Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sunset over Sedona Posted by Hello

My Final Thoughts

This is MY JOURNEY – and mine alone. EVERY journey is completely DIFFERENT. In fact every treatment is different! Your journey will be completely different from any others so don’t let my experiences scare you away from your own and the pleasure of driving your own boat!

I have shared my journey with the hopes that I could take some of the fear out of YOUR journey and to encourage you to attend the Healing Seminar and go to TOR for an Intensive. I realize that many parts of my journey may scare you away from starting your own. I can hear my best friend say “Why would I want to bring up things that I don’t remember? If I remember them, then I have to feel them and deal with them and why would I want to do that?” When she said that to me many years ago, I didn’t have an answer for her. Now I do! The body remembers and the pain is in there driving your boat whether you know it or not. And the restrictions caused by that pain is causing you PHYSICAL PAIN that will only get worse. Do you want to be a crippled old person in physical agony or do you want to grow old gracefully, full of real joy and happiness. Do you remember what joy and happiness felt like?

I have struggled with whether I wanted to share the molestation incidents on this blog. I found it fairly easy to share the rape experience because it was a KNOWN incident that I’ve lived with for many years and I had gotten past the guilt and was no longer ashamed that it happened TO me. I was NOT in control of that incident and I KNOW it was not my fault. I KNOW how I FEEL about myself and the rape, so what others THINK about me doesn’t really concern me. I shared it because so many people have been raped or had similar incidents happen TO them. And for those who THINK that “she asked for it,” no one asks for it. And rape is NEVER about sex, it is always about violence and power. And in sharing, I hoped that I could give other people permission to FEEL the pain and release it knowing that it was not their fault.

But being molested as a child was an UNKNOWN incident for me. And I had to FEEL it and release it before I could share it. I have spent the last several days feeling it, struggling with wanting to integrate it into the childhood that I remembered, yet knowing that I didn’t need to figure it out. Carol’s analogy of the boat and its wake (my past) helped me get to the place where I didn’t need to know any more than I knew. I realized that I was the driver of my boat and the wake behind me was not who I was. It was just where I’d been. I could drive my boat wherever I wanted to because the wake has no power. There is no need to integrate the wake into the boat because it is useless and doesn’t take anything with it when it leaves the boat. It just IS and means absolutely nothing. So I have decided to share. There are so many people out there who have been molested as a child (both boys and girls) and live with that shame daily. I share because I want to let those folks know that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!! But these are empty words until you FEEL the pain, release it and then truly FEEL that it is not your fault. And it can be done. It is not easy. It is not fun. And I am blessed to have been able to feel it and release it in such a loving environment as Therapy on the “Rockin” Rocks. (Sorry, Rob, I had to steal that from you.) I cannot say enough good things about every single person in that treatment center from the therapists to the other patients. Everyone there seemed to “hold my space so I could heal” and it felt wonderful.

Rob (the Director of TOR) put out on the chat line that this last week was amazing for everyone there. He wrote:
There seems to be a shift occurring lately and it is manifesting in some unique ways. People are making some quantum shifts in their own healing, understanding the power of intention and facilitating change in themselves and their patients better than ever.

The Healing Seminar was different than I ever experienced, the participants got the work on a different level than I have ever witnessed. Maybe it was John's new slide presentation, or the PARTICIPANT mix (not making the same mistake twice) or the fact that people are more willing to get past their fears and stuff in order to see themselves as infinite beings, but something is changing.

Here in the clinic, treatments have been more powerful and the patients have been holding that healing space for each other better than I have seen in the past. Patients and therapists are being moved by their treatments.

I have to agree. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to since this was my first (but not my last) Healing Seminar and Intensive. But I know how powerful it all was and that I felt incredible love and acceptance from everyone, therapists and patients alike. It was an incredible experience and I hope I played some small part in the change. Just BEING and allowing others to just BE was incredible. Getting rid of all judgments about what should BE or what others should BE and just allowing myself and others to BE was one of the most powerful lessons I learned. Being accepted by everyone there, no matter where I was in my journey (especially when in chaos) filled me to the brim with so many good emotions. It was OK when I was in chaos, OK when I couldn’t leave John’s treatment room, OK when I couldn’t go up in the rocks as fast or as well as the others. Everyone just let me BE me and held that space for me to heal. OK, I know I’m repeating myself. But I keep trying to find adjectives to describe what was happening, and I just don’t think there are any words in the English language to describe it.

So if you read this part first, please start at the bottom. This is a weblog and the latest entry is posted above the last. The latest entry is at the top.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. It was incredible and I hope you have found the courage to start your journey or to continue it with vigor. And I’d like to close this as John would close -


Dry Creek Bed "On the Rocks" Posted by Hello

Saturday - April 9 - Going Home

Well, we stayed up too late last night. Gail, Cindy and I just didn’t want it to end and we stayed in the hot tub way too long. Finally, we had to say our goodbyes.

But Saturday morning came way too soon and we hadn’t packed a thing. We needed to leave the house no later than 9:30 a.m. Of course, we were a little late. Gail had forgotten a few things so she came by to pick them up (I think she left them there so she’d have an excuse to come back ~grin~ but she needed no excuse!)

We had a little bit of trouble getting to the airport – they closed I-17 and routed everyone off the 4-lane highway. What a nightmare. But we managed to get the rental car back and get to the airport and through security with time to spare. The flight was uneventful and my husband was thrilled to see me. My son and his girlfriend said I looked tired, but happy. Now my challenge is to integrate what I have learned into my life and LIVE IT EVERYDAY! But I’m up for that challenge.

Friday - April 8 - My Last Treatment Day

I really didn’t want to think of this as my last day. I’ve grown so much these last 2 weeks and the thought of it ending was sad. But John and the other therapists have been teaching me to live in the moment and I was surprised that I was able to do that. Occasionally, I’d have a thought about this being the last day, but I could bring myself back into THIS MOMENT. I got to TOR a little early. Cindy’s first treatment was 9 a.m., but mine wasn’t until 10 a.m. So I just hung out absorbing everything I could.

Then it was time for my session. Tina was my therapist. As I type this, I don’t remember a lot about this session except that at one point Tina had me trapped face-down on the table. Now Tina has a tiny body, but she has a HUGE essence and when she is on top of me holding me down, it feels like I have a brick house on top of me. And I know that she was holding onto the other side of the table adding even more weight on me. I seem to have a lot of “fight” in me so I assume I was fighting or needing to fight. I struggled and struggled to get her off of me. Of course, she was encouraging me to “get away.” I was crying and getting angrier and angrier, and finally got her off of me and swung my feet off the table and onto the floor. I turned and shoved her away and then turned back to the table and shoved it hard across the room and onto its side. I desperately wanted to get away. But there wasn’t anywhere to go. The room was small and this one didn’t have a deck attached. I ran to the corner of the room and shoved my face into the corner. When Tina told me that I was safe and had gotten away, I cried “Then why am I hiding in this f**king corner?” She told me to come out of the corner – to find my power – and that I could stop hiding. It was a struggle for me to stop hiding. But then my beautiful tiger came to me and I found the strength to pull my face away from the corner. I turned from the corner and leaned against the wall. After a moment or so, I slid down the wall and sat on the floor. Tina asked me if she could touch me and I told her yes. I think she started slowly, but she soon was hugging me.

This need to fight and the need to hide seem to be a repeated pattern for me. I spent most of my childhood hiding from people who wanted to hurt me. And as a little girl, I had no skills to fight back. Everyone was always bigger and stronger than I was. I was taught that I was to immediately do ANYTHING an adult told me to do. Children were to be seen and not heard, so I’ve had a hard time “finding my voice” and saying what I need to say about those incidents in my childhood that I do remember and those that I don’t.

And any time I gathered up enough courage to tell my mother about any of it, she always replied, “Oh, that never happened!” So I was always a frightened little girl. And it seems like during treatment it takes me a long time to find the courage to fight. I seem to lose all my strength when I begin FEELING the pain. I become that frightened little girl who might as well NOT resist. And I’m sure that is when I learned how to leave my body. Maybe that is why I don’t consciously remember being molested. My brother’s torture taught me how to leave my body and I was so good at it that when even more horrible trauma occurred, I left my body while it was happening and don’t remember any of it. But now that I’ve had a few days to FEEL the feelings associated with the molestations, I feel that it did happen. I don’t remember the details and I don’t have a need to know. I am just feeling the feelings that the little girl felt and I have taken her inside the adult “me” and am feeling whole again. (When I typed the word “again” the thought came to me that I’m not sure I’ve ever felt whole. But I’m beginning to!)

Then Tina straightened up the room a bit, picking up the table that I’d shoved across the floor. I realized that shoving that table had FELT good. I’d never done anything like that. In my adult life, I’ve always stood up for myself verbally. I don’t let people take advantage of me. I am very nice to people, but I have learned to trust my gut and if I FEEL that I’m being taken advantage of, or someone is trying to manipulate me or just that something isn’t right, I definitely stand up for myself. So this feeling of vulnerability during the sessions seem foreign to the adult me, but I realize that I HAD fought back. I had become a strong, confident woman despite what had happened to me when I was a small vulnerable child. I also realized that shoving that table across the room symbolized all the times I had wanted to shove away the people who had done those terrible things to me. And those things were done TO me. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT!!!! I had no skills - or permission - to fight back. I had been taught to submit to whatever bigger people wanted. And although I didn’t remember, the body did remember and now that I’ve gotten it up and out of me, I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER. The aches and pains in my body are SO MUCH BETTER!

Then it was time for my exit evaluation. Tina took more of those dreaded pictures – from all 4 sides. Then she sent the camera downstairs while she measured my range of motion. Then we compared the numbers from 2 weeks ago. Everything was much better. One of my main complaints had been that I had trouble sitting for any length of time. I learned that was because to sit, you need at least a 90 degree hip flexion. Mine was 77 degrees on one side and somewhere in the 80’s on the other. So I couldn’t get my body into a 90 degree angle to be able to sit comfortably. After my treatment, my hip flexion is in the high 90’s on both sides. I don’t remember details of the other measurements, but all of them were much better and closer to being the same on both sides.

