Thursday, August 06, 2009

EDITED! An alien humping my face

A few weeks ago I went to San Francisco to take the "Pleasure Course" . I signed up for this course as yet another attempt at having a radical breakthrough in my sexuality. I have been working on this diligently for over five years and feel like I've exhausted all of my options. I've written my story, grieved, yelled at that fuck, collaged, talked to my therapist (over and over). I've done meditation, listened to hypnosis CDs, took a tantra course, did a LOT of brainspotting and even taken nutritional supplements. Going into the course I felt edgy and nauseous about digging into my history, but I'm basically desperate at this point to be able to have freedom "in this area". More on that below (which is, of course, a reference in itself).

The first day of the three-day course was about "enlightened living".... breathing and meditating until reaching that point of pure Being, pure Essence. All day we worked with our "Trip" that gets in the way of sweet simple Being-ness, which is sort of like the flavor of your Ego or how you get hung up in life . At the end of the day mine was clearly "I control my life, my schedule, my phone calls, my time and my interactions, so that I can avoid anxiety and stress". That night while doing the homework, it hit me how moment by moment by moment my body tends to be very tight. Uptight. High strung. I hate even writing about this because I will cringe if people I know say "oh, yeah, you are SO uptight". Because here's the thing, my body feels like I'm in danger all the time. And how can I blame myself - I was thrown up against a wall by three punks when I was six and they held an enormous knife to my throat, all because I was arguing over a crayon with their sister. Then they pulled the knife back and stabbed it hard into my chest, except their little gang trip was that they flipped the blade around and the handle of the knife hit me. So, they didn't stab me, but I thought I was going to die. Not cool. I ran back home and hid on our porch crying. But I never told anyone. No one could comfort me because how could they know?

The second day was something about relationships, but I can't remember much other than how difficult it was for me to relax in my belly. I can feel from my chest up and below the belly I am numb. The instructor said this fabulous thing about wounds. Whether you have an emotional or physical wound, you do get hurt and when we get hurt our body moves away from the pain, often by going numb. That gave me some permission and relief to just feel what I feel and not try to open it up with a crowbar.

The third day was similar with lots of observing the breath and the "Trip". I can't remember much because I just wanted to leave so I could go lie down (i.e. relax my body). It's usually worse when I'm traveling because the extra commotion and noise makes me exhausted and over-stimulated. Each night we would be given a homework assignment with sensuality exercises, and in that homework were a few techniques, but mostly the course wasn't about techniques or tools. At the end of the course on Sunday, there was a much anticipated and rather eye-popping demonstration of a man "pleasuring" a woman (to show the sort of mastery that can come from doing the sensuality homework). Instead of learning something, I felt like I was watching porn and was frankly kind of horrified! Even though it was in a "safe and sacred" setting, I wasn't prepared to be sitting front row with a panoramic view while he talked through exactly what he was doing up in her business. Yeah.

So now that you're sitting on the edge of your seats... unfortunately instead of motivating me, this demonstration only left me more frustrated and hopeless. All I could think after watching this woman so easily reach her sexual peak is "well good for her". The residue from my trauma around sex is the biggest issue in my life, and it has been for a long time. I haven't written at length on it here (or actually anywhere) and it's a bit uncomfortable to now because who wants their dad or brother reading about their sex life?! Now that I'm really writing this book, it's time to get comfortable with having my story in the public eye.

After these new realizations about not being able to relax my body, I figured it's time to be less serious in life and learn to laugh more. So look out, people. Soon you will be LOL'ing (my least favorite expression) when you read my posts.

Last week, after the gym one night, I desperately wanted and needed to get some dinner at Whole Foods. Unfortunately I felt sweaty, gross and the skin on my face was peeling and beet red. I felt so self-conscious and yucky about myself that I could barely get out of the car. I made myself go in anyway. As I wandered around the store, not looking at anyone, feeling exposed and ashamed, I knew these self-consciousness and gross feelings aren't "me". I hadn't noticed until then that I had been descending all week face first into a dark and frightening hole. Uh oh.

Those of you following my blog for years are familiar with my long history of Mood Management (is there some funny acronym for that? I love my Winnie the Poo Poo code name for this girl's gotta poop sometime this week. How about MM. M2. Nothing really hits it for me). It's been quite a while, over a year, since I had a bout of depression (which only lasted a week). At first I thought I was just tired from a long weekend of travel and a lot of socializing. Then I thought maybe it was the come-down from the high of the course. Luckily, thank god, I know exactly how to manage depression now. It's not fun, but it doesn't scare me like it used to. I can recognize the difference between chemical depression and just feeling down, hormonal or exhausted, and I'm able to give it some room. Instead of expecting to feel better, I simply know that I must soothe it like an unreasonably fussy baby and she'll calm down when she's good and ready!

In case you haven't watched those cheery TV commercials for Prozac, here's my description of a depression episode. When I'm seriously depressed, my body feels like I'm under water trying to swim through concrete. I do everything I know to do to lift my spirits (i.e. sleep less, exercise in the morning, journal, keep my place clean) but nothing seems to help. I feel very lonely. I watch myself go through cycles of deep hopelessness, confusion about who I am and a desperate feeling of MAKE THIS END (which used to include suicidal thoughts but now I try to witness and say to myself this will end, this is temporary).

The biggest symptom, though, is not feeling present. If you've ever "disassociated" (and most of us have during a very stressful event), you sort put your body on pause and go away. For me it happens behind my eyes. My eyes are open but my consciousness is about two feet behind them. It's like I push my physical presence in front of me so I can hide in this little curled up ball inside.

Depression has me, I don't have it. I'm not in control in any way, and usually I just have to ride it out. Even though its slimy grossness won't get the fuck off me, I'm still underneath there though, trying to breathe, and knowing that in its own time it will say good-bye. One day at a time.

For anyone supporting someone who is depressed... I would encourage you to scoop them up in your love and let them just be in the moment. Let them feel what they feel and try not to talk them out of it or minimize it by saying "oh, we all have bad days" (even though we all do). I am forever indebted to Jamie for constantly encouraging me to write about all of this despite my discomfort. So I offer up my open heart and my story in the spirit of my freedom and for anyone else that can relate to this or that this might help.

2 comments:

  1. You may not realize it, but by opening up and sharing your pain and
    difficulties, it shows how strong you actually are!!! Hugs and love, Aunt
    Barbara

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