“Bombed-Out Village”

Wednesday, November 21

Thinking about talking with Erica about starting to tolerate — and even enjoy — the ordinary.  For most of my life I was in too much psychic pain, I needed something fairly intense to hold my attention.  Erica said something about “living on a battlefield.”  Yes, part of me is keyed up, waiting for the next bomb to drop.  Reminds me of that session with Debbie when I became aware of the bombed-out village.  The worst of it is that instead of having people around who are also in the bombed out village, so we can comfort and support each other, I am surrounded by people who are oblivious.

I started working with Debbie Alicen at Umbrella after I had found a reference to cutting oneself being a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.  I pursued the issue, hoping to find out what was stopping me from being able to easily have sex with my husband.  Years of work did not bring up any evidence of sexual abuse — all I could remember was being molested by my father at age 12 — that’s not a big deal is it?

March 17, 1989 Work with Debbie

I told her about the sadness that I had been feeling, even read part of what I had written (and that sad high voice appeared, with some crying.) I also told her what I told Dana, that it felt like being part of a group of refugees leaving their bombed out village, and having to leave behind beside the road those who can’t make it — no time for mourning or burial, just having to walk on, dry eyed, because of the necessity of survival. Debbie said “That’s what your life has been, and now you’ve finally got to the place where you can mourn, and you are also sad that it had to be that way.” At first I felt resistance, no my life wasn’t that awful, and then I realized she was right, in the necessity of survival there had been no time or space for mourning my lost innocence, my crippled creativity, and no room for anger about my sabotaged power.

My memory of this session is that I was so confused when I left that I couldn’t remember Debbie’s name.  So it was a surprise to find that that didn’t happen until six month later.  Now I understand that it took that long for the understanding to percolate downward and become experience rather than idea.

September 8, 1989

At Beverly’s after “emergency” session with Debbie. Having trouble remembering. Couldn’t remember dream to be able to work with it, it became just a bunch of meaningless words. Images from other dreams perhaps floated through my mind and disappeared. I sat in the ruins of my bombed out house and cried. Still baffled. A fragmented

September 9, 1989

“A fragmented session with Debbie” I was going to write when distracted by Beverly…

The session with Debbie was very confusing. I told her the fragment of the dream, but it didn’t mean anything. Other dream-like fragments floated through my mind, but couldn’t be grasped. I felt the whole time like I was in two places at once, massive sense of deja vu — haven’t we already talked about this — then fragments of dreams — or dream-like fragments — dreams, memories of the past? “floating in wide orbits with no center.” When it was time to go I couldn’t remember the date, the year, or Debbie’s name. I felt completely disoriented and fragmented and it persisted for a little while at Beverly’s. But I can’t remember what happened in the session well enough to write it down.

I think what happened was Debbie’s validation of the shift from seeing myself as a monster to seeing that my inner environment is what is monstrous — something I internalized at a very early age, something that felt a lot like living in a bombed out house. No wonder I had all those dreams of the A-bomb falling on our house, it matched my inner environment. No wonder the planes upset me so much, they remind me that I’m living in a bombed out house, a violated body, an invalidated psyche, and I’ve been trying all my life to pretend that’s not true.

The upset about the planes was my extreme reaction to the noise of the small planes towing the gliders out of Franconia Airport.  I suffered from it for 14 years.

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