Coincidentally, I did the same thing with rose petals. If you ever do this again, smear a thick layer of Mod Podge on them. I used dried roses that felt kind of fragile when I started, but after the glue dried they were pliable and looked fantastic. They held all day and didn't crack or tear. I also sewed some on a dress and they held up really, really well.
Awesome robot painting! It doesn't suck at all, it's really cool. I like it so much I might paint a robot today, too.
Also, whether you like it or not, you're an artist. You're moved to create things, which is the only part of the definition of "artist" that matters. And you're a good one - your work is aesthetically pleasing, for one. For another, your story is really touching and engaging. It made me think of something Vonnegut wrote in Timequake. His brother asked for Kurt's opinion on some paintings he'd done - he asked "is it art?" Kurt wrote a long letter back. Among the advice was this bit:
"Any work of art is a conversation between two human beings, and it helps a lot to know who is talking at you....there are virtually no respected paintings made by persons about whom we know zilch."
Thanks for sharing with us. I hope everything works out for you. You have a remarkably clear head about all of this, and you should be proud of the woman you've become despite the lousy circumstances.