Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Musings on Broken People

We are all broken, and the thing you have to do is to find that other person who is broken in just the perfect way that they fit together with you like pieces in a puzzle. And then something whole and beautiful is made, and there still might be some ragged edges, but the picture can be seen more clearly, and it is perfect in it's own way.

Friday, July 23, 2010

First experience with EMDR

I said in an earlier post that I would try to keep you (who??) updated on the therapy thing. Last night I went for my first experience with EMDR. First, I was brought into a very relaxed state, completely relaxed, body like lead, eyes closed like drifting off to sleep.
The tapping began - yes, tapping - instead of moving the eyes following something, I tapped. Left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right. Let my unconscious mind wander through frame and frame and frame of early childhood. Sometimes he would say, "Stop tapping. Where are you now? What do you feel there?" And I would respond, as though in a dream. He would wait a few seconds and then say, "Continue tapping."
At one point, I deviated from the "norm" of EMDR, which seemed to please him. He asked me, "Where are you now?" I responded, "I-now went to me-then and said things to comfort." He said, "Continue tapping."
Later in the session (40 minutes passed like a blink), he decided to go along with my deviation from the "norm", and encouraged me to go to one place that I had spoken of, and to talk to me-then, that little child, to hold her and comfort her and then to bring her out of that place. He asked me to tell the me-then that everything was going to be okay, that I was there to protect her, that I would never leave. I did, and it was something of beauty. I cannot describe the picture to you, (who?) but it is so vivid in my mind. He said to me, "Wait. Before you take that little girl out of there, stop and say, as the adult you are now, what you would like to say to the adult in that place." And me-now, holding me-then to my chest, turned to that adult and said so many things, my face so angry and my voice so firm, and then we turned and began to walk up stairs into consciousness. He counted, "One - you are leaving that place. Two and three - you are bringing the child with you. Four, five - you can hear the sounds in and around the room now. Six, seven - everything that you have experienced and said will stay with you into consciousness. Eight, nine - you can feel the weight of your body against the chair, the bracelet on your left hand, your feet on the floor. Ten - you may open your eyes at any time."
I did open my eyes, and tears poured out. He asked me, "How do you feel now?"
I said, very quietly, "So tired. So tired." Each time I blinked, tears came out, although I was not sobbing. He offered me a tissue and I said, "My nose isn't running, only my eyes."
I asked him what that was, what we did that was not a part of EMDR. He smiled small, but did not give me a name for it, only said that he couldn't bear to leave that child where she was for any longer, and that he felt I had been strong enough to take her from that place.
I could have slept then, in his office, in that chair. I closed my eyes, but knew that he had another client after me. The tired that I felt was so intense, more than having driven all night, more than crying until there are no tears left to cry. It was a heavy, dizzy sort of tired, and all I could think of was going to sleep.
I asked him what I could expect for the coming days. He said that the tired would follow me for awhile, and that perhaps new things might come up for me to deal with, but that also I would feel a new sort of freedom and lightness.
In two weeks, I go back again, for another round of EMDR. I am not afraid any more, only hopeful and still, very tired.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The things I've seen

I have seen a woman stop by the dirt path on her way home from the fields and give birth. I have seen a boy who fell from a tree, sitting strapped onto the back of a bicycle with a bubbling, breathing hole in his skull, eyes still open, though glazed.
I have seen a man who shot off his own finger, staring at it stunned as bits of bones and veins and ragged skin filled his vision. I have seen a cow with her belly torn open by a lion in the night, and heard her screams as she died.
I have seen a child sitting on the ground, wearing only his skin and a very large belly - He was starving to death and could not even stand, and his family flowed around him, just waiting.
I have seen a man come into my yard with a basket on his head, and in the basket, his newborn child. I heard him explain his story - his wife died in childbirth, he could not raise this infant on his own, he wondered if these white missionaries might take it and raise it. I saw him leave with his basket still on his head, in which the infant lay, and I saw such sorrow and defeat in his eyes. I saw his knowledge that the last chance for his child was gone from him now.
I have taken another such infant in my own childhood and held it until almost the moment of it's last breath.
I have seen a boa constrictor swallow a baby goat almost completely, until the boa was killed, and the kid's back legs hung from that reptilian mouth motionless.
I have seen a dear friend go mad due to the cruelty she endured at the hands of her husband. I saw people just stand by as she was beaten and beaten and beaten until her very spirit was broken and killed. I followed once, as he beat her walking down a path, blood soaking the back of her skirt. I watched her eyes lose their spark and I watched her die, not bodily, but in every other way. If only it had been her body that passed on, I could bear that much more easily than the things I saw.
I have seen a woman, wild-eyed and arms waving and yelling at the sky, beseeching "them" to leave her alone. I have always wondered who they were, those things that I could not see, but that tormented her until her death.
I have seen a child as young as four years old endure the horror of female circumcision. I watched as four grown men held her down as another cut he with a rusty blade.
I have watched the land burn, and with it sometimes houses, and I have seen it all re-grow and re-build.
I have seen an entire village gone mad with violence and greed. I have seen war, and refugees walking for miles holding their horrifically few belongings and just surviving long enough to see more death and pain and madness.
I have sat in a classroom and heard the sound of bullets whizzing by. I have seen a man on his knees, wailing toward the sky, and I have seen the store that was his with bullet holes through the door and looted of everything that was his life.
I have heard the wailing at dawn, that announces yet another death in the night.
All of this and more I have seen, and it haunts me.
All of these things I carry with me, and wonder if there was anything that I could have done to change the way Africa was and is.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ah, little one...

How are you so new?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Something Beautiful

Your skin
Oh yeah your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
And you know
For you I’d bleed myself dry
It’s true…

Coldplay - Yellow