In 2016, after a parathyroid tumor surgery, I was hit with waves of PTSD. I sought a therapist right away to discuss what was taking place. During our sessions, she talked of a thing called, "The Coping Threshold" and how if this threshold is broken, chances of recovery are very slim. She said I was 'AT' the threshold but it's not broken yet. Sometime later, I felt led to paint-it-out and this is the result. Each tiny image holds specific meaning as to the build up of me reaching my coping threshold. Yes, of course the ocean of tears, the vast blackness holding every unknown fear, the world overhead with its pressures and expectations, the lighthouse beaming with the shreds of hope I still hold inside, the ferris wheel of never ending thoughts in my head, various individuals and the impactful meaning they've held over me. But the most striking of images to me is the "CAN YOU SAY IT?" glued to my lips. This stands out because of the running theme that overshadowed my every step, the being shamed into staying silent. "That's your dirty laundry." -family member "I'm sorry that happened to you but my kids won't be able to handle it if they knew what their dad did to you. He's a jerk, just move on."-exwife of rapist "You're like the abused dog, should leave but is too used to the chain." -family member "Going to court will be very stressful for you and consider your kids." -friend
Those were just some of the things I heard along the way after experiencing sex assault. And so, I kept quiet yet here I stand. Thankfully, I am now surrounded by nurturing, compassionate friendships and have been able to put my experiences into the place they belong in order to be able to open up. Hopefully, the lighthouse of hope within me can shine bright for others and help them find their way.
-an emotional breaking point at which you are no longer able to cope with the levels of fear, stress, or pain that you are currently feeling.
-consequences of reaching this threshold are anxiety, depression and/or physical illness.
-this threshold is not a fixed trait and can change over time.
-coping mechanisms to reduce risks of negative effects of nearing the coping threshold can be journaling, talking with someone you trust, exercise, mindfulness, social support, finding a sense of purpose or meaning in your life.