BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — “The thing that I try really hard to make others understand about PTSD is that trauma is trauma. Anyone in the world can have PTSD," said Jasmine Tatman.
Jasmine served in the Navy for six years, five of which were overseas in Japan. Today she faces PTSD.
“A big part of that healing has been advocating for others," she said.
Advocating through art.
"I didn’t realize that there was such a deep connection between the things that I make and other people’s feelings," said Jasmine.
Jasmine wasn’t always an artist but when COVID-19 hit, she lost her usual ways of handling PTSD like the gym and socializing.
“It presents itself in a lot of anxiety and so these pieces kind of represent those days where I needed to calm that anxiety in a creative manner rather than a destructive manner," she said.
A friend taught her woodworking.
“And that was it. I couldn’t stop. I spent the entire summer of 2020 sweating in my garage," said Jasmine.
She built a patio in her front yard and makes art pieces. She created an Instagram account to share her art but was shocked when people wanted to buy it.
“I’m baffled. When people started purchasing things, I was confused because I was like, 'What do you mean? You want this?'" she said.
Buyers have told Jasmine they related to the emotions she was putting into her art while coping with PTSD.
“That’s amazing to be able to take my healing and then I guess kind of transfer it to someone else because they saw they weren’t alone," she said. “It’s reminded me how closely connected we really are and it’s then in return reminded me I’m not alone.”
Jasmine now goes to community pop ups and displays her work at Blue Oak Coffee.
And one her favorite parts? Doing it all with her 5-year-old son.
“It’s like a masterpiece when you make it," he said.
"Hearing how proud he is, lord Jesus, it’s super cool," said Jasmine.
Jasmine said sometimes she still can’t believe the impact her art has on others.
“To be able to be a part of my community and to give back in this way that I never thought I’d be able to give back has just been so fulfilling," she said.
Jasmine said she hopes to continue advocating for fellow veterans and anyone else facing PTSD, spreading awareness and support one art piece at a time.
"Just like growth and just like healing, art is not linear either," she said.
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