I feel like I should be telling you about all of the bottle we popped last night, instead of my first experience in a SA group therapy session. Yesterday right before I left to attend the session I had a small meltdown. It really isn’t funny, but it is freaking hilarious. I mean it was small and quick and once I moved past it, it was fine. So as I was getting Mouse, daddy and Marie ready for volleyball practice I needed to change into some less restrictive clothing. And as I looked in the mirror and fixed my hair, I literally said… “I can’t wear this to a SA group! What the heck am I thinking? Oh, my gosh this is so stupid. Why am I freaking out over wanting to be comfortable? I can’t handle this right now, I’m leaving!” And that was that. So yeah, I’m laughing at that small meltdown.
I wished Mouse goodluck and told her to talk daddy into coaching the team, he had already told me he was just a transporter. I figured once he got to the gym he would change his mind. I hopped in my car and sped off down the road to the highway. I needed to talk to someone and so I called my sister. I call her that, but she is really a person I’ve known for over 16 years. We met when we started dancing in a group together. We clicked instantly and she went from being my best fren to my sister. She is family, I’m not sure I have friends and that is where I was at when I said a few days ago that I didn’t know how to be a friend. Because we are either acquaintances or we’re family, I don’t have an in-between and I’m learning to work on the in-between. I need in-between, not everyone is meant to be in your family and that’s fine. It takes a village to raise a child and I like a solid village.
Anyways, she is currently having some personal issues so we talked about that and how she was feeling about it. I chuckle because I said something to her and her response was, “Did you and Re-Re talk today? Because both of y’all said the EXACT same thing word for word.” I told her no, it just meant that was the message you needed to hear and I’m just repeating it. We talked some more, I mean, I had at least a 45 minute drive, so I had enough time to chat. We started talking about how I liked Texas and when I would be back home. Being honest I told her, I love where we live. I wouldn’t change it for the world, this is what we needed. But I miss having my best friend down the street and my support system 10 minutes away, its hard and somedays I am ok with it and other days I hate it. She is so funny because she asked me have I found a best friend to replace her and I responded with a, “Now BITCH! You know your ass can never be replaced.” and we chuckled. We then got into conversation about what the group session would look like and I told her I was actually really nervous and I wished that she was here with me so that we could go together. I could have truly taken her and the both of us would have been able to start the healing process. What connected us was our past, we had both been sexually, mentally and physically abused. Our conversation energized me and I felt more then prepared to go into this group sure of myself and my intentions.
We hung up on a laugh and I took a deep breath. Told myself that my main goal was to breath. Everything else would come. I walked into the building and waited for the group to start. As I sat there in those chairs waiting for 6:30pm to arrive, I talked to myself, I tried reading a book and when that didn’t happen I resorted to play a couple games of candy crush. LOL! Hey, in a pinch it is the best attention grabber. 6:29pm rolled around and my head started hurting, I took a deep breath, a long drink of water and told myself to figure it out. 6:33pm rolled around the lady who ran the group came out and grabbed everyone. One by one myself and 3 other ladies stood up and walked over towards her. She stopped and introduced herself to me, I was the new one in the group. I found out later a couple of the ladies had been attending the sessions for a while. We filed in the back, one behind the other like we were in a line going to the principals office. Or maybe that was just my perception… By this time my chest is tight and my heart feels like it’s about to fall out of my chest.
We walk into the room, find a comfortable chair and settle ourselves. Rules are given because I’m new to the group. Just as we are about to say who we were and how we were another lady walks into the room. It’s my turn and I say, “Hi, I’m Iiona. This is my first session and I’m unsure. This is different and I’m just… you know, nervous…” Every head nodded in agreement and I was told I took the first step and that’s the most important. I think I visibly relaxed after that. Well at least for another 10 minutes and then everything else kind of gets blurry. I just know I spent a good portion of time breathing, focusing on deliberate deep breaths that slowed my breathing down. Because I felt myself hyperventilating on a few occasions.
What I can say is that at one point I felt like I was being stripped down bare naked and forced to deal with the consequences of not having clothes. I remember the clock was exceptionally loud, each tick was like a small bomb going off. I remember holding back tears, I remember feeling as if I was being confined in a small room that was sound proof so my ears popped and everything was muffled. I think at one point I even thought about leaving, but I stayed. I argued with myself a lot, telling myself that I was here in 2016. Sitting in a room with 5 other women and that the flashes I happened to be seeing wasn’t happening at that moment. At one point the lady running the meeting seen that I was about to say something and stopped myself. And she said, “Iiona, did you have something you wanted to add to that?” I’m sure I looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a car and I said, “Shit you caught that huh? Yes….” After that I focused on keeping the parts of my body that kept tensing up to relax. I guess yoga is coming in handy to help with things like this. Anyways, the session was ended with a great tradition and we left. I still felt like my ears were clouded and things were slightly blurry. But because I still had a 45 minutes drive back home I focused on staying present to the moment. I’m not sure how I managed it, but I did. I just know when I finally made it home I was so relieved. I was beyond exhausted and I kept getting flashes of things that I had forgotten about and I was just overwhelmed.
I came in, ate something quick and told everyone goodnight. My head was pounding, my vision was blurry and I was just exhausted. I had forgotten I had told my sister that I would call her after the meeting so that she knew I was ok and made it home. As I crawled into bed, my phone rang and I swore. I was like REALLY! I can’t, but I picked it up and she said I just wanted to make sure you made it home and that you’re good. I told her Thanks, I’m tired and I have a headache but yes I am good and I would call her tomorrow. I laid in bed and begged for my dreams to be free of any more flashbacks and woke up this morning around 4am in tears.
My heart hurt and I couldn’t stop crying. At some point I remember saying I don’t understand why I have to keep reliving this stupid shit. I can’t handle this today, I just want to be free of it all. I finally got up and hopped in the shower. Considered staying up but really needed more sleep, so I slept off and on until 6:30am. My intention for the day was to stay in my pjs and sleep. But I really wanted to go to yoga as well, so I quickly got dressed, grabbed my mat and ran out the door for the 8:30am class. Let me tell you, I was exactly where I was supposed to be this morning. If I ever doubted myself, today, today was the day that I couldn’t quietly tip toe past it. Every thought and feeling that I felt was exhaled as I pushed my body into positions that I’ve never attempted before. Holding them longer then I should have been able to, letting go of the tension and the anger and just realizing that I can do anything I put my mind to. I swear the yoga teacher was there speaking directly to me and I couldn’t move. By the end of the hour I am positive I had cried through several positions. I am sure glad most people practice with eyes closed and the only one who could see the tears streaming down my face was the instructor.
The flashes haven’t stopped, some extremely intense. But today I am breathing through it all. Tomorrow could look different, hell even tonight. I just know right now in this moment, I am ok.
“You are the designer of your destiny. You are the author, you write the story, the pen is in your hand, and the outcome is whatever you choose.”- Abraham Hicks