I was at a restaurant with Seeds people and they were going to screen my trailer then someone ordered the wrong thing and we all had to run out. Prior to that the hostess took forever to seat us and I was very upset. Two Asian girls just walked in and sat at an open table and no one stopped them. Outside, my horse was walking up to the fenced area where they kept the animals. Then a tiger walked up and did the notion of testing to see if he could jump the fence. I panicked and quickly walked around the corner into a house.
Slept eight hours straight last night! Had incredibly vivid dreams. My body is very sore but this horse life suits me.
Back at Yarnell Family Diner. To my surprise there is a table of old vets talking about their war injuries and how young people just ain’t tough anymore. I think about my extensive martial arts background and how I would knock the teeth through the back of their heads if given the chance and how their entire military bravado composition would be tossed into space when the whole lot of them was beaten to a pulp by someone who voted for Bernie Sanders.
Colleen wants me to work on thinking less and feeling more. I wake up in fear because my brain is already gone to the day before I’ve even taken a breath.
She also wants me to drop into emotions more. She says I am what you call love-avoidant. Which is pretty self-explanatory but in case you’re curious it means I have extreme resistance towards love and intimacy. I have built a tremendous wall around my emotions that even I can’t explore. I want to be closer to Alexis and be able to tell my friends I love and appreciate them without wanting to run home and punch myself in the head repeatedly.
To determine where these things start is a game of speculation that doesn’t really interest me but the most common theory is that I am an empath and at some point took on my parent’s energy during a very rough period of their marriage. As a result, I have a core belief that all love comes to an end and all people will eventually hurt each other.
Which explains why I never miss people and have little to no issue with losing friends or girlfriends because I know I can easily replace them with new people that fulfill a specific role. In a way, people and relationships have been expendable.
Some nights when we lay in bed I am afraid Alexis is going to touch me and want to have sex. It will challenge me in deep ways and make me feel too exposed. And other times I can’t wait to touch her. I wish I knew what made the difference.
If the brain is plastic – meaning it is always changing and learning – and composed of wires and memories then it is conceivable that at any point we are capable of feeling any thing.
So what we believe is true and what we feel must be a matter of preference. And most likely, preference is determined by our fears. Meaning, we build up an impenetrable line of defense against the things that will most deeply challenge us so we never have to face them. And in doing so we become experts at rationalizing all of our most closely held and sometimes denied shortcomings.
We’re all just out here eating our eggs, eating our toast.
This morning is EMDR therapy.
I still feel the tightness in my chest spreading through my body. Especially on walks when my mind is most active. I think I would need a few months in this kind of life before it was ‘lifted’.
The thought of going back to work is difficult and stressful. I output at a pace that is not human and if I stop to think about all the work I do and the psychotic motor the revs inside my chest I can turn sideways and panic at the fear of missing a step.
On one hand I am excited to share all of this with Alexis and on the other I want to keep this experience to myself and never speak a word of it. It is mine and I don’t want to dilute it. Rather, just hold it very close to me and feel it as long as possible.
So many things are expected of us at all times that we never really get the chance to just stop and be ourselves.
I have the heart of a young boy. I am a joyful person. I love people. But all of that has been covered by the need to protect myself from all of the letdowns lurking around every corner.
I remember getting that call while living in Taiwan. I think it was my brother. He was very brief. Mom and Dad were splitting up. A single tear down my cheek. Love was not real. It did not last. Everyone eventually lets you down.
I have so much preference. Such a strong opinion. So much power to control my environment. Enviable by a lot of people. I have a remarkable sense for business. Incredibly disciplined. Successful. But hard as iron. Driving the softness right out of everything, including Alexis – the softest of them all.
I read that book Daily Rituals and felt so validated that I had so much in common with all the great minds of history. I felt at home when I heard others say that work was the most important thing to them and must be put above all else to know peace and satisfaction.
*pauses to smell second-hand smoke
But I’m on the edge of a difficult decision – would I rather be someone who puts work before all else or someone that finds the answers to the fears inside my heart? I do not find balance and moderation to be an option at this stage in my life. I cannot stand to ride in the middle and would rather smash my head repeatedly against opposing edges to carve out an ‘average’ than prevent myself from pushing the extreme.
EMDR is a TRIP.
