“The Internal Kind”

By popular demand, here’s yet another anecdote revealing more quirks of my sleeping habits / creative hang ups.

It should be explained first of all that I suffered from horrific nightmares growing up.   They weren’t standard nightmares about monsters or ghosts, which I was rarely affected by . Rather I was horribly terrified of the contents of my room, specifically every single doll and toy in it.   It wasn’t that I was afraid of them in a ‘Chucky” – cursed knife wielding sort of way, or that I dreaded they would chase down my family to a blood spattered conclusion.  In fact, nothing much gory happened at all.  Mostly the dolls just subtly changed positions all night long, reappearing in in gradually different positions, or getting slowly closer and closer to me every time I opened my eyes.   Sometimes their faces would almost unperceptively change shape and their features and limbs would grow slowly, gradually contorting into sinister expressions and disfigurements.  This unnerving, endless escalation to nothing petrified me.    I would wake up screaming and  jump out of bed, only to find that the dolls kept moving and changing and coming closer.  This would happen all night long, day after day, so that for a year and a half I never really knew if I was sleeping or awake.   It got so bad that my parents took all the toys out of my room and made me see a therapist.

I don’t remember liking her, and with her typical and complete lack of understanding, she once told me to draw the things that scared me, and then tear them up and throw them away.   This was by far the stupidest idea my 5 year old self had ever heard.  Though the dreams terrified me, I did basically understand that they were only dreams.  Drawing something on the other hand made it come to life, which was the last thing I wanted to do.  I ended up lying and telling everyone I did it, and then pretended the dreams stopped.  Eventually they really did.   BUT, I still will never sleep without at least one of my ears covered with a blanket.  And I will never ever draw something that I think is scary.

So:  A new painting.  “The Internal Kind”  On display through the month of June for the “Landscape show” at people’s gallery in Portland OR.

Opens Tonight June 16th: 5 -9pm

Peoples Art of Portland Gallery
700 SW Fifth (3rd floor) People’s is Suite 4005
Settlement Galleries
Pioneer Square Mall, downtown Portland
open Thurs-Sun 12-6pm

2 thoughts on ““The Internal Kind”

  1. I had night terrors as a child up until I was out of Elementary school. I know just what you went through. Like you mentioned, you would wake up and the dream did not stop! It was so scary! I love the painting and relate to all the meanings behind it! Great work as always!!!! ❤

  2. Kendra, I’ve been a fan of your visual art for a long time. And I’m happy to find, after stumbling across your blog, that you’re also a good writer. I know I’m commenting on one of your old posts, but write in your blog more often! (P.S. I own one of your resin-covered pieces from back in the day, and it still hangs in my dining area (no dining room in this little apartment.))

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