Here is another updated version of an excerpt from my autobiography entitled Art as Therapy in the chapter Heal Thyself.

There are many different art forms in this world but the two that have helped me the most – by way of allowing me to get in touch with deeper emotions – have been music and movies. Music played a much more important role in my teens – especially heavy metal/hard rock because it allowed me to get in touch with my anger. I used to go upstairs to an entertainment room my father had built over the garage, lock the door and proceed to play all sorts of music in order to feel whatever it was that was coming up for me in that moment. Sometimes, I played records (only the vinyl variety was in existence in my childhood) and at other times, I switched on the radio changing the stations until I came across a song that suited my mood. I would jump around and scream to release anger, frustration and hatred, and I would move slowly, sit still and/or ball my eyes out when I felt guilt, sorrow and sadness.

Movies were far more significant to me in my twenties and beyond. I prefer dramas as they allow for a deeper emotional transformative experience. This genre includes violent films which were a means by which I could get in touch with my homicidal rage. Gangster films, Rambo, Die Hard…take your pick of violent flicks. I loved seeing the bad guys suffer and/or be wiped off the face of the earth. I always imagined my abusers as these people and it was so very satisfying.

Helen