Monday, February 10, 2014
Acupuncture, Past Lives, and High School Reunions
IT ALL GOES BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL
Today, due to an amazing acupuncture session, all the shit is coming out, and as per my acupuncturist’s wise advice, I’m going to write about it.
While out for drinks with, ironically, writer-friends one evening about 2 years ago, one friend called me a Jew Bag.
Needless to say, that floored me, actually that broke me, emotionally, through the proverbial floor. I wrote about it as I habitually do when something happens, and I am moved in a plate tectonic way.
I wasn’t writing it with much forethought, however, and when the person I wrote about read the blog, s/he un-friended me (a major one-two punch in today’s world) but what was worse is that s/he didn’t bother to chew me out or yell at me or even contest what I basically was accusing him/her of.
I thought, oh, well, whatever. That person isn’t someone who I really was close with anyway . . . and I even saw him/er at an event this summer, and though my heart was pounding that s/he would say something mean or rude—or worse—ignore my presence, it was fine.
I was over it.
Or was I?
I haven’t been able to blog that honestly since that time. I mean, I have blogged and wrote things, but I’ve avoided writing about situations and moments where I was shaken or moved for fear that I might offend and alienate some folks on that (so-called) friends’ list (more on FB in another blog post) and a lot of stuff has happened that has floored me.
Take my 20-year reunion in July. Two people came up to me and accused me of hurting them in middle school, excluding them from parties, and one person said that he showed up to my house and I slammed the door in his face. Apparently, I threw some epic parties back in the diz-ay. I felt awful, really terrible, especially about the slamming the door thing: one, that I did that and two, that I don’t even remember it. The other person accused me of discluding her from those same epic parties and sleepovers. . . but my recollection was I didn’t invite her to my house because she and her older sister harassed the shit out of me and that we were more of frenemies than friends. Obviously, she saw the situation differently.
Other things happened at the reunion, but those two incidents stuck, and I wanted to write about them and really examine what I felt and then share it because I was certain that everyone has had a moment like that, where your past actionsyou're your history returns and blindsides you.
The reunion and the planning of it. . . the late night conversations between me and my co-chairs, the private messages from classmates expressing sheer terror about going and facing so-and-so. . . it was fascinating and very moving and it made me aware of perspective and the relativity of truth.
But, sadly, thanks to my own insecurities about my likeability factor and friends list, I haven’t been able to tap into those themes and write about them.
We had another, smaller reunion, recently (2 Fridays ago). Me and my favorite friends from middle and elementary school. Epic night of crazy conversations, memory rehashing, declarations (by me, of course) of “I’ve been wanting to say this for 20 years. . . ” and most of all, just all-out love and support for one another. We did do some gossiping, and we did do some drinking. But, it was, in the end, harmless and healing fun. I shared with them my perspective of the ending of our friendship in high school, and they shared theirs. We certainly saw things differently.
This event, like the events at my reunion, and the event back two years ago, is one of many in my life (and yours and everyone’s) where I (you) see a situation so differently from the other person. Where I feel so wronged and so hurt and the other person simply doesn’t see it the same way. But this is the relativity of Truth and perspective.
My initial reaction to the person who made, what I consider, a bigoted/prejudiced comment about my being Jewish was that s/he simply was an asshole, especially when s/he never apologized and even more so when s/he unfriended me.
But the second reaction I had was. . . I don’t like when people don’t like me. I mean it. I really mean it. I have friends who don’t care if they are liked, and it’s not like they are rude or go around just without a care about other people’s feelings, but they—I guess—just don’t really attach themselves and their worth to how well or how much they are liked. And so even though I thought this person was an asshole I was upset s/he unfriended me. Seriously, I was hurt.
Now, however, I’m certainly not hurt and don’t care what s/he thinks of me because I get why s/he unfriended me, and I think about that situation a little differently. No, I do not excuse or condone or even understand those words s/he said to me that night in the bar. But I know now that s/he truly must feel like s/he did nothing wrong and that we simply saw the situation very, very differently.
ACUPUNCTURE AND PAST LIVES
So, about this interesting accupunture appointment that set off this beautiful explosion of thoughts and willingness to write about said thoughts. . . In summary, my acupuncturist thinks the chronic pain (almost 10 years) I’ve been experiencing is related to something I’ve been holding on to in the past. . . as in, past life. Yeah, I’m with you. That shit is cray-cray. But I view her comment more as a metaphor. So when she said that, she also said that she felt that the pain had been remaining more as a reminder, like a physical post-it on my body. She asked me some more questions, and then I remembered an experience from when I was about 17.
It was senior year, and I was, once again, obsessing over Bad Boy; we were, once again, on and off in this weird hamster wheel of a non-relationship/relationship. My mother had had enough. So, she brought me to one of her fantastically, interesting friends who was this kinesiologist and who did something about past life regression. Long and short of it, in the session, it came out that Bad Boy Who Broke My Heart had actually been my son in a past life and now we were in this kind of mess of a relationship where, clearly, it wasn’t good (particularly for me), but we couldn’t get away from each other. But the reason was that he had been my son. . . Okay, so, totally bizarre and not really sure if I bought it at the time, but all I know is, after the session, shit went down with Bad Boy and the result was me calling him and saying if we aren’t going to be normal, I’m out. Suffice it to say, our non-relationship/relationship ended that day.
Fast forward to today, when my acupuncturist brought up that she thought this chronic pain was related to a past life experience that I was holding on to, but not as in can’t-get-over but more as a reminder of some experience I absolutely need to remember in order to pass along the lesson. Now this chronic pain is on my left side and the left side is related to receiving while the right side is related to giving, according to my acupuncturist. What is true about my life is that I am much better at giving than receiving. Well, what woman isn’t?
As my acupuncturist and I spoke more, we put it all together that since I have two daughters, this pain is a reminder to teach my daughter about boys (or girls) and men (or women) and to, as my acupuncturist put it, help them realize and understand what they want and what will make them feel good and happy. My mother— God bless her!— talked to me about a lot of things but never about relationships with men (did anyone’s mother?). And as that terrible, awful relationship continued to unfold and refold and unfold and refold, my mom kind of stood by pretty helpless until that day she grabbed me and took me to her magical friend who actually saved me, I think. Because it was from that moment onward that I started to actually let go and say no to Bad Boy.
Interestingly, as I haven’t really thought about the above in probably 20 years, when my acupuncturist asked me today, at the end of the session, what did I want back then from Bad Boy? I really didn’t have an answer right away. I thought for a few minutes and then realized that what I wanted was so simple. I wanted him to say sorry, to admit all of the shitty stuff he did to me and to apologize.
But sitting here now, today, with my 10-year-old daughter as she asks me about everything from did I like school in 4th grade to why do some people write their names really fancy, I realize no, I didn’t want an apology back then. What I wanted, back then, was for him to be kind and sweet to me, and what I probably want now (but not like I’m walking around conscious of this) I think now, what I want is an apology. Kind of like those people at my reunion might have wanted from me.
The Bad Boy and I had a brief interaction a few years ago on good ole FB, and it was closure—in some respects—but not the closure that was satisfying. The exchange made me realize that the way he saw things in the past, his perspective, was probably that he did nothing wrong or at least anything that was that big of a deal, nothing certainly that he had to apologize for.
Truth and perspective are the things that bring people together and keep them apart. But what I really care about is that post-it pain and its message to me. No matter what, my Truth and my perspective are mine and it’s okay to voice them, even if it’s ten, twenty years later. Not to mention those truths hold valuable lessons I will pass on to my daughters.