Monsters & Trigger Warnings

Last night, I slept on the floor of my new house. Or, should I say, "old house"? It's been in my family ever since my great uncle left it to my grandfather. When I was eight years old, my mother, father, dog, brother, and I lived here for about six years until we moved into what I like to call 'my mother's portfolio'.

There are many emotions and memories tied up with this place -- many of them good and many of them bad. When I was a child, my life was turbulent, filled with abuse, fake friends, and bullying. After my fight through the outside, I was the one who became a monster.

Years later, my skin is crisp from the fire, but sometimes fourth degree burns heal, even if the heat damaged bone.

All my life, I've drawn monsters because that's who we, the human race, are. Now, you can purchase many of these life reflections on Etsy. The gallery below is filled with previews of what you may find in the shop.

These sketches combine the playfulness and innocence of childhood with the dangers, pain, and knowledge of adulthood. My style takes on these two elements of age because they depict the innocence that we've all stared monsters in the face with.

Growing up, I learned that there is no such thing as a 'safe space'. Those who claim there is such a thing create them for themselves. The minute you step on the boundaries, even just toeing the line, they will attack you to protect their own state of mind. It becomes less of a safe space and more of them becoming easily triggered.

As someone with PTSD, I can honestly say that surrounding yourself with your triggers, and pushing yourself through uncomfortable situations is the only way to become less affected by them.

Our own fears, how we react to them, and how we allow them to affect us is polarizing our views as people. It's pitting us against each other and affecting how we relate. The more we allow these triggers to control us, the less accepting of other people we will become.

"Harnessing Creativity" is a new article series here on Marmosetic Wolves. If you would like to, you can read the introduction. If not, you can skip ahead to the first article, which is, surprise, about trigger warnings, safe spaces, and their effects on art and free speech. It's appropriately named "Trigger Warnings".

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Helena Ortiz

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