"Compliance my prison bars, tolerance my chains", so I wrote beneath the next painting "Captive". At times by circumstances beyond our control and other times by a sort of choice we tolerate a situation, and comply with requirements put upon us. Walls begin to close in on us, we feel suffocated by our responsibilities - perhaps forgetting who we are - if we ever knew. Expectations, self induced duties, guilt, and shame can become prison bars. Only when we realize these things are not set in stone can we see that the prison door has always been open. We were always free to walk away from the expectations, to set boundaries for what we will allow.
When circumstances beyond our control are at play, the prison bars can be real. The path through the difficult emotions is a slightly different one. A healing can still occur, however may require continual processing and strategizing to feel some freedom.
These are the emotions that I have experienced and have seen in other women. If you feel something different, that is okay. Every emotion is allowed. What I am learning is to embrace the feelings, sit with them, learn from them. When we feel strong enough to move on from them, realize the strength you have gained from having survived. You are wiser, more aware, more empathetic of others. Use these as gifts to yourself, your children, your friends, your family - for humanity.