Sparking My Own Evolution

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The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars... *************************************** -Jack Kerouac ***************************************


MARCH 22, 2010 10:45AM

My Guru Named...Bruce?

Rate: 51 Flag

My Guru's name is Bruce. 

I've never called him my Guru, but that is what he is.

Right now, with the downturn in the economy, Bruce drives trucks for a living.  He is tall, handsome, in his late fifties, and has a penchant for anything LL Bean makes.  There is a crystal clear quality to his face; it is impossible to detect a wrinkle of indifference while looking into it.  His wife is a non-practicing Jewish woman who shares his cabin space for her counseling practice.  She is deeply gracious.

When he lays his hands on my body, I know there is a benevolent force that unites us.  Cells within my body awaken to the dance of love and light.  My arms splay open when I lay down on his table as if to say they are surrendering to everything of the moment.  Closing my eyes, I focus on the inside of my being and watch the light swirl around to all of the magnificence his consciousness channels through me.  We work together to heal my body.  I feel deeply safe in his presence.


Three years ago, soon after memories of my childhood abuse surfaced, I could not function physically on my own.  My cognitive functioning had slowed, my body was disabled, and my spirit was stagnant.  One day, when I came to my therapist's office ready to give up on everything because I was completely miserable and running close to hopeless, she suggested I go see a friend of hers who ran a Jin Shin Jyutsu practice*.  

There wasn't any decision to make; my desperation was palatable. 

I had been to the emergency room three times in the month leading up to meeting Bruce.  On my second visit, when my body was shut down to the point of complete paralysis, with intermittent times when I would seize uncontrollably for anywhere between 5 minutes and 5 hours (not exaggerating), I was physically abused by a nurse and cussed out by a doctor.

While I was not able to respond to people, I could still hear them.  The nurse was out in the hallway speaking to someone saying she had read my chart and I was here as a “call for attention.”   Then, she would come into my room and pinch me severely, on different parts of my body, even though my husband told her I had severe, complex PTSD, was a sexual abuse survivor, and suffered from generalized dissociative disorder.  She waited until my husband wasn't in the room to come in.  It was terribly painful but I couldn't respond to tell her to stop.

Her reply when I didn't?  "Yes, that's right; you lay there and get all the attention you need while others can't get help because you are taking up their bed."

The assumptions she was making about me cut at my core.  I was afraid I was dying - why was she saying these things to me?  Just a few weeks before, I had told my friend Merrie who brought me to the same ER my last wishes to share with my daughter as my body began to loose functions one by one.  I was mentally preparing myself to cross over into the Great Beyond, that's how serious the loss of functioning was and how terrifying it felt.

Once medication for my nervous system was on board, I was a little more coherent; able to open my eyes and turn my head slightly.  The same nurse came in shortly after and began threatening me with a catheter if I wouldn't get up and provide them with a urine sample.  While the seizing had stopped, I was still unable to get my body to co-operate.  At that point, my husband decided to pull the social worker aside and ask for new attendants for me.

While he was away, the doctor came in.  I recognized him from my first visit with the same issue, paralysis with intermittent seizures, so I tried to smile.  He could tell I recognized him by my eyes, and said as much, but did not smile back.  He sat down on a spindly stool and rolled across the sterile floor to my bed to peer at the side of my face.  I turned as best I could to face him.

He said, "You are not sick and I need to clear this room for my real emergency patients.  This ridiculous act needs to stop and I will make it very miserable for you if you ever return here.  Now, get up so we can discharge you and clear this room."

I felt myself go into a spiritual fetal position, taking each word as a blow, and all I could do was stare back at him as a tunnel began to form in my eyes which made it look like he was getting farther and farther away from me. 

The last thing I heard was him talking to the nurse, "keep working on getting her out of my sight."


Dolphins greeted us at the end of the drive winding up to Bruce's house.  The sign hung whimsically off the mailbox which advised us we were in the right place.  Wind was howling down through the valley making the sign sway.  I could only make out the dolphins; it seemed as if they were waving at me.

