Out Of The Frying Pan


Into the fire.

Or intermediately into the fire?

I mean, I suppose the fire will be when I go to Burning Man, but wow.

It’s hot out there folks.

Today, my last day at the Noetic Institute up in Petaluma it hit 99 degrees.

Tomorrow, here in Glenn Ellen it will be 97 degrees.

That is warm.

At least for this San Franciscan lady.

I suppose it’s just preparation for the high temperatures I’m going to hit up in Black Rock City, so hey, might as well get used to it.

It, the heat, actually did not feel too bad for me.

And it wasn’t outside that I felt the most heat.

It was in the class room.

In the T-Group model that I spent a lot of time in today, all of today, and all of yesterday ( Friday and part of Thursday was well), and, dude, intense does not do it justice.

The good news is that I lived through it to tell the tale and I did not run, I did not hide.

Although, if I am honest, which I was not able to really sit down and do last night since I was still so thick in the heat of it, I did flee.

I, however, waited for the class to be done before I fled and I did not make a scene.

What I did not realize until I was almost in full-blown panic attack, was that I was having a panic attack.

I got myself to my dorm room and I swear I might have hyperventilated if I had stayed in my room.

I dashed out the dorm and tumbled down the steps.

I found a friend.

A dear.

Sweet.

Wonderful.

Amazing new friend.

And she walked with me to the dark of the hillside and let me spill it all out and have myself a good cry, and should you be wondering did I tell her about T-Group, no, I did not.

What happens in T-Group stays the fuck in T-Group.

I did however tell her about the flight or fight that came up for me, the deep shaming I experienced and the rush of anger that had preceded it.

I have not been that angry in so long I was not able to name the emotion for a moment.

I think it’s been a couple of years since I have experienced the level of anger that consumed me.

My skin got so hot I literally had and sustained a red flush on my chest and face for about 45 minutes, perhaps an hour.

I had so much adrenalin and so much blood coursing through my hands and chest and face, it was the most intense feeling and yes, that’s right, I got to have it again today.

But.

Not as bad.

And no panic attack this time.

The T-Group model, I believe, is meant to elicit an emotional response but what I saw was historical for me and I was triggered, and I hate, hate, hate that word, but that is what happened and I haven’t been triggered so hard before.

Ever.

I feel, in hindsight that it was happening, this build up, for a while, and I wasn’t able to name it.

I can name so many emotions, I have a veritable language bouquet of emotive feeling words that I can use and use them I do.

But anger?

I had no idea that it would take that much to get me to feel it, no, that’s not correct, I was getting signals from my body, but I chose to ignore them because I didn’t think they were such a big deal.

The small irritations that happened.

Annoyance that built and built and built and at some point boiled over.

What I learned was that I have to speak my mind much faster than what I think I do.

I have to express and lay a boundary–that’s a big part of the nature of the groups–way before I feel like I do.

I kept brushing it aside, the annoyance, the gnat of a feeling, go away, you’re not worth it.

And every time I ignored that feeling, out of fear of confrontation, which is another point of the T-Group-not to avoid conflict but to learn how to navigate through it– because of that fear I wasn’t sure I’d be able to control or navigate, it got bigger.

Doing the opposite of what the model was trying to teach me to do.

Until the explosion last night.

Which wasn’t seen by anyone other than my dear friend.

I suspect that people in my group were aware that I was really uncomfortable with the emotion and that I was straining to contain it, but no one knew the extent and what do we not do outside of the T-Group?

Process.

It all has to be done in the container the model provides.

So.

It erupted and there I was exhausted, wrung, blown open and I hadn’t even gone in for the night, and I still had to pack my bags–we had to have all of our things out of the dormitories by 9 a.m. when classes started.

I had originally thought, oh, if check out is at 9 a.m. then the classes end on Saturday.

Boy.

Was I wrong.

Classes were held today.

Granted they were truncated, for which I am so grateful, but we still had them all day long and our breaks for meals were cut into to accommodate the new schedule.

After breakfast.

Right to T-Group.

And there it was the trepidation, the fear, the anxiety.

I kept walking through it, I kept showing up for my group and I am so grateful I did.

But yes, in the afternoon the issue did come to a head and I was able to address it.

With a gallon of tears and the second hottest body temp of my experience–yesterday’s anger reaction prior to the panic attack being the hottest.

I got it out.

The conflict was resolved.

But.

I soaked through my shirt with sweat.

In an air-conditioned room.

I still can’t believe that happened.

And.

Yes.

I learned.

OH DID I LEARN.

Grateful for the learning lesson, grateful to be pushed so hard, grateful to also be held so securely and safely with my facilitator who help me to do the work without doing it for me.

I learned.

Teachability, what a gift.

I also got some fantastic feedback and a deep love and gratitude for the process.

Did I like it?

Hell fucking no.

Did I have the courage to walk through the fear and do the learning anyway?

Yes.

And just for that I know that I am going to be an amazing psycho-analyst.

I really am.

I still have so much to learn and do.

Oh Jesus, sweet baby Jesus, in the manager.

Do I have work to do.

Oh man, I have some papers to write and reading to do.

But.

I am well established.

I am on my way.

I am in it.

I through the fire.

It was hot.

I have been made the stronger for the forging.

And.

The steel was worthy of the flame.

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