How social ties play a part in healing or dying from trauma.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
I just needed a soft place, a friend I could count on. At this point I wanted to die. Everyone scattered. Some stuck around long enough to offer their insults from the comfort zone of their distance - far outside of an empathetic connection to me. Some just stared blankly, shrugged and turned away. What determines whether someone breaks or recovers from trauma is adequate social support. In a world with increasing traumatic events, a lack of social support will break us all.

Submitted: January 22, 2017

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Submitted: January 22, 2017

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I’m trying so hard to be a good houseguest this mid-January visit.  The very first night I buy $120 worth of groceries, clean their kitchen in the morning, and most importantly, keep the depth and horror of my problems to myself.

Jack and Anna are both aware I’ve been going through a hard time. I’ve known Jack for over a decade but haven’t seen him since Daniel’s memorial last Fall.  I’m in the backyard fairy tent they set up for houseguests. It’s basically a carport covered in pink gauze fabric, white Christmas lights and decked out with a futon.  I want so desperately to get some sleep so that I am less strung out and more able to maintain my composure over this visit.  With more than 3 months of no sleep behind me who I am I kidding that one night will make a difference? 

The night terrors had started early November after Daniel’s death.  I had been traveling 8 hours roundtrip several times each month for over a year to help in any way I could as he fought valiantly with his terminal disease.  He’d been a brilliant shining star in our community of friends and I would have tended to anyone in that community with the same care.  I’ve always felt things very deeply, always been a giver but never, before this, had I been so punished for it. I’d broken up with my boyfriend. Benton, shortly before Daniel died. Benton had been a paid caregiver for Daniel.  He exacted his revenge immediately.  He let me take the fall for accusations of breeching Daniel's confidence about his plan to end his life.  A breech that Benton had made repeatedly.  I didn’t handle things perfectly but I didn’t handle them horribly either. I’ve never been the bully type – I’m too empathic to others’ feelings. Nonetheless, my entire community turned their backs on me after that.  Or maybe that is why they did – the empath, the weakest link, the most sensitive in the group is almost always the scapegoat.

Night terrors are weird and wild.  I’ve never had them in my life before all this. If I even come close to drifting into sleep the room shakes.  Bombastic noises of horror, machinery, barking dogs, and ominous footsteps have me jolting up, screaming and drenched in sweat.  The theme is always the same – I am about to be engulfed by a force chillingly evil and I am paralyzed as it comes for me.

Night Terrors, panic attacks, inability to ever feel ok; these are symptoms of PTSI (Post Traumatic Stress Injury) which highjacks the nervous system and brain centers like a collapsed lung highjacks your respiration.  There are two things that determine if someone will get PTSI:


1. A history a cumulative trauma –which I have in spades.

 

2. A lack of social support – lack is an understatement.  I have long time friends abdicating any ties to me at all now that I am having a hard time.  It’s the classic triangle of empath, narcissist and the apaths. Some friends are actively demonizing me. I'm not a perfect person by any means, but my faults are not of a bully or a rapist.  They are the faults of a highly sensitive person at odds with an insane world.  A world where the victims of rape and abuse are somehow made to bear the burdens of the very crimes of which they are the victims while the perpretators dodge the karma and gain the upper hand.

 

My physiology is completely rebelling on me. My body will not idle down at all. In the midst of this happening select people are out to exact revenge on me for truth-telling.  I'm certainly not at my best.  I really need my friends.  But my friends are shunning me. 

Which is why I flew to this west coast city that I’ve never been to before in my life – to find sanctuary with these two friends and fellow chelas. Both Jack and Anna are adherents of the spiritual teachings I’ve been studying for six years and while I am at odds with the spiritual teacher as is is starting to dawn on me how abusive he is, my faith in the work is still strong.  Being around others who know this lineage is important to me. 

Over dinner at the over-stimulating chaotic Mexican restaurant I try to open up to Jack and Anna about things especially Daniel’s death but Jack looks at me and then just starts talking over me.  It’s callous and out of character.  I don’t even remember what he’s said it’s so banal - perhaps some comment on the Mariachi band. Is this some passive –aggressive signal that this visit is for them and their enjoyment, not for the purpose of my emotional support?  Anna goes to use the restroom.  The waiter brings a child’s sippy cup with a lid for her water.  He’s assumed she is our child from the turquoise and hot pink furry Muppet purse she’d left in the booth.  