Then came time to compare the dreaded pictures. At first I didn’t see much, but as I kept studying them (and with Tina’s help), I saw that from the front, I was standing straighter and was not twisted to the left. The line down the middle of my body did not twist and curve. The back view showed a straight spine instead of a twisted curvy one. My hip bones seemed more level also. And the side views showed my head on top of my spine instead of leading the way. I also saw that my body was much more lined up, with my pelvis at the bottom supporting a straighter spine and my head sitting on top. My arms and shoulders were lined up like they were supposed to be also. Then Tina asked me if I could see one more difference in the front views. I didn’t see anything so she said “look at your girls.” In the “before” picture, “my girls” where facing a little downward and to the left. In the “after” picture, they were facing up and straight ahead. I had to laugh at that observation. It seemed to sum up where I had been and where I am now. When I started treatment, my entire body sagged and was twisted to the left. And 2 weeks later, I am upright and facing straight ahead.

Afterwards I got a big hug from Tina. I went downstairs to see how tall I was and found that I had grown 3/16 of an inch. I felt like I had grown at least 5 inches! There is so much more space inside me. So much of the tears and fears are gone and that has opened up space inside me. I can feel the space between the bones in my spine. I feel my (flatter) feet supporting my body and I feel my pelvis supporting my spine instead of my low back supporting it.

Then Cindy came to pick me up and Gail finished her treatments. We took a lot of pictures and hugged a lot of people. But Carol was still upstairs in a treatment room and I WAS NOT LEAVING until I had hugged her and had our picture taken together.

There is no way to express to EVERYONE at TOR how grateful I am for all their hard work. I’m sure they would say that I was the one who did the work, but I couldn’t have done it without their knowledge, guidance and loving support.

So after I saw my beloved Carol, we left to do some more shopping. And I spent way too much money.

Oak Creek from deck at TOR Posted by Hello

Thursday - April 7 - 11th day

Sometime during the night I woke up and found myself unwinding. I somehow managed to kick Cindy in the side. When I asked her about it this morning, she said she had no recollection of being kicked. I also remember waking up and realized that we were both shaking. I was afraid that my joke about starting an earthquake in Sedona when we both started shaking at the same time was coming true.

So before getting out of bed this morning, I explored my body for aches and pains. What I discovered was a lot of areas that felt a lot looser than I ever remember. My jaws seem to be softer and more relaxed (but dang, they are sore!) My entire body seems much more relaxed. I felt like I had melted into the bed instead of just lying on top of it. I did find a lot of sore spots and after checking in the mirror, I found bruises I didn’t know I had. I am sore from my cheekbones down to my ankles! The top of my head and my feet are the only things that have escaped being sore today. But it is all a “good sore” feeling. This soreness is the type I get when I’m getting better – not like I’ve been beat up (although I have felt that way at times while I’ve been here).

Well, I spoke too soon. I wrote the above stuff earlier today, but as the day progressed, my jaws got really sore. Had a group session of Myofascial Freedom teaching us some stretching exercises to do at home. Went out on the deck and took some pictures of the beautiful canyon and rocks. It was just about sunset and it was beautiful to watch.

Then it was time for my session with Carol. We started out discussing my newly-discovered molestations and how I was having trouble integrating them into the childhood that I believed I had. It is hard for me to believe that someone in our church molested me to the point of me crying and screaming “please don’t, please don’t, please don’t make me do it” while being dragged away. It is also hard for me to believe that IF it happened, why I never dreaded going to church. Also, if the thing happened in California, why do I look back on that trip as one of the happiest times of my life? Carol said that sometimes we compartmentalize things and that I may have loved being with my grandmother so much that if it happened, I may have “stuck it in a box” and put the box far, far away so that I COULD remember the trip as a happy time. I could have put the incident at church in the same box. I told her that I had given the pain to the earth and I felt it flow out of me. I just am puzzled as to how all of that could have happened without someone (including me) knowing about it.

Then she showed me how to use the Nola Rola. Then I stripped down to my undies and we got started. I told her that my jaws, hips, upper-back & shoulders were all sore. I told her I didn’t know where I wanted her to start so she could check me out and choose. She did leg pulls and apparently decided to work on my right hip. She got under my panties and started releasing the fascia. I was having trouble shutting off Channel 5, but finally managed to get to Channel 3. My left hand did its own little version of sign language and dance. I began to push against Carol’s hand and would shake and stiffen. Then I flipped over on my stomach and started to cry. My air intake was that deep raspy wheezing sound. Then I got angry and went up on my knees with my butt in the air. Then another vision came up and I started screaming and crying and collapsed onto the table. It didn’t seem to last too long and then I must have looked like I wanted to escape, because Carol told me to get away. I was scared to move, but she told me that I could do it, I could get away. Suddenly I pushed myself to the head of the table but couldn’t seem to find a way off the table because the black stool was in the way. Suddenly my feet swung off the table and I started running. I don’t know how I knew that the screen of the patio door was there, but I flung it open and ran out onto the deck all the way to the railing on the other side. I stopped at the railing and leaned over it and breathed and cried and shook. Carol came up behind me and told me that I had made it, I had escaped and I was safe. She was beside me at the railing and I turned and hugged her and kind of collapsed in her arms. She hugged me back and then just held me while I cried and breathed. Finally I realized I was out on the deck in my panties and bra, but it was dark and who cared anyway. It was a bit chilly, but I didn’t notice it much. Carol asked me if it was another incident. I told her it was. I wasn’t sure who was there or where it happened. It didn’t feel similar to the first two incidents. She asked me how old I was and I said it felt like I was 9 or 10. She held me until I was ready to go back inside.

Then she had me get back on the table on my back and she began gentle jaw releases. I tearfully told her that I felt that I had turned out pretty darned good for what I’d been through. She said she thought so too. As she gently worked on my jaws, she spoke softly and caressed my hair while she told me a story that she thought was from a book by Wayne Dyer. It went something like this:

Visualize yourself in a boat. You are driving the boat. When you look back, you see the wake. The wake from the boat is your past. But the wake does not drive the boat. You are the one driving the boat. The wake doesn’t have anything to do with where the boat is going. It doesn’t have anything to do with the boat at all. It just is. I can take a peek over my shoulder occasionally and see the past, but it doesn’t drive who I am now. I can choose to drive the boat any where I choose. The wake only follows, it does not guide.

Carol stroked my hair and face a few more times, asked me how I was doing and then told me she’d see me tomorrow.

I got dressed and went downstairs. Carol was sitting in the waiting area. She asked how I was and I told her that I was beginning to believe that I had made up the childhood that I remembered instead of the one I had actually had. I was beginning to feel like I had just been a toy for other people’s amusement. I just remember being a shy, scared little girl who tried to stay hidden most of the time. It is all very disconcerting. I knew that I’d just have to feel it, process it and just let it be.

Later I was talking with Cindy and I remembered that the trip to California was the beginning of my over-eating when I was 8 years old. My over-eating also had something to do with green Jell-o. I’m not sure what that had to do with it though. Just a memory. . . .

Wednesday - April 6 - 10th day

Today we went up into the rocks. Actually we drove to a spot up high and then we climbed down a little ways and then up a ways. I seemed to still be in some chaos from yesterday. I was unsteady on the hike and was afraid that I was going to fall. After we got to where we were going, John had us find our “special place.” The instructions were the same as the other 2 times I had been on the rocks with John. I found my space and because I was still in Channel 3, I just laid on the rocks and let go. I found that my jaw and tongue had been unwinding all by themselves without any thought or intent from me whatsoever. I don’t know how long it had been going on before I realized it. Then it was time to rejoin the group for group unwindings.

I found because of my chaos that I was having trouble being there for other people, so I stood back. I tried to find someone who was at the back of the group and put one hand on them, but it still didn’t feel right. I felt like I was not “holding the space” for them to heal and, in fact, was in the way of their healing.

I had told John earlier that there was still a small clump of something in my throat that I hadn’t been able to cough up. He told me that he would help me. So when the 2nd person to unwind was coughing and choking, John asked me how it felt to watch. I told him it was uncomfortable. Then he said “why don’t we do you next.” He hugged me and told me that it would be different from yesterday and to have no expectations – just go with it. I told him that I had no expectations and I was ready to do whatever. He stood behind me and everyone gathered around me and I suddenly had trouble letting go. I think the fear was stopping me although I desperately wanted to get rid of that stuff in my throat. Suddenly John slapped me between my shoulder blades and it happened. I let go in a big way. I fell backwards and was eased to the ground. I saw an image of a penis coming towards me. I was a small child. I did not see who it was. Then came another image of a different naked man in a different location. I flipped over onto my stomach at some point and deep guttural sounds came out of me and I couldn’t get enough air inside me. I choked, sputtered, gagged and coughed with deep rasping air intakes between them. I kept gasping for air with lots of rattling rasping noises, yet I knew I was getting enough air.

Those deep guttural screams kept coming out of me and I continued to cough and gag between the screams, but finally some more of that lump came out of my throat. When I calmed down, John leaned over and quietly asked me what it would take for me to let go of the pain. I had no answer. I finished unwinding and warm rocks were placed on my back. I stayed there a long time still coughing up stuff from my throat. Then John’s question came back and I knew the answer. Since I had found my connection to the earth a few days ago, I could give all that pain back to the earth. I was flat on my stomach on the earth so I just saw and felt that pain leave my body and flow into the earth. After I let it flow into the earth, I wanted to be alone. So I got up and walked into the trees.

There is a joke in my family that “Mom gets lost in her own house.” That’s because I get lost a lot. I never know where I am. But today when I got up and walked into the trees, I realized that I knew where I was and I was not afraid of getting lost. And I haven’t been sure-footed in many years even on flat ground. As I walked into the trees I was much more sure-footed. When I found a spot that “spoke to me,” I sat down and continued to process. Then the coughing, choking and gagging started again and I was able to cough up more of it. My throat felt open for the first time in my life. After I finished processing, I got up and walked back toward the group. John was facing me and as I walked toward him, I had a big grin on my face and was walking with a new bounce in my step. I was able to participate in the rest of the unwindings knowing that I was there for them & was able to “hold the space for them to heal.” I so love that feeling!

