Monday, October 06, 2008

What the Healing Touch Person Said

She listened with compassion to my story about the dogs. How all the dog-behavior books and tv shows and some of my own trainers too point to energy: the need for a dog leader to have calm assertive energy, and the dilemmas arising from a lack of it and the fact that I have never, ever felt whole or strong or calmly assertive.

If this blog were to become a wacky dog memoir the New Age stuff would amuse.

But really is it any wonder I ended up meeting with an alternative healer today, a person who defines her entire role in terms of energy, given that so much of where I am right now seems to be derived from the most turbulent period of my life?

EE and I poured all our troubled energy into Petunia from Day One. She became our intermediary. We weren't entirely comfortable with one another emotionally or physically but we were 100% certain about P. She became the center of everything.

As the marriage further degraded I clearly preferred P's company to my husband's. Later of course the same became true of Buddy. And when I found myself breaking down, screaming in my car, fighting for a way out of my erroneous marriage, my solace was P on my lap and B at my feet. I fled to them.

And then I finally got what I wanted: a home alone with my dogs. And it seemed exactly right. And then this happened. And now here I am. With two dogs who seem to not want to live with one another anymore.

I told the therapist that the dogs are my heart and soul: Buddy my heart, my connection to calm and quiet affection; Petunia my soul, my empath. And she said you can't function with your heart and soul divided from one another. Whether viewed in terms of the dogs or in terms of myself the task seems to be attempting to integrate my heart and soul.

Our conversation drifted between metaphorical interpretations of the dogs' behavior and my own sense that ultimately they are manifesting something from me. At this point it doesn't matter what's causing it; what matters is healing it.

* * *

So here's what I'm left with from today's session:


* I need to give each dog a very clear job to do in our home.
Petunia still believes she is in charge--if not of me, at least of Buddy. Her sphere of influence has expanded. Tonight Buddy absolutely refused to go into the bedroom. Even when she was outside, behind the sliding glass door. He would not turn left and walk toward the bedroom while P was sitting outside the door, watching him. I brought his car crate into the house and set it up in the living room. He hasn't gone inside it. He's hoping to sleep upstairs in the guestroom. That's the opposite end of the house from Petunia. Kind of the way I would go into the downstairs room when EE was upstairs in that one. I try not to trace the parallels overmuch. The bottom line is that they appear to be more estranged than they were before and I don't know if it's because I've neglected their walks the last few days and been so stressed about digging through papers for my taxes or whether it is about reinforcing their separation with the gates or whether it's just them being themselves. But I'm frustrated. Deeply frustrated. And they're breaking my heart. Again.

* I need to integrate my heart and soul.
Whatever that means. Intuitively I do feel they are split. When I try to imagine "my heart's desire" I come up with nothing other than my dogs being happy together. For a short period a year ago I thought romance might be wonderful some day. But I'm back to feeling oppressed by my relationship with EE--a relationship that persists today in the form of our 2007 taxes, which I complain about in another blog. My heart--what does my heart want? It wants to be peaceful and open and safe and quiet and calm. It wants to survive intact. My soul--what does it want? I find myself feeling irritated even writing about all this. I want to say Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck it all. I'm so deeply frustrated. I'm so mad about ending up this fractured, feeble person. This person who might lose a dog because she can't get her shit together.

* * *

The therapist moved my energy around and whatnot but I'm feeling too irritated to get into all that. Right now I have to decide whether to let my dog sleep outside of a crate tonight or not. And I have to grade a pile of stuff before I can go to sleep for my early class.

And I'm wondering if my frustration and anger and desire to curse like a sailor is somehow a result of the energy stuff--maybe it's like getting a massage and the toxins flowing out of your muscles. Maybe the healer is helping me feel pissed. For good. Something my cognitive therapist has wanted me to feel for years but I've been feeling too guilty and too emotionally responsible for EE to really connect with my own anger.

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