.

Hold on Tussila; let us reflect over this project for a while:

This is a huge project. You have done a lot of work already, in less than a months’ time. You have decided to publish the book. You have done a lot of research regarding publishing options. Because of that, you now have decided not to approach traditional publishing houses, but to approach the e book market instead.

That led you in the direction of Smash Words organization. They offer tremendous help in all aspects of publishing. Therefor you have now downloaded two of their free books about the subject, and you have printed them out, and are carefully studying, and educating yourself in the evenings.

In addition, what about the fact that shifting publishing strategies also involved that you have to translate the entire book and all the writing following this project to English.

Further, you have created several accounts, not to mention your own web site.

In addition, you have chosen Picasa to organize your paintings. That too took a lot of trying and failing until you got it right.

Besides, did you really think that this project would not affect you on a mental base?

Now consider, why are you approaching incest survivors groups for support? I know you’re in need of support, but how can you alter between being a victim and being strong enough to complete this project? Besides, remember what originally sparked off the idea of making your dairy to a book. It all started in my room at the psychiatric emergency ward many years ago. The staff members, also those not working directly with me, were interested in my paintings and in my diary notes. I left my diary sheets in the care of the staff each evening, so that I would not tear them apart. I didn’t say it was OK for the staff to read it, but they did. Some of them even wanted to view my bedroom wall, which I at the time had covered with paintings. All of them painted in desperate attempts to communicate with the staff trying to understand me and to help me. I actually also received a request that really took me by surprise. I knew two of the staff members from previously because I had participated in their group therapy classes. One of them worked as psychomotor therapist, the other in art therapy, and I thought very highly of both of them. At the time, they were engaged in educating various public employees, like the police, emergency units and other related groups in how to understand and best help psychiatric patients in challenging situations. They asked if they could take photographs of my paintings for their educational purposes. They said that they found it difficult to explain purely with words how a patients world might look like, and that it would help a lot if they also could visualize.

That was the beginning of the project. They even started photographing, but luckily, after closer reflections, we decided not to proceed because I was far too fragile. I couldn’t let my paintings out on their own and therefor they deleted all the paintings from the camera device.

What I’m trying to point out for you Tussila, is the fact that many people already have showed interest in your work. All of them are different staff members. None of them is patients; they are employees in various psychiatric related positions. Do you understand what I mean? You’d better address staff members instead of your fellow patients.

Thinking back some years, and even until this day I am reluctant to get involved in other patient stories, because it tears open my own wounds and because I easily get confused dealing with other patients traumas in addition to my own. It is no wonder if other survivors are reluctant to read about my story, some of them probably even should be discouraged to read it. I do not want to add suffering with my book. My main intention is to help. Therefore my focus will from now on be to direct my attention to the professionals. My ultimate goal is still to help other patients; though not directly, but through health care workers.


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