Issues, Therapy and Me

I couldn’t write about issues without including this song; it’s been the anthem for my whole life, especially when it comes to love. Enjoy.

I know it’s been quite a long time since I last wrote, but I have been going through an awakening, of sorts. Actually, it may be more of a emergence from a long-term state of denial. I have known for quite some time that there are some deeply seated, dark and painful memories that have haunted me in my weaker moments from time to time. I say in my weaker moments because like anyone who is in denial, there is a certain amount of energy and headspace that you have to maintain, like throwing a sheet over an attacking mountain lion, basically. As long as the sheet stays in place, the big kitty can’t see me and therefore, cannot bite, chew and eat me. But once the sheet slips, the eyes lock, the body lowers and the hindquarters twitch, pupils dilate and the mouth waters in anticipation of that delicious first bite into my sweet, white flesh. Denial is the sheet and the memories are the mountain lion; so long as my state of denial was firmly in place, I was protected from those memories and if they even came up, they were ¬†heavily photoshopped and edited to the point of being unrecognizable. That is another component of not only denial, but basic human survival. Our mind will do whatever it takes to get through whatever is happening, whether that be fracturing into different personalities, wiping the memory entirely from the mind or rewriting the scene to be an entirely different experience and transporting oneself to that beautiful, safe place. At any rate, I have known on an intellectual level for some time now that therapy would be something that could potentially help me to really, truly work through the memories, the events, the recurring thoughts and anxiety that are frequent visitors to my psyche. Having my 50th birthday approaching may have been the extra nudge from the Universe that I needed or maybe I had made an agreement with myself a long time ago (when I thought 50 was basically on death’s door) that I would deal with any demons I picked up along the way well before that specific birthday; whatever the case, I found a therapist named Lisa, had a getting to know you session and now have an appointment to come back and begin therapy.

The type of therapy that Lisa would like to do with me is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy) and I actually know someone who has had many sessions with her therapist and was amazed at the results. It is a relatively new form of therapy and does not involve pharmaceuticals in any form, so therefore there is a belief in some circles that it’s not real therapy. I believe the people’s experiences speak for themselves and there are a great deal of them. It has shown great promise with victims of rape, violent crime, natural disaster survivors and those diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) including but not limited to military veterans. In the book I’m currently reading entitled “EMDR” by Francine Shapiro, there is a woman who survived the Oklahoma City bombing and her story, along with many others are nothing short of miraculous. Should you wish to learn more about EMDR,¬†click on the link below.

http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/

Now, all that said, there is still a certain hesitation to open Pandora’s box, to remove the sheet and face the mountain lion; there is a comfort in stagnation for me in many ways. Change is pain and pain is what I’ll do anything to avoid even if it means more pain. Funny how that works. These issues have been my unwanted passengers for decades now and have effected my life in every possible way imaginable. Even then, they have not been successful in their desire to see me fold, quit and ultimately take my life. I have dreamt of being free of them all, the burden lifted, the darkness made to light. Well, dreams are all fine and good but at some point, I must wake up. This is my awakening and I’m going to share it with you as I go. I believe that we as a whole have more in common when it comes to dealing with demons and living through horrific events than we are aware. If any portion of my story reaches someone else, causes a shift in thinking, an opening where hope can shine through, I’m all for that. That’s basically why I keep waking up each morning, apparently. I have to believe that all of the negative that has attached itself to me throughout my life thus far has simply been for my education and in return, to share those lessons, revelations or insights.

In the words of the great Malcolm X –

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”

All that being said, I will be more than happy when I have been able to get the lesson wrapped in a shell of pain, unwrap it, throw away the shell and take the lesson with me as I move forward, a bit more stronger and wiser. I’m happy to have you on this journey with me and as always, amazed and pleased that someone is still reading what I’m writing. Thanks for that and thanks for believing in me.

Wishing you a great 4th of July everyone! May you celebrate your own personal independence in whatever way you choose. A huge thank you, hugs and kisses to all our military service men and women out there. You are the heart and soul of all of us. Words will never be enough to thank those who are with us and those who have fought and sacrificed their lives for what they believed in and what we enjoy today; freedom.

Seeking Purity At Some Point

“O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet”.
-Saint Augustine

I couldn’t agree more. I have the desire to be pure; to think pure, loving thoughts and fill my days with gratitude and working in service of others but at the same time, I am reluctant to let go of my old ways. Critical, never pleased, always finding fault, judging harshly (not just others, but myself included) and holding grudges.

I have some serious issues that I haven’t even begun to work out regarding my ex-friend/roommate/leech and the whole experience with feeling like a ghost in my own house; not having a voice, being trapped in a situation by my own inability to just speak up and draw a damn line. A boundary line so that people know they can only go so far and the rest of the way is PRIVATE PROPERTY. NO TRESPASSING. As I said, I have not even begun to deal with all of this but I can tell you that it is slowly oozing into my current life, back into my thoughts and coloring the experiences I’ve had and continue to have. Mostly because it’s unresolved and so like a rotting corpse in a body of water, it will eventually bob up to the surface, all it’s ugliness and buried secrets exposed. This doesn’t keep me from saying that others should seek counseling; others are stuck in the past and need to WORK THROUGH IT so they can GET OVER IT and MOVE ON. If only I could take my own advice on that front.

I know there will come a point at which I will have no other choice than to deal with it; it will damage me, damage my relationships and take me down a road of darkness that I have no desire to travel again. It’s so scary to know that is what is in store if I continue to ignore it, but it’s terrifying to open that Pandora’s Box and let out all the hurt, sense of betrayal, rage at myself for being weak and easily manipulated, for “keeping my word” while I lost my sense of self. What good does it do to keep your word in an agreement that basically guarantees you are going to be far worse off than when you started while your “business partner/best friend” walks away without a scratch; a brief inconvenience of having to move house and life goes on with no real marks or scars?

If I am to become pure, I have to forgive myself, him, and let go of all the negative, hurtful, black-hearted, broken hearted wishes of revenge and karma returned one-thousandfold.

So yeah, I guess you could say that I want to be pure, but certainly not right now.