The Experience of Too Much
Portrayal – A small girl, surrounded by a mist or a haze of some type. It looks all encompassing and with this illustration you can’t tell if it’s negative and she’s trying to shut it out, or if it’s positive and she’s basking in it. What is obvious is that it is overwhelming, that she’s not in the real world but is instead consumed by this emotional nebula.
As I see it, the illustration can be interpreted in 3 different ways:
1- The emotions are positive and so the haze that surrounds her is a representation of the love and nurturance she feels. It’s so wonderful that she has to stop and take it in, unable to take in or perceive anything else since her senses are overwhelmed by the overabundance of affection and warmth. Not something that she cares to change I imagine.
2- The haze represents a sense of an ever encroaching darkness composed of sorrow, despair and loss. It has come up from the ground (which is why it’s darker on the bottom and sides of the painting) and is getting closer and closer to enveloping her. Surrounded and with no chance of escape, she closes her eyes and tries her best to shut it out. If she can numb herself to the pain, she can hold it off until she can take care of it when she’s an adult.
3- The haze is part darkness (bottom and sides of the image) and part light. The dark emotions have come from her home environment and are too overwhelming for her. So to cope she decides to create her own fantasy world (the light around her head) where her life is perfectly normal and her caretakers are angels. This fantasy again will hold until one day it doesn’t, at which point she’ll find herself opposite a therapist who will try to help her get in touch with the darkness she shut off from her psyche, and had forgotten about, many years before.
In all cases the emotions are overwhelming and she will be in need of some mature guidance to help her process and regulate them.
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ” – Friedrich Nietzsche
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