Tuesday, March 11, 2008

X is for Xenophobe

Xenophobia is the fear of foreigners or strange customs. I don't have this phobia but I have plenty of others.

I still jump to the bed and don't let my feet hang over the edge at night because of the monsters under my bed. When I was a kid, I used to take a running leap. One night a hand reached out and grabbed me!

Big brothers suck. My dad, who was in the front pasture on our tractor, heard me scream and ran into the house. My mom was already in my room scolding John but obviously having a hard time not laughing as she did it. My dad was trying not to openly bust a gut as well.

The next night - he did it again. I almost wet myself. Bastard.

OK, Gentle Readers, anyone out there had therapy? Raise your hands. It's OK, despite what the voices tell you, we can't actually see you through the computer screen.

I had court ordered family therapy when I was in early high school. Not me, actually, my brother. He spent some time in juvie for messing with weed and stuff. It was a dismal failure as none of us wanted to be there. I was the only one who kept going but the therapist was one of those, "How does that make you feel" types and the stuff I needed to talk about was way too embarrassing to come out and say it. I wished he'd've asked questions instead of waiting for me to just talk. Most of our sessions were these really awkward silences. I hope he wasn't really expensive because he was pretty useless.

Flash forward about 10 years or more.

I'm in massage school in Tucson. You had to take "Movement" classes as part of your electives and I took Yoga with Ramdas Kaur. She was amazing. Her class always seemed to become these group therapy sessions while doing yoga and in the last 10 minutes of the class, she'd tie in the yoga with whatever everyone had been dealing with! I still don't know how she did it.

One time, we had to do this intense breathing exercise for 10 minutes. We were all into it but towards the end, everyone was fading out. She said, "1 minute" and everyone started doing the loud breathing exercise full force again. She said, "Oooooh, I see! 1 minute - do the breathing. 1 minute left, start to breathe. 1 day left of your life, start to live! 1 year left! When are you going to start? Let's take the good soap out of the dish on the counter and use it to replace the cheap Dial stuff in the shower!"

I had Dial in the shower and the beautiful, good smelling Body Shop stuff in a bowl on the counter. I called her later that week for an appointment. (She's also a counselor.)

Going to Ramdas changed my life. She's very Dr. Phil before anyone knew who he was. Only without the bullshit good 'ol boy stuff. She's very in to personal responsibility. Her main themes were:

Everything's a choice.
Yeah, but my family.
OK, but you're on your own now and everything's a choice.
But, these things that happened when I was a child.
Fine. I get that. But, you're not a child now and everything's a choice.
Yeah. But. sigh. You're right. I do have to make my own choices.


Answer the "what if".
That used to be one of my biggest problems. What if? What if I don't graduate? What if I do graduate and can't make a living as a massage therapist? What if I start dating this great guy and he screws me over? What if?

I learned that if you answer the question, the answer is always, "You'll survive and live and move on."

I tease D that if I had met him just 3 months earlier (before I started going to Ramdas), I never would have gone out with him because he was too stable and normal.

It's amazing what happens when you stop dating jerks and basketcases.

What are your phobia's?

Using the good soap, Ruth!


Anonymous said...

I have a HUGE phobia of kids running with forks. FREAKS me out. I had a student who is blind in one eye becauase he ran with a plastic fork at a wedding. So now the phobia is just of forks in general. Ack! Forks!

Anonymous said...

Pretty normal phobias, if that isn't too oxymoronic. Slight claustrophobia, more afraid of being trapped under water. Couldn't watch Titanic after the water started lapping up the passageway.

Kristyn said...

I still can not sleep with the closet door open because then the closet monster will get me. Big brothers are terrific at torture. Mine had me convinced at 8 years old that gremlins lived under my bed and were going to get me. I had the hardest time falling asleep for months.

Corwink said...

I still wait for the hand to come out from under the bed and grab my foot or leg.

I am sad that the alphabet posts are reaching the end :-(

sophanne said...

I'm with Corwink on the sad to see the alphabet go. Maybe you could start with numbers and then there would be infinity.

This isn't a phobia but for the longest time, in radical PMS moments, I wondered what would happen (and had to hold myself back from doing it) if I threw my car keys down a storm drain.

WandaWoman said...

I can't think of too many phobias at the moment, although I'm sure I have some.

I believe therapy is so crucial for many people. I know my ex could have used it. I've done it once and think it's excellent. I love Dr. Phil b/c he tells it like it is and I don't want all the flowery stuff. Ramdas sounds like she was excellent and helped you work through some things. Good for you.

p.s. Happy Blogiversary!