Between States – Poetry by Charlotte Farhan

Safe Place - By Charlotte Farhan
Safe Place – By Charlotte Farhan

Between States

Closing my eyes,
seeing emptiness, however endless,
hearing sounds of days already had,
voices of lonely goodbyes.

In cornfields we escaped,
laying in beautiful memories beneath future possibilities,
Time is only relevant to my existence,
numbers, hands, faces – clocks stop.

Pendulous over my metaphorical cliff.
Blue surrounds me,
mist kisses me as tears precipitates,
waves crashing below.

Dreaming takes forever,
passing hours – drifting.
Life tries to wake me with flickers of light,
clasping tightly at the reigns of this delusion.

The breeze carries a scent with it,
brushing my hair against my face,
familiarity sinks into the pit of my stomach,
I know this place.
This residence has no name,
no directions given, or maps written.
Stepping through a cerebral maze,
with the house getting further away.

This world between states,
of mind and power.
My consciousness hesitates,
not wanting to let me go.

 


 

Between States - By Charlotte Farhan
Between States – By Charlotte Farhan

Art and Poetry by Charlotte Farhan

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask by filling in this form:

Neuro-divergent me – A Poem by Charlotte Farhan

Neuro-divergent me

 

There are parts of my brain,

people call sick,

inside things can’t configure – to the accepted standard.

There were times when fitting me into a box,

was a main concern.

Or blame – who’s left her out too long

too often, too little.

How about inside,

thoughts, dreams, the others in here?

Feelings which overwhelm,

sensory information begins to concentrate,

like compressed gas in a cylinder.

Pain is all that can be felt,

physical surges through my spinal cord,

to my brain – the host.

Being born with this disposition,

having an environment devastated.

Parents – the same chemistry

Clueless in their own damnation

However happily participating

in their haphazard irony.

Not typical, not normal,

they said and continue to claim.

“she’s weird, she doesn’t look me in the eye”

they whisper whilst backing away.

Thought of as rude, too direct,

judgements made habitually,

privileges left unchecked.

My cognition brought into question,

By those who never had to confabulate.

The world is not odd to me,

as it is all I can see,

you need to cure me.

Not trusting my words and memories,

abusing me,

leaving me.


when I close my eyes - by Charlotte Farhan
When I close my eyes – by Charlotte Farhan

 

Art and poetry by Charlotte Farhan.

If you would like to know more or have any questions please fill in this form:

Waking up from Terror to Panic – PTSD Awake and Asleep

Art by Charlotte Farhan
Art by Charlotte Farhan

Waking up this morning was a torturous affair, opening my eyes, feeling that sensation in my stomach, the one that feels as if you dropped off the earth but your body is still looking over the edge waving you goodbye. It feels like sinking in pain – as if pain was quick sand, if I did not know better I would say someone had opened me up in an operating theatre, during my sleep and rearranged my internal organs and sewed me back up.

Laying there with only feelings not thoughts, no rational thinking commencing in this lucid state. However the pain is reminding my brain of other hurt, other ordeals. Like a back catalogue of torture, my mind runs through a long list, flashing images in front of me, in an attempt to condition me or subliminally coerce me. Then with no warning, I am awake! My fight or flight has been triggered, blood is rushing from my head to my extremities, preparing me to run away. There is no where to run, no where for me to escape this danger, for the danger only exists in my brain, my own neurology is basically trying to run me out of town.

Peoples opinions and past criticisms enter my stream of thought, “It’s all in your head”. I chuckle maniacally to myself and say repeatedly “Yes, it is indeed in my head”. The idea that this is said to us, the mentally ill, the neuro-divergent, is laughable to me at this moment. As if our species has taught itself that the head/brain/mind are not part of us, not part of our physical selves or bodies. We never say to a “physically” disabled person, its all in your legs/arms etc.  All the while my brain is trying to desperately stay in the moment and ponder on the complexities of people’s lack of understanding for anything related to the unseen, our illnesses are less believable than Father Christmas, fairies, lizard people and the all powerful dude sat above us and the evil one living down in the depths of hell, but mental illness is utterly unbelievable without being in a straight jacket throwing yourself into walls, dribbling and wanting to kill people – because of course it is perfectly believable that the mentally ill are criminals.

