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Why I Designed a Clothing Line for People Who've Been Through Trauma

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It was only this last year that I realized I struggle with mental illness. As a precocious child, I was inundated with programs and institutions that had very rigid guidelines and standards. That, combined with a long stint in a cult, caused me to spend most of formidable developmental years developing a warped sense of self and life. I am also a survivor of multiple traumas. As a “high-functioning” person, I never gave my trauma too much attention. I didn’t see the connections between my challenges with incongruence and “normal” day-to-day functioning. But, after an incident at work, I had a break in the middle of Grand Central Station. After figuratively, “throwing it all up,” on my supervisor, she strongly suggested medical leave, which I heeded.

• What is PTSD?

Upon taking leave and making new appointments with my therapist, I began to look at and accept that I had moved past things without recognizing their impact on me, my behavior, my emotions, anger and relationships. I am now 37 years old, and just scratching the surface of self-acceptance with mental illness.

As a senior level marketing communications executive, I know the importance of branding. My outward appearance suffered. I was no longer “presentable” by many “outside standards.” I was, and believed I looked, depressed. Without wanting to leave my couch, I googled clothes for depressed people, and found nothing. In my pain, I began drawing again; a passion I gave up because some “conventional standards” say that drawing is not a lucrative career path. What I began to draw were sketches of clothes that I could wear that left me feeling safe and secure, with empowering personal messages, and components to assist someone during a panic attack or sensory overload.

All of sudden, I had an entire line of clothing for trauma survivors. Traumattire was conceived.

Every piece of clothing has a subtle message, intentional fabric and color selection, and researched additions to assist survivors. Being a single mom living with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder can be really hard. But, I now know that I do not have a sign that says, “I’m a victim,” but rather; a story that has me personally connected, invested and knowledgeable about a niche population that has a very real need.

a drawing of traumattire clothing

a drawing of traumattire clothing

Follow this journey here.

 Image provided by the author. 

Originally published: June 14, 2017
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