Saturday, November 15

Difficult week, many emotional storms. They blow up, they stay for a while, they pass. Calm now.

In therapy, Chris and I are getting into childhood emotional, verbal, physical & (possibly ) sexual abuse. Very difficult to talk about, to think about, painful memory-dredging. She gave me a book called "The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse." Panic attack when I tried to read it last night: chest pain, short of breath, urge to get the hell away. Gini helped to calm me down, and I notice that this morning the book is not on the coffee table where I left it...

Cover

A little insightlet in the grocery store yesterday: I've been treating this abuse stuff like it's something special, but actually, all it is is vyapada, the hindrance of ill will. If that's all it is, then I know how to handle that: notice it, let go of the thought (memory), relax the tension in the body, smile, return to homebase (either the breath or metta). Easy. Just have to remember that this stuff is nothing special, and can be dealt with just like any other arisen hindrance. No big deal.

The book made me feel just awful: not only complicit, but like a big, whiny poseur. What happened to those women was REAL abuse. What happened to me was just... life... just the way people are. Mean, cruel, hurtful, yes: but so what? ... But WHY DID MY OWN FATHER AND SISTER HAVE TO TREAT ME LIKE THAT? Chris says I have to believe that I didn't deserve it, that it wasn't my fault, but I'm still not convinced.

Even so, the best way I know to avoid this particular brand of dukkha is to not think on it, not dwell on it. Just acknowledge the thoughts when they arise, but don't stay with them.

I know this works.

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