Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hawaii and Here

Room to roam,
Sky to soar,
Land without fences,
Rivers without dams,
So everything contained in me,
Has someplace else to be.

Hawaii is tiny. To make it even smaller, it's a grouping of teeny islands in the great blue ocean!  It held it's share of comforts and luxuries of course.  OK.  More than its share.  I love o'ahu and I'm hoping to make it back there someday, not as a tourist.  I'd like to be LOCAL. 
The breeze that used to blow through or little single wall home felt like life to me.  If ever it stopped, I felt like God died.  What happened? What's wrong?  Where'd He go?  The ocean was so many colors of blue.  It wasn't just endless horizon.  It was reef, beach, cliff, cave, tide pool and surf.  So?  Well, the land was so tiny.  We'd go driving on the north shore. My eye would roam over the pineapple fields and up to the mountains.  . . back down again and soon (too soon) end up looking at the great blue. 
There was a restlessness in me.  I felt my eye could never get its fill.  I could not see far enough.  I couldn't feel my way across the nation.  I had no confidence in the earth I was standing on.  What a great imagination I have!  To think that I really needed to know there were forty-something states of mountains, prairie, desert, and plains behind me!
Anyhow, somehow, it is true.  So here I am in Washington with season changes upon me.  Every time Summer leaves me, I am only able to let it go because Fall is a gentle beauty. But Winter? She is not beautiful.  And she wears out her welcome wherever she goes!  So here I have some words from mine own pen, written back on the warm ever-beautiful island of O'ahu:
I long to see a land,
as barren as my soul.
I'd like to see grand,
and on some distant shore.
Watch it stretch long in the morning,
See it curl up tight at night.
Smell it take in the wind and the rain and the sun,
Feel it turn its face to the light of the moon.
If I could see a land,
as barren as my soul,
begin to live again,
I would . . .
Stretch long in the morning,
curl up tight at night,
take the wind and the rain and the sun,
and by the light of the moon,
begin to live again.
So you see, I became sort of obsessed.  Here's another, (though written after the move.):
Our Spring wears mostly green,
our Summer is the quickest runner,
Our Fall tarries not at all,
and only on special occasion our Winter,
wears a great white gown of glitter.
There is another I had written just before the great storm.  But it's lost. . .written on loose leafs.  Something  like living like the seasons. . .tidying up for spring, hunkering down for winter, and in the fall painting myself with color.  A bunch of romanticism!
Anyhow, I'm over it, and the weather is getting bad!  The beauty of this fall will win me over as it always does. . . and Winter will make me dream of the glorious Spring when I can watch with wonder as the land begins to live again.

My FBI Agent

"All with a blur my life was changed,
and years of recovery have left me the same."
                                my personal journal march '08

This is how it hit me 14 years later.
My God what has happened to me?

Going along my way, I found a most helpful councilor at my most crucial point of desperation.  He was full of wisdom, compassionate, and knew infinitely more about my journey than anyone I had ever met.
We talked for weeks. So much I learned, so many life changing, life giving concepts.  I began to get free from the tangles my psyche was in.  But these are things I hope to share later.  About Doug: I new he worked for the FBI and the army, debriefing and counselling agents after grueling incidents.  "Good," I thought, "if any of what I am going through happens to be related to the accident, he can help me."
But there were so many things to talk about! I'm quite good at talking, so we just dove right in and I learned soooo much sooo fast, forgetting to tell him of the accident.
So many concepts learned in his office in Hawaii Kai brought instant freedom.  He taught me how to make choices, not decisions.  He awoken my very dormant sense of self-preservation.  I learned about shouldy thinking. He led me in the prayer: Dear God, please help me to stop shoulding all over myself!  And biggest of all, he taught me how to look on something without judgement.  I was feeling so free!
This went on for weeks until one night, as my husband and I were lying in bed, we felt IT coming.  It was as if all the pressures of my life's experiences, (the ones from which I'd managed to keep a bit of distance) were all rushing toward me at once.  Every fearful moment I 'd worked so hard to push back burst like a storm above me. It was a steadily descending pressure.
At this point I was in the bathroom holding tight to the towel bar, door shut. And there I felt the full force of fear and pain.  I was saying, "I'm going to die. I'm going to die. I'm going to die."  I was thinking, "I'm crying; no one dies of crying."  Yet the feeling of emanate death weighed heavily upon my whole being.  It was an episode unlike anything I'd ever experienced.  And it changed me, bodily. 
The next morning I called my FBI agent,  "uh. . . well, I had a crying episode last night unlike anything I've ever experienced . . even when I miscarried and. . when I had my accident."
"Oh, well, I thought I'd mentioned it."
"No, I listen for things like that.  This is what I do. This changes everything. Can you come see me right now?"
"Yes, I think so. I'll call my husband."
An hour later in his basement office he asks, "Do you know what post-traumatic stress disorder is?"
"Uh. . . "
"It's a change that takes place instantly in the brain and body chemistry of a person who has gone through a life and death situation."
And so began my education in what the hell is wrong with me!?  Doug's definition is actually a bit debatable. But it made his point.  (Some think it is slowly onset as a trauma patient begins to recover.  I remember reading something like "three days to three weeks" if therapy is not provided.)
This new info came as a shock.  It felt like waking out of a fantasy.  I never wanted to believe such an experience could damage me in a lasting way.  So I didn't. . .  until now.  So I wrote in my journal that day:
All in a blur,
my life was changed,
and years or recovery,
have left me the same.
We hit it full force.  "Therapy" was not pretty at all!  I never knew why addicts or others did not make it through "therapy." And I judged them (I had very good judgement since I had been practicing every second of every day!)  Now I knew, I am no different.  If I were without prescriptions from my doctor, I would be reaching for something, somewhere, ANY- how!
Doug set me on the path toward recovery. He knew the terrain well and awakened all my senses to set them to the task of healing.  He had to jolt me into my reality. My life was not PG any longer (though it never was), and I soon found no longer was my language! I instinctively knew I needed my whits about me. No more child's play, no more pretence of innocence.  Off with my rose colored glasses! There was no more coping, no more holding it back. I came out fighting! 
Those first few months were very dark and very fearful, but I had a guide for this part of the journey.  Our "chance" meeting was a gift to me, broken, tired, frightened and fragile me.