19 Dec 2009, 1:40am
1 comment

still

after i got hit by a car, i saw a therapist for awhile. my therapist used “somatic experiencing,” whereby i recounted in gruesome play-by-play detail everything i remembered leading up to the accident (and i say “the accident” as shorthand for “not an accident at all, but in fact a distracted driver’s failure to yield while wielding a potentially deadly weapon, i.e. a pick-up truck”) and after it, and examined and recognized the bodily sensations i experienced during this recounting. i was also asked to imagine what would have happened had the accident not happened–so i described the way i would have passed through the intersection, then through the next, past the bank, past the elementary school, turning right through the residential neighborhood, then left past the hospital, and so on to home. a. got hit by a car four weeks to the day after i did while i sat in a bus less than a block away–swear to god, the bus driver said “i think that van just hit that biker” and i ran out and was so glad to find him dazed but standing up by the time i got to him. i talked to my therapist about that, too.

anyway, i got back on my bike, and i seemed to be doing well, and i went to hawaii and had an amazing time, and i came home and found myself talking to my therapist more about my future and my love life and so forth, stuff i could talk to friends about just as easily and for a lot less money, than about my accident, so i stopped going.

a couple weeks ago, i was talking to my mom about an experience she had meeting a new person that day, a friend of a friend, who almost immediately told her about a struggle this person had had with an illness, and continued to bring it up over and over again over the course of a day or so. my mom was tired from trying to deal with the heaviness of the situation, and i said, well, i imagine this person is still trying to make sense of some aspect of that experience, there is still something they need to hear in their own story, it’s important to have compassion, etc. and then i thought back to a few nights before that, when i remembered telling a stranger my own story and pulling back my collar to show off my misshapen collarbone… though i couldn’t remember what context might have justified such a revelation. i have done as much dozens of times. what am i listening for, when i tell my story over and over again? what will change in its retelling?

yesterday morning a car cut me off dangerously close and i swore and yelled and felt RAGE. tonight a car ran a stop sign and squealed through an intersection in front of me and i swore and yelled and felt THE FIERCEST RAGE. i got home and cried. and a. said, who is your anger hurting? just you. (goenka tells a story about the buddha–these priests want to kill him, but the assassins they send keep getting enlightened instead. so finally one of the priests goes to kill buddha himself. but buddha says, wait a minute. you’re rich and well-respected, i imagine sometimes people bring you gifts, right? the priest says yes. lots of gifts, so many you don’t have room for all of them? yes. so sometimes you send them away again with the bringer of the gift. you say, i do not accept your gift. yes. so, the gift remains the property of the person who brought it. yes. well sir, you have brought me the gift of your anger tonight. i do not accept your gift; i do not need it. the anger is yours, please take it away with you.)

i don’t know what to do with my rage or what to do with my story or how to feel compassion for myself or how to get this particular heaviness out of my bones. i wish there were a better conclusion to this entry. but i don’t know.

Your story is enlightening, a gift. Thank you, Stacia.

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i read  still, part 2