My body is still preparing itself for battle. The pins and needles in my arms and legs are going crazy, there seems to be no blood left above my heart. My mouth becomes very dry and then my need to vomit takes over, as apparently the sickness is trying to escape me. The blurred vision begins, bringing with it more panic – I am certain I am about to die. With my breath getting quicker and my body perspiring at a scary level, the only option is to lay on the floor and accept my fate.

With no ability to leave the house, on my own – my only choice is to call someone, something I can only do with a few people. So with my double vision, tapping away at my keypad, the ring tone begins…

“Lisa?? I am dying! I can’t do this anymore, I am sure I am going to die alone here”, the uncontrollable need for safety and reassurance is like someone giving me oxygen, I hear Lisa’s voice, she knows how this feels, so I do not need to explain. Lisa try’s to distract me and get my brain out of the immediate fight or flight state that I am in, trying to focus my attention outside of myself, so that every sensation that is felt is not interpreted as a sign of dying. Eventually she gets me from the bathroom to my living room, all I can do is sedate myself now, lay in my chair and hope to sleep.

Before long sleep takes over, my parallel world opens up, a world created from old buildings which are derelict shells, past homes, schools and locations where trauma was created. There is no day or time here, no summer and no order. It is grey with darkness lurking everywhere, like every horror film ever watched muddled up with my own life events. Old faces appear behind corners and in the darkness, natural disasters erupt on a frequent rotation, buildings collapse without warning, stair cases and corridors never end, fluorescent lights flicker, music plays in the distance – songs played as soundtracks to the violence endured, smells are vivid with scents of perfumes and aftershaves by the oppressive abusers. This is where I come to rest. This – the place my mind rebuilds and orchestrates every night, a haunting performance of memories and trauma.

Sometimes the only thing my brain conjures up are flash-backs, which can be on repeat for what feels like an entire life time. The brain is able to retrieve the most long forgotten detail and with a force of pure malevolence this detail is forced down your gullet like an over-fed goose. Chocking on the terror and the overwhelming taste of bitterness, my eyes often feel pulled open, when in fact they are closed – being forced to face the shame. Upon awaking from this, the particular detail is seared into my conscious mind and begins infecting my hippocampus and amygdala, whilst poisoning my thalamus and hypothalamus, and the sickness spreads to my peripheral cortex and temporal cortex. Soon I start to feel physical pain in the places most violated, there is no time to slowly open my eyes, stretch and ponder my day, the alarm has been raised, high alert is here and my day begins again as it ends.

Here are some facts about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, brain damage and sleep:

“When patients re-experience traumatic events and flashbacks during sleep, these nightmares can be accompanied by real physical reactions to feelings of fear, such as a pounding heart and sweating. The re-experience can occur at random or might be triggered by sights, sounds, or smells that remind the person of the trauma. Therefore, patients suffering from PTSD often try to avoid objects, places, events, or even emotions that trigger memories of the traumatic event.

In addition to nightmares, people with PTSD can manifest a state of hyperarousal, in which the individual is subconsciously “on guard” to protect himself, and as a result feels anxious, has difficulty falling asleep, is irritable, suffers emotional outbursts, or is easily startled.”

(  https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/ptsd-and-sleep )

“Psychological trauma has great effects on physical aspects of patients’ brains, to the point that it can have detrimental effects akin to actual physical brain damage. The hippocampus, as mentioned above, is involved in the transference of short-term memories to long-term memories and it is especially sensitive to stress. Stress causes glucocorticoids (GCs), adrenal hormones, to be secreted and sustained exposure to these hormones can cause neural degeneration. The hippocampus is a principal target site for GCs and therefore experiences a severity of neuronal damage that other areas of the brain do not. In severe trauma patients, especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder, the medial prefrontal cortex is volumetrically smaller in size than normal and is hyporesponsive when performing cognitive tasks, which could be a cause of involuntary recollection (intrusive thoughts). The medial prefrontal cortex controls emotional responsiveness and conditioned fear responses to fear-inducing stimuli by interacting with the amygdala. In those cases, the metabolism in some parts of the medial prefrontal cortex didn’t activate as they were supposed to when compared to those of a healthy subject.”

