I first began to paint and draw out of a desperate need for a language, a medium that could communicate the pain inside of me. I was in therapy. I was shattered, overwhelmed and terrified. No words could communicate what I carried inside of me, the deep trauma from years of childhood abuse and torture that were haunting and debilitating me.

Then my therapist posed a life-changing question that shifted the entire course of my therapeutic process. He asked me - as I sat paralyzed, despairing, and frozen on the couch in his office - if I had ever considered drawing or painting as a way to help me communicate what had happened. That question led me to the most surprising discovery of my own power, willingness and courage to heal from within.

My paintings are the cathartic, vivid and sometimes disturbing, but very liberating answer to that question. Profound relief came to me when my terrors, hopes, discoveries, and experiences were finally voiced on the canvas. My pain came out, depicted with a strong, loud, and clear voice of color and detail. This voice worked for me! It healed me. I painted myself sane. I painted myself out of Hell and into a beautiful life, rich and whole.

It is my desire to share with others through my books, both in words and images how I externalized the experience of severe abuse through art, bringing it into the therapeutic arena for healing. I am able to share with others the inner workings of a deeply traumatized person. I speak from living experience of how I healed. I want to foster a deeper understanding of the crucial elements of the therapeutic relationship that were most beneficial and fruitful in the journey back to wholeness and joy. I want to witness to the miracle that I have experienced and become, in hopes of inspiring courage in the hearts of others on their own journeys.

With love and respect,
Gabriel Orion Marie (Veronica C. Wanchena)


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