Well, it hit me like a brick last night. Just like I wanted. It was horrible and glorious at the same time. A tremendous amount of fear and a lot of crying. It’s funny, I was actually going to go for a second dose, but at some point I got lost in the songs and realized that many of my muscles were clenching up involuntarily. I realized then that I had plenty of ayahuasca in me.
As the clenching increased, I realized that I was cringing, shivering… bracing for impact like I did when my stepdad was about to lay into me. I noticed that there was no feeling with it, though. It was like my body was reacting but I wasn’t in there. I had a vision that there were two of me. One was in a colorful world full of life and emotion. The other me was gray and standing a few feet behind the first me, stoically watching.
Which makes sense, as I frequently feel separated from life. It’s like life is going on around me and I’m just a spectator. And when I achieve something, it often feels like it wasn’t me. One of Rachel’s biggest complaints was my lack of emotions. She often said I was a robot. I had to get rid of emotions when I was a kid or I wouldn’t have survived. Unfortunately I never got them back. So I did what Cvita said and tried to connect with the emotion attached to my involuntary shivering and cowering. It wasn’t easy but I did manage a few times. I felt the absolute petrifying fear and it brought me to tears, both because I was so completely terrified and because I could feel it. It was my emotion and I was feeling it, and it was beautiful.
The involuntary cringing continued through the night and I continued to try to connect with it emotionally. Through that process I also tapped into the shame tied to the fear. Men, of course, aren’t supposed to be afraid of anything and being I was afraid of almost everyone, I felt a great deal of shame. I saw myself as a cowering little boy and I put my hand on my little shoulder and told child-me it was ok to be afraid. I had every right to be afraid. My tormentor was 4x my size and I had absolutely no control over the situation. It was incredibly touching and made me cry quite a bit. I came here in hopes I could learn to love myself, and this was the first step. Grown-up me reaching back through time and space to comfort and reassure child-me. It was beautiful. The first actual show of caring about myself that I can remember.
At some point Joe probably saw that I was shaking and crying and he came over to check on me. He decided I need a song but I kind of didn’t want one because I felt like I needed everything that was happening to me, and I didn’t want him to calm me down. I’m glad I let it happen though. His song was very paternal and comforting. I have craved most of my life to have a father figure to be there to hug me and tell me everything will be ok. Joe’s song was like that, and it brought me once again to tears.
Because he set off my water-works my nose started running really badly. I had no tissue so I just started collecting it in my right hand. I tried to keep focused on Joe’s singing, but I just kept thinking about how badly I needed a tissue. It makes me chuckle thinking of myself sitting there with a hand full of snot… and I mean full.
Throughout the night i would periodically hear Cvita singing and it had a caring maternal feeling to it and it too moved me to tears.
My uncontrollable cowering continued throughout the rest of the ceremony. To a small degree it continued until this morning. For a while I was worried I was going to come away from this experience with a permanent tic. It’s basically gone now, though.
After the experience I felt a strong kinship with Damien, who was to my left. It was like we had fought a great battle together and survived. I also felt closer to Joe, Joel, and Cvita, who were very helpful and supportive throughout the experience.
I’m looking forward to tonight. We’re going to get some more work done. Another realization I made was that my difficulty focusing may be tied to the trauma as well. As a mechanism to keep me from fixating on how miserable my life was, my mind would just take off out into the ether. I enter an almost trance like state when this happens. Unfortunately nowadays whenever I’m working on something or trying to concentrate on a difficult task my mind takes off as soon as things get trying. It’s really frustrating, and I’ve definitely noticed a big upswing in it happening since the divorce. In fact writing this journal entry has taken me several hours because every time some difficult emotions surface, my mind goes elsewhere… frustrating. This is one of the traits of the soul-separation Cvita mentioned. Hopefully they’ll be able to reunite me.
|cabin visitor. about 4" across|
Today is really hot. My watch says it’s only 89.6 but it must be really humid because I’m sweating like crazy. A few of us signed up for a massage, so they called someone in from Iquitos. I really need it after clinching up all night. The masseuse was a tiny soft spoken old woman with strong, rough hands. It felt great and was only 100 soles (~$30) for one hour.
I have to say I feel better today than I have in a long time. I even caught myself walking around with a smile. When was the last time that happened absent outside stimulus?
My wounds from yesterday’s volleyball match were starting to look icky. Walking around in flip-flops was coating my legs in grime, which wasn’t helping. I got Joel to track me down some antibiotic ointment and alcohol swabs. I really need to wash the massage oil off too, so I jumped in the shower. Unfortunately I forgot my towel. I can tell you drip-drying in the jungle takes a while.