Friday, October 2, 2015


This is my favorite angel. If I could only take one angel with me, she would be the one. For me, she is the soul of it all. I love her. After I painted her I realized that she was my dear friend, Liat. I didn't paint any of my angels with someone in particular in mind. I let them discover me. It was when she was all complete and looking into my eyes that I realized that she was Liat!

Liat never left my side. Her message to me was consistent, constant and clear. I had lost all sense of value and worth in my own eyes. If I could not be of any use in this world, than I was useless. The logic was simple. The suffering was immense. The pain-torture was beyond comprehensible. I had become a pain-entity.

Liati was the voice of deep and committed friendship. She was the voice of truth and essence. If I knew for certain that every living being had an intrinsic value than how could I exclude myself from this truth? With liati close by I couldn't. Daily she pulled me back into my inherent value, daily she visited me in the pits of despair, terror, grief...Daily she showed me what true friendship is, what profound love and commitment is made of.

I knew it was her calling by the sound of the telephone ring. The ring of the telephone immediately sent me into panic. Just the shrillness of the tone sent me into anxiety. Liati's voice calmed me down. She was soft and focused and she wasn't afraid of being with me in the pits of despair and agony. She believed in me and she believed in our love for each other.

I think that I want my next body of work to focus on friendship. I am not finding the words to explain how much Liat helped me. Maybe my artwork will speak for me.

Friday, September 25, 2015

I just got off of the phone with Dr. Sandra Carson. Dr Sandra Carson is the vice president of the education department of ACOG, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This is our third conversation. She told me that she has been reading my blog.

Dr. Carson requested that I send her:

1.  Peer-reviewed references about Pudendal Neuralgia and other causes of pelvic pain.

2. Names of experts that have researched and published on these topics. She wants the CV's of these doctors so that she can recommend them as consultants to their committee.

Dr Carson will present all of this research and information to the Education Committee. The Education Committee will write the educational objectives.

I asked her what the difference is between Guidelines and Educational Objectives. As of now there are NO guidelines or educational objects regarding Pudendal Neuralgia and Pervasive Genital Arousal Disorder. In other words our conditions DO NOT EVEN EXIST as names of conditions let alone diagnosis or treatment.

How does this happen? I am not blaming Dr. Carson or Dr. Lawrence or Dr. Zahn. This isn't their fault. In fact I believe that they are the ones that will bring this very necessary change into gynecology.

What I am saying is this: God bless you for being here to help us. God bless you for hearing our voices. Goddess bless you for working to put an end to this suffering. Goddess bless you for hearing our stories with compassion in your heart and determination in your actions.

I have to believe that we will bring this change.

Otherwise, what good would all of my suffering have been for? Until my last breath on this earth I will believe that my suffering was meant to serve a higher purpose.

Otherwise I might as well be swallowed up by my own rage at the injustice.

So, as usual, I have a lot of work to do.

A lot of networking.

And that is okay because I enjoy networking. I enjoy bringing people together to serve a higher goal. In fact it brings me great joy to be a part of such endeavors.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the fundraising auction that I participated in. And I feel so blessed to have met Angela Kennedy. Her art inspires me deeply and buying her artwork fills me with joy!

So my spirit is doing well.

I raised awareness for three days at the disability exposition. There I met Casey Cashman, executive director of the U.S Pain Foundation. And Natasha that developed CRPS. And Christina and her mom Leanne. And I preyed on young women and gave my shpeel over and over and yes, once again!

This is how my shpeel began: "Hello, (big friendly smile) can I introduce you to Project Angel?" Most people responded with a smile and a "Sure". I continued "Project Angel is a project that grew out my artwork. I painted 30 angels in order to raise awareness about the prevalence of chronic pelvic pain. Each angel represents one million of the 30 million American women and the significant but undocumented number of men that suffer from chronic pelvic/genital/sexual pain..."  Here are photos of a few of the very special people that I met.

With Casey Cashman, executive director of the U.S Pain Foundation and pain warrior. I felt so blessed to meet a fellow pain warrior and activist!

With Natasha and her Mom. They came all the way from New Jersey to attend the "abilities expo". Natasha is a pain warrior. She battles Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and she has the most beautiful smile!

Visiting Christina Powell at her booth. Christina is an incredible artist. Her work brings joy and peace to hospitals and pain clinics all over Boston. 

So much love and generosity of Spirit.

With the sweetest art therapy students ever. Their compassion flooded me with tears. I had to get a photo with them!

The petition is going well. Good things are happening. I am excited to be where I am now. I didn't know that I would be raising awareness for three days straight. I didn't know that I would be participating in a very successful auction with many artists, raising money for a woman that was recently assaulted. And that I would have so much fun and learn so much by taking part in it! I didn't know that I would meet Angela Kennedy and feel so inspired by her artwork and her generosity.

What I thought I knew is that I was exhausted, worn out, angry that I have to escape from Newton because the leaf blowers are on their way. Depressed that winter is on its way and that I had three days of feeling like fibromyalgia mush. 