I only know her through Jack.  They’ve been friends for about five years and dating for two.  I’ve been friends with Jack for 15 years.  We met in a self-transformational program back in the 90’s.  You learn a lot each other in these “life overhaul type” programs.  He, his then wife, myself and a few others became close as family.  We were practically inseparable for a few years.  Jack gave me my first grown up job doing reporting software.  I didn’t even know how to email at the time but he said “You’re super smart, you’ll pick it up”  He was the first person to believe in me.  Years later when he and his wife were having trouble I was the one he came to stay with.  When they divorced he came to stay with me again.  That time he decided he was in love with me but I knew him well enough not to fall for it.  I wasn’t going to be the thing that medicated and masked all the feelings being unearthed by his divorce.  I loved him too much.  He was like a brother. `Besides, my spiritual teacher had told me I should not enter into a romance with him. Eventually he thanked me for not ruining our friendship.

So the whole point of this trip is to be with people who ‘get me’.My body, mind and emotions are so hijacked from the sleep deprivation and tumult of my life that I am vigilant about not alienating them while I am here.  

I want to be a good houseguest.

10pm west coast time: swallow the usual two Klonopin

It’s the ninth prescription sleep med I’ve tried.  Temazepam, Alprazolam, Trazedone, Lorazepam, Ambien, Zolpidem IT DOESN’T MATTER - None of them can get me to sleep and they all have severe side effects that my sensitive system can’t handle.  Some make me feel like a zombie, some amp me up even more.

12 am: Another Klonopin

As long as I ‘m not able to sleep I compulsively keep reading a book titled: “Who’s Pulling Your Strings? How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life”.  I‘m not clear on who has been the bigger manipulator: Benton, who I’d finally managed to break up with that past September or the spiritual teacher who’d told me I needed to stay with Benton, abide with his addictions, stop sabotaging the relationship with my petty observances of his dishonesty and sexual predations.

2 am: Two more Klonopin

I’m panicking now because I haven’t brought enough sleeping pills with me to last the trip at the rate I am taking them.

3am: Another Klonopin

I text Anna that we’ll need to stop by a drugstore the next day to refill my prescription.  

Fear starts to creep in about having taken so many.  I google the lethal dose. It’s a benzodiazepine so it’d take at least a few dozen to do me in.Almost imperceptibly the sense that I might be able to sleep creeps in. I lay down.  Immediately the terror strikes.

If I so much as fall asleep for a minute I’ll be trapped. 

When it first started in November it was a single nightmare portending the PTSI:
I’m in a big-box store parking lot. A menacing voice of darkness invades my mind, not as sound but thought.  “Sure, we’ll let you have all this extra sensitivity but we’re gonna amp up our game so you’d better be on high alert from now on!”  I walk into the store and catch, out of the corner of my eye a man running down the aisle.  I zap him with some sort of cosmic spiritual flame energy from my mind like a Jedi on steroids.  Then nothing happens in the store for a really long time.  I continue to be hypervigilant and realize with horror that this is how they will get me – wear me down so when they finally strike I’m too exhausted to fight back. An older man sits in the back of the store.  He is wearing a white wife-beater.  He has deep bags under his eyes and grown out stubble. He looks tired. The sense is distinct that he is orchestrating the whole dark thing.

When I relay the dream to my spiritual teacher in Monday night’s group class he jokes that next time he shows up in peoples’ dreams he promises to look less tired.

THIS IS NOT A JOKING MATTER.

This spiritual teacher is one I got turned onto by someone at work.  He looks like a normal chubby guy.  But he has a photographic memory.  It’s uncanny how he can say things about you and your life that are so dead on.  He must have a direct line to God.  He’s told me things about the guy I was dating, Benton, that were accurate despite having never met him or talked to him.  Only recently, after Daniel’s death, have I gone against the teacher’s wishes.  I broke up with Benton.  I came out about Benton having raped me.  I questioned my teacher why he’d pushed me to stay in an abusive relationship.  My teacher went cold towards me and berated me for having negative thoughts.  I haven’t talked to him in several weeks at this point.  But I have a prepaid for a consultation with him which I plan to schedule soon in order to make sense of all this.