We had climbed down the rocks earlier, so we had to climb up to get back to the vehicles. There was a definite difference between that climb and the other 2 climbs I’ve made while here. I was not calculating every step and looking for the best path. I was able to walk up the rocky hillside like a normal person for the first time in my adult life. I can’t describe the elation that came over me when I realized what a huge change these last 2 days had made in my life. Tonight I felt around my throat and neck and it feels totally different. It is thinner and I can feel the bones in my neck. I have never felt bones from the front of my neck. This whole Intensive has been so awesome. But the last 2 days have been Spectacular Plus!

John had told me earlier to have whoever worked on me later in the day to do some chest releases. Tina was my therapist and I told her what had happened during the last 2 days. She checked my body and we began. I do not remember much about this session except the pain in my mouth. We had planned another internal, but Tina said she wanted to get hold of my jaw. (During my initial evaluation, she commented on my “huge” masseteurs.) I know it was all therapeutic pain and would not injure me, but it was still painful. Twice, the pain was more than I could endure and I had to say “Halt” both times. I know it is not about how much pain I can endure, it is about feeling the pain and letting it go. Tina very gently helped me work through the pain. The way Tina helped me feel the pain without blocking and bracing was interesting. I did cough and spit up some more of that stuff. My throat must have been filled with whatever it was!

Somewhere in this session, the meanness came out of Tina (only kidding!) and I got really furious. I fought and fought. Victoria was in the room with us and I fought both of them. Then they both laid on top of me. They are both very petite, but it felt like I had a brick house on top of me and I was pinned face down on the table. I fought to get them off of me. After quite a struggle, I was able to get them both off me. It felt wonderful to FINALLY WIN!

I think I functioned all day in Channel 3. After my last session, I went downstairs for a 15-minute meeting with Nancy. I was having trouble expressing myself, but I think she got enough information from me. Then Cindy came for her sessions, but when she found me in la-la land, she wouldn’t give me the keys to the car. She gave them to Nancy and told her “Don’t give these to Dottie until you check her out to be sure she can function in Channel 5.” So I couldn’t go anywhere. I was cold and wrapped in an afghan again. I kept shivering and Trish offered to wrap me in hot packs if I went upstairs. So I did. I sat at the end of the hall wrapped in hot packs and the afghan.

A little later, June suggested that they put me in Cascade (John’s room!) so I could lie down. So I went in there and Trish wrapped the hot packs around me. That felt so good. But just as I was about to fall asleep, I heard loud yelling and screaming from down the hall. I thought it was Dan making all that noise. That was the last thing I heard before I fell asleep. About an hour later, Cindy came in and woke me up. I found out that the person who had been making all that noise was not Dan. It was Cindy! Then Gail joined us and I found out that Gail had been in the room right next to Cindy’s and she had thought it was Dan making all of that noise, too. So, I think Cindy has found her “noise.” The 3 of us left TOR and went to our place to get into the hot tub and drink wine. That really felt very very good.

I have, however, been having a hard time integrating those visions of being molested with the childhood I remember. My childhood was far from ideal, but my parents were over-protective most of the time. I always felt like my mother had her “thumb” on me at all times. I couldn’t do anything without her finding out about it. And I can’t recall ever being afraid of going to church. I would think if something happened to me like I saw in my vision, it would have made me afraid to go to church. And, I have nothing but happy memories of the vacation to California with my grandmother when I was 8. I always loved being with my grandmother. She was the only person in my life that I had ever felt unconditional love from. And I remember that trip as one of the happiest times of my life. I have a session with Carol tomorrow. I’ll talk with her about this. I’m sure she’ll say to stop trying to analyze it, just feel it and let it go. We’ll see…

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

After climbing rocks on March 30.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Tuesday, April 5 - 9th Day

Today started with Inner Journey. This is a 2-hour session with Rob where all the patients gather in a small room and we take a journey inside ourselves. This is the 3rd time I’ve done this and it has been different each time. This time I went deeper and discovered more of “me.” It is interesting to discover that I am not acquainted with many pieces of “me” and need to be introduced to them. Anyway, one portion of the visualization is to imagine a miniature “me” exploring the inside of my body. That, in itself is pretty cool. As my “little one” explored, feelings came up for me. But I also felt like I was meeting “me” for the first time. Towards the end we were asked to allow our “little one” to leave and then come back through our belly button to wherever they wanted to go. I found it interesting that my “little one” headed for my lower left psoas region, but immediately turned around and traveled up to my heart. I found the entire 2 hours extremely profound and almost totally in Channel 3 (FEELING, not thinking).

Later, my first treatment was with Rob. This was the first time I had come off the table (it surprised me that it took so long). I hung off the table for a bit and then went into a handstand. When I went down onto the floor, I got my legs under me (almost like a frog) and curled up and hid my face. I didn’t realize it then, but I felt like a small child and was crying like one. Rob asked me how old I was and I told him “8.” Then he asked me if the “adult Dottie” was willing to go rescue my 8-year-old. I told him “yes.” Then he took me through a really cool visualization that included allowing this child to see and feel my life from age 5 to the present. Notice I said age 5, not 8. That’s because when I found her, I realized that she was not 8 years old. So now I call her my lying little 5-year-old. She always lied about her age because she always wanted to be older so she could get the hell out of hell sooner. After, I found her, Rob had us walk into her house and she was to pick one item to bring with her into the future. She picked the Tiny Tears doll that the adult Dottie barely remembers. I was always a tom-boy and never cared much about dolls as a child. I was never a girlie-girl. I’d rather be outside playing than inside being a mother to the dolls. So, I’m not sure why my 5-year-old wanted to bring that doll. Interesting….. hhmmmm……

John has talked about how most people disassociate themselves from their body at an early age – usually at the point of trauma. (I don’t have his book with me right now so I’m having trouble with the particulars.) Apparently, I disassociated at age 5. It was very interesting the way Rob talked me through visualizing the integration. I was able to integrate her back into myself so that she is now a part of me. I also found it interesting that when Rob asked me to come back into the present, my voice got lower. When I was my 5-year-old (huddling on the floor), my voice was very tiny and young. I sounded like a small scared child. My voice changed according to the age I was. It was totally awesome and afterwards I felt “whole.” I found an extremely important part of me that I didn’t know was missing.

There is no way to explain what I’ve just tried to explain in words. The only way to truly know what happened is to experience it yourself. And if it sounds scary or crazy, that’s OK too. Rob was right down there on the floor with me guiding me every step of the way and I was never afraid. I loved finding the rest of “me” and integrating that missing part back into the adult me. I have missed that little girl and feel so happy that I have found her again.

Then it was time for my next session with Carol. Carol always has such a loving energy that surrounds her. I find peace and love when I look into her beautiful eyes. I always feel so safe when I’m around her. She worked a lot on my low right back (right across from the burning pain that has been there for such a long time). There was a lot of therapeutic pain during this treatment, but I always felt protected and safe. Carol has a way of dialoging me through the pain and making me feel safe. There was quite a lot of Channel 3 stuff during this treatment and towards the end, she had me focus on that area of my body and we both found it more peaceful and there was a lot more movement in that area. (As I type this 2 days later, I have had NO burning since then and only a small amount of discomfort at my “problem spot.”)

By the time I was to be treated by John, I was totally wiped out. This is usually a good thing because I get to the point that I just don’t care about protecting myself (bracing). I’m totally willing to let go and just let “it” happen. And since I had been that way most of the day, I knew my treatment with John would be bigger than it had ever been. And I wasn’t disappointed!

Yesterday evening, I had told John about how many people close their throat so emotions can’t escape. And I’m one of those people. He told me to remind him to work on my throat today. So, after he worked on my back where it was jammed up, he told me that he was going to do some intra-oral work and then he'd work on my throat. He worked in my mouth and I saw 2 visions of being molested as a child. I don’t consciously remember either one, but they were in familiar places with 2 unfamiliar men. One of them was in the tiny church where I was raised in Oklahoma and the other was in California where I went on vacation with my grandmother when I was 8 years old. (This is interesting because now I’m wondering if my lying 5-year-old was really 8 and didn’t lie when she said she was 8.)

So after a lot of painful oral work, he asked me WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT, to reach up and pull his finger out of my mouth or hold it where it was. This time I held it where it was (last week, I pulled it out). He put 2 fingers in my mouth and told me to let my mouth and tongue unwind - let it go and do what it wanted. And I did and it was a little emotional for me. Then he told me that we were going to work on my throat. At the Healing Seminar there was a girl who volunteered to be on stage for a technique, but instead of doing what he’d planned, John knew she needed stuff pulled out of her throat. Watching it was a little disconcerting, but fascinating at the same time.

Well, he did the same to me, except he didn't do the very last part where he (symbolically?) jerked ...whatever it was ... out of her. I remember her scream and her reaction. I had a small fear of that happening because it looked like she was in terrible pain (but afterwards she had walked off the stage with a big grin on her face). As he worked on me, I could feel stuff coming up to the top of my throat but couldn't get it up any further. It was right there, I could feel it but couldn't let it all the way out. I had hung my head off the table during part of that and I started hacking, coughing and spitting. John handed me a huge handful of tissues and told me to cough it up and spit it out. Then my time was up and he left the room. Well, I couldn't cough it up. I was definitely in channel 3. I coughed, hacked, gagged and kept sticking my finger down my throat trying to pull it out of there. I was crying a pitiful cry and sounding like I was coughing up a lung. Although I coughed up a lot of stuff, there was still a lump of stuff at the top of my throat and it was choking me. I kept hearing the door open and someone saying my name, but I was coughing, choking, and gagging so I ignored it - at least 5 times. A couple of times, I heard that they needed the room, but I was in such misery (and deeply in channel 3), that I couldn't answer or do anything about it. I knew someone else was scheduled to be treated by John, but I couldn't do anything but cough and wheeze.Then John came back into the room. I don't remember what he said, but I choked out that something was in my throat and I couldn't get it out. He asked me if I really wanted it out. I nodded my head. Then he confirmed with me again that I wanted it out and that I was willing to let go of it. I kept nodding my head and trying to say yes through the coughs and choking. Then he told me he was going to count to 3 and on the count of 3, he was going to pull it out. He was barely touching my throat when he jerked his hand away and there was no pain, but there was definitely something there that he pulled out and I screamed and jerked and almost flipped onto my stomach - had lots of movement and jerking motions. John leaned over me and my left arm went around his neck and I held on tight. I was kind of on my stomach, but I got one arm around his neck and held on! He told me that I was safe, that I survived, etc. Then he told me that he had to go. But there was still something in my throat and I reached down my throat with my finger and pulled it out. I don't know what it was. I wiped it on a tissue. When John left the room, he sent Victoria (the 1 SES person here this week) into the room to be with me. She came in and wrapped me in her arms until I calmed down.