Shortly down the road, we found a parking spot on one side of a little cabin which also had a creek running next to it.  Bruce came out and helped my husband support me as I did my best to make my way inside.  My head flopped backwards, my body went to the side, and my legs only cooperated enough to put some of my weight on them.  They literally had to move one of my knock-kneed legs forward at a time; it looked like I had had a full-body stroke.

I could only see through my right eye from the bottom quarter of it; it seemed as if a line had been drawn horizontally across it.  It was ptich black in the other eye.  Natural light only made it worse as it was too stimulating so I wore sun glasses.  This is why I kept trying to fling my head back, so I could have some sense of direction and do my best to see anything.  When it went dark, I was terrified.

Once on the table, I noticed the knotty ceiling which came to a point in the middle, like a pyramid.  This design struck me as fascinating because I had some insight into how hard building a roofline like that is.

Bruce didn't say much on my first visit.  Mostly, he put his hands on the back of my head near the base of my skull.   I felt a lightness coming over my body.  He watched patiently as I jerked around, with a limb flying out occasionally trying to perform circus-like feats.   At the end of the session, my body was still.  He helped me up, and while I still couldn't walk unassisted, I was not jerking around like before.  It only took my husband to get me back in the car.

Strangely, it felt as if my whole life had been leading up to that point; the knowing was so familiar.  I had no reasonable explanation for this; I just knew?  Catching me noticing that, I was reassured Bruce was going to aid me in a complete healing.  What I didn't know then was he was also going to take my recently shaken-up world and teach me how to turn it right-side-up for the first time ever. 

I had been asleep at the wheel of my life.


As we whirled out of the driveway, the car's motion lulled me into lightly dozing.  Before falling off, I could see the sparkle of Bruce's spirit ensconcing me.  I smiled.

Everything, and I mean everything, was about to change.



*  Mary Burmeister was my guru's, well, guru. 

This is the first installment of an ongoing series.  The pieces will be written to stand alone and offer more to the reader if the entire series is read.  *I write under an avatar and all names have been changed to protect the innocent.  This is a true story, the story of my life.  Any changes made to it are minimal, based solely on my inability to remember the exact details.

Copyright © 2010 by Sparking.  All rights reserved.


Part II can be found here.

Part III can be found here.

Part IV can be found here. 

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Most amazing story I've ever read here. Of course, I want to meet the man...but so does everyone else, now that you have let the cat out of the bag. We also need to talk offline about "other" things....Algis is asking for help in getting a book of his photographs published, an I want to organize an effort to get that done.

Watching for Part II. I suspect lessons will be administered here. I expect it.
Ah what a wonderful life we could all have, if we all had a "bruce" in our life!!

So looking forward to PartII
Can't wait for Part II. Would love to meet your guru. Sounds like an amazing light being. Your horrible experiences in the hospital are a good reminder of the "if I can't see it, it must not be true" practice of a lot of medical professionals. Glad you made it through!
What an amazing, terrifying journey you've been on. Can't wait to see what happens next. You are such a good story teller...I feel like I'm right there with you (and I wish I were to give you a hug - and slap the shit out of that doctor and nurse!).
I lived this story with you and I am still excited for Part II! It brings up all my angry feelings all over again.
In health care, the protocol is still to minimize the association between mind and body, as much as humanly possible, very sad indeed as many go without needed help. Happy for you to have found Bruce.
This is a remarkable story. You are so strong and so determined. Those who treated you at the hospital should have their license revoked. I'm glad you have a Bruce, to take care of you.
I am so glad you are writing about this part of your life . . . something tells me it is time . . . and thank you for sharing. Seriously, Sparking - you are a marvel.
Thank you all for your comments and friendship.

I think Owl said it best when she said "it's time". The strength I have gained by allowing myself to be fully vulnerable here has helped me to share more of myself and 'story'.

Bruce will definitely come out to meet everyone in Part II - hoping to do that this week. Dave's description of him as a "light being" is so on target!
I will be checking in for part 2. I am so angry at that nurse and that doctor. Unbelievable, and yet not surprising. Your story is amazing.
Sparking, your words, "I had been asleep at the wheel of my life." are very prophetic and far reaching. I'm glad thatt you feel "it's time" to release your ghosts and share your story. We'll be reading and with you on your journey - even if only in spirit.
I don't understand why cruel people choose to become nurses. Surely they know they're not nurturers, why don't they train to work in a bank or a lab? So many health care givers are kind and loving, I just boil at the ones who aren't.

