Why I Draw Cartoons About Trauma
When you’ve been through trauma, you sometimes face a lot of misinformation and ignorance. Unless you’ve been through it yourself, or have a lot of training on the subject, it’s common for others to misunderstand a lot of aspects of trauma.
Beyond your typical misunderstanding though, comes the downright purposeful ignorance and gaslighting. This often comes from the people or institutions that abused you in the first place. I have found that a common issue is pretending the trauma never happened, whether that’s through outright denial or something more underhanded like refusing to talk about it.
My first drawing represents this need to assure the survivor that what they went through indeed happened, and it is not make believe.
Another aspect of trauma that people can come up against is being told they should “get over it” or “move on already.” The truth is, healing takes time and no one has the right to question or judge your timeline.
This second drawing is a reminder that no matter how far in the past your trauma is, it can continue to impact you and that no one can rush your healing.
For the above reasons, it’s not uncommon to need to cut someone from your life. It could be because they’re the one who hurt you. Or it could be because this person doesn’t understand, doesn’t respect your boundaries or is triggering for you.
This third drawing is a reminder that it’s OK to let other people go.
Lastly, trauma itself is complicated. I cannot possibly capture it all, no matter how many drawings I make.
This final drawing shows some of the other areas that could be complicated due to trauma.
I make these drawings to remind myself and others that it’s OK to go through whatever you are dealing with, especially if others don’t understand. What else should the animals say? Tell me in comments.