A lot has happened since my last post. I tried a few times over the last several months to write posts, but WordPress was failing me and I’ve had next to no energy to do tech troubleshooting. (Had to clear Cloudflare’s cache if anyone wants to know.) In late summer of 2019, I started training as a clinical counselor with young clients in public schools. Fittingly, my first client had PTSD. Counseling hours together with graduate studies had been pretty brutal until SARS-CoV-2 forced closures. Today, sheltered-in-place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to put off work I can do later and breathe some life back into Motorcyclebaby. (If only I put this energy into finishing a bike.)
Last year I took a course in creative therapies for treatment of trauma. What I learned not only gave me tools to help others, it helped me. For one assignment, we had to draw a representation of our stress. Since I practice somatic quieting, I had a hard time identifying stress in order to draw it. But stress wasn’t too far away. On a trip back to New York at the airport gate, I started feeling stressed for no apparent reason. Perfect opportunity to work on the assignment.
The drawing started out as a long line with sharp turns. Maybe subconsciously I sought the hairpin turns of a mountain road. And then I drew people. Like the line, the first person manifested from a nether region of the brain, seemingly with no reason. The next one also, and the next, and the next. Soon the stress became became overwhelming and I started to cry. As the shapes of people continued to form on the page, it became clear what was happening. It was grief expressing itself.
Soon the tears turned into uncontrollable weeping. A stranger saw me and sat closeby to be a support. She became a momentary counselor when she asked what my drawing was about. I don’t remember what I said. Near the end of drawing, I was scribbling darkness on the page and relaxing. Catharsis completed.
I have not felt grief so deeply since. And I have not had dyscontrolled crying. I had faced my trauma and processed it. Months passed before another PTSD symptom surfaced.