Yosemite was my safe place. With Alexis sitting in the meadows by the river.
Every time I thought of her I started crying, because of the goodness I could feel in her.
As time passes I can feel myself hardening back up.
What I don’t understand – I genuinely love getting emotional but spend all of my time blocking it. Probably when it involves other people and removes me from a place of control.
I thought of my sister and how badly I wanted her to know her true worth. I cried for her.
I thought of a time in 9th grade when I made a heart-felt comment and one of the girls said, “God, why do you always have to be so deep and talk about faith?”
I was embarrassed and sat on the steps away from the party. Turns out, yes I do always have to talk about it. And as the saying goes, look at me now, bitch.
The people in my life who make me feel silly for being who I am are just afraid of their own depth. I saw that. I’ve heard people say it before but I actually felt the fear in their hearts. It takes courage to be who you are and those that don’t have that type of courage will constantly make comments about you and your life.
I had no idea what EMDR was. I’ve been in talk therapy for the last 7 years. In 1 hour I made more progress on emotional clarity than those 7 years combined. And I have an amazing talk therapist.
I sat in a chair in my dingy hotel room with a light bar in front of my eyes, vibrating paddles in my hands, and headphones over my ears. Back and forth the sound went as I thought of critical moments in my life. Random things hit me out of no where. And the whole time Colleen is sitting next to me taking notes so that I can work on redirecting my thought patterns.
This was a sequence of sentences that came out of my mouth. At the time I felt like I was on a truth serum. Everything was flowing out without consequence. I felt free.
I’m emotional and I have a lot of fear
I am sorry for me that I am so afraid
I feel like I need to contain it
I often feel like I have to contain everything
I’m a little wild and out of control and need space for me to be
It is fear itself that is living in there
If I continue to be afraid of it then it will grow
I’m letting the emotions come through
It’s okay to be afraid. It will always pass
I’m pretty incredible
Many people can go their whole lives with this inside of them
I can use this moment to grow beyond
When I’m fluid I’m not afraid
I do need time away
I need to do what I want to do
I am different and interesting
I’m so happy for me
There’s a fear of loving someone
I’m lucky to be feeling
I should feel every bit of it and not be scared
Whatever happens I will always grow
At the end of it I was left with the sense that my words were sacred and should be spoken gently and thoughtfully.
YFD. Chicken wrap, sweet potato fries, and ranch dressing. A perfect meal for mind and soul.
I texted Alexis about my EMDR before I lost the emotion. Told her how incredibly special she was to me and how much I appreciated her ability to love me so freely.
A major takeaway from this trip is that I definitely need suspenders. They are a classic man accessory.
My bills at YFD have always been $9 and I have left a $20 every time. The first one I was feeling generous. New guy in town rolling around with a fat stack of cash. And the second one I was still feeling kind of generous. But now it’s like the 7th time and I’m starting to do the math and have second thoughts but since I’ve set a precedent I have to stay consistent. I’m plagued with thoughts of them thinking I’m a rich writer from CA or just an idiot. At the end of the day, it feels good to give something to this place that is giving me life.
Lance and I finally clicked. I rode him up and down the wash. Learned that he was cantering because I was hitting him with my heels inadvertently in the trot. Colleen had to watch. I got my bounce to match his lead and it felt like soft butter being rubbed on a warm piece of bread.
I know this seems more like a poorly written coming of age tale but it’s just the last few hours have been nuts.
Colleen was in here with her medicine box teaching me a ceremony to pray to her late husband’s bald eagle feather. She asked me not to write about the specifics of the ceremony out of respect for her husbands Lakota heritage as they only passed down traditions orally and they are not recorded in writing anywhere in history. The temptation of the white man is real here but I’m going to respect her because that shit was crazy and I can only imagine what happens if you upset Native American spirits.
Her voice was beautiful. She loved her husband so much. I didn’t know it at the time but she hadn’t opened his medicine box since he passed. Hadn’t sang his songs in 4 years. Her tears or mine, I can’t remember.
And then she was gone. And I had this feather and a bundle of sage and a bag filled with cedar.
Funny thing is, I don’t even feel like meditating tonight. I’d rather just pass out. But then David would look down on me from Native American heaven and say no wonder you’re depressed you lazy piece of shit.
Hold it to your heart and speak the truth he said.