A Morning Exorcise

Other pens will capture records of yesterday’s Thanksgiving
events, and I hope yours was as wonderful, and impossibly filling as mine.
Yesterday morning, a friend of mine came over to do some
spiritual work with me. She is a certified depth hypnotherapist, and I too would have
been dubious, if I didn’t already know the tangible results my work with her
brings. So, as with movies, suspension of disbelief will be important here in
your reading.
I’ve worked with my friend before, and we’ve done some
significant work, but it’s almost like, Whoa, buddy, can’t do too much of that (excavating, exploring, expelling,
exorcising), as it’s a little shocking to the system. So, this was maybe the
third time I’ve worked with her one-on-one, though I’ve been to numerous
workshops and retreats with her, and much of my spiritual practice has been
informed by exercises we’ve done, and teachers that she follows.
So, I knew I was in for it yesterday, and I knew I wanted to
be. You know by now that I don’t think cancer, my cancer, is random. That I believe I am to be learning lessons from it
– however kicking and screaming and despairing I can be sometimes about
having to be forced (or
if I’m feeling generous) to learn them.
Therefore, I wanted to get in there, into my soul, and root
around for whatever garbage was so stagnant and festering that it caused a
rupture to my body’s mechanics.
I told her briefly about my waffling on my medical decision
(bone marrow transplant or consolidated chemo), and before she left, she said
it sounds like I know what I am going to and want to do, “all the rest is
And then, we got to talking about my dad, and what’s
happening there. I will put this out, knowing how painful it is to say, and
acknowledging too that this is not the whole of the man, but she said that it
sounds like he is willing to harm me in order to have his incapacities not be
I, reluctantly, concur. This is not new behavior from him,
and I can trace the same theme with varying incarnations of violence back
through my upbringing. She said, when leaving, after our work together, that I ought to “consider how to act with [my] dad in order to maintain this new
configuration.” Yesterday, that simply looked like replying to his text for a
Happy Thanksgiving with the same. 
(Also, to update you on that front, my dad
had continued to call at 6pm each night after last Thursday’s blow-out, and I
did not pick up. I did the work with my trusted friend earlier this week, and simply sent him an
email telling him that I got his voicemails, and would update him when there was new
information. There’s no reason to engage right now. I was tempted to send the
original email I’d drafted, which said that when I asked to speak earlier in
the day, it wasn’t about the time of day for me, but rather I was asking to
have more time, and the potential for quality conversations, instead of 10
minutes before his dinner. – But, my friend asked me if he’s ever shown
willingness to have “quality” conversations before, and unfortunately, no. So,
why give myself the chance to be disappointed once again, when he’s already
shown me he’s not capable. Hence, keep things surface, keep it brief, and head
it off at the pass by saying I’ll let you know what’s up when things are up. To
which he replied in email, Okay.)
The new configuration was the majority of my work with my
friend yesterday.
I told her how I felt like I could only show or be 25% of
myself around my dad; that the 75% rest of me was denied, diminished, or hidden around
him. It was the 75% I forgot last Thursday when speaking with him. I forgot
who I am; who I was.
And the work we did was about exploring this 75% of myself –
what was diminishing it to be lesser than I actually am? Most people have heard
the term “The Critic” before, that incessant voice that says, don’t try, you
might fail; you’ll never have the life you want; other people are better at
xyz; if you go out there, you will make a fool of yourself.
My friend asked me as we went through this work how
important it was to me anymore that I don’t make a fool of myself? I replied,
not very important. How valid was it anymore to have this fear of being my
whole self? In current, modern evidence, not valid at all. Do I need, any
longer, to protect myself as I had been? Not really.
She asked me to give name or shape to this part of me that
knocks out my kneecaps before I can walk. What is this part that has held me
back like? I said it was like a silver, robotic looking parasite on the frontal
lobe of my brain. She asked me if it was organic to who I was? No, it was not.
It was acquired, and it was learned.
We can go into the psychology of it all, and perhaps we all
know it, but for me, I know this part was invited in a long time ago to prevent
that 75% from being entirely eliminated and extinguished through early trauma.
We know why we have it – or to speak for myself, I know why I have it and where it came from, and what it’s
purpose was – it was to protect me. But, I am no longer defenseless, and I no
longer need the kind of protection that will hamper, hinder, and … as I saw
yesterday, take pleasure in harming me.
So, we did some work with this part, like using a crowbar to
get air beneath the suction cup of this parasitic thing that has lived
so long with me. We explored times when it was helped to be formed, tragic times
when I learned that to be myself and to express myself was wrong, and punishable. We explored a time when I did it to myself in my early adolescence,
cutting myself off at the knees, instead of someone else doing it. It had
become a habit, but never truth.
We explored the time before this Censor was installed. And
the levity, creativity, and joy that those parts of me embody. That the 75%,
which in reality is just a quashed 100%, is this swirling cloud of colored and
laser-light-show energy.
Was I ready to invite the Censor to leave? Could I believe,
with all the work I’ve done prior to this, and with all the help I have from
seen and unseen forms, could I believe that I didn’t need this Censor to block
me anymore?
Am I willing to let it go, and have those places it’s resided
fill with something benevolent and truthful instead? I told my friend I was
scared. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to handle that responsibility.
That I would be too scared to let myself embody all of my qualities. In
essence, that this would be an entirely new configuration of myself, and I
wasn’t sure if I did have it in me to
support myself.
I still don’t know, and I won’t, until I give evidence to
myself that I can do it, and that I am worth fucking trying for. I am worth
breaking out of the bell jar that I placed around my heart. I am worth
announcing myself, and introducing myself to me, and thus to the world.
In the end, I invited the Censor to leave, to extract its
little pervasive tentacles from all parts of me, from my brain, my organs, my blood, particularly, with my Leukemia, extracting this poisonous thread
from my blood.
I’m not entirely sure what it will look like, what it is
looking like to have these now empty places refill and fill with me, and love,
and life. But I do know that yesterday I sang. I sang the song my adolescent self sang,
the one which she practiced over and over for her Bat Mitzvah, and knew there were two ways she could sing it – I could sing
it without the harmony and allow the song to be boring and flat, or I could
sing it with the harmony, and try for the notes that I wasn’t sure I could
grab but which made it beautiful and powerful and fun. Then, at the time, at age newly-minted 13, I stood at that podium in
front of all my friends and family, and I Tonya Harding’d myself: I made the
micro-second decision to not go for it, and as I sang the predictable and
boring notes, I felt something give in my chest – I knew I’d hampered myself. I
knew I had chosen to be small, and to be less than I was because of fear I
couldn’t be all that I am.
I still remember it. Acutely. And so, yesterday, before she
left, my friend suggested that I sing that song, and I hit those notes. And
that I sing every day going forward.
In an article I read recently, the woman said she was
encouraged when growing up to give it her all, not so she might then succeed or win, but because then, she would have no regrets. 

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