Later, I told her I was OK and she left the room, but as soon as she did, I HAD TO GET OUT OF THAT ROOM! I pulled on my sweat pants and t-shirt and headed down the stairs. I was still very much in channel 3 - I wasn't really thinking about what I was doing, but I wanted to get out of that room and I wanted to be near people. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I could hear people talking and I felt comforted just hearing voices. I suddenly didn't know what to do, so I just stood there. I thought about sitting on the bottom step, but then Donna came around the corner and found me. I think I mumbled something and she helped me into the first chair in the waiting area. Gail was waiting for me. When I finished my treatment, we were supposed to go to my house and get into the hot tub. But that wasn't going to happen for a while.

So Gail kind of took care of me. I was shaking like crazy and was freezing. Someone wrapped an afghan around me, but I was still freezing. I thought I would never be warm again. I was bent almost double in the chair - my face near my knees and someone wrapped another afghan around me. I pulled one of them up over my head and just shook. I heard someone say they could put me in Oak Creek, but someone else said that they would need it in a few minutes. I told Gail that I did NOT want to be in a room by myself. They could put me in the corner and put a sheet over me for all I cared, but I wanted to be near people. I wanted to hear people talking. I did not want to be alone. I do not know how long I processed all that. I know that several people walked by me - even Dan walked by and didn't say a word. He knew I was processing and to leave me alone. But after a while, I began to feel better. I came out of my cocoon of afghans and leaned back and stretched and said "Damn, that was good!" Gail who was sitting across from me had looked up from her book when she saw I was moving and she burst out laughing. She said she had never heard anyone say that after being in chaos and processing it. I said it was good to get it out of me and processed and it felt good when I finished. (I know I'll probably process this more, but for now I was finished.) I was still a little shaky and partially in channel 3, so Gail and I walked carefully up the stairs and I got in her car. She drove us to my place and we had a glass of wine in the hot tub.

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, John treated his next patient in Brown Bear (a small treatment room), because I wouldn't/couldn’t leave his treatment room. Later, Nancy said he was OK with it. He likes the big room because he usually has 4 SES people in there and 6 people just won't fit in the other rooms. But since it was just John and Victoria and the patient, he was OK with Brown Bear. I have been told that I am one of very few people who has run John out of his treatment room. Sorry about that, and . . . Thanks, John! The hot tub was especially nice tonight.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Monday - April 4 - 8th Day

After adding my ah-ha moment to the blog, I checked my email and found something from the young lady. Let’s call her “E” so she has a name but I can still protect her identity. She told me how close she felt to me. She also shared a few other things that happened at the seminar. One of those things was so special and so personal that I think I’d like for it to remain just for her. It was something someone else said to her and it meant the world to her. I was honored that she wanted to share it with me. She gave me her phone number in that email. So I called her. She was only going to be in town about 2 hours so I asked if she’d like to meet me somewhere. Well, she did. We went to Ravenheart Coffee Shop. She was already there when I walked in and it hit me just how special she was to me and that she seemed like a daughter to me.

She had tears in her eyes when she saw me and I hugged her a long time – right there in that coffee shop. I’m long past caring what other people think. I’m here to heal myself and apparently I’m here to help “E” heal too. We sat close to each other on a sofa and talked. She told me all the details of that special thing and we talked about how much it meant to her. She told me about her own mother always being in “victim mode” and how much she had always hated that. She was having trouble expressing her pain because she did not want to live in “victim mode.” We discussed the difference between true pain and being a victim. She told me that she felt she was closer to me than to her mother. That’s when I told her I felt like she could be my daughter. She is a few years older than my daughter would be, but that’s OK. She is not replacing my daughter; she is just being added to my family. I truly feel as though I have been blessed with new daughter.

I told her about my ah-ha moments this morning and how she is helping me heal and learn and grow. Her face lit up as she realized that she was giving me something too. It was time for her to go and I hugged her and told her to give her daughter a big hug and kiss from her new grandma. That brought another big grin to her beautiful face. I love her dearly; she is so very special.

Then I raced back to the house to get a shower and get ready to go to TOR for my therapy sessions.

My first session today was with Donna. I had met Donna back in December when I met John. I had seen her in the clinic and had been out on the rocks with her twice. But she hadn’t gotten her hands on me yet. So we talked a little about the seminar and what an absolutely profound intense experience it seemed to be for everyone. I totally agree! Then I settled into the session.

This may have been the quietest session I’ve ever had with only one explosion. Something was going on with me as Donna worked on different parts of me. She was trying to get me in alignment. I could walk in circles to the left if I didn’t watch out. I always have to remember to walk a little to the right in order to go straight. That’s because I’m torqued. When I’m aligned, it will take much less effort to walk in a straight line.

Anyway, as she worked, different sensations kept floating up and when she dug into my gut, I felt physical and emotional pain well up. When she asked if I had a sense of what it was, I immediately answered “torture, brother torture” but as soon as the words left my mouth, I knew that wasn’t right. I shook my head and said “no” and she said I didn’t have to answer. But I knew immediately what it was. It was the feelings I had about being raped. (See previous entries for a little more information about that.) I flipped on my stomach, stuck my face in the pillow and started screaming from deep within me. I screamed, cried, and cursed into that pillow and kicked the table. When I calmed down a tiny bit, Donna wrapped me in her arms and continued encouraging me to feel it and let it out. When she asked me to feel it deeply, I told her “I don’t want to feel it; that is the one thing I don’t want to feel again.” She continued to encourage me and another wave of pain and agony hit me and the screams and tears began again. I realized that the monster who raped me, and my brother’s torture were intertwined inside me. In many ways, they seem similar and many of the feelings are the same. It probably doesn’t help that the rapist and my brother had the same first name. Finally, I began to calm down and she asked me to turn onto my back whenever I was ready. I flipped over and she started working on me again.

She started rebounding me and I told her that I hate it. She asked why and I told her because it always seems out of sync with me. She said sometimes they use rebounding to check the body to see where it doesn’t move or is tight. She rebounded my entire body and then said, “I see why you don’t like it.” She told me that I move below my chest, but from the chest up, there is very little movement. So with half of me moving back and forth, and the other half barely moving, it produces an out-of-sync feeling. See, it is not my fault!!! So she began working on releasing restrictions from the chest up.

As I began to soften, I started to see colors. I have NEVER seen colors before. I have always hated it when someone said something like “what color is your pain?” My pain has never had any color. I have never understood what anyone meant when they described emotion as a color. So what happened next was totally foreign to me. Trying to explain what was happening to me will probably be difficult, but hang in there with me if you can.

It started with some beautiful small vibrant purple flowers on a bed of deep green grass. The purple sparkled and vibrated slightly. Then it changed to abstract images in purple and green. Then I saw vibrant yellows, oranges and reds. All the images seemed to be pulsating slightly. I had never seen such beautiful deep vibrant colors before.

Then it was like I was watching a wide screen movie. When my eyes moved to the far left, I saw deep dark blues that contained sadness and fear. When my eyes moved to the far right, I saw vivid yellows, golds, oranges and reds. The right side looked more beautiful than a Sedona sunset. There was a luminescence radiating through the colors. In the midst of those beautiful colors was my beautiful tiger who I now know represents my power.

There were many other vibrant colors between the two sides, but it seemed that what I was seeing was my anger, sadness and fear on the left side, and my power, beauty and happiness on the right side. My eyes swept back and forth from side to side. I was drawn to the left side (facing my anger, sadness and fears), but could go to the right side whenever I wanted to. If I needed to feel my power or beauty or happiness, it was right there. So I didn’t need to be afraid of the anger, sadness or fear because I could choose to go to the happy side any time I wanted or needed to. It was all within me and I had the power to decide where I wanted or needed to be.

I have always known this intellectually, but I’ve never felt it. TODAY I FELT IT! It came together for me in such a vivid way. My beautiful, strong, powerful tiger will be there when I need her; she is always with me.

You’d think that would be enough, but I still had a session with John. So up the stairs I went.

John and I talked about the seminar and I shared with him what I had done when I was with “E” yesterday. He asked me if I’d ever thought about being a therapist. He said I was very intuitive and that because I’d had a lot of pain in my life, I had the compassion needed for this work. I told him that it had crossed my mind and we discussed what I needed to do to get a license to touch.

Then I told him about what I had “gotten” during the seminar. I shared with him that I had FELT my essence, FELT what it was like to be grounded and centered and what it FELT like to have a deep connection to the earth - all for the first time. I also told him that I now know what it means to hold the space for someone to heal. He said, “Oh, you got the big ones.” He said many people never “get it” and that he was proud of me because I had come such a long way in the last week. I know I’ve come a long way and I’m still processing a lot of it.

Then he asked if anyone had done internal work today and when I answered in the negative, out came the blue glove. He found and released a lot of restrictions and when we finished, I could feel the difference. There is only one SES therapist here this week and John had her doing some arm pulls and some cross-hand techniques during the internal. To be honest, the internals have been some of the easier things I’ve done since I got here. As he works, he explains what he is going to do and what I might feel or where I may feel some discomfort. John makes it so natural that it just never occurs to me to be embarrassed. What a gift he has.

When we finished, I felt wonderful. I went downstairs to refill my water bottle and hang up my robe. There is a mirror on the landing of the stairs and when I walked back up the stairs and saw myself in the mirror, I noticed that I was carrying myself differently. I look straighter and my posture is much better. I wonder if it has anything to do with my new flat feet. It still feels strange for so much of my feet to have contact with the floor. I’ve been wearing flip-flops, but thought I should try on my hiking shoes before I try to go up on the rocks on Wednesday. I’m glad I tried them because I also found out today that my new flat feet require a bigger shoe. Because we took the high arch out and my foot settled closer to the floor, it now takes up more length. Oh no, an excuse to buy new shoes! Poor me!

