On the outside, we look normal. Pictures don't convey the devastation. On the inside we are hemorrhaging. Childhood trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, mental anguish, and emotional abuse wreaks havoc. It's difficult to handle regular routines for some of us. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is very real and can paralyze one from being able to perform simple daily tasks. Unfortunately, a staggering majority of us grow up to become repeat victims or even the next abuser. It is a vicious cycle that can be broken.
Some of us were doing alright until we entered the military. The trauma we endured in the service of our country created the same scenario. Now, here we are, back home, and too many of us end up homeless or victims of suicide. The number of veteran suicides is heart wrenching. The devastation of families a very real tragedy.
Trauma causes the brain to fracture and begin to compartmentalize activities that trigger us. We begin to suffer from memory loss. Anxiety rises to a fevered pitch and we lose control of our emotions. Then the guilt washes over us. We try to find coping mechanisms; some extremely unhealthy and those create an even more monstrous dilemma. Drug and alcohol addiction are at a fevered pitch causing crime to escalate at an alarming rate.
We get labeled, drugged, head shrunk among other modalities that try to “fix” the underlying issues. We are defined as “unstable”. Many of us become homeless, walking the streets aimlessly, desperately trying to find “normal”. Some of us get too desperate and end up incarcerated, or, sadly end up in an early grave.
This societal problem is burgeoning. Numbers are rapidly upward climbing. We can’t ignore the consequences of trauma and abuse. Abuse bleeds over and spills onto innocent victims as well. There are other alternatives to this tragedy. Holistic healing through creative expression is now being recognized as a viable alternative. Art & music play an important role in our well-being. Research is now showing scientific evidence of the immense healing properties of creative expression. There are many creative avenues for healing, art, music, culinary art, and gardening to name a few. This is the mission of HeARTS Found.
My name is Sheri. I am the founder of HeARTS Found. My story is ever unfolding. I am a survivor of childhood abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse. I endured all the scenarios above, I became a repeat victim, and unwittingly, an abuser. Hurting people hurt people. I used unhealthy coping mechanisms that were heading me down a path to destruction. I am recovering from PTSD, depression and memory issues. I know that music, writing, and art is a big reason I survived early on.
I believe God created us to create. So, when we are destroying rather than creating, things get ugly. This is the reason I give myself over to this mission. I believe it is the reason I endured what I did, to help others overcome and heal from the deep wounds of abuse. If HeARTS Found can make a difference in even one person’s life it will all be worth it.
Learn more about ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) HERE
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Everyone has a story. We all have had painful experiences in our lives. Some have experienced extreme trauma or neglect. This is why we are here. HeARTS Found is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education, offering emotional support and encouraging healing through creative expression for individuals suffering with PTSD, abuse issues, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and stress in a safe, peaceful and loving environment. Research is now proving the ARTS to be a powerful tool for not only healing, but increasing cognitive abilities. We also are working to improve quality of life for those affected by trauma through education and workforce. Our Culinary Arts Program provides training and certification to at-risk individuals to help them gain employment and become productive members of their community. HeARTS Found strives to be a beacon of light for those feeling lost in the dark.
Child abuse, domestic & sexual violence leave deep wounds. Physical scars eventually heal, emotional scars are much more difficult. Abused children often grow up to become repeat victims of abuse or the abuser. Creative expression is coming to the forefront of clinical studies in it's ability to help heal emotional trauma. Our Art Programs are designed to allow our participants an alternative to words for self expression and emotional healing. Creative expression gives us a profound sense of well-being.
PTSD is very real. Veteran suicide and homelessness are tragedies that can be turned around. Planting and cultivating a garden is a very healing process. It is scientifically proven that Garden Therapy is especially successful for individuals suffering from PTSD, depression and other mental issues. As our garden grows, participants get to eat what they grow which has powerful physical health benefits. We also use our gardens produce in our Culinary Program.
Our Culinary Arts Program offers skilled certification for gainful employment for at-risk individuals.
Brain damage can affect memory, movement and language abilities, having a significant impact on quality of life. Music Therapy can stimulate brain function controlling movement, cognition, speech, emotions and the senses. Music is also proven to reduce anxiety and relive depression. Studies have found Individuals suffering with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Stroke Victims are responding positively with this type of therapy.
Art is a community building tool.
Healthy People Build Healthy Communities.
Do you have a HeART for our mission?
Visit our Get Involved page and find out how you can make a difference.
Articles on Art & Healing:
More information on the healing power of creative arts HERE
Visit the NCBI website to read their comprehensive study on Art & Health HERE