I met with another potential counselor yesterday. The session went well, but we both have concerns about travel and consistency for continued care. So I am thinking and still working with my other therapist over the phone.
Later, I met with people who run a non-profit tai chi organization. Their building is across the street from this counselor’s current office. The people were nice and welcoming. The class was low-key; the cost for joining fit within my budget even with extra for transportation. The organization’s values are consistent with my personal ones.
Everyone in the system wants to join. And we all want to run away and pretend we never sat and observed, never drank tea and conversed with compassionate, caring people; never swayed and moved in the chair along with the practitioners; never remembered watching and following our uncle practice during childhood. The shame of remembering joy and peace from practicing tai chi with my uncle and other people who practiced in Chinatown when I visited my grandparents almost made me cry in front of these people.
I want to sign up. I want to practice again. I want to learn and be part of this compassionate, caring community. But I’m scared. I feel like by doing this I am running back into the experiences that broke me the first time. And the second. And the third. Can I separate the abuse from the act of practicing tai chi?
And earlier today, I had training at work. One of the participants is the person who caused me so much trouble over the Christmas holiday. He heard my name and got really silent. The tension was palpable over the phone conference. And then I heard him yelling in the background. But after that, things calmed down and became professional again.
But I was left triggered, trying to pay attention and participate, then leave and go back to work without crying and passing out from the headache. A short break and lunch helped. So did playing mahjong on my tablet.
The fear and shame came back again when I answered a call from the dentist’s office. I am afraid of dentists. I hate my mouth, my teeth, and everything associated with them. It’s one part of my body that I have not been able to separate from my trauma or care for consistently. But I’m going to a dentist in 1 week for the first evaluation in almost 10 years.
Now, the headache is still with me. I have tears in my eyes. The shame is overwhelming. The internal conflict makes me dizzy. Do this or that? Go this way or that way? Use this strategy or that one? Eat or not eat?
I wish I could be positive right now. I wish I could tell you that my tools will work, and I will be ok. But I am not sure if the tools will work. And lying is not part of my lifestyle anymore.
I will tell you that I am going to be ok. Because I am. And so are my alters. We are resilient, flexible, patient, and strong. And persistent or stubborn. So yes, the depression and shame and sadness are overwhelming. The pain is at level 9+ right now. And everything feels like too much.
But, one moment at a time. That’s all I have to get through. One. Moment. At. A. Time.
Thanks for reading.