An Ah-Ha Moment from Yesterday

I woke up this morning and while still lying in bed, feelings of yesterday flowed over and through me. As I thought about my special young lady, I went back into what it felt like to “hold the space for her to heal” and just being there for her totally and completely. It is such an awesome and peaceful feeling. Then I remembered that I had not asked her to tell herself “I did the best I could.” I realized that was because no matter how many times that R, John, Tina, or Carol had me say to myself “I did the best I could,” it didn’t mean much to me.

When my daughter died, I had felt that my body betrayed both of us. My brain knows I did the best I could, but I didn’t FEEL that I had. So as I thought about the young lady from yesterday and her healing journey, and how honored I was to be a part of her healing, it hit me! I wanted her to FEEL that she did the best she could.

And at that moment, I began to FEEL deep inside my core that I HAD DONE THE BEST I COULD! For more than 30 years my brain has known it. But my body wasn’t informed. I forgot to tell my body!

Then another ah-ha moment! It hit me that I DID THE BEST I COULD when my son was born also. For the first time I truly FEEL that I did the best I could when each of my children were born and I have finally forgiven myself for giving birth to them too late and too early.

And the tears flowed.

As I type this, the most painful spot on my back is tingling – not burning as it has been doing for so long, but a nice warm healing tingle. And I realized that although I was “holding the space for her to heal,” she, without knowing it, was holding the space for me to heal. John told us that when we are treating or being treated, we are healing. I knew that to be true, because I had felt it so many times during the seminar. But today, I know that my special young lady gave me a huge gift of healing. And I am so very honored to be a part of her healing journey and for her to be a part of mine. She and her son will be forever in my heart. And I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, April 3 - My Seventh Day

How to describe this day . . . . Words cannot describe it. The morning started with John demonstrating the next technique. This person had a powerful response. As soon as John started working on her, I started shaking and the more she let go, the more I shook. It was the most powerful unwinding I have witnessed and there were a few people that seemed uncomfortable with it although I loved it. I am still easily triggered. Each time we practiced on each other, I was shaking before we got started and I seemed to shake when I was the “therapist.” It was hard for me to stop.

During the next practice, I could hear a female crying with devastatingly raw pain. When we finished, the young lady who had lost her son 2 months ago came walking straight towards me. I could see the tears and agony in her face and I opened my arms and she walked straight into them and buried her face in my shoulder. I kept encouraging her to let it out and continue to cry from deep within her. I held her for a very long time even while John started the next demonstration. I told her it didn’t matter what they were doing; we are here to do what you need to do to heal. You do whatever you need to do. No one here will care! And she sobbed like she would never stop. That’s when I learned what “holding the space for someone to heal” meant. Later, she pulled away slightly and looked deep in my eyes and said, “Will the pain EVER go away?” I held her face in my hands and promised her that it would – the pain will go away and it will go away much faster if you continue to get MFR treatments and learn to let go even more. She sobbed some deep guttural sobs and then she broke my heart. As she held her stomach, she told me “he was safe in my belly.” I moved her hands up to her heart and said, “Now he’s safe in your heart. He hasn’t gone far. He’s just moved from your belly to your heart and that’s where he will always be. No one can take him from you.” We found a pillow and I told her to hold her baby and tell him what she wanted him to know (just like Carol had done with me). She cradled that pillow and was able to get rid of some more of that raw pain. I was aware of how centered and grounded I felt. I was not taking on her pain, but just allowing her to feel it.

Then we had a short break and I bought a Sacro Wedgy. My feet are still flat today. I keep looking at them and thinking “whose feet are you?” It is quite funny to walk around on feet that don’t feel like they are your own.

After the break, John taught us rebounding. I’ve always hated rebounding because the rhythm of it seems out of sync with me. My partner was trying to move me, but I don’t think it was easy. A couple of days ago I had told John or Rob that I hated rebounding. So today, when I seemed to fight rebounding, I felt John’s hands on me (I know John’s hands are there before he even touches me!) He and my partner were able to get me moving, but as soon as he walked away, it slowed down. Then Rob came over and got me started again, but I still didn’t like it. (Cindy says I need to reprogram that tape in my head that keeps telling me that I hate it.) I was so glad when it was time to change places and I got to rebound my partner. I’m getting treated by John tomorrow and I keep thinking that I am definitely getting rebounded tomorrow. I suspect John will make me love it despite myself.

Then it was time for the final exercises. We cleared space on the floor for all of us and then he taught us how to self-unwind. That, and what followed, was the most profound time of the seminar for me. I learned so many things about myself and my capabilities and self-limitations. I felt grounded for the first time in my life. I found my essence and embraced it. I felt such profound connections to the people in that room and to all human beings on this earth. My tiger was there also and she didn’t need to morph back into a kitty cat. I now have her power inside me. And I know she will be there when I need her.

Then it ended. I have made LIFELONG friends who I may never see again. But even if I never see them again, I am truly connected to them. I have never felt very connected to anyone except my son. Yes, there are some family connections, but in life I always seem to be left of center and I’m usually perfectly happy being there. But this weekend I felt like I was in the middle of the action and that’s where others in the room wanted me to be and where I wanted to be. But today I have true connections to some very special people on a very deep level. It is totally amazing how many good bear-hugs I got this weekend. I found that I love being the “therapist” as much as I love being the patient. And I learned that no matter how inexperienced these folks were, I was always able to unwind because they were in the moment and holding that space for me to heal. There are not enough words in the English language to describe what I have received and learned during this seminar. I would highly recommend everyone attend. If you are willing, it will change your life.

When it was time to leave, my special young lady didn’t want to let me go. She hugged me for a long time (I hugged back too) and then when she knew it was time to go, she held onto both of my hands as long as she could before she finally turned to go. She said she felt like I was the only person that had understood her pain and allowed her to say and do what she was really feeling. I gave her my email address so we can keep in touch.

Then I went back to the house and picked up Cindy. We did a little jewelry shopping and later in the evening we went to dinner. We met up with some of the people who were leaving Sedona tomorrow and had a really good time. The last 4 days have been the most profound experience of my life and I am extremely grateful for the gifts that I have been given.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Saturday - April 2 - My Sixth Day

[Well folks, I have discovered I should not have 2 glasses of wine before typing my blog ! Yesterday’s entry is a little different from my usual stuff. I have been told that it lacks the flow of my previous stuff and part of that is some word issues – I used real words, just not the right words (dessert vs. desert). I am not correcting them and I hope some of you got a laugh (my friend, Cindy certainly did! She thought that I’d really let go!). Cindy is here now and I have asked her to make sure I do not have any wine before I type future entries. That may be a challenge; she is considering tempting me with even more wine before allowing me near my computer.]

So today we continued the Healing Seminar with discussions of yesterday’s experiences on the rocks. Several people commented on how they had let things out that they had never told anyone, with people who were total strangers just a few days ago. They had finally felt safe enough to just let it go! Just going through the exercises, teachings and treatments during this seminar has given us so much love for each other. We have learned to trust each other and that is why we were able to unwind, cry and share. John has taught us all so much in just a few days about how to connect with ourselves and others. I commented at how I have truly hugged more people this week than I have ever hugged (and not just those “burping-the-baby” hugs). We are hugging each other with our entire bodies. It is very freeing to be able to do that without fear!

There was a man who shared something personal with us this morning. Shortly into his story, the tears started flowing. I was standing in the back of the room and as I watched the group sitting in the front I was struck by how everyone was totally focused on him and when he stopped talking to cry, no one tried to fill in the silence. We were all just being there for him allowing him to do what he needed to do. Then I realized that what I was seeing was LOVE going from all of those folks towards this one man. I saw no judgments of any kind, just unconditional love and acceptance of him. And I realized how powerful and healing that love was – not just for this man, but for all of us there in that room. What a profound experience I am having.

Then it was time for us to treat each other on the Sacro Wedgy. My partner was treated first and she had a very hard time getting comfortable on it. John talked us through several positions on it and she became more comfortable. Then we rotated the pelvis and checked for strength in the legs. Her leg strength was fine and we didn’t need to do anything more. Then it was my turn. Oh, wow! It hurt so much that my partner asked Rob to come over and be sure I was on it correctly. I was! Rob said that pain was telling me where I needed work – everywhere! So I softened into it the best that I could, but my back began having spasms in a few places. Rob came back and he and my partner helped me do what I needed to do. Then she rotated my pelvis and checked my leg strength. Of course, mine was not good, so we corrected it. I was so shocked when I stood up and found that my feet were touching the floor in a totally different way. I have always had huge arches in my feet and very high insteps. When I looked down at my feet, they looked totally flat. They weren’t really flat, but comparatively speaking they were flat. They didn’t look like my feet at all. I walked around barefooted for a while just feeling my new feet. Then I realized that I was standing differently, which of course caused my back to be more in alignment. What a difference that Sacro Wedgy made from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I guess I need to buy one! But I'll need to check my luggage situation to see if I have room for it or if I need to have it shipped home. I know it is small, but you should have seen my luggage when I came here. I'm not sure I could have squeezed a pencil in there, so the Sacro Wedgy may have to be my welcome home gift to myself.

Then we changed partners and did cross-hand psoas releases. I went first and as usual, it was emotional for me. I shook through most of it and got a little teary. After I did a psoas release on her, we each got a little yellow ball and got on the floor. Started on our upper backs. My right shoulder had been painful for several days and had gotten worse after yesterday’s rock climbing. I worked on that shoulder with that ball and it hurt a lot. John had loud drumming music playing and encouraged us all to let all of the anger we had ever felt come out. It was very loud in that room for a few minutes. I was able to get into it and moved that ball all over my back and found many tender spots. Then he had us turn over onto our stomachs and put the ball in a psoas and make more noise. There were some very loud people in that room and many of them got louder. So I joined in. Making noise has been hard for me to start. Once I start it, then I can go for it. It is the getting started that is difficult for me. But today I couldn’t even hear myself start and before I knew it I was making very loud noises coming from my gut. Suddenly it was time to go.

