• Maria-Katharina Richters

Transforming Traumas

I went through a scary situation when I was 13. My friend and I walked through the spanish promenade at the beach in winter, as we lived there, laughing and walking up and down the beach. It was empty there, but then a bunch of boys around 20 of them came towards us and laughed and all. It took a second until they separated us, took us to the floor and attacked us, each with 10-15 boys around us touching us and holding us down. It was only when a couple walked past that they ran away.

Back then my friend cried her heart out while I was still and silent. I didn't feel anything.

When we told what happened to our friends I laughed it off.

My friend told me that it wasn't funny what happened. I know it wasn't but I just didn't feel anything. It was only 1 year and a half ago that in my art therapy session we did the 'Feelings chain', using a colour per feeling.

In the process of letting feeling after feeling sit with me, me giving it space to be, we would get to the next underlying feeling and the next and the next. When I cam to a feeling of helplessness, and we pick up the thoughts I might be thinking same time, a memory came up, the one I just explained above and even though I thought the memory was irrelevant when it came to me I shared it and I burst into tears, but not just crying tears they restricted my ability to breathe, it was hyperventilation, I was not able to catch air and my vision became dizzy and I had vertigo lost balance, and I reacted finally as if I was scared and hurt and shocked. Its like the floor was pulled away under my feet. All the emotions I didn't feel and didn't know I had came out all at once. This is trauma. 20 years later, stronger than ever.

You don't know it is affecting you, but the feelings certain things have created are still stored in you. Most of the time we say no thats not true to things we think we don't have because their pain inside us is especially strong. Its our bodies ability to save us from pain there and then, shock happens and its stored somewhere inside us. Its a good system but it also creaties problems if never looked at again.

Those behaviours one might have, where one might feel one is self sabotaging oneself or where a behaviour can't be changed no matter what or where we keep ttracting the same people or same situations we don't want happening, we know there is something underneath it all, packed away so far that it might never be found.

This art therapy tool LOM and PM is a safe space, where you can bring to the surface the stuff inside you that otherwise never would, to be able to transform it once and for all.

Since that day, I have been able to understand certain behaviours of mine better and was able to transform them, change aspects of myself and saw an instant change in how I dealt with things automatically.

I was someone who wasn't in touch with their feelings at all cause I blocked them out, and wouldn't have been able release them without this art therapy method that day. It was difficult, I was scared to death in that moment when I was 13 and I didn't know.

We are constantly being 'fooled' by our subconscious which hides away from us things we are not consciously aware of but they are there and they do affect your life every second. This is an example of many.


Hamburg, Germany, London, Uk


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