Saturday, April 21, 2012

Updates: Bruce and Body Work

A bunch of you have asked for an update on Bruce.

I wish I had one for you.

As you may remember, I wrote him a big, heartfelt email the week that I posted about him, thanking him for everything, trying to put into words the influence he's had on me all these years, and telling him I hoped we'd renew our conversation and see where it might lead.

I don't really know what to say about it. It's been almost three months. I haven't heard back from him.

I'm surprised by it because of the way he responded immediately to my sister. Maybe I offended him with my posts. I don't know. 

I have no idea what to do about this. It's an odd position to be in. I wonder if he never got my email. I wonder if he didn't want to respond or couldn't respond. I wonder if it was too difficult for him to look back on that time-- he was going through something big then, too, if you recall.

What would you do if you were me (and had, in addition to your strong connection to Bruce, an innate shyness and overzealous adherence to very firm boundaries) (this is sort of a nightmare scenario for my particular brand of social ineptitude) (I just don't want you to forget how awkward I will be at this) (I mean you, if you were me)?

On to the next update: the body work.

After my last post, my good friend Sarah recommended that I try a kind of body work called the Rosen Method. It's a technique that is often very effective for PTSD sufferers, based in part on  the notion that trauma is physiological rather than psychological, and suppressed emotion and energy from an incomplete fight/flight response causes tension in the body.

Basically, it's the physical version of the therapy I'm doing.

This makes perfect sense to me, obviously, and it's coming at the perfect time. I feel like I'm at a point where my head has lead me about as far as it can, so I'm going to give my body and subconscious a chance to take the lead for a while. 

I need to go places where my intellect can't lead me, and since that's the only way I know how to operate, I've had no earthly idea how to proceed.

The Rosen Method appears to be the way.

My first appointment is in a few days, so I will let you know how it goes. 

I can't remember if I've told you this already, so I'll tell you again: since this whole thing began, so many little pieces have fallen perfectly into place at just the right time and with the greatest of ease that it's almost scary. 

Rather than having obstacles thrown in my path, I've had the path thrown in my path from the very beginning. It's a little unsettling, but in a very good way-- constant reminders that I am in the right place at the right time.

If I believed in magic, I'd say my life is pretty magical right now.

Since I don't, I'll stick with this: when you're ready for something and committed to doing it at any cost, and you approach it with as much honesty and openness as you can and surrender yourself to the process, the way becomes clear. 

Speaking of things I don't believe in but suddenly seem eminently, magically relevant, I got this horoscope the other day from Rob Brezsny, who writes such good horoscopes that I subscribe to his newsletter just for the inspiration it provides:

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A starfish that loses an arm can grow back a 
new one. It's an expert regenerator. According to my understanding of 
the astrological omens, you are entering a starfish-like phase of your 
cycle. Far more than usual, you'll be able to recover parts of you that got 
lost and reanimate parts of you that fell dormant. For the foreseeable 
future, your words of power are "rejuvenate," "restore," "reawaken," and 
"revive." If you concentrate really hard and fill yourself with the light of 
the spiritual sun, you might even be able to perform a kind of 

Magic, I tell you. Magic! 

Everywhere I look!


  1. Have your sister write to him with a short sweet message such as, "Did you get Kate's note three months ago? Neither of us wants to impose. But in case you never got it?"

  2. Ever the boundary-pushing, trust-me-this-is-in-your-best-interest, well-meaning sister, I would be happy to respond for you my dear Kate.  However, I think we're past that now.  The initial jump was what scared you.  And not to say these steps aren't just as scary, but at this point, the proverbial bandaid has been ripped off.  And I think (if I may) that taking these steps on your own is an integral part of the process you're going through.  Now, pretending for a minute that I'm not the loud, outspoken extravert, here are my thoughts on the matter: 
    There are no rules here.  Perhaps this is sensitive to you becasue it means a lot.  Because it's a vulnerable connection that was rekindled basically without your permission, and now that it has been, you have stake in the matter.  All of that being said, and without knowing what or where Bruce is with his thoughts about this, you can basically do whatever you want.  I mean to say, there's nothing that tells us the next 'appropriate,' or 'acceptable,' or 'politically correct' move.  The rules are yours to make.  Do you want to write him a quick note as if nothing is worrying you?  Asking him how he is?  Perhaps commenting on his website or book or somehting personal?  Do it.  Do you want to write him a long letter catching him up on the last 2 months, asking him updates on his life?  Do it.  Do you want to sit down and say exactly how you're feeling about this, giving him reasons and truth and perhaps asking for a little validation or at least a response so you don't drive yourself batty thinking up worst-case-scenarios?  DO. IT.
    Ask yourself what you have to lose.  And answer honestly.  If you're worried about losing this relationship, then write accordingly.  Although I highly doubt there is anything you could say to this man to drive him away. 
    Bruce wasn't offended by your posts, Kate.  Or scared away.  If I had to guess, he's following your blog religiously.  Giving you a silent support every week.  Perhaps he thinks this is easiest for you?  That this is what you need?  Perhaps he is re-living alittle of what was going on with him those years ago.  Either way, he has your beautiful, brave, remarkable story to remind him and teach him that he is not alone either.  And that he makes a difference.  
    I know it's scary.  But you can do this.  One more of the steps you're working so hard to take.
    You deserve this, Kate.  Now try to allow and accept it.
    All my love always.