I went back to the house and Cindy had arrived. I was thrilled to see her. I will share our stories next week. Of course, I will only share what she wants me to share. And my shoulder hasn’t hurt since I had such loving contact with that little yellow ball. Now I have to buy the ball, too. It's looking more and more like I will be shipping some stuff home. Maybe I should ship some clothes home so that I can be sure my MFR equipment makes it home without getting lost in the mail. Oh well, a small price to pay.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Friday, April 1 - My Fifth Day

Another really special day. This morning was the 2nd day of the Healing Seminar and the afternoon was spent on the rocks with John, Rob, Donna and many others.

I’m not sure how we started the morning – that was a long time ago. But then John had us pair up and Dan and I became partners. I learned a lot about myself (and Dan) during these exercises. We discussed what we felt and saw during these exercises and it was very interesting. Dan and I felt a real connection and at the end of each exercise, we were to wrap our arms around each other and truly hug the other. That felt so good when he wrapped his arms around me. I was quite surprised at how good it felt to make a connection with another human being who wanted nothing from me but a hug. I loved doing the exercises because it was fascinating what I felt and saw in Dan and what he felt and saw in me. The last exercise, we had to talk for 5 minutes about something we were having trouble resolving. We were to talk about it and RESOLVE the problem in those 5 minutes. The other person was not allowed to speak. That person had to remain neutral and just BE THERE for the other person. It was very hard to keep quiet while the other talked and Dan and I both flunked that part. We both asked questions towards the end of the 5 minutes. Both of us wanted to help the other resolve the problem.

I talked about how much trouble I was having forgiving my mother for not being a mother to me and my siblings. And, how I had to take over the mother role because I was the oldest girl. I am still supporting 2 of my sisters and the youngest is 40 years old. I don’t mean monetarily, although I have done that, but emotionally being there for them when they needed a mother. Unfortunately I was not able to resolve that in those 5 minutes. But it was interesting to me what I said about my family issues during that time.

Then John demonstrated another technique and then we got into groups of 4 and unwound each other using all of what we had learned so far. I found myself fighting and crying. I have a lot of fight in me, but am rarely aware of who I am fighting. It was interesting have 6 hands on me – 4 of them were totally inexperienced. It didn’t matter. I unwound just fine. I learned much from that experience, but one important thing was that it doesn’t matter so much how experienced one is. It just matters that you are totally there for that person and give them permission to let go and heal. Giving them the space to heal was what was so important. I totally enjoyed my morning.

Then we broke for lunch and met in the parking lot at 1:30 to go climb rocks. I rode in Dan’s car along with 2 other ladies. Rob had told me that where we were going was fairly flat with 2 dry creeks to walk across. Well, I found out later that Rob meant it was flat FOR SEDONA! But he was talking to someone who lived most of her live in Okla. City where it is really flat. That’s why the winds come sweeping down the plains! I thought we’d never get to where we were going. It was rocky and uneven and I don’t do well on uneven terrain. It seemed that we walked for an hour and my hips and legs were screaming in pain by the time we got to the top. Dan found a spot in the shade for me to sit, cool off and give my hips a rest.

One of the first things we did was find our special place that was calling to us. (Same instructions as Wednesday’s rock adventure.) I pretty much stayed where I was. Actually the juniper tree that was about a foot away was calling me, so I laid down and put my head at the base of the tree. We were asked to just feel whatever came up and then melt into the earth. My first emotional was just sorry that I came out on the rocks today because it was so much more difficult and my body was wracked with pain. When that emotion subsided, then I felt such gratefulness that I was able to make it up there. I felt so thankful to John and his unselfish sharing of his MFR so that I was able to be there, no matter how painful. It was beautiful up there. I loved the twisted Junipers, the huge rocks, the grass, the dessert flowers, the cactus – everything! Then I had several waves of emotion. My entire week just came flooding back and I felt and was almost overwhelmed by everything that had happened to me during the week. I began to cry as I felt those emotions again. But the real crying came when I remembered holding my baby for the first time and how grateful I was to everyone who had a part in it, from R who introduced me to MFR, who suggested I come here and who helped me be ready for this experience, to John for sharing his love, and especially to Carol for helping me find my baby and hold her. So, I lay there on the cool ground remembering how absolutely wonderful it had been to hold her and tell her everything that I never got a chance to tell her. My sense of gratitude was almost overwhelming. And so I cried and cried. I seem to be a blubbering mess at least once a day!

After we reconvened, John asked if anyone wanted to share what had happened to them. After others had shared their experiences, I shared as well (you know I have such a hard time sharing ). Then we broke up into groups and helped each other unwind on the rocks. Again, I found myself fighting, but my movements were different. I don’t believe I got into any of my repeated patterns. I was with some fairly inexperienced folks – and Dan – but we all unwound with quite a bit of movement and noise. It was emotional for many in my group.

Afterwards, one of the ladies came up to me and told me that she had lost a daughter 28 years ago and we both have 22 year old sons. Our stories were very similar – the doctors took her baby out of her body and she never saw or held her daughter either. We both hugged and cried a bit. There was a real kindred spirit. Later another young lady came up to me and told me that her son at died just 2 months ago and that my story had touched her so much (just my quick sharing about what happened to me today – not the whole thing). We talked a bit about her son and my daughter. She was having trouble with her raw feelings about her son’s death (he lived 3 days). She felt that maybe she didn’t love him enough. That broke my heart and we hugged and cried together.

Then John had us lie on the big flat rock so that we could touch fingertips with at least one other person. One lady was already on the ground and I laid down and put my hand over hers. Then another lady put her hand on top of mine. But it was quite unsettling. I felt bad vibes and darkness from the bottom hand, while good vibes were coming from the hand on top of mine. Occasionally the top hand would leave to swat a bug and it was very difficult for me to keep my hand on top of the dark hand. I meant to ask John about that, but forgot to.

Then it was time to go back down. I usually don’t have trouble climbing UP stairs, but going down stairs is very hard on my knee. So I wasn’t looking forward to going back down. And it was a long walk and my hips and legs were still tired and quite painful. Rob walked down with me and when we got to a particularly rocky spot, I took his arm. I held onto him the rest of the way down. A huge grin was on my face as I finished the walk and Dan made a big deal about it. He said I hadn’t grinned like that all day. I actually felt good for those last few moments of the walk down. I was thrilled at what I had accomplished. Just a few short months ago I couldn’t walk for 5 minutes and today I had hiked up a mountain and back down. I hadn’t done it fast or well, but I HAD DONE IT! No wonder I had a big grin on my face.

When we got back to the parking lot so I could pick up my car, I found the young lady whose son had died 2 months ago waiting for me. She wanted to talk to someone who would understand. She was at the seminar simply because her neighbor was an MFR therapist who had helped the young lady’s husband and who had suggested that she attend this seminar. She was a little freaked out about what she had seen that day, but was interested in how MFR had helped me both physically and to connect with my baby. We talked for quite a long time in the parking lot and then went to dinner to continue our conversation. I hope I made a difference.

I am truly amazed at the connections I make when I share. No matter what I share, I always get a response from someone – either personally or on the chat line. An email I got today told me that I have made friends from coast to coast. And I know that is true. To me, sharing experiences is so human and a way to connect with our fellow beings. I have not had one moment of regret about sharing my journey or my life with my fellow beings. I have grown from a person who would rather not be noticed, who liked watching from the sidelines but didn’t really want to participate, to a person who is blossoming, growing and connecting with others. And I love that I have learned how to FEEL those feelings and to let them feel good to me. I’ve truly had a wonderful day.

And tomorrow should be fun as well. More Healing Seminar in the morning and then Cindy should be here by the time I get back to the house. It should be an interesting and exciting day.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Thursday, March 31 - My Fourth Day

Finally, a day not filled with emotion! Yes, there was emotion, but not ALL DAY! Woke up very sore. The front of my thighs are very sore. They haven’t climbed rocks in 30+ years! Today was the first day of the Healing Seminar. I met a few people from the chat-line (~waving to the other Dottie~) including Yucatan Dan! In fact he and I were partners for the first technique. He is amazing and very interesting (as if I needed to tell you that!) He said I did the technique quite well. He said he could have done a full-blown unwinding including diving for the floor if he thought I could support him. I’m glad he didn’t. He’s a big guy!

In the beginning, I tried sitting in a chair, but kept squirming because my back was hurting. Sitting and standing are still difficult for me. So I got up and walked around in the back of the room. Dan was reclining on one of the tables, so I found a table and got comfortable. I spent most of the seminar lying on a table. I can walk on level ground fairly easily, but I didn’t want to pace during the seminar.

I seem to be triggered by anyone unwinding. My shakes started with the first demonstration. We learned several techniques and did them on ourselves and our partners. My last partner of the day didn’t seem to move during the leg pull. And his legs were dead weight. He was a big guy. John came by and put his hand over mine and applied a tiny bit more pressure, but still no movement. Afterwards, I asked my partner if he had felt anything and he said he thought he felt some shaking, especially in his left leg, but wasn’t sure if it was me or him. I told him I felt it too, but wasn’t sure who it was either. Since my right arm always shakes the most and it was holding his left leg, it was probably me. He did have some emotional stuff come up also, so I learned that movement doesn’t tell it all.

I had to leave the seminar about 10 minutes early to get to my appointment at TOR. It was Group Myofascial Freedom class which Tina taught. It was interesting, but I was having lots of cramps and pain in so many places. I had some trouble with just about everything, but I did my best. I learned some stuff. I had to leave the class before she showed us the last move because it was time for an hour of treatment. I got Carol again! I love Carol. She is so supportive. But I was afraid of another “dead baby” episode and was just sick of doing that. My left shoulder was hurting, probably from lying on that table all day. So we started there. It took me a little longer to get into it than it had the last few days, but it may have been because I felt rushed since the seminar and needed to stop my mind’s chatter and my rushed feeling. But when it got started, it was “brother torture” again. I’ve processed several layers of this already with R, but I know there can be many layers of trauma. And since my brother tortured me from birth until about age 12, I bet there are lots of layers. I have forgiven him, but maybe my body doesn’t know that. I feel sorry for him now. He died 22 years ago at age 38. He left a beautiful wife and 3 young children. He had turned into a fine man, but we had never talked about what he had done to me when we were kids. He was 5 years older than me, so he was always bigger than me.

