Posted by: Marie | October 22, 2009

(169) A cruel blast of cold air

Post #169
[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, June 30, 2009]

It’s morning. I awoke before my alarm went off.

Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I kept trying to figure out exactly what it is I think would happen if I did initiate touch with someone – specifically what I feared would happen if I gave Matt the kind of “touchy feely” encouragement his mom wants me to use with him. (See previous post for details.)

Lying in bed, I tried to imagine myself touching him that way – how would I approach him? How would I hold my body? What would it be like to hug him tightly? What words would I use? What is the worst thing that could happen?

The Mountain View by Martin Chen

The Mountain View by Martin Chen

Anytime I run a video clip in my brain of me initiating touch with anyone, I get to the part where I start reaching out one hand towards the other person – and the video freezes right there. It just stops. I don’t know what I think might happen because I can never get the video to run past that point. In actuality, when I want to reach out towards someone in “real life”, I can never get past that point either.

Eventually, I faded off to sleep. Then, this morning, I woke with a start . . . my brain was still running the video . . . and my view of the outside world was still frozen at the same point. However, the video of what was happening inside of my head and body continued.

As I started reaching my hand out, a huge thing . . . I never saw it directly, but it seemed to be along the lines of a guillotine blade . . . sliced down onto my forehead, at the hairline . . . and continued down my face, removing my forehead, nose and lips . . . then traveled on down and sliced off my chest muscles.

The shock of the blow stopped me cold. I could feel the cold air hit the exposed tissue of my nasal and sinus cavities . . . and the exposed tissue of my mouth. It took my breath away. After a few moments, I started breathing a tiny bit . . . very tiny, shallow puffs of cold air.

Finally, I came out of the shock enough to open my dream-body eyes (yes, I know . . . how could I open my eyes when I no longer had eyelids . . . )

About 18 inches (46 cm) in front of me was a stone-gray slab of concrete. It blocked the tunnel I was in, so there was no way around it. It was very heavy and very thick . . . no way to move it. I could sense that this slab is what is blocking my ability to continue the video – there must be something on the other side I’m not allowed to access.

So, realizing I couldn’t move forward, I turned my attention back to myself. All the sudden, I thought, “My breasts! Did it slice off my breasts?” I looked down and remembered that there had been no breasts to be sliced off. I thought, “That’s funny, how old am I – that I wouldn’t have breasts? Oh, I’m ten. That makes sense.”

And that was the end of it.

It had the feel of a dream – but yet I was more awake than asleep. It had a surreal feel to it. Obviously, it cannot be taken as a literal memory – I am quite sure my face and chest have always been intact. But, I am sure that it has some symbolic ties to real experiences. I’m left rather baffled about what to make of it.

I do know that tunnels represent time in my dreams. I’m guessing that the slicing has to do with the “removal” of my personal identity and sexual identity. Beyond that, I’m still baffled.

Quotes 081


  1. The sense I get from this is that you don’t need to rush yourself. If you can’t reach out and touch another person yet, so be it.

    Maybe Michele over at Heal My PTSD would have some ideas?

    Just revel in being touched and hugged and allow yourself to enjoy it. Then one day, it might feel ok to even place a hand gently on Matt’s shoulder. Who knows? But you’ll know when you’re ready.

    • Hi, Svasti –

      I think you have hit the nail on the head. (As you seem to always do, LOL)

      I do think it would be helpful to know what I fear will happen if I reach out and touch someone . . . what terrible thing do I think will result . . . ?? I know, logically, that it isn’t as bad as it feels . . . I’m curious what “terrible” thing happened that caused it to be such a fearful idea . . . if I knew what it was, then I think I could start to prove to myself that it can be different from what I fear.

      Or, maybe knowing what is behind it is not as important as learning how it can be.

      (Sigh! Well, it’s good fodder for future posts, LOL)

      – Marie

  2. Hi Marie,

    I wonder if there is one little and easy thing to move beyond the block – like paying attention when you put money into a cahiers hand at the supermarket (or maybe you pay by credit card(?)).

    I think this is a big things for you – it seems like it has a huge impact to do with your personal and sexual identity. So like Svasti I think it is well worth moving at your own pace and when you are ready. And having the support you need if you want to move through this stuff too.

    What an extraordinary dream, and you convey its content and impact on you so well too.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I actually read your comment last night but didn’t respond . . . I wanted time to check out how I behave during passing interaction with others.

      Here is what I discovered: If I have to hand something to, or accept something from, another person, I am very careful to not touch them. If is it money, I’ll drop it into their hand or I’ll hold my hand out for them to drop it into mine. If it is a pencil, I’ll hang on to the very end of it with the very tips of my thumb and finger.

      I had never noticed this about myself.

      So, I asked myself what would happen if our hands touched, what am I avoiding? The answer is that I am avoiding any chance that they will be angry with me for coming on to them sexually. I keep it as “sterile” as possible so there will be no question about the purity of my conduct and intention . . . because coming on to them would be sinful and disgusting and weak. Hmmmmm . . .

      Very interesting, Sherlock . . .

      – Marie

    • Oh, and, coming on to children is a hundred times more sinful and disgusting and weak . . . so that is why, I think, touching kids is also hard for me. I am terrified that someone will think I’m having perverted thoughts when I am around them and touching them.

  3. Hi Marie and Evan,
    Paying attention of the way you interact with others and specially being mindful of the way the body/mind reacts to contact with others is extremly important to healing. At least it is for me, since I am being curious of those little interactions (from the paying to somebody at the store, to those serendipitous moments of repeating the same word with a total stranger).
    Sigh! I would like to know more, but I guess is like Savasti said at your own pace.
    Good luck Marie!

    • Hi, Atabex –

      Well, the fun part is that our own minds are much more interesting than any TV show in which pretend peoples’ minds are analyzed . . who needs cable TV!?!? LOL

      Yes, we all have to work at own pace . . . we will get there when we get there!

      – Marie

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