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PTSD Dress
PTSD Dress
2017

Using the principle of Wabi-Sabi (celebrating and highlighting imperfection instead of disposing for new or dismissing as broken), the areas of the brain in the fabric pattern have been embroidered, gilded and mended with brass and gold beads. The embellishment is applied more densely over the areas of the body under the dress that I experience chronic pain related to trauma, neglect and PTSD. There are simple linear bugle beads along the brain stem, where fight or flight instincts connect to the amygdala and set off the brass alarm bell…between the hips this pattern creates a uterine form aligned with reproductive organs altered by fluctuating hormones related to stress. Chevron beads form an arrow or verb to show the proactive choice to make bilateral connections in EMDR treatment, mending and contextualizing memory. The frontal lobe sparkles and during triggers goes off-line, along with extremity sensation (beading along sleeves), making rational decisions and escape difficult, strained, or impossible. The lower back, shoulders, neck and belly are storage sites for tension. This tension and difficulty with digestion is the body signaling with discomfort a need to process lack of agency, freeze response, chronic stress and lack of rest/digest.