Today, I went through 2 episodes of torture, yet I don’t know what they were. I just knew the emotions were of me being tortured. The first one, Carol kept telling me to say what I’d always wanted to say. It took me a while, but finally angry hatred came spewing out of me. I screamed every bad name I ever learned and deep guttural sounds came out of me. I kicked and hit my head on the table. Luckily, Carol got a pillow under my forehead before I injured myself. I was hitting my head hard – I felt like I was head-butting him and kicking him. After that was over and I calmed down, Carol asked me where she should work next. I asked her to work on my mid-back. I know there is a large band (bra strap level but much bigger) of tissue back there that just doesn’t move. And I get lots of cramps in those muscles. So she started working there while I processed what had just happened. But then another episode of brother-torture reared its ugly head! This time I got into a position that felt protective – hands up in front of me, on my stomach as flat to the table as I could get. I was hiding and trying to be quiet so he couldn’t find me. Carol encouraged me to get away, but it was so scary. She told me to take back my power and to do whatever I needed to do to get away. I started scooting back on the table until my feet hit the wall. I slid my feet down the wall to the floor and kept backing up until my butt hit the wall. I had gotten away, but the little girl didn’t feel safe. She asked me how old I was and I answered “8” so she told me that the adult Dottie could save the 8-year-old Dottie. She encouraged me to rescue her and let her know that I would always keep her safe. At first it didn’t feel like I could do that, but suddenly I found my courage, found her and rescued her. I found my voice and screamed that I would NEVER let him hurt her again. I had saved Donna (my younger sister) from his torture and I would save her from him too. I would never let him hurt her again! She was safe and the adult Dottie knew it. Some time during all this, my spine gave up and I felt it elongate so much. It felt like I got 2 inches taller. My spine felt so much more open instead of totally compressed. Carol swept all the bad energy from me and she told me that my body was ready to heal itself. That it was finally my time to heal. At that moment I realized that if my body wasn’t ready to heal, I would not be here in Sedona. Then our session ended. Carol is so loving.

After she left the room, I felt a huge sensation of heat across my low back. This is a spot that looked like there was someone inside me pulling it in. When I first started treatment, R could put all his fingers into this area up to his first knuckles. He couldn’t see his fingertips. He was able to release it about half way. The hot spot was right there. I reached back and felt that area and it was COMPLETELY FLAT. When I stood up and looked in the mirror, it looked almost like a normal back. It hasn’t looked like that ever! Even as a young child, my father would comment on how much that area indented. I’m so grateful that I’m here. I feel wonderful tonight. Yes, I’m still sore from the rock climb yesterday but that is therapeutic pain. So I’m going out on the rocks with John again tomorrow. I had trouble with the stairs at TOR today, so I hope I can climb the rocks tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wednesday, March 30 - My Third Day

Well, today was a wonderful and a tough day for me. I am truly exhausted. This morning John took us up on the rocks. I am truly blessed to be able to participate! Just a few short months ago, I was riding the handicap cart at Wal-Mart and shopping for a motorized wheelchair or Hover-round or something similar. I hadn’t told anyone, but I was convinced that it wouldn’t be long before I couldn’t walk at all without excruciating pain. So today was a huge deal to me! With a little help from Rob and occasionally, some of the others, I was able to get up there without too much trouble. Of course, I was always bringing up the rear, but John told us we would go slow and if anyone needed to stop, just say so. We stopped part way up and sat on the rocks while John explained some MFR principals to us. We learned that we were in a very powerful vortex and I could feel the energy. Some of my scars were tingling. Very, very cool! John then asked us to use only our intuition and find a place that was special to us and that called to us. Then we were to lie in that spot and quiet ourselves. After we had been quiet a bit, we were to allow ourselves to melt into the rock and become one with Mother Earth. I found a place that called to me, but I had to climb down a steep incline. I tried to pass it up, but just couldn’t do it. It was calling to me. So I went down there and it was perfect. It was a large flat rock that had plants on one side and a larger rock forming a wall on the other side. It was very cozy. After lying on the rock, I did manage to kick a cactus and got a couple of needles in my leg. But they came right out and didn’t really hurt. I was truly enjoying the experience, but what came up for me was puzzling. I felt a tightening at the bridge of my nose. I didn’t have my glasses on, but it was across the entire nose where my glasses sit and some of the cheek and eye areas. It felt like a lot of pressure was being applied to that area. It was also being warmed by the sun. I don’t know what that was about, but I’ve learned that I don’t need to know. My job is just to feel it and let it be whatever it is. The 30 minutes that John gave us for this exercise was up way too quickly. I thought about 10 minutes had passed when we got the signal to return.

Then we climbed higher until we got to a large flat place that had a lot of smaller flat rocks on it. It also had several nice places to sit. John explained that we were going to do a group unwinding. There were several therapists there – John, Donna and Rob from TOR as well as the 4 ladies doing their SES. There were other therapists there who were being patients this week. And there were 3 of us who were just patients. The other 2 patients had never seen an unwinding, but one of them had experienced it herself yesterday. It was still scary for both of them. John started with Donna so we would understand what we were supposed to do. As John put his hand on her head and back, we were all asked to put our hands on her too. If we couldn’t reach her, we were supposed to put our hands on someone who was touching her. Of course, Donna got right into it. Then one by one, we all unwound. When it was my turn, I did a handstand as well as some other stuff. I remember the handstand mainly because one of my hands landed on a bunch of tiny rocks and I had to sweep them away because they were digging into my hand. Of course, I had many people supporting me, so I just stayed there for a bit. I’m not sure what it was all about, but I have fallen out of many trees in my life and I always assume it has something to do with that. I don’t need to know, I just need to FEEL! Before it was my turn, I was truly amazed at what I felt coming from the folks who were unwinding. I really got into it, so much so that I started shaking quite a bit. It wasn’t too noticeable to the others, except those who had their hands on me because they couldn’t reach the person who was unwinding. I was actually glad when John told me it was my turn, because I had already started unwinding and was ready to go. There is no way to describe in words what was happening to me. I did leave my body a couple of times, but the third time I came back without being asked. John commented that just as he started to ask me to return I came back on my own. I’m learning! And I truly believe that most of the people had a profound experience up on those rocks. When we had all had our turn, it was time to go back down. John asked us to stay in the moment, quietly feeling and taking in whatever was happening inside us and in our environment. That was very nice and fairly easy to do at that point. Rob stayed with me as I brought up the rear again. I slipped on a rock once and went down on one knee, but again didn’t get hurt. A few times Rob had me hang onto his arm. I’m not steady on my feet yet. But I see myself as someday soon being active and alive. I’m already feeling alive, just not as active as I see myself becoming! Again, it was an awesome experience, especially for someone who, not long ago had no hope of ever being able to participate in something like that. And I did it!

After returning to TOR, I had about 30 minutes to eat my lunch and then it was time for my session with Carol. Poor Carol – her touch and words and ability to make me feel so safe seems to bring up things about my daughter. Today, I felt and saw myself on the operating table and the doctors were cutting me open to take my dead baby from my body. And I was not going to let them do it this time. Carol encouraged me to say what I had always wanted to say. She kept saying “give it a voice.” I have learned that I truly do choke stuff down. I have a hard time opening my throat to let it out. It gets caught in my throat. Finally, I screamed at them and told them that “She’s mine and you can’t have her.” I think I said it several times and then I screamed, howled, wailed and kicked. I left my body several times, but Carol asked me to return and I was able to do it. I know I didn’t want to feel what I was feeling. But it is so important to feel it. In the last couple of days, I have learned when I return to my body, but I’m not always aware when I leave it. But I seem to jerk when I come back. Carol asked me if I had gotten to hold my baby and I told her “no, I never even saw her.” She put a pillow in my arms and told me that it was Stacee and now I could hold my baby. She asked me if I could see her. She asked me what she looked like. I told her she looked just like my son did when he was born 9 years later. I have a picture of her in her casket and after he got to be a normal-sized baby, he looked just like she did. I can’t really explain it, but I truly felt that I was holding her for the first time! I had waited 31 years to do that and it felt better than I could ever express in words. I held her, hugged her and told her how much I loved her. I squeezed her tight and rubbed noses with her. I patted her on the bottom and rubbed her back. I rocked her and put her up on my shoulder and burped her. I was a blubbering mess – again! I cried through all of this, but after a while, I calmed down some and it was time for Carol to leave the room. She knew I wasn’t finished and she covered both of us with a blanket and told me that someone else would be right in.

Tina came in and took over where Carol left off. Their styles are similar and it all melded perfectly. Tina asked me a few questions and got some more crying and screaming and shaking out of me. It seemed to come in waves the entire time. Finally I was ready to say good-bye to my little girl. She was in my heart and had always been there. I was finally able to tell her all the things that I wanted to say. I handed her to Tina. I was fully aware it was just a pillow, but symbolically it was my daughter. I just didn’t want to throw her on the floor. Tina laid her gently in the chair and it felt OK.

I was totally exhausted, but still had some time with Tina. She asked me if anyone had done internal work yet. I told her that John had, but with all the stuff that I had been through “down there” I felt there was still some work to do. She asked if I was up for it and I told her I was so rung out that we might as well do it now. So out came the blue glove. Tina was so gentle and caring and loving. We found some more tender spots and I felt several releases. I don’t remember much about this part of it – too rung out to remember much. I know she had her other hand on my low stomach and she asked me to go there with her. I think I tried to leave my body once or twice, but came right back in. Again, I felt so very safe and I have been amazed at how I have lost my modesty. But I am here TO HEAL and modesty just doesn’t seem to be important in reaching my goal. Whatever I need to do is what I'm going to do! I think something was going on for me at the end because she covered me up and told me to take all the time I needed. I think I fell asleep. I was scheduled for a 15-minute meeting at 4:30, but I slept right through it! And no one came to get me, so I guess I’ll find out what it was all about tomorrow. When I finally got off the table, I looked in the mirror and my hair was frightful. They always give me such good hair styles. It was sticking straight up or straight out to the sides and I couldn’t get most of it to lie down. Oh well, I looked rung out so who cares that the hair looks like I stuck my finger in the wall socket.