Tarara, R., Else, J.G., Suleman, M.A., Sapolsky, R.M. (1989). Hippocampal damage associated with prolonged and fatal stress in primates. J Neurosci 9:1705-1711.

McNally, Richard J. (2006) Trends in Cognitive Science, Volume 10, Issue 6: Cognitive Abnormalities in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. P271-277)

 

Mental Health Awareness Month: Donate to get an original piece of art by Charlotte Farhan

As you may already be aware a close friend of mine Lisa Reeve, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for me to get a psychiatric assistance dog as I have not been able to leave the house on my own for over 9 years now due to sever mental illness and neurological damage from trauma.

To find out more please click HERE 

To help raise money for this I have decided to sell some of my paintings from my old collections for a limited time only at MEGA low prices, so that people can donate and receive an original piece of my art in exchange.

 

I can only offer FREE POSTAGE & PACKAGING to those of you who live in the UK / Europe.

However if you are from other countries you can still donate and get a piece of art, but I can NOT offer FREE postage and packing and will have to charge you for this.

To take part you need to fill out this form below with your details, tell me which one of the paintings you are interested in. I shall then allocate the painting to you and confirm this, then you follow the GoFundMe link, donate the correct amount for the painting to the campaign, once I get the confirmation of your donation I shall ask you for your address and send you your painting.

This is a Firstcome, firstserved deal.

Here are the prices:

Small paintings are £10.00 each:

  • She is the Sky,
  • Cat Among the Flowers,
  • Isabella,
  • She is a Warrior,
  • True Colours,
  • L’été À Ma Fenêtre,
  • With Flowers in her Hair,
  • Autumn Flowers,
  • Omar,
  • Feeling Love, 
  • Sitting Pretty

Medium Paintings are £20.00;

  • Escapism,
  • Body Positive,
  • Amman (Rainbow Street),
  • Autumn Tree,
  • Just to Make Your Smile,
  • Summer is Coming,
  • Amman at Dusk

Large Paintings are £25.00 each:

  • Dans les rues de Grasse,
  • Laying in Flowers,
  • Earth

X-Large and Framed is £50.00:

  • Maison des ville, Grasse, France

Here is the form:

 

Escapism - By Charlotte Farhan
Escapism – By Charlotte Farhan
She is the Sky - By Charlotte Farhan
She is the Sky – By Charlotte Farhan
Cat Among the Flowers - By Charlotte Farhan
Cat Among the Flowers – By Charlotte Farhan
Dans les rues de Grasse - By Charlotte Farhan
Dans les rues de Grasse – By Charlotte Farhan
Isabella - By Charlotte Farhan
Isabella – By Charlotte Farhan
Body Positive - By Charlotte Farhan
Body Positive – By Charlotte Farhan
True Colours - By Charlotte Farhan
True Colours – By Charlotte Farhan
L'été À Ma Fenêtre - By Charlotte Farhan
L’été À Ma Fenêtre – By Charlotte Farhan
Autumn Tree - By Charlotte Farhan
Autumn Tree – By Charlotte Farhan
Amman, Rainbow Street - By Charlotte Farhan
Amman, Rainbow Street – By Charlotte Farhan
Maison des ville, Grasse, France - By Charlotte Farhan
Maison des ville, Grasse, France – By Charlotte Farhan
She is a Warrior - By Charlotte Farhan
She is a Warrior – By Charlotte Farhan
With Flowers in her Hair - By Charlotte Farhan
With Flowers in her Hair – By Charlotte Farhan
Amman at Dusk - By Charlotte Farhan
Amman at Dusk – By Charlotte Farhan
Autumn Flowers - By Charlotte Farhan
Autumn Flowers – By Charlotte Farhan
Summer is Coming - By Charlotte Farhan
Summer is Coming – By Charlotte Farhan
Just to Make Your Smile - By Charlotte Farhan
Just to Make Your Smile – By Charlotte Farhan
Feeling Love - By Charlotte Farhan
Feeling Love – By Charlotte Farhan
Earth - By Charlotte Farhan
Earth – By Charlotte Farhan
Laying in Flowers - By Charlotte Farhan
Laying in Flowers – By Charlotte Farhan
Omar - By Charlotte Farhan
Omar – By Charlotte Farhan
Sitting Pretty - By Charlotte Far
Sitting Pretty – By Charlotte Farhan

 

We have already raised £750 of our £2000 target and I am so grateful for all the love and support offered.

