Posted by: Marie | December 17, 2009

(204) A legitimate excuse

Post #204
[Private journal entry on Sunday, August 2, 2009]

After I write my journal entries, I publish the text to the blog and set the publish date for a few months in the future. As the publication date gets closer, I add photos, quotes, tags and categories. In doing that, I might read a few words of the text in passing; but, for the most part I ignore the text.

Then, a day or two before it is to be published, I’ll read the text carefully to make sure it makes sense and to check for grammar and spelling errors.

Today, I carefully reviewed the post that will be published tomorrow (Aug 3rd). It talks about how it is very difficult for me to do any physical exercise that requires me to be in a “compromised” position. It talks about how I was really bothered by having to walk through my therapist’s “exercise” room to get to her “therapy” room.

Selflessness Forest by Martin Chen

Tonight, as I was in the process of falling asleep, the feelings and sensations I would experience walking through her “exercise” room kept rushing over me. I would just about be asleep and that sense of panic and forced submission would flood my body.

As has been my practice these last few days, I didn’t fight it. I turned around and welcomed the feelings. I embraced them, welcomed them, and thanked them for the message they carry for me and for my healing. It was tough to do – it was not a pleasant experience. But, I did it. It was either that – or eat the remaining half pint of ice cream that is still sitting in my freezer.

As I let the feelings move through my body, I noticed my body was tensing up – I was becoming frozen. So, I breathed purposefully. I allowed the feelings to move through me and out of me. After a few minutes, my body started relaxing and I could breath much easier.

Thankfully, the fear and the panic started fading. When I again allowed myself to remember walking through her exercise room, I noticed that my autonomic response was less dramatic. I noticed a bit of the triggering was gone. As a way to make its exit more concrete in my experience, I imagined a portion of it floating away like a red helium balloon slipping slowing out of my hand . . .

Much to my surprise, just as that red balloon was approaching the parameter of my arm’s reach, my ethereal hand reached out and snatched it back. I felt myself quickly draw the balloon back into my solar plexus, clinging to that balloon for dear life.

Hmmmm . . . now, what could that be about?

Why would I want to not let the fear, the paralysis and the panic float away?

I had to think about that one for a while . . . finally, I figured it out . . .

If the fear, the paralysis and the panic go away, I have no legitimate excuse for not doing weight training and flexibility exercises.

Why do I need a legitimate excuse?

Well, because a “good” person would necessarily do weight training and flexibility exercises – she would do them faithfully because she is committed to caring for her body. A “good” person would necessarily take care of her body in that way . . . unless she had a VERY good excuse for not taking care of her body in that way.

In short, without a legitimate excuse, I would be obligated.

I would be obligated under penalty of divine law, society’s law, my parents’ law . . . ?? I’m sure someone’s judicial system would be happy to pass judgment.

Without the fear, the paralysis and the panic, my choices are narrowed down to either: 1) do the exercises and be a “good” person, or 2) don’t do the exercises and be a “not good” person.

Ah . . . very interesting . . .

Who decided that a person who is capable of doing those exercises, but who is not doing them, is a “not good” person?

I’m not sure who taught me that, but I’m the one who is currently buying into it.

Is there anyway I can give myself permission to not do that type of exercise, even if the fear, the paralysis and the panic go away? Is there anyway I can give myself permission to do them only when I’m ready to do them? When I really want to do them – and not a minute before?

Yes. I can do that. I can do that right now. Done. (Wow! I’m getting pretty good at the “giving myself permission” thing!)

And so, here I am, wide awake again – the deep philosophical pondering has brought my body back to full power.

I figured I’d get up and create a record of this conversion with myself, just in case I try to forget it in the future. And, writing this stuff down usually causes it to move out of my head . . . which means I’ll soon be ready to sleep. I’m starting to yawn already. That’s a good sign.

Well, good night, all!

Quotes 116


  1. Hey, I really enjoy reading your blog. I stumbled upon it not by accident actually. I am experiencing that rush of panic and tension as I try to fall asleep. I am afraid to tell my therapist and psychiatrist what I really think it is all about. Just this past year I have had several clear vivid dreams about sexual abuse. I feel fortunate that I do not know who the abuser was and I have a wonderful support system. Still I find it hard to trust. I feel like I’m keeping a dirty secret that I hide away, even from myself. Difficulty falling asleep is a sign for me. One that urges me that trouble is to come. I will keep reading your blog! and if you have any advice for an 18 year old girl tryin to find herself I would appreciate it :-)

    • Hi, Cristina –

      Thank you so much for your comment . . .

      You are very brave to begin dealing with all of this stuff. There are so many of us who have similar symptoms and experience.

      My biggest piece of advice would be to follow your gut. If your gut says something is true, even if your head tries to talk you out of it, follow your gut.

      If your gut says you need to do something or to not do something, follow your gut — even if the professionals disagree with you.

      One other piece of advice . . . tell your story. If you don’t feel comfortable telling the story to your therapist and psychiatrist, then tell a trusted friend — or write it in your blog. The shame is hidden in the secrecy — the only way to release the shame is to tell your story.

      My thoughts are with you . . . . keep us posted, okay?

      – Marie

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