Friday, December 19, 2008

In the Body In Fear

This isn't usually a night where I'd be at CK's flat, but somehow her being in Sacramento makes me miss her. I dropped her off at the airport this morning, she'll be back tomorrow, but I don't like her being away. I am sorry to be missing sharing this trip with her. It has been so stressful, the time between this trip and her last.

Yesterday evening I was realizing that on top of feeling kind of out of sorts I felt very anxious about going to sit at the Dharma Center. Talking about the thoughts that had come up last week, reflecting on that event, had created an undercurrent of anxiety was gripping into me as the time ticked towards needing to go.

Part of me knows I'm here, in the present and the worst happened 21 years or more ago. But at the time that happened it wasn't safe for me to be present with the trauma and I was so frightened that my brain stopped me thinking about it at all. Part of me accepts GM's explanation that my mind knows I'm safe in the zendo so these things come up, just like HB noted they do. Then there is the part of me that is terrified of actually getting the memory back, reliving what I was too afraid to experience and process as a child.

As I started to explain this to CK, who was feeling like she needed to miss going in order to prepare for the flight, her mother phoned. This tense conversation had been looming, waiting to descend since Sunday and now it landed with intensity.

I paced back and forth a little, finally going to the kitchen. I'd thought I'd start making us dinner, but instead settled on doing dishes. All of them in the kitchen area. The smallness of the flat and the raised voices, the intense emotions I was already feeling -- all of these combined until I felt like a small child.

I turned the water on and off. Washing, rinsing, drying and cleaning the next round of things. I kept trying to keep feeling my body, the way my diaphragm moves, and trying to put my thoughts only on the washing of the dishes, not on CK's voice around the corner. I felt cold and taut.

CK got off the phone and came into the kitchen. I'm not sure how I looked, but I'm guessing I didn't look alright since she immediately stepped forward to hug me close to her. I felt ill, cold, exhausted, and afraid.

I was finally able to tell her that when things got to raised voices is was bad in my family. When my Mother got to the point she was yelling, she was throwing things or trashing the house, my room. If I ever got to the point of raising my voice I was told I was inappropriate, out-of-control, rude, and disrespectful. I'd be grounded. Once I was slapped, locked in my room another time. It wasn't just my Mother either, but my Aunt J and Gram as well.

CK asked if I could even go to the Dharma Center, we'd need to leave within minutes. I felt a rush of fear and shook. I'd finally sit down on the bed and talk with AM, let him know I wasn't feeling well. In addition to the panic attack I had a very upset stomach and muscle spasms in my back.

I got off the phone and CK brought me some ibuprofen. She then set to making us some dinner and we spent the evening just being close to one another. We managed to get to bed a bit earlier and get some rest before the alarm woke us.

After dropping her off for her flight I came back to the house and worked all day until heading over to the studio for a yoga asana practice class. JW ran exceptionally long so it was 8PM before I got to CK's flat to take care of Atari. We sent messages to one another for a few minutes. I'm so glad she'll be home tomorrow afternoon.

I will plan to talk with HB about the panic attack. How to help myself say settled with insights and memories surface. I stay with the body, but sometimes I can tell it is in a very defensive way. Like doing the dishes last night, I could stay in the body but it was in this pulled in way. I can feel it is significantly different way than when I am meditating and am merely with the sensation of being breathed, open to that feeling.

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