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Currently Crafting: Honoring Pain

I love making little collage pages. These are good for little journal notes. And I've found another perfect use for these pages.
I'm a social worker/therapist and the main duty of my current job is taking reports of abuse and neglect. So you can imagine that I hear a lot of painful stories. Sometimes, a particular client sticks with me and it is difficult to let go of their suffering. Although it is important to empathize with others' pain, I can't hold onto it. I've found a good outlet for that. I make these little pages to honor them and their pain. It's my way of feeling their pain and then letting it go. 

I choose colors or themes that resonate with me for whatever reason. Sometimes it directly relates to the individual's story, other times it just makes me feel better. As I make the page, I leave a hidden pocket somewhere on the page. I write the individual's first name or initial only, fold it up small and stick it in the hiding spot. One day, I plan to bind the pages I already have and add blank pages. 

I doubt any past or future client will ever read this post. But maybe you are someone's client. Or maybe one of your loved ones is.  Regardless, you can know that someone out there honors your suffering. Maybe you could pass it on by acknowledging and honoring someone else's pain? 

6 comments:

annie and m November 12, 2012 at 6:23 AM  

What a thoughtful way to approach something that could easily turn into a big negative. Someone once told me that there is always a silver lining to everything and these pages certainly seem to be just that. They are lovely.

quinn November 12, 2012 at 7:04 AM  

Using a creative ritual/process as a means to handle something difficult whilst honoring the pain is a lovely, lovely thing. Thanks for sharing!

Natasha November 12, 2012 at 10:54 AM  

Such a beautiful expression of honor, as a survivor of abuse it would also be a nice way to remember 'happy' thoughts/times during times of suffering or simply what helped a person through it. Thanks for sharing such a thoughful and expressive idea.
Hugs xNx

LimeRiot November 12, 2012 at 4:11 PM  

This is such a lovely way to honor your client's and recognize their suffering. It must also be theraputic for you to release it this way. Keep up the good work :).

Stephanie @ henry happened November 12, 2012 at 7:59 PM  

Oh Katie, this breaks my heart. I can only imagine the stories you hear - I know that must be hard to bear. I'm so glad you've found a creative way to let it go!

Erica November 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM  

Oh, this post touches my heart. I wanted to work in healthcare, but I just got too involved with patients, their limitations and their lives. It was too hard for me and I chose a different career path. I am amazed at courageous people like you who can stick it out through the thick and thin to make a difference. Kudos to you. Crafting must be a way for you to express the emotions that you have to supress at work.

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