To read about why this is so important to me and for my health please read my article on this:

Charlotte Needs an Assistance Dog – Please help me have a better, more independent life.


Charlotte Needs an Assistance Dog


Thank you for your support xxx

GO FUND ME - Charlotte Farhan

 

Outsider Art and Poetry – Chained to the Past – By Charlotte Farhan

Chained to the Past - By Charlotte Farhan
Chained to the Past – By Charlotte Farhan

Chained to the Past – By Charlotte Farhan

Chained to my past like a prisoner, with only sorrow to comfort me,
at night the mattress swallows me whole, it becomes pitch black,
let me escape this anguish, this nectarous misery – let me be free,
my torment clenches me tight with gripped arms – holding me back.

Recollection chokes me with the thought of violence,
memories leave me for dead, crying for liberation,
no ability to speak up – I offer silence,
chains are pulled tighter constricting me in my damnation.

Punishment is not a fetish when it is kept unseen,
my head is pulsating, the pressure is mounting in my veins,
steel and blood mixed with sheets I am always unclean,
whose hands are those, the ones holding my chains?


If you have any questions on my work, if you wish for me to exhibit in your gallery or would like to purchase a piece , please contact me via the form below, thank you.

 

Outsider Art – Unlocked by Charlotte Farhan

Unlocked - By Charlotte Farhan
Unlocked – By Charlotte Farhan

Unlocked – By Charlotte Farhan

A pressure builds inside my head like a boiling liquid,
spilling out of me, the security lock has been breached.
The fear that anything could escape – this is unscripted,
witnessing my life – my credibility is impeached.


This illustration is of my inner turmoil spilling from my mind, when experiencing a locked in state from flash backs and psychosis as a result of having complex post traumatic stress disorder and psychotic depression.

As I get older the locked safe where my darkest thoughts and memories have been kept, since being very young; has started to erode with time. Rusty and old, the hinges are no longer able to hold it all in.

Since starting reliving therapy in 2014 there have been many disturbances to my treatment, such as the NHS only being able to offer 6 weeks and then leaving me worse than before, opened up and dumped.

Then last year I found a therapist which was able to offer a reduced fee (as we are on such a low income) all was going well, even though it was soul-destroying and painful and made me cry in those 6 sessions more than I ever had. Still it was a process and felt as if maybe I would be able to deal with the trauma of my rape and sexual abuse as well as all the other issues which had developed as a consequence. However this was not to be the case, due to my borderline personality disorder I ended up splitting my therapist in my mind and however much I tried, this could not be changed. From thinking “she is my saviour” to “she is trying to kill me”, which then led me to become dangerously suicidal. So having no real choice, the therapeutic relationship had to be terminated.

So I am left unlocked and wide open…


 

If you have any questions on my work, if you wish for me to exhibit in your gallery or would like to purchase a piece , please contact me via the form below, thank you.

Art and Poetry – Alien Woman by Charlotte Farhan

By Charlotte Farhan


Alien Woman by Charlotte Farhan

She was thought to be different from an early age,
no one understood her language or seclusion.
Being made to witness their madness on a rampage,
their sadness transparent – was she the intrusion?

When looking up at the stars she could see her home,
the planet she was created on – was so far from here.
Abandoned, dropped in a deep-sea of monochrome,
swimming to the ragged shore – a reluctant sightseer.

A heart larger than most – with beats like a bass drum,
She fights the worlds battles – a leader with forlorn hope.
Her voice soothes you – allowing you to overcome,
Eyes so open they see like the Hubble Telescope,

As an alien she lives amongst us in vibrant blues,
she disguises herself as she waits in purgatory.
Her hope is to free this earth of beliefs disabused,
Your life is fragile – never forget; memento mori.


