From my journal for May 18, 2020
Crashed rather badly yesterday. Not even sure what it was. Well, there were a number of things. Spontaneous Evolution was in a place that made me see how big is the danger that we will destroy ourselves and our planet. I was sent a link to David Martin who is interviewed in a beautiful documentary, and who seemed to have an amazing spiritual understanding. He has a web page. He turns out to be an advisor to big financial institutions. I had a moment of complete doubt. So I think these things prepared me to be badly triggered by what happened at Quaker Meeting on Zoom. When I joined there were about 8 people, shown by black boxes with their names. I joined with video, and it felt odd to see my face when everyone else was blank. Some people had photographs of themselves as place holders — I don’t know how they do that — but no one else was live. I began to feel very alone and exposed with all those blanks — O gosh, I see it! It’s what I experienced as a baby, what I always got from Mother. Token presence, but no one really there, certainly no vulnerability, no warm response. That’s what happened. Triggered into a frozen baby. At some point, late in the meeting, someone talked about how the technology was messed up. That helped a little. I finally left the meeting — I had been reluctant to do it — perhaps some sense of letting others down, and also wanting to support the practice of meeting even tho there was no connection for me.
I talked to Karen. I said I was flattened like a balloon. She said she felt like a lot of people had hit a sort of wall in their ability to cope with strictly shutting down because of the pandemic. When it started, we didn’t think it would last this long. We won’t be ready to open up again because the government didn’t use the time to create more tests and more protective equipment. Some places that have opened up have experienced a new surge of cases, but some places, Trump influenced, will probably not post the information. Bad news all around.
I wasn’t able to talk to Dulany until we walked the dogs at 4:30 and that’s when I was able to find out that she also saw only herself on Zoom. She said Suzanne set up a new Zoom for Business and it went fine. I told her how I felt exposed, she said paranoia wasn’t part of PTSD. At that point I still didn’t understand why I had been so badly triggered. It felt really good to be outside and with Dulany. She wanted to know why business meeting was “not my thing.” I said something about the blankness I had experienced around conducting meetings of the book group. She said that’s just fear ahead of time, then you did OK. I wasn’t sure, hadn’t experienced myself as “doing OK.”
But I kept thinking about it and realized the issue had to do with trusting myself to say the right thing in the moment. When I teach dance — I think about some of those early times when I had put together a program and for some reason it wasn’t appropriate. That was in the folk dance days. I found that I could improvise a program just fine. And I always felt competent to talk about astronomy when teaching, to point out the constellations when the weather cooperated. But leading a book group was a new experience and I was right in the middle of the huge transition from figuring it out to trusting myself to improvise.
Whew! That’s where this discipline of writing is so useful for me. It has really helped me see what was going on by writing about it.
What I haven’t managed to write about was how bad the crash was. I felt totally helpless and apathetic. No idea what to do to pull me out of it. No motivation for even trying. There was a part of me that knew that I’ve been here before, that it’s OK to crash completely, that even without making an effort I will come out of it. I realize that I gave Karen an alternate image of bread dough. It’s been punched down, but the yeast is working and it will puff up again. I see that my intuition found the correct metaphor for the process. Again, I can trust myself.