Made for More: Local veteran battles PTSD with art

Made For More

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Adventist Health and KGET want to honor those who make Kern County a better place to live.

Twenty-three percent of female veterans report being sexually assaulted while in the military. It can cause lasting trauma that follows them for decades if not the rest of their lives. A local veteran is dealing with that trauma, through art.  

To Jasmine Tatman each of her pieces tells a story. “All of these pieces are my feelings. Each piece represents a moment in my life. A happy day, a sad day.” She’s a Navy veteran, living with PTSD. “I suffer from PTSD from MST. MST stands for military sexual trauma. When I was 21 and I was leaving Chicago to get ready to start my career in the fleet, I was raped by another sailor.” “I was angry for a long time and I didn’t realize how angry I was.”

After six years of service, she returned home. But her trauma followed. Tatman has tried medication to treat her symptoms, but says it made her feel numb.  “I hated it because I couldn’t feel anything. And I like to feel, I’m a feely person, I’m really emotional. But sometimes feeling gets intense and you need to be able to center yourself and bring yourself back to reality and that’s what this does.” 

During the pandemic, Tatman found a new form of therapy. She now funnels her feelings into epoxy resin, turning anxiety into art. She created social media accounts and opened at Etsy page, going by One Girls Workshop.  “I was able to take those anxious moments and those really heavy, unsure feelings and focus them into something. Epoxy resin, it is not nice, and it take a lot of patience and focus or you’ll just end up with a really expensive mess, and I learned that the hard way, and so this allows me to take all of that heightened energy and slow down and while I’m pouring while I’m mixing or doing whatever I’m doing, even if it’s just listening to a podcast, cutting wood, I’m able to process feelings or thoughts a lot easier than I could a year ago.” More than just pretty pieces, One Girl’s Workshop is one girl’s journey to healing through art.

You can find pieces by One Girl’s Workshop at Blue Oak Coffee in downtown Bakersfield, and see more of her creations on her Instagram and Facebook pages.  

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