Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Don’t Listen to Instinct

In the early morning hours I had dreams of being lost in some airport in the desert. Separated from both AM and CK, phone not working correctly, not fluent in the language spoken around me, and entirely disoriented, lost. "Crisis dreams" are what AM calls them. I have all kinds of variations on them, often related to travel.

It had been such a rush of a day yesterday, my anxious feelings still present making it hard to communicate with either AM or CK well. Going hiking in the Gorge, having lunch out, going to a movie (found it pretty lame... glad I saw it at a second run brew pub), dropping off the visiting friend, getting CK's bike, going back to my house just to grab stuff and bicycle to CK's flat. I was missing being at home, missing my cats, and still utterly thrown off by trying to work with the anxiety CK was experiencing.

We'd hit one of those bumps last night; where we freeze up and fear rushes into the place where our connection resides. It becomes excruciatingly difficult for me, own fears that I've hurt her, that I've screwed up fundamentally, from rushing to the forefront. Certainly one of those areas where I have to fight the instincts that clamor. Easy to link that directly to dreams of being lost and disconnected from the people I love. And so I woke up with tears already welling up in my eyes.

Just barely time enough to get the tears calmed down, hiding just below the surface again. Time to reconnect then rush off to teach class. So grateful for 3 students only, one of them CK. Having to rush off to teach was frustrating because CK had just told me that she loved me and we were able to be close with less fear. Once I got into the rhythm of class I found it welcome in that it connected me back to the calming of my mind that comes from teaching.

I rode over to New Seasons from the community center to pick up some DLPA, the Arbor Lodge store specially stocks what seems to be the only vegan variety available in the U.S. Once I got home AM and I decided to run over to India-4-U to see how Kumar and Alka were doing as well as pick up a few things we've run out of. We had some very tasty lunch at Red & Black and picked up a "Bake in Black" t-shirt from Sweet Pea Baking Company.

The rest of the day AM and I have just hung out, talking, reading, and watching things on the Science channel. I feel just worn down, absolutely exhausted on so many levels. I'm so incredibly grateful I have a massage scheduled with Beth tomorrow, I really feel the need to have her help with the muscle spasms in my back and the energy of emotion that is so hot right now.

Just sitting with it I'm starting to get a feel for the subtle, nearly voiceless ways in which my PTSD manifests. Sometimes it is so obvious, so silly that it is easy to laugh at it and know it is wrong (like this morning having the thought that it is so hard for CK to have space to cry because I'm so busying crying all the time).

Children who are abused cannot comprehend that something is wrong about the adults around them and therefore assume they are at fault, to blame for the situation and/or deserving of the punishment. No matter how many times my rational mind may understand that something is in no way caused by me, a part of me reacts in shame for having done wrong. It becomes another practice to resist the initial instinct that signals I've done wrong and/or am in danger. I know that these past couple of weeks I've been trying to practice this but it doesn't come easily yet and I feel as though I tire easily.

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