Submitted by megan on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 22:27
My afternoon started with an intake appointment to get myself into a Mindfulness-Based Stress Management course. Not that I'm stressed out, not anything unusual for everyday life, at any rate.
Over the past year, say, I've been getting more interested in meditation on its own, rather than just as part of yoga. I tried the buddhists, but I'm far too much of a dilettante to fit in with monks.* I've also looked at a couple of courses around town, but they're only one or two hours long, and I know that I'd go, learn lots of good stuff, and not do fuck all with it ever again.
It was what I was looking for. It's based on a 8-week program that's a mixture of yoga and various meditation practices, with strong roots in cognitive behavioural therapy.
Long enough to get me into the habit, with a little bit of this and that, with lots of talking about myself.
Anyroad, before you can do the course, you chat with one of the leaders to see if you and the program are suited to each other. It was like most initial appointments with a therapist. I did a brief run through of my history, which I have done exactly one half million times, to my friends, to partners, to therapists, to myself. No biggie.
The facts of what happened to me in my late teens and early 20s are pretty matter of to me by this point. I can talk about them while smiling, though those paying close attention will notice that I am doing that thing with my hands that I do when I am talking about something upsetting.
Driving back to San Francisco from Davis, on the way home, I made a passing reference to CT about my beleaguered early 20s. He said "I don't really know about what happened to you. You don't talk much about it." Surprised me, since I'd told him the story in NOLA. But it's so rehearsed at this point that the whole mess of it can be contained in 2 minutes and about 5 neat sentences.
"No, I don't talk that much about it any more." I thought for a second. "I harped on it for a long time; it was such a huge part of my identity. I got kind of tired of it, I guess. And far enough away now that it feels like it happened to someone else altogether."
As I was talking today during the intake, the therapist's face became more and more serious, more drawn, more concerned. She used words like abuse and trauma, words I allow to spill only very cautiously from my own lips.
I sometimes forget that I have lived through some unpleasant things.
It was a small shock, and a bit satisfying to remember. I often wonder why I get weird in in relationships, why I'm generally happier single, why I do this daft thing, repeat that same mistake ad nauseum.
Like the concern on her face was something I could point to and say, to myself, "Oh! See? Right! This is why you're fucked up the way you're fucked up. I mean, no wonder. Sheesh. Stop being so damn hard on yourself.
A strange satisfaction, an odd comfort. Nonetheless.
*Not to mention that every time I hear the word buddhist, I also hear Adam's voice saying "Karma is bullshit. What, someone gets raped because they did something wrong to that person in a past life? No."