Memories of My Past Life

Child Abuse Survivor

Trapped Inside the Pain ©Flavia Totoli
Putting into words what has happened to me was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

People tell us to leave the past in the past, but that advice does not come with a step by step manual on how to achieve it. Nobody explains that in order to leave the past in the past, we need to understand it, come to terms with it and if necessary mourn what happened.

Sadness ©Flavia Totoli
It wasn’t easy to look at it and see its impacts in my life, how it had shaped my behaviour and influenced my decisions. Specially because I wasn’t aware of how much my way of thinking, acting and feeling had being affected. I spent a long time thinking I was the only person in the world to have the reactions I had and that I was broke somehow. Maybe I was crazy because I couldn’t forget, overcome it. 

Or maybe I was just damaged beyond repair.

After a few months living in Barcelona I decided to go back to therapy. I was separated for a year I thought it was the moment to pause and look at how I got where I was, and how I wanted to continue living. 

Suffocating ©Flavia Totoli
Looking at the abuse I suffered as a child seemed like the right place to start. I met other victims, listened to their stories and started to put into words my emotions, anger and fears. Step by step I created a map of my story and the truth is that looking at it was incredible painful. I had no idea of how profound my trauma was or how much it was engrained in me.

Being a victim of sexual violence is something that every woman, in some level has experienced in life. It’s impossible to be different, since we still live in such a sexist society. 

We all have been through some sort of situation that made us fear for our physical and/or mental integrity. 
Realization ©Flavia Totoli
This series of paintings is my way of dealing with my past trauma and also a portray of many other women’s stories.

Women who have been silenced, subjugated, threatened and violated.

Women who had to learn how to live with fear, shame and guilt.

Unfortunately this pain is not only mine...

©Flavia Totoli

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