When I left, I wanted some warm comfort food. I stopped at a café and after I was seated I realized everyone else in there was dressed nicely. And I had on sweat pants, t-shirt and white tennis shoes – all of them with red rock dust and red dirt on them! Again, I just wanted food and didn’t care that I was sitting at a table with a tablecloth, cloth napkins, china and silver. I ordered my food and when she brought it out, she realized they had made a mistake. She took it back and another waiter took it back out and served it to someone else at another table. So they had to cook mine again and I thought I would have to eat the table because I was so hungry. But in a few minutes, I had my food. They offered me a dessert, but I don’t eat sugar so they took 50% off my bill. I brought home enough food for 2 more meals. Not bad!

Earlier while Tina was working on me I started having leg cramps. I have had this problem all my life. I have learned that if I take enough calcium and drink enough water, I don’t have nearly as many leg cramps. I have also learned that a lot of walking will cause me to cramp. So, of course walking up into the rocks this morning was too much. I have had massive quantities of water today and especially since I got home – and one glass of wine in the hot tub. The hot tub really felt good on my aching legs and hips. I’ve also managed to do a load of laundry. I seem to be extremely tired, yet have energy. I do know that there is a lot more space inside my body than there was Monday morning. It feels so good to have that space in there. A great deal of tightness in my gut is gone. I love what is happening to me!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Tuesday, March 29 - My Second Day

Wow, shook myself to sleep last night. I tend to do that most nights even though it has subsided some in recent weeks. But last night was different. My shakes were mostly in my gut – where John, Tina and Barb worked on me yesterday. I woke up shaking in my gut as well as my upper back and right arm. Had to get up at 6 a.m. If I was truly listening to my body, I would NEVER get up at 6 a.m., but I had to be at TOR by 8 a.m. for 2 hours of Inner Journey. It was well worth it! Rob (and the rest of the group) talked quite a bit about listening to our bodies. We also did a visualization exercise where we learned to FEEL our bodies. It was quite a learning experience although I found that my shakes got in the way of my feeling. It was distracting, but I was still able to go deep inside myself and feel. Afterwards I asked Rob if I should suppress my shakes or just let it happen. I thought I already knew the answer and he confirmed that I should just let it happen. It was suggested to me yesterday that some people use shaking to keep from feeling. If I am doing that I am not aware of it. Of course, I am learning that I am not always aware of what is happening in my body. I get to do Inner Journey again next Tuesday and I suspect it will be different for me. Every session is different so I don’t see any reason for this to be different.

I had a 4-hour break and then back to TOR at 2 p.m. for my session with John. Wow, what an afternoon! John and the 4 wonderful ladies came in and John asked me what I wanted him to work on. I had been clamping my jaws together since yesterday and they were hurting from the pressure, so I told him that. So, began my intra-oral work. On went the blue glove and visions of pelvic exams swam through my head! Not any particular exam, just in general. Little did I know what was coming!

He started on the outside joints. I know the therapists out there know the name for it, but not me. Anyway, whatever that is in the V is quite large. So we worked on that a bit (no pun intended) and then John asked me if it was OK to feel inside my mouth. I agreed and he put one finger in my mouth and felt the roof of my mouth – all the time explaining to the Skill Enhancement ladies what he was doing. They were doing the same thing on their own mouths. Then he told me what he was going to do next and that it might be painful, but I could stop him at any time. I told him since his finger was in my mouth and I couldn’t talk, I’d just bite him to signal if I wanted him to halt! (Just so you know that blue glove doesn’t taste very good.) Well, it was a little uncomfortable, but not too bad. Then he told the group that I was starting to unwind – I didn’t even know it yet! He seems to know what my body wants to do before I know it. How does he do that? It is too awesome. There was so much going on and I’m a little confused about what happened when, but I remember sitting up with his finger in my mouth. I spit it out once, but he put it back in. My tongue started dancing on his finger but sucking and flicking his finger with my tongue seemed a little strange, so I stopped it. Of course he told me to let my tongue do whatever it wanted to do, so I let it go. He kept encouraging me and then he told me that WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT, just pull his finger out of my mouth or reach up and hold it there. I pulled it out. I’d like to say that I don’t have a clue why I did that (don’t ask why, Dottie!), but I suspect it was fear of the unknown – my biggest fear!

Then he asked if anyone had started my internals yet. I told him not yet and he said since we were on a roll, that with my permission we could start now. I didn’t have time to think about it. I’m here to heal and just let whatever is supposed to happen, HAPPEN! Although the door to the deck was open and cold air was coming in, I was hot. I didn’t really want a sheet or blanket over me, so we used my robe for cover. I shed my panties. I was so surprised that I had no qualms about it. He made me feel SO SAFE! And the ladies were wonderful, too. He asked me to bring up my knees and told me he was going to sit on my right foot so he could reach me. He told me what he was going to do and it seemed perfectly safe and natural. Wow, a new non-modest me! What a switch! He felt around for tender spots and we found quite a few. He started working on the tenderest spot and it was a little painful at times, but he had the ladies do cross-hand techniques on my stomach and chest and they really helped to distract me. With that many hands on me, it was hard to feel everything at once or brace against anything. I had to let go! Kind of cool! John kept quietly talking to me and told the ladies that I was starting to unwind. Again, he knew it before I did! And then very vivid images of being raped (at 17) came up. Again, I don’t remember the sequence of events here, but I remember sitting up (John’s finger was still doing releases.) Then I was crying hard on John’s shoulder. Then John asked one of the ladies to give me a pillow to bite. He told me to bite on it. As I type this, I wonder if I was biting his shoulder. I don’t think so, but. . . . I’ve inhaled a pillow at R’s office, so it wasn’t a new concept for me. All the ladies were supporting me and John was talking to me quietly in my ear. Encouraging, encouraging, encouraging. A lot of tears and some animal noises came up with their encouragement. When 5 other people in the room are making animal noises, it seems like it is OK for me to join in! That is still very hard for me to do, but by the end of the day I got better at it! Sometime during all of this my beautiful tiger came back. She must be my power animal. I have met her before, but she sometimes morphs from a kitty cat into a tiger. Then I seem to get scared of her power and she morphs back into the kitty again. Well today, she was just the tiger. Maybe I didn’t need the kitty today. My tiger’s power was good for me today. I smiled when I saw her and felt her power. Well, once again I was a blubbering mess. But it felt so good to get it out. John leaned over and reminded me that I was safe, that I had survived and that I was very brave today. I guess I was. I’m feeling pretty brave right now too, sharing this. But I know there are women who will read this who have had the same thing happen to them. And maybe I can give them permission to let go of it with their therapists. I hope so. I know that IT WAS NOT MY FAULT. I’ve intellectually known it for many years now, but the body still remembered it. I believe John had me say it like I meant it, to tell my body that IT WAS NOT MY FAULT. And I did! I think I was even smiling a bit at the end. Wow, I had a lot of processing to do after that, but they needed my room and I had to be in another room about 30 minutes later. So, someone came into the room and helped me get to the other room. I was deeply processing and having trouble with the easy stuff – like gathering up my clothes and walking 3 or 4 doors down the hall. Big stuff happening inside me. I must have stayed in my body today because John didn’t ask me to come back in. He asked me so many times yesterday to return that I don’t think he would have let it go today if I was leaving. Hard to believe that I’d stay for all that!

I spent the next 30 minutes or so just allowing the processing to happen. I sometimes closed my eyes and felt the stuff. At other times I’d gaze out the window at the beauty that is right outside the windows here. I watched some critters and saw their beauty, too. Awesome sights!

Then June came in for 30 minutes to teach me about the tools – the foam roll and the blue and yellow balls. Wow, all that hurt! But I could tell that it opened up the front of my back! Then she had me lay on the table and she worked on me a bit. I shook quite a bit, but nothing came up. I think I was too exhausted from the previous session.

But it wasn’t over yet! Carol came in for my last hour of treatment. That was the first time I’d met Carol, but again I felt totally safe and willing to do whatever I had to do to heal. (Easy words to say, but sometimes hard to do!) Carol was very gentle and soothing. I don’t even remember where we started. I think it was my neck. Had a big knot in there and she went for it. I started to unwind with much more movement than I had previously done here. She moved around and worked on me in lots of different places. She was very soothing and kept encouraging me to let go. Something she said triggered a vision of my baby daughter’s birth and death. We were into my third hour of treatment and I couldn’t hold it in. I cried and wailed – a lot of it from deep within me. I would exhaust myself and think I couldn’t go on and then Carol would say something and trigger it again and up more stuff came. This happened several times. There were times that I thought I’d NEVER stop crying. It just kept coming. I’d slow down a bit, take some deep breathes and then more stuff came up. Would I ever be able to stop crying and wailing? Carol gave me a pillow to hug, wrapped me in her arms in a fetal position and told me to say what I needed to say. That was so hard! I didn’t know it could be so hard. But with her encouragement, I was finally able to say it. I told my daughter how sorry I was that my body was not able to support her birth, that my body had betrayed both of us. I told her how very, very sorry I was that I hadn’t been able to let her out of my body in time so that she could live. I told her how much I loved her – to this day I love her dearly. I told her that I’d never ever forget her. It seemed very important to me that she know just how much I've loved her from the moment I knew she was inside me. Still wrapped in Carol’s arms in a fetal position, Carol asked me how long I’d been holding that in. It has been 31 years! I wish I had back all the hours, days, months, years that I have spent crying for my baby girl. But again, the tissue remembers it and I had to tell my body that IT WAS NOT MY FAULT! I had done the best I could do at the time. Carol had me say that like I meant it. Again, a blubbering mess! But my body feels so much more open tonight. It is amazing to me how different I feel just since this morning. There is space in there and my back is not burning even though it always burns when I’m sitting for any length of time. And I’ve been sitting here typing this for a long time now. I’m so blessed to be able to do this work with such talented, caring, loving, supportive people.

I have learned many things today. But one of the many things I’ve learned that I haven’t already mentioned is how important the right words are. I’ve known that the right touch can trigger something, but today, FOR ME, I learned that the right touch AND the right words triggered things. All of my unwindings today were triggered by a combination of touch and the therapist’s words. How do they know the exact thing to say that triggers me? It is so amazing! I was able to process the three most traumatic things that have ever happened to me in the first TWO days here. I have processed all of these things back home with R, and I know there are many layers to it, but to have that level of trust and to feel safe enough in the first 2 days to let go of the 3 most significant things that have EVER happened to me is simply amazing. And I thank them all very much!!!