One word thrown out fairly regularly by my therapist was “acceptance.” But that begs the question, “what exactly am I accepting?” Am I supposed to be accepting my past? This seems impossible since I do not have a good grasp of my own history. I think one thing happened, but I was a child. How reliable is my own memory? Perhaps I am supposed to be accepting myself. This is also hard to pin down since my family, my friends, and I all have very distinct ideas of who I am. Maybe I am supposed to accept my abusers for who they are and they they may never change.
When I started graduate school something happened that forced me to confront both facts and people that I had been ignoring. My mind was a mess, a beehive, a drawer of tangled cables. I was feeling emotions for the first time in years. My therapist said that was a good thing. I vehemently disagreed as I desperately pretending like I was not crying. I had to sort through this before I started crying in front of someone who wasn’t my therapist. I had no idea where to begin. The Best We Know is both my MFA Thesis exhibition and the culmination of a year of reflection on acceptance.