Dare to Create – addiction, abuse and sexuality – finding expression through art with Cai Vescuso
Hello readers, and welcome to another Dare You Create article from #ProjectLifeQuality. Your creative corner, where we discuss our topic of the week and you are provided with a suggestion to take away with you.
This will be something designed to encourage, and motivate you to explore your thoughts through the use of the arts. This month, we’re exploring ways we can make a fresh start and this week the focus is on the way creativity can help us heal.
Dare to Create – Let’s make a mandala
Today, try cranking up the volume, dancing to a favourite tune and drawing a mandala. If you prefer a more techy alternative, try this.
Mandala Colouring Pages
You’ll find more creative apps at the end of this article!
Image in left corner – http://www.pixels.com
Don’t know what a mandala is?
Don’t forget to tag your mandala. We love seeing your creativity.
– Cai Vescuso
The content of the following discussion
could be disturbing to some people.
Let me introduce Cai. This week’s inspiring survivor. Someone who’s come through abuse in many forms including from within their LGBTQ community, but who’s found their creative gifts as a pianist and artist, have provided a source of enormous comfort and healing. Read on to learn about Cai’s personal journey.
Cai – “I come from a family that has a long history of alcoholism and addiction. I grew up in an abusive and addicted household. By the time I reached 12 I was already addicted to drugs and alcohol and by 16 I was in my first AA meeting. My first attempt at sobriety. At that AA meeting hall, I met my ex-girlfriend.
When we first met I had no idea who she really was – no idea she was an abuser. She was very charming, sweet and good to me in the beginning. As time went on she slowly started to reveal her true self. Starting first with name calling, and at its worst, breaking my nose. I went through 8 years of cheating, lying, physical and mental abuse.
– Cai Vescuso
PLQ – “That must have really hampered your escaping!”
Cai – “Yes it did. Every time I tried to leave she would find me and manipulate me into going back to her. It was a vicious cycle for years. The last year I was with her I was able to find an amazing therapist that helped me figure out an exit strategy. This therapist was a lesbian. Which was what I really needed to be able to finally leave. I am forever grateful. I think at the time I was in this relationship, the LGBTQ community didn’t have as many resources available to queer folks in abusive relationships. Abuse in the community was pretty hush-hush. Now there is way more support! Which is so awesome! It’s still somewhat hush-hush, but not nearly what it used to be.
– Cai Vescuso
PLQ – “Thank you. I know that is something which straight individuals may think impossible between women. It’s important it’s recognised.”
Cai – “Exactly! Thank you! I just know how important it is for others to hear these stories that aren’t talked about. I want to help others”
PLQ – “So how did you rebuild your life after this? What helped?”
Cai – “Therapy therapy therapy! I can’t say therapy enough! It’s a huge help! I am currently in therapy again. I play piano. Also art – I paint.
PLQ – “The arts are a remarkable way of processing feelings. Do you find it a good way to express what you can’t put into words?”
Cai – “Yes, it does help express feeling that I can’t put into words. It is wonderful. I feel like it’s a great tool for everyone. I am drawing something now that was homework from my last therapy session. Which is coming out as a nonbinary person and how it feels to be misgendered all the time. This also relates to my abusive relationship with me ex, because she never allowed me to be myself. So I suppressed this part of me for years and years.
Image shared with kind permission from Cai Vescuso
Cai is now in a very happy, healthy relationship and is a respected artist who’s looking forward to showcasing their paintings in a local gallery. Therapy through talking, art and music will continue for many more years, but Cai is seeing progress, and life has moved on in many positive ways, since distancing themselves from the abuse.
Has Cai inspired you? Remember, we all have the ability to be creative, be that through singing, music, garden design, dancing and even how we choose to dress.
– 18 Apps Every Creative And Artist Type Should Download Right Now
– The 13 best free Android app http://www.creativebloq.com/android/free-android-apps-11410252
– Music Maker JAM https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.magix.android.mmjam
– Learn to Seeing – Sing Sharp https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.magix.android.mmjam
Want to know more about the term nonbinary?
– What Does It Mean to Identify as Nonbinary?
– My Life Without Gender
Thank you for sharing so openly with us Cai.
Be the person you want to be!
PLQ Creative Coach and Journalist