Where was I?
Art School at East Carolina. Wesley Crawley. The end of my artistic schooling came suddenly, and without a whole lot of fanfare. Wesley Crawley did NOT like me. He did not like me from Day one of drawing class, and he took every opportunity to belittle me, and point out how inferior my work was in every way, shape and form. I was on Dean’s List, except for his class. I was struggling to get a D. STRUGGLING. In tears. I turned in my work, on time, best as I could and he was a brutal motherfucker of a teacher. The worst knob gobbling twatwaffle I have ever had to deal with and I worked retail! At the end of the semester, he handed me back my portfolio. He eviscerated me. Tore me from stem to stern. I walked back to the dorm room, in tears, and I left art school, his condemnation loomed heavy on my mind
Fast forward a few years. I am at Appalachian State University, recovering from a lengthy illness complication by personal issues, when I get a newspaper clipping in the mail from a friend of mine who was still at East Carolina University. The clipping was of a man, in his mid-60’s, who ended his life by walking into a lake, carrying a cinder block, tied to a rope around his ankle. The teacher that was so brutal, and horrible and ended my art career had committed suicide in a shallow lake outside Greenville, NC. Only now do I realise how much power I had given him. Power enough to keep me from drawing and painting for almost 30 years. I could not bear to pick up a paintbrush to put to canvas for the fear of the eviscerating criticism that would erupt. I am finally to the point in my life where I can paint, and draw, and sketch and derive joy from it. It makes me quite happy to paint, and give my artwork away. It helps me in my healing process that I used to think would never happen. There are days when I still struggle with rejection, and days when I paint or draw something, and I immediately destroy it, for real fear of rejection or ridicule.
Someone once told me that recovery could take a really long time, and it’s something I struggle with and probably…always will. It only makes me realize that the only power people can steal from you—is the power you let them take.