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Paint Release is an interactive form of art therapy that uses a canvas to capture trapped energies. Mental/emotional blocks are transferred from the psyche into a unique painting during a safe, comfortable one-on-one session where I mix/fling/chuck paint and shake/stomp/slap the canvas. Releasees keep the painting afterward as a symbol of what they freed.

An anonymous excerpt from the one-on-one for this release:

"The first time I felt pain was the night my mom and dad split as a family. He’d just gotten home from the club. He was half naked in his underwear, drunk. His leg was bleeding because he got jumped. He was fighting with my mom. She was telling him it was the last straw, that we couldn’t do this anymore. She took me and ran out the front door. He followed us, limping. I remember looking back at him. There was a swept-up pile of dirt near the door. He slipped and bust his ass. It was traumatic because it was the last image I have of us as a family before he lost touch. That was the moment I realized I’m here in this body… I’m conscious. I was 3.

There are bits and pieces of different memories after that— he wasn’t around and there was this looming question of where is he, why isn’t he here? Is it something I did?

It had a butterfly effect. It changed my life, my understanding, my self-worth. A feeling of abandonment didn’t really settle in until middle school. This deep sadness followed me everywhere. I’d burst into tears during class. I’d cry to my teacher and ask, “why is my dad gone?”

As I got older the feeling transitioned into self-hatred and self-rejection. Why should I love myself if my father doesn't even love me? I think that’s partially why I struggled my sexuality so much. I always felt rejected as a person.

My dad came back around. He’d reach out when he was in town. He’d tell me to go to my grandparents house, that he’d meet me there. I’d go and wait. And wait. And wait. Hours later, he’d call and say he couldn’t make it. This really hammered in a sense of abandonment.

It effects my relationships to this day. I try to push people away. I have a deep fear that people are going to leave for some reason… and that the reason is me. If I push them away first, I won’t have to deal with that pain. I can deal with the pain of losing someone because I want them gone, but for someone else to decide that I’m not good enough…this is a dialogue I battle with—I have to remind myself that it has nothing to do with me.

My relationship with my father may have influenced my behaviors of being reclusive, shy, afraid to meet new people—but I understand now that he didn’t leave because of me. He had his own shit going on."

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