I posted this watercolor back in 2016. I repost today as an example of expressing feelings in my paintings. My older brother Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. He would hit himself and bite his hand, presumably when he was frustrated. One of the doctors who saw him in his group home diagnosed him with Tourette’s Syndrome, a condition whereby the sufferer enacts involuntary muscle movements, or tics. Sometimes these involuntary acts take the form of shouts or other verbalization. The fact that Mike’s hitting and biting himself might be a ‘complex motor tic’ (as the doctor pronounced) means that behavioral techniques will not be effective in reducing this self harm. However, I remember that the staff where he lived was partially successful in helping Mike.
Tic or not, watching my brother hurt himself evoked helpless and frustrating feelings.