So thank you! Thank you life! Thank you inspiration! Thank you art and love and friendship. Thank you generous generous spirit. I have to thank Angela Kennedy cuz I feel so grateful to her.

I feel happy!!!!



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I want to blog about her. From the beginning there was something about her that I loved. Loved deeply. Now I am remembering what that was. It was the letter that I wrote to give out to people on Yom Kippur. It was the letter asking people to bring the animals into God's benevolent mercy. It is told that on Yom Kippur the gates of compassion are open. I asked them to please bring the animals with them as they walk through the gates of compassion. I pasted one of these letters as the first layer of this painting.

I felt very much that she, this little lady, was me. I don't feel that with most of my paintings. But I did with her. And I loved her.

I loved her courage. I loved her compassion. I loved the way she cared about everything with such a passion. There was so much that I loved about her. I loved the way she saw people, always for who they were. I loved the way she fought for the things that she believed in. There really was so much that I loved about her.

It wasn't always easy. She had intense emotions. When she hurt she felt it deeply. Maybe too deep. There were hard times. But her compassion, her beauty, her love always made it through, always carried her to the other side.

I saw her here in this painting and I immediately loved her. I saw how beautiful she was from deep inside and I was proud to be her.

And then I destroyed her.

And I never meant to destroy her. I never wanted to destroy her. The tears are coming now. I am okay.

I got angry. I thought that I ruined her.

I blamed myself  a lot. I blamed myself not for the suicide but for PN and for fibromyalgia. I blamed myself for having traveled and gotten sick. I blamed myself for destroying my own body.

I started messing with her hair and then I felt that I had ruined her. It was so disheartening because I had loved her so much in the beginning. She had stayed with me in my room for so long, unfinished, and I loved her.

I messed around with her hair. I don't even know what I was struggling with. I just know that I was starting to feel angry and frustrated. I thought that I ruined her and that i was better off destroying her completely than being left with this ruined version of her.

I painted all over her. And then I regreted it. I wanted her back but I wanted her in the first version. Not this messed up version that I had made of her. I went to wash all of the layers off.

I notice that I do this a lot in my work. I find myself scrubbing, uncovering, discovering. But to get to that place of discovery I struggle a lot. I go through these phases. It happened yesterday also with the textures.

I reached this place of hating everything, thinking that I would never find anything, that I wasn't getting anywhere.... and then when I reached that place I took all of my work and started scrubbing, passionately, with determination ....and all of this fascinating texture started coming through. 

And then I feel relief. This great feeling of relief, that I am okay, that I am on the right path, that I am reaching something, that I will succeed.

Succeed in what? 

In loving myself? In accepting myself? In accepting the life that is still mine to live and to create. 

Back to her.

I scrubbed the mess of paint that I in anger and frustration covered her in. And I was relieved to see that she was still there. She was all there, peering at me with those eyes. I didn't think that I would find much of anything but I found her. And this time I succeeded in loving her. I painted the mess of her hair and the white dots and she just kept on looking at me, smiling, that half-smile with those loving eyes that are so full of compassion.

I am so grateful, so very grateful for my art and so grateful for being blessed with such creativity. We all are. In her eyes I can see all of us. Through her eyes I can reach so many beautiful women that have been broken and are seeking our pathways to healing. 

This is the most beautiful gift that I receive with so much love and gratitude in my heart. <3

Sweet dreams dear friends,

I am always with you.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

How do I give myself a break?

I have this sense of urgency about everything that I do. Editing in its own way is dreadful. Having to hear myself talk about the pain again and again is hard. I am tired of hearing and seeing and on some level re-living what I have survived. But I have to do it. I have to get the footage out. I know that it has to go out and I know that I have to work now.

Its just hard. Its hard to have PN constantly in front of me. My art helps keep me sane through this too. I get pockets of relief when I create and when my friends on facebook comment and interact with me through my art.

I want to give myself a break, to take myself out of this immersion. But I can't. I know how urgent it is. I know that I am lucky. I know that so many others are still in the dungeon of hell. I want to do everything that I can do that is within my power to reach them, to bring them hope, to bring them relief.

Once again, tears, tears, is good that they are spilling. I have felt so blocked, like I was just running from one thing to the next and that whatever I do is never going to be enough because I can't change the way things are. Accepting my limitations is hard. I feel like I am constantly diving into the deep end. I want to get my footage out but I want it to be the best that it can be when I set it free. Maybe accepting how hard this is for me is all that I need. Just to accept that this is really hard for me. The art gives me wings to fly into my own world. The video demands that I be present with PN over and over and over again. How many times can I hear myself talk about the suicide, the terror, the abandonment, the isolation....? How can I stop when I know that others are still trapped and chained to what I have been so lucky to have escaped from.

I want to take myself on a vacation. I want to give myself some beauty, some rest, some peace in nature. I want to give myself some breathing space, to explore, to take in, to stroll, to feel gratitude, to be surprised....I want an adventure. I promised myself that if I ever get out of the pain I would take myself out to nature. I would travel again. I would slip away into nature.