There are angels on Karen's oncology floor, sweet and upbeat and encouraging. But a few others... Karen rang -- once, the first time-- for pain medication, a nurse came in and yelled, "WHY ARE YOU SO IMPATIENT? YOU PEOPLE THINK I SHOULD RUN WHENEVER YOU CALL!" It's a special post-op cancer treatment floor, patients are dying, in agony and she's screaming at them. (She doesn't work on that floor any more).

I am so very sorry for the horrors you've been through. Your tease at the end gives me hope to learn more about how you found your way toward peace.
"I had been asleep at the wheel of my life"
Yes, something tells me too it is "time. Time to finish what you started three years ago - because you deserve the peace and happiness that comes with finishing the work.
@Joe Citizen: ♥
Truly the body is the vessel of the soul. Your body was reacting to all the pain inflicted upon you and I cannot understand why someone who swears to first do no harm would treat you that way.

I am looking forward to part ii. And so happy you have a wonderful, caring husband.
Very gripping. I'll come back for II.
Okay, I am offically hooked, when can I expect part two? Oh, and that nurse and doctor.....well I am sure they both have nice rooms in Hell reserved for them.
I'm with you as you tell your story.
I'm so glad you got this kind of help. Looking forward to part 2. Much love to you.
Grand opening; excellent and beautiful writing, Sparking.
If I didn't already know you through your writing, Sparking, and were you not so skilled a writer, I'd have a hard time believing what I just read. I not only believe it, but I'm angry. Angry that something like this could happen to such a kind and beautiful soul and that you were tortured by those nazi beasts. It helps to know that you escaped that stalag and met your redeemer, but I'm still angry. I can't imagine not reading the rest of your story, if only to purge the evil that's crept into my heart.

You're a strong and good woman, Sparking, and I'm proud to know you. rated most enthusiastically
Wow!! Thanks for sharing!!

Yes, Sparking, of course you found him! (Your Spirit was calling out for it!!) When I first started going to Shiatsu 12 years ago, I was quickly shocked and amazed at what billions? of other people, in the East and other cultures, have known for 10,000 years and more... My disbelieving thought was, "Why don't they teach us this stuff here??!!" We are talking about common knowledge and traditional healing systems for so, so many people now and throughout time...

And, of course, I have been immersed in more and more expansive learning ever since! The potential is limitless... Combine that with the best energy work and thought from here, and Life as we live it truly becomes the miracle that it really is! Our entire culture would benefit from integrating it here...

Glad you're writing about it! And, more importantly, thrilled that you found him!!
I thought I was going to read Tink's Buck Urine Lure @ $4.99 @ Wall Mart.
I got as far as ***
I love the word:`

"cognitive functioning."
I can almosy hear doc with the "spindly stool" and he looks at your side of your face. You mention:` I didn't want to look at doc. Wow.

THEN:`Doc conveys to you a patient... "Get out of here...." You had DOC MD?
Never mind.
I am sorry.
I shall be discreet.
I'll but you`Dr Scholls?
You need shoe repairs?
You need feet washed?
I love foot rubbing day.
Mennonite wash foots.
You wear a ballet tutu.
You need to get 'round town. Chase the geezer Guru 'Good Humor' Boondocks rural trucker.
He gives foot washes too.
He views`dvd I Love Lucy.
You can ask for a cranial sacral? You remain clothed in overalls with pink frilly ballet tutu. So - Whatever. I look out for Yard Sale foot products, Barbie & Bruce and Ken & Lucy dolls. I hope you love Dr Scrolls feet comfort shock absorbers. You know good will come from your enormous misery. 'O those 'ole dark nights of the soul? They make a kooky-good sinner/saint. If it weren't for misery and misfortune ... You sentient.
You are alive. Feel. Com.
Compassion. Ya knows.
Ya's not woul have that:`
Magnanimous insights.
You'd be bowling with Bruce?
You'd share Bruce's bowling ball?
Ya need ten pin farmer friends too?
The word "cognitive function." huh?
I have thoughts that are quiet. Great.
Ya will be better before you be merry.
If Ya watch `I Love Lucy Bruce boo bah.
Bruce may buy a Amish buggy for you.
I can't believe people who practice health are not compassionate at times either. It is down right flabbergasting. My husband and I would be shocked if it didn't happen twice at two different hospitals and I had a horrible ambulance attendant, too.

Bruce is amazing.

I can't say I don't have anything against western medicine, because I do. However, I still find it useful and necessary. I just know to proceed with caution due to my various experiences of people behaving poorly when they don't know how to help - they blame the patient instead. It seems to lack the required humility to practice medicine as an art - which is clearly stated in the Hippocratic Oath.
I have a friend who suffered a stroke and was raped while incapable of defending herself. Betrayal by medical practitioners who we trust has to be one of the most horrible things ever. I'm so glad you found Bruce.

Love to you xox
Chilling and horrifying. Why would...oh...why even ask WHY? If there are people in the world with of such mean character, asking why doesn't help. I'm glad you found help and healing. Whether we are sick or healthy (for now) we all need healing.

Amazing - something so new and fresh every day -

Please keep writing - Rated
What derisive, damaging, "health" professionals! You write in an incredible way. I wanted to highlight all the parts that really struck me but I don't get to. I love this: "I felt myself go into a spiritual fetal position." The IS the worst place to be.

My daughter who has a seizure disorder has new seizures that are not electrical seizures, but chemical ones. They cause her to be paralyzed as well. It happened for the first time last year. They are called "psychogenic somatizations." Another word for them is "psychological." But what your hospital doesn't know and needs to consult with a nurologist is that they can not be prevented or controlled, just like electric seizures. It's not a cry for attention from you. Maybe it's the body's. But the paralysis is real. I should finish this in a private email to you. I do go on.

You are such an original, accomplished writer there should be a separate category for you -- above Editor's Pick. You grab an audience and take it along and inside of you in a way few writers can. I truly applaud your writing talent and for your courage under fire after fire after fire. xoxoxo
I am glad you have found someone to help you find a healing way and very grateful you have a husband and partner who has stood by you when you could not, quite literally, stand by your man.

I think it is good to learn about various health care methods and find a balance that works best for each of us.

I have worked with some excellent doctors, but to one, I, the very polite and patient patient, said, "So, if you can't cure me, and you won't answer any of my questions or give me any information, what the FUCK am I paying you $300 for? This was in 1989. I have never forgotten that day. I felt like she punched me in the gut. I moved on to another doctor who was wonderful and provided me with information in two minutes about test results that the other doctor told me to go somewhere to find after she at first sighed and said, "It's not going to help you to know that."

When a doctor moves, retires -- or I move, I look for someone new to work with. Looking for the right practitioners is like picking through fruit at the market. We've got to keep looking until we find the best ones. I'm glad you've found Bruce.

Your writing is breathtaking, as always. You have a gift. HUGS.
Sometimes I wonder if certain doctors take a variation of the Hippocratic oath, known as the hypocrite's oath. (r)
I am speechless Sparking! I'll pm.. Better days!
You prove the point that our body holds our trauma. I hope for all of it to be released, dear Sparking. _r
What a powerful piece despite the attempts in hospital to denounce both your need and you power. Thank goodness for your husband and the path that brought you to your guru. When you are ready, I look forward to Part II.
Wow. What you went through. How well you describe it.
Read this after reading part 2...may I say how happy I am for you though I know that sounds strange...but Bruce in your life is wonderful...looking forward to reading and being with you through the whole series.
I'm here. I haven't found the words to express how this makes me feel. Rage, sorrow, compassion, fear - they're all there, but it is so much more than those combinations of letters can convey.

So glad that someone can give you some peace. He sounds magical. rated.
Wow, how very far you have come from this.
A pox on those "medical" idiots. All of them have trouble with anything that is not physical and no empathy for the most part.
So glad that the universe gave you Bruce and healing.