Creating under Difficult Circumstances: When Things Fall Apart

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The other day, my Dan fully broke my dress form. It was already fragile from another one of his stunts but I had managed to put it back together. This time, a recent climbing expedition, completely broke her in two.

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This is what it’s like to create in my context, the context of having a child with autism who, although lovable and happy, is also quite impulsive and curious about how things come apart. I have to admit, when I saw Frida (yes, that’s what I call this dress form), I was pissed!

I sew and make things so I have a lot of enticing stuff to play with; zippers, tape measures, fabric, paint, brushes, etc. All of this feeds my sensory needs, so how can it not be tempting to a sensory needy child like mine. And yes, I have, on more than one occasion, sacrificed the zipper or piece of fabric so that he could be happy and quiet in my space while I sewed away, but the buck stops at my mannequins! He cannot have my dress forms too! I am constantly teaching my kids, especially my oldest, how to enforce boundaries, this is one instance when I need to take my own advice.

So, in an attempt to not have this break me or my creative spirit, I took a deep breath, composed myself, and went about trying to find a solution to this issue. We recently moved and I finally have my own creative, enclosed space but alas, it has no door! It is now time for a door, or a gate, something, because creating is my lifeline, and when things seem to be falling apart, it’s what makes sense and holds me together. I love my Dan to pieces but he cannot have a piece of my Frida! I need to figure out a way to lovingly enforce my boundaries for him concerning my personal and creative space. I have to admit, though, this part of self-care is tough for me.

If you create under difficult circumstances; sickness, caring for a special needs child, unsupportive environment, etc., I’d love to hear from you, swap stories, and learn!

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*Vintage post from April, 2015

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