48.75″ high x 58″ wide (123.8 cm high x 147.3 cm wide)
batik fabrics, free-form cut, machine-pieced, machine quilted
In her latest book “Daring Greatly” (2012) the shame and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging”.
Unfortunately, there are experiences and traumatic events in some people’s lives that cause long-lasting shame or other intense emotions. About 8% of adult Americans of all ethnicities develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after experiencing or witnessing a severe traumatic event. Traumatic events include rape, child abuse, accidents, the death of a friend or family member under violent circumstances, combat, natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes or man-made disasters like fires.
People who have experienced any of these traumas feel ashamed that the incident (like rape or abuse) has happened to them in the first place. They are ashamed that they re-experience the event in their minds over and over again, and that they are not able to cope. They are ashamed of their “fight-or-flight” response to triggers like smells or sounds that remind them of the traumatic event even if they are actually in a “safe” environment. Their lives fall apart and their shame becomes a wall which keeps them from reaching out and seeking help.