Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Continuing Aikido

I had a really hard time in class last time. We started practicing with staffs and I really wasn't prepared for it. I have a hard enough time knowing where one arm is in relation to the other without trying to figure out where a long stick is in relation to my body, too. So I had my first and likely not last break down in class where I started crying and chose to sit out.

Part of the reason is I didn't have as much mental endurance available because I hadn't gotten enough sleep and my shoulder was bothering me, I think. Then I was getting too warm because of the sun coming in the window on me, which always makes me uncomfortable/nauseated. Once the tears start I can't stop them, I can't see clearly, and I can't focus my mind. I tend to shut down. R-sensei offered to let me practice on just the first step by myself and work with me, but by that point I just couldn't keep going. Hell, I'm getting teary just typing about it and it's been a few days since it happened. I guess it was kind of like an anxiety attack with more self loathing, but not exactly. It's difficult to describe, but I imagine a lot of us have been there.

I sat down off to the side in a corner where I leave my stuff and thankfully I always keep tissues in my purse. Truth be told, it was a miracle I didn't go running out of the room and hide in the bathroom, so that's something, I suppose. S-sensei came over to me and asked offered to talk with or work with me, and I told her it was very hard for me to talk about. She nodded and let me be. Just trying to talk about things when this happens makes me cry more even if I want to talk about it, which in turn makes it even harder to talk about. I get in this negative feedback loop of feeling awful and breaking out of it is difficult. Just thinking about trying to explain things kept making me cry and every time I thought I had gotten a grip tears would start falling again. S-sensei came back again to check on me and let me know where she'd be if I wanted to talk, and eventually I was able to get up and walk to the restroom to change out of my gi.

Eventually I recovered enough to start talking without crying. I talked with R-sensei a bit but mostly I talked with S-sensei after class. They were wonderfully friendly and supportive. I told her how I'm very hard on myself and how one of the reasons I'm there is to try and work on that, and that I'm used to corrections being criticism/disapproval and that while rationally I know that isn't what's happening here it's difficult for me emotionally at times. I also told her about my very poor bodily coordination and spatial awareness, along with how when I get into that kind of state I tend to shut down. Basically, I summarized the issues I've mentioned here on my blog more so than I have to previously when I've mentioned them to my sensei. We talked about the class before last too, which I had felt very good after because I was starting to fall properly and was even able to start self correcting on some movements.

One of my sempai who attends classes on days I usually don't told me a few days earlier she'd started crying, too. It was kind of comforting to know people who have been doing this longer than me still have bad days like mine. Everybody was kind and no one got displeased with me for crying, unlike my NM and some teachers from elementary school. At any rate, I'm going to keep coming to class and keep working through all this baggage one step at a time.

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