Jack and Anna take me hiking.  I bring up BurningMan partly to bitch about how much I hate that the community back home is so enthralled with it and partly to urge them to go this year so I have the safety net of their presence.  Anna has never been and she starts showing obvious signs that she feels left out as Jack and I discuss the pros and cons of the playa.  I had asked that we refrain from discussing Benton, my ex, or the spiritual teacher on this visit because I was struggling with my having been manipulated by these two men so heavily that I knew it'd be triggering for me.  But with BurningMan off the table because Anna feels left out, the talk turns to the spiritual teacher.  As I delve into the horrible things he said and ways in which he so nonchalantly deceived without care or concern for the effects of his behaviour, Jack suddenly bullies me into silence:  "HE SAVED MY LIFE".  Never mind that he was instrumental in destoying mine forever, abusing the most sacred thing a person has: their faith.

Jack and Anna take me to an improv show.  I have a beer at the show much to their judgmental chagrin.  Alcohol is against the spiritual teachings. But I saw them each indulge at Daniel’s memorial a few months ago. I hate the taste of alcohol.  But my nerves need steadying.  I’ve been through hell and they know it.  Yet having a drink is increasing the bad vibes I’m fielding from them.  After the show Jack drives up the windiest road I’ve ever been on to a restaurant in the mountains.  I am getting so car sick.  I ask him meekly from the back seat if he could possibly take the curves a little easier.  He snorts how offended he is by my high maintance request. It's obvious they think they are doing everything to provide me with a stellar visit and all I'm doing is complaining.  To me, it seems like it should be obvious that what I need far more than outings and improv shows is care and comfort.

Once we arrive I say I’ll meet them inside in a bit.  I sit down on the curb and just bawl my eyes out, clutching my stomach.  I finally compose myself and head inside.  There is a huge crowd watching a football game and cheering loudly every few minutes.  Seriously?!? I can’t take this.  It’s too much stimulation everywhere we go.  Don't they know how sensitive I am on a good day? Let alone when I've been in severe distress for months?I am suffering so much from lack of sleep and what I’ve been through.  Can they fucking throw me a bone of gentleness? I order more drinks to try to power through how hard and awful everything is.  This leads to more looks of disapproval from Jack and Anna.

We arrive back home and I go straight to bed, taking more Klonopin as I STILL have not slept.  It’s been 4 solid days of absolutely no sleep, not even being knocked out by the pills. SInce I'm up I email the wife of my spiritual teacher who does his scheduling.  I ask to get something set up for the next week.  At first, I get a confirmation back about the appointment.  But later, she writes to say he isn’t willing to work with me anymore as his spiritual client.  She gives no reason.  It’s been six years I’ve been calling him at least once if not twice a week for guidance.  I am at once angry and calm about this response.  Part of me writes him off as an incompetent coward.  The part of me that is extremely dependent on his guidance and input, a part he blatantly cultivated, won’t surface for a while.  At this point, in my sleepless state, I just consider him a hack and a moron.

One of the side effects of Klonopin is recklessness.  This is, in part, what leads me to become suicidal the second night of this visit.  The awful experience I’d had on the ‘other-side’ when I’d OD’d on Heroin in my mid-twenties had put the fear of God into me around killing myself.  But with so much Klonopin coursing through my system I no longer care.  Having an end to the nightmare of my current experience brings immeasurable relief.  Apparently, I make a call in the middle of the night to my friend, Sandy, to ensure that she’ll take my cats.  I email my parents that it’s time to start saying goodbye.  Memory of these actions is fuzzy if at all. My plan is to go back to the Midwest and take care of all my business so I leave no mess for anyone; sell my house, get rid of my belongings, draw up a last will and testament. Then take all nine bottles of sleeping pills into my system and fade away to meet Daniel in the world beyond.

The next morning Jack and Anna are out getting massages.  I’m in the front yard getting some sun.  I feel happier than I have in over a year.  The sun is warm on my skin.  I am relieved that there is a light at the end of this tunnel of horror and exasperation I’ve been in. I’m thinking that by April, a few months away, I will be free from this mortal coil. I get a text from Jack to call them right away.  My heart sinks, my stomach clenches and I’m worried they’ve been in an accident or something.  Then Jack texts that my mom had contacted him.  I assure him there is nothing to worry about.  When they come home he immediately gets in my face and says “Your mom is worried sick that you are going to kill yourself. We need to decide whether you are welcome to stay here anymore, THE ENERGY YOU ARE BRINGING INTO OUR HOUSE IS NOT WELCOME”

I am dumbstruck.  I calmly tell him I’m not going to leave a mess and a dead body in his fairy tent but that the plan to go home, settle my affairs and end my life seems to be the only solution. 