I want to do this for myself. I have to put clear goals and then I have to allow myself to step away. The feeling is this feeling of falling into a black hole. Like no matter how much I feed the black hole, it will never be enough. And if I stand over this black hole and feed it endlessly, I will be swallowed into it.

Find. Your. Balance.

Celebrate your achievements.

Slow down to the pace of a snail? What will happen?

I love snails.

I love shells on the sea-shore.

I am thinking of going to cape cod. To the beach. To the water. To me. Just me. Nature. Art. Breathe.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A piece of artwork that I made and sent to Dr. Sandra Carson.

I just got off of the phone with Dr. Sandra Carson from ACOG. Dr. Carson is the vice president of ACOG's education department. She told me that due to our conversation, chronic pain has been added to the list of educational objectives for the gynecologists and obstetricians in residency. This could mean a lot and it could mean nothing at all. At this point, I think, that what it means depends on us and our efforts to advocate and lobby for ourselves. She said that someone within ACOG will be assigned to work on building the curricula for the 'chronic pain' segment. I asked her if she could put me in contact with this person. I will have to inquire about this again soon. I asked her if she would like me to send her articles about the science of chronic pain and about pelvic pain. She said that I should send her a list of articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. She said that then they could contact the doctors to create the curricula. For starters, I will work on creating this list with Dr. Echenberg and with Dahri McFaline.

She recommended that we lobby the National Institutes of Health for more funding and research on pelvic pain. She said that we should direct our efforts to the National Institute of Child Health and Disease. The NICHD is one of the institutes within the NIH. It has the power to allocate money for research in pelvic pain. I asked her if she could put me in contact with someone from within the NICHD. She said that I should contact Dr. Spong.

Keeping my emotions out of this is hard. Dr. Carson was clearly oblivious to the magnitude of our plight. I have to work hard at controlling my anger and my frustration. I have to do this if I want to get anywhere.

I should consider it an accomplishment and a sign of god's grace that chronic pain was added as its own educational objective. But I know that this can mean nothing at all and that it meaning anything of significance depends entirely on my own efforts to advocate and to successfully build a movement that is dedicated to this mission.

I have the passion and I have the determination. I have to continue working towards our collective goal, believing in myself and in my fellow pain warriors.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Catching up with my blog. Geese. So much is going on. I will focus on Gratitude.

My birthday was July 31st! Yesterday! Happy Birthday beautiful girl. I went for a subtle birthday this year. It was subtle and beautiful.

The two most beautiful moments from yesterday are the beautiful card that my younger brother sent me and the e-mail that Kelly Rae Roberts wrote to me.

I was so touched that Kelly e-mailed me. I had sent her two greeting cards with all of my gratitude and appreciation as well as with the newspaper article about Project Angel. I want to share with her all of my successes because in my heart I am eternally grateful for the inspiration that I found so readily in her artwork and in her generosity of spirit.

So if I loved Kelly Rae Roberts before, I love her even more!!!

This is what she wrote to me:

"Dearest Atara,

Thank you so, so, so much for your cards. Your angels are beautiful!! And my sincerest and deepest congratulations on your show and your profile. Your courage and spirit are shining through, and your story very, very much matters. Thank you again, best of everything to you!

Kelly Rae "

What perfect synchronicity that she chose to reach out to me on my birthday!! Magical really.

And the note that my younger brother wrote to me is sacred to my heart.

"July, 2015

Dear Atara,

You now have your own menagerie of animals to join the birthday jamboree with Abba's lion. Happy Birthday! Wishing you a year of newness and exploration, vitality and learning, patience and possibility, focus and dedication alongside serendipity and the joys of surprise and unexpected connection- in and with people, ideas, ideals, and your art and expression.

I wish for you all the freedom and independence you see and deserve and will try to help you continue to grow in confidence and ability to realize your dreams and find for yourself in space and spirit the dignity, safety, and well being of increasing self-sufficiency and the security and expanding opportunities it provides.

As you leap forward and walk cautiously, as you take risks but also take care and be mindful, I will be by your side to encourage you, support you, offer you my own perspective and learning and celebrate in your success and joys- great and small.

Thank you for your love and support, for making efforts to be sensitive and responsive to me, for seeking and developing wisdom, balance, and growing your ever deep and expansive capacity for empathy and compassion.

I can't wait to see your colors and your textures, your angels and your advocacy, your beauty and tenacity and hope that seeds and sustains tangible wonders in people's lives, spirit, consciousness, and bodies. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ATARA! Love, ... "

Jill Osborne, president and founder of the IC-Network wrote a beautiful blog-post about my mission and my artwork. I am very grateful for this. All of our conditions have to be taught and understood together. Being embraced, supported and encouraged by Jill gives me tremendous faith. Our letter-writing campaign has begun. Tomorrow I speak with Sandra Carson. Sandra is ACOG's vice president of education. I have to believe that our stories, our truths, our suffering will be heard. I do believe it. I know that we will be heard. Because we will not abate until we are heard, completely and deeply and powerfully and fully heard. Until ACOG evolves and transforms into an organization that puts diagnosing and treating all forms of pelvic pain  into its top priorities. It will happen. We are going to make it happen.