  3. You already have smart, sensitive feedback from Susan and Liz, so I'm not even going to attempt to answer what I would do if I were you.  I can tell you what I did in a similar situation when I was me.  As you know, I tried to contact a high school friend in August because I was heading to London, and I thought she might be living in England.  I didn't hear back from her until Thanksgiving.  Turns out that either my message wasn't captured correctly on her parents' voicemail or they mistakenly jotted down the wrong number.  Three months later, she googled me and there I was, and now we are back in contact, which makes me resplendently happy.  

    About two days before my friend called me, I said to my husband, "Once Thanksgiving is over, and I'm off the hook for baking, I'm going to try calling her parents again.  I need to know she's OK."  Like you, I'm pretty introverted, and I wasn't entirely sure about how her parents felt about me at that point. (I was a handful as an adolescent.)  Furthermore, I'm from New England, and we make Vulcans look gushy.  But not knowing whether or not she was OK was wearing me down. I read a comment once that said something along the lines of, "We don't end up regretting the things that we do in this life anywhere near as much as we regret the things we didn't do."  I've been using that as an algorithm for a while now.  Do ALL the things.  While this sometimes results in a rejection, it more often results in what you call magic.  Yes, keep us posted on the Rosen method!  I've never heard of this.  I'm vicariously experiencing therapy/body work through you.  It's cheaper that way.  

    You're a Libra too?  Fall babies represent!

  4. Sorry, I still don't have the hang of how to delineate paragraphs in blogspot!  There should be a blank line before "I read a comment" and another before "Yes, keep us posted."

  5. Thanks, Susan. I was all over this idea, and then I got my (did I mention much younger?) sister's comment, right after yours. And the student becomes the master: she's trying to push me out of the nest. Harrumph. ;>

  6. KateTheGirlWhoLived29 April, 2012 14:19

    Yeah, yeah. ;>

    It is sensitive to me, because it does mean a lot. I don't expect it to mean as much to him, or to anyone. But because it does to me, I do feel like I have something to lose. 

    Mostly, I think I just so rarely put anything on the line that I don't know how to act once I have. And I have. This is an improvement. A step in the right direction.

    So many of the steps I've taken in the right direction have felt perfect, appropriate, effortless, easy, instantly rewarded. I've wondered when the super-hard-and-sucky-and-uncomfortable-but-still-in-the-right-direction steps would start happening. It seemed inevitable that this would become not just good-hard, but hard-hard at some point.

    We have reached that point. This is clearly not the hardest thing I will ever have to do-- it's ridiculous, in fact. But I think I can safely say my comfort zone has been thoroughly mapped, routed, and exhausted, and we are now officially outside of it for everything, all the time. This is just one small microcosm of the clueless state I now find myself in most of the time.

    I'm that bald, wingless little bird, sitting on the sidewalk under my safe old nest, going, WTF?! Where's my pillow? This sucks!

    Cheep cheep!

  7. KateTheGirlWhoLived29 April, 2012 14:26

    Okay, that settles it: when it's too hard to be me, Imma just be you.

    Do ALL the things. Believe in the magic. This is as apt a description of what I'm trying to accomplish here as anything, actually. 

    For 20 years, I have not done. I have not believed. And now, even though I'm working to fix what's broke, there's a lot more than PTSR behind my paralysis and lack of belief. It's that most dreaded of all evil forces: HABIT! 

    I'm hardly serving my nascent mental health by staying my lazy, faithless, reticent self, am I?

    Stamp it on a rubber bracelet: WWMGD? Learn it, live it, love it!