If you have any questions on my work, if you wish for me to exhibit in your gallery or would like to purchase a piece , please contact me via the form below, thank you.

I Can’t Look Forward – Art and Poetry – By Charlotte Farhan – Reflecting the physical and emotional struggles of having Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I Can't Look Forward - By Charlotte Farhan
I Can’t Look Forward – By Charlotte Farhan

I Can’t Look Forward

By Charlotte Farhan

In memories I continue to relive,
not able to endure this universes reality,
my amygdala is highly combative,
the fragmented pieces falling from my dead family tree.

Infected fear filled eyes, like sores from the past,
in the depths of hell, everyone is deranged,
truth sees me branded as an iconoclast,
putrid and filthy I’m seen as the estranged.

The dysfunction of my mind continues to breed,
my hippocampus withering as neurons disintegrate,
dissociated in this mad world of misdeeds,
my prefrontal cortex had no time to decontaminate,

My illness is physical which you can’t see,
I have been rearranged internally,
this sickness inside, a screaming apogee,
with my outward mask fixed eternally.

Eyes alert and looking to the past,
like a bête noire lost with nowhere to go,
the trigger is pulled with a loud blast,
night terrors and flashbacks are the ammo.

We are not all soldiers of war back from global battle,
many of us suffer without being part of the bloodshed,
instead our bodies have been used as personal chattel,
We knew our survival would not cause for medals or tears shed.


This painting and poem reflects the physical and emotional struggles of having Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how the world reserves compassion for soldiers of war who have this illness but do not extend the same benevolence to victims of sexual violence and rape, who are a larger number of affected people.

I am one of these survivors; using my art, poetry and writing to raise awareness of the aftermath from being abused, assaulted and raped. As well as to help prevent these acts from continuing and to explain how rape culture in part of the every day fabric of life, which goes unnoticed, but is highly dangerous to us as a global community.

If you have any questions on my work, if you wish for me to exhibit in your gallery or would like to purchase a piece , please contact me via the form below, thank you.

Art by Charlotte Farhan

Poetry and Art Spotlight: Red – By Charlotte Farhan

Red - Art By - Charlotte Farhan
Red – Art By – Charlotte Farhan

 

RED

by Charlotte Farhan 

A survivor is created through their suffering – not born,

overwhelming need for endurance becomes everything,

red drips – glistening droplets cascading down a single thorn,

petals fall like tears as the red roses are left weeping.

 

Asking for forgiveness from the powers that be,

Rising tall after the holy wreckage,

Seeing nothing but red; left lost with nobody,

from the crimson glow among the breakage,

 

Reaching for that apple; fruit of the poisonous tree

Breaking into pieces, scattering across the earth

red glass cuts; amidst the shards appears a master key

Could this be the moment of sweet release; my rebirth.

 

Being black and blue is nothing new,

the red remains; staining my legs,

however my strength was a breakthrough,

even if the darkness still begs.

 

Purity was ruined by them; they burnt me alive,

breathing is a battle; existing is trying,

nonetheless if in this redness; I can survive,

then a warrioress can break from within; crying.

 

Strength comes from doing whatever you can to stay alive,

crossing that red stop sign can be necessary,

blood alerts us, poppies sooth us, Red Riding Hood reminds us,

warning to all; survival is cautionary.

 

So when you see me and think this is madness,

remember that red is around us and pumps through our veins,

danger is present; a part of the darkness,

however survival comes from this and strength remains.


If you have any queries please fill out the form below:

Art Spotlight – Bad Child Crazy Girl – By Charlotte Farhan

Bad Child - Crazy Girl By Charlotte Farhan
Bad Child Crazy Girl – By Charlotte Farhan

Acrylic paint, oil pastels, pen, nail varnish and charcoal.                                       Size: A4, Canvas Paper.

 

To find out more about this painting and the motivations behind it, please follow this link:

Being “bad child – crazy girl” in neurotypical education structures – the struggle for equal rights!

For information on prints, original artwork or any questions please fill out the contact form: