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.