He slams his hands down on the table and tells me to leave.  His face is red, his jaw is set and his eyes bore through me like I’m some sort of criminal.

Through tears I plead with him “Why are you doing this?”  He yells into my face "You’ve been acting like a child since you arrived."  My bewildered mind flashes from the judgmental temper tantrum he is throwing in front of friend in need to the child’s sippy cup delivered to his girlfriend in the restaurant and I am painfully unable to grasp how his words make any sense. 

Jack has always been a bulldozer of a person.  His extreme intelligence can make him impatient and domineering on some occasions.  But he’s always had an ability for compassion and empathy in spite of it.  His actions now are terrifying me to my core.

I go back to the fairy tent and google what it’s going to cost to change my flight.  Turns out a night in a hotel is cheaper so, with shaking hands,  I book a room near the ocean since there’d be no chance of seeing it from their place in the Valley.  Jack comes back and tells he needs to know whether I choose life or death.  I pleadingly remind him the whole point of the visit was a reset and that I wanted to choose life.  “NOW it just sounds like you’re HEDGING” he growls.  Oh my god. I can’t win with him.  I repeat, I want to choose life.  “Fine then, you’re welcome to stay” He turns on his heels and both he and Anna proceed to act like absolutely nothing has happened. 

I know I cannot stay here.

I pack my things.  I go into the living room where Jack and Anna are sitting at the table.  I put my hand on his shoulder and say “We have been friends for 15 years. I am so deeply hurt by what is happening here –“

His warm spit hits my face before the words hit my ears “STOP IT, JUST STOP IT” As he delivers this last cruel blow I am stunned into wondering;  Is it that he has to prove to Anna that I am not a threat to their relationship?  She’s been known to have severe insecurity with even their other band mate let alone with me.  Is it his revenge for damaging his male ego by not jumping into a relationship with him when he wanted me to?  Is it that he thinks he is acting as God’s holy messenger, taking a stand against me as I’ve been demonized by the spiritual teacher whose guidance I’ve been questioning?

As I turn to leave Anna calls out cheerily “Are you sure we can’t give you a ride to the bus stop? We’re happy to do so”

“No really, I’m fine” I mechanically respond as I leave.  As if anyone going through such hell that they wanted to die could be fine.  I am the furthest from “fine”.  And I have yet to find any way to process how dear friends can turn so suddenly vicious in the hour of my greatest need for support. 

I'm sitting on the beach suspended between sand and sky, between numbness and rage.

I feel simultaneously like a wild animal that's been caught in a net and like a person falling down steps in slow motion.

I call Anna crying  and leave of a message how said I am that I came all the way to be with them and here I am alone.

I call a medical intuitive back in the Midwest who is also part of "The Teachings".  He tells me our current spiritual teacher is allowing dark warlock energy to come through him and it's directed at me.  

That doesn't help me feel any better.

***

I’m back in the Midwest and I email Jack.  First, I apologize for my behavior not once but several times . But I also let him know how fucked up his behavior was, how much it hurt me, how much I am in need of some human kindness, not the cruelty of being kicked out of his house.  I apologize many times in the email for the ways I didn’t do things well and for any burden I’ve been with my problems.

His response?

“You'll always be welcome. I really do hope to see you again sometime soon. It has never occurred to me to reject your friendship. I love you and I care about you a lot. And I stand behind the position I took 100%. I do not stand behind my human flaws, which are legion. My gift, like so many gifts which are delivered through human beings, came wrapped in a ball of shit. Such is the matrix. I will answer to a greater power than either of us for my mistakes. "

My head spins from the cognitive dissonance.  No apology at all from him.  Just these bewildering niceties sandwiched between harshness while exempting himself from even a hint of personal responsibility towards me.  The room I'm in becomes a million miles away.  I'm reading the email as if through a pinhole.  Inside I'm fragmenting into a million more peices than before.  He doesn't see me.  He has no idea what a nightmare I'm in and how much he's contributed to it getting so much darker when I came to him for light.  He puts the false god of his dogma above the true teaching of Christ to love thy neighbor.  He, like so many new age cultists and evangelical christians, has dangerously misguided ideas about what it means to help people.

"We're not here to save personalities, we're here to save souls" gets repeated so often by the 'spiritually evolved'.  It's just a version of the 'go-to' move of narcissists who, when they feel threatened in any way, tear people apart while simultaneously claiming to help them.

What is so vital to anyone experiencing trauma is a network of support.  That he, and so many others, are behaving in ways so antithetical to kindness, gentleness and actual support is having an undeniable impact on my physiology.  And most certainly destroying my faith in any teachings that cause people to behave with such sociopathic lack of empathy.

It's a month later. I manage to get off the Klonopin and onto some Chinese Herbs.  I'm on the acupuncture table. I have at least 30 needles in me and I almost relax.  But just as I’m about to, my body involuntary sits straight up and my heart races. Pain sears through my tissues as the needles poke through what are now rock hard muscles braced for action.  I need help.  I need to do something drastic. 

I find a bodywork program that looks promising on the west coast and make the decision to try the six week intensive before signing up for the three year program.  While I’m in CA, my beloved soul-mate cat of 10 years gets hits by a car and dies.  The only way I can handle this is to convince myself that it is a sign I am supposed to move to CA and do this 3 year training.  My cats were the only thing holding me back as I would never put a cat on an airplane and a cross-continent drive seemed cruel as well.  I force myself to believe my cat released me from staying in the Midwest for his sake.  My parents graciously agree to take my other two cats, who were never nearly as dear to me as the one that died.

So I am now, ironically, living in the same city as Jack and Anna. After many months I work up the courage to ask Jack to meet me at a central location to discuss our friendship.  I don’t even bother with Anna.  She’s been promoting the writing of Benton on Facebook even though she’s been made aware that he raped me.  She’s been made aware he is turning the tables as all perpetrators do and trying to sue me for defamation.  She’s been trolling my Facebook page, reposting some things without ever commenting or liking them in my original post.  I DM her and call her out on it.  I tell her how it’s especially hurtful since she knows of all the ghosting that’s gone on in my former community.  She denies any wrongdoing and writes she simply must have forgotten to ‘like’ my posts.  She ends with a string of cutesy emoji’s. 

We meet and he tells me that in the long arc of our friendship there has been more good than bad and he’s willing to stay friends.  I let him know again how painful it was to be treated that way by him at his house.  He offers no apology.  I let him know my experience of abuse by the spiritual teacher.  He tells me who is he to argue with my experience.  He mentions something about his own struggles with being the leader of his band and having to make decisions on behalf of people who are not as spiritually evolved as he is.  “Sometimes to do the right thing you gotta be an asshole” he states.  I know exactly why he’s saying this to me.  It’s how the spiritual teacher narcissistically excused his treatment of me. Jack offers to come and see me on the West side sometime.  I tell him my days in CA might be numbered because of cost of living.  I give it two months before I might be moving. I don’t hear anything from him again.

I’m at a session with a Shamanic Healer.  It’s one of a zillion things I’m trying to deal with the PTSI.  Hypnotism, Trauma Therapy, dance, meditation, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Functional Medicine, Energy clearing, videos and books about trauma, spiritual abuse, rape and attachment disorders.  I’m not sure there is a single person in this world trying harder to feel better about being alive.  PTSI and severe trauma essentially break the brain.  The amygdala and insula, parts of the brain linked to threat-signaling, start working non-stop.  A person suddenly feels under threat all the time.  Because it's unsustainable, the body crashes into deep depression and despair until it gets triggered into hypervigilence again.  This 24/7 cycle between terror and despair is the only thing I've known for almost 2 years now.  I leave the Shaman session and bring up Facebook on my phone.  I see that Jack’s band played a concert at a storefront 2 blocks from where I live.  I’d heard nothing from him about it and no offer to get together while he was in my area.  I just start sobbing tears of pure rage.

*****

It’s the end of October and I can’t do it.  It’s the two year anniversary of Daniel’s death and the unraveling of my entire life. I get a bottle of sake and take a huge handful of sleeping pills.  I write one final email to two friends with instructions to deliver messages to certain people after I’m dead.  I take comfort in the fact neither of these friends ever answer my emails timely so they probably won’t get this until I’m long gone.  I immediately get a response from one of them.  I ignore it.  A bit later, as things are starting to get woozy for me, I get a text from Jack saying “Please reach out”.  Apparently she’d contacted him as she knew he was in the same city as me. 

It’s been 7 months since I was hospitalized for that suicide attempt.  That single text was all I ever heard from Jack.  Many people in my former community found out about it.  Crickets from them as well.

I hear Jack’s father died.  I send him a condolence email because no matter what an asshole a person is, it’s really hard to lose a parent.  He replies with a short thank you.

I write this so that there is a record of what happened. 

Normal human memory always shifts things to be recalled in what are often rosier and more benign tones than what the actual experience was.  Not so for minds with PTSI.  Our memories are on repeat, unchanging flashbacks of minute details of what went down.  I can still see the cold fear in Jack’s eyes and hear the rabid self-righteous contempt as he ordered me out of his house. It’s what keeps me from ever going back to those spiritual teachings. When it becomes apparent that the teachings themselves only breed fear instead of love I know they are full-on bullshit. 

What is needed for people who are suffering so much that they want to end their lives is kindness and presence.  It’s simply to be held in that place of pain.  To have someone be fully attuned to me and able to say with authenticity “I know it hurts, I see your pain and I’m not going anywhere”.  It is saying "I see you are angry, you have every right to be angry after the violations of your body and your trust."  THAT is LOVE. THAT heals.  Not casting someone aside who is in pain. The most dangerous and destructive people in this world are those who believe they have the teachings of the Truth.  This becomes a dogma, a false god to which they bow down.  Any major figure of religious history has preached the opposite – that loving one another and compassion are critical. 

Jack believes he is demonstrating the ‘tough love’ of the Heavenly Father.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Things were triggered in him that he doesn’t have a handle on in himself.  He hasn’t done the work of walking the walk.  His teacher doles out a doctrine that denies the body.  But whatever we fail to process somatically we end up projecting.  Spiritual bypassing does not make the world a better place for anyone.

Jack will not experience the abuse I did from the spiritual teacher. My research shows he saves that for certain women who somehow gain the moxie to see through his dissociated hero complex. This teacher was molested by his babysitter as a young boy.  Rather than ever having processed and healed from this trauma, he became a guru and uses this power to abuse and break women.

It becomes clearer now to me that those friends and family members of mine who have consistently responded with the ‘tough love’ (i.e. abusive) approach have loads of unresolved anger and fear that they refuse to deal with.

It is incredibly painful for me to experience so many people who grandiosely fight to save humanity whether through cults, ayahausca, new age or Christian churches while not being able to offer a shred of kindness or authenticity to someone right in front of them.

I don’t know my fate.  One aspect of traumas is ‘unfuturabilty’.  Trauma robs a person of being able to fathom there is a future outside of this relentless pain and isolation.  I do know that the only ways to heal from trauma are through physiologically addressing it: becoming somatically embodied and feeling things instead of spiritually bypassing them.  I know anger is part of healing, not something to be denigrated as the low vibrations of darkness.  Anger is mobilization.  So many self-righteous spiritual seekers are stuck in states of freeze and dissociation.  They appear calm when they, in fact, are numb.  Getting in touch with the anger is the first step towards a full embodiment of authentic peace.  But it’s a journey of years if not decades to make much progress.  And the single factor in expediting progress is social support. 

This is the catch-22 of trauma.  People who have enough traumas on board to be able to be able to be compassionate are often adopting management strategies through things like religion and drugs so thus are disconnected to their own wounds and project them out.  People who are privileged enough to have avoided trauma have no clue what it’s like to suffer this much and lazily judge it as a ‘choice’ that person is making to be miserable.  Every single study of neurobiology and the function of the brain show us that there is no more choice involved in the amygdala response to trauma as there is in choosing not to sneeze.

Around the two year mark after all this went down my father was rushed to get a pacemaker.  I wanted more than anything to get resolution on all of this before my father died.  I, his youngest daughter, have been a fragmented shell of my former self since the events of Daniel’s death, the community response and the abuse of my spiritual teacher.  In a moment of desperation I called the spiritual teacher after two years of no contact.  I was sobbing.  I pleaded “Why did you refuse to see me anymore as a client?” 

“How could I see you when it wasn’t you showing up anymore?”

I tried to reason with him: “Do you not understand the level of trauma I went through during the events surrounding Daniel’s death??!?”

“Aaaaaand it’s still not you showing up.  Goodbye.”

Click.

The co-worker who had introduced me to this spiritual teacher so many years ago has been promoted to being my boss.  He is still deeply embedded in these teachings with this man. 

 

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