Breakingdown, Breakingthrough

- by Margaret Coyne -

20th Holotropic Breathwork Workshop - 20-11-'96

Woke up several times during the night, and at one stage, lay sobbing really hard for ages. Got up at 6.50am, feeling like total shit.

After breakfast, I helped out in the session room, getting everything ready for the day's events, then at 9.00am, we had our first small group meeting. There were eight people in Tony's group. Following the short meditation and introductions, Margaret chose me as her partner. The first session started at 10.00am with me breathing:-

"Around twenty minutes into the breathing, I begin to feel I'm a very distressed young baby, pulling at my hair and fingers. From there, I begin to experience a terrible burning sensation in my arse, which I immediately associate with the memory of having an enema when in hospital for a tonsillectomy at five years of age. To make things worse, I feel as if I've shit myself, which distresses me even more.

Sometime later, I've crossed my wrists together over my head and it appears as though I'm chained to the ceiling of a horrible grey dungeon. It feels so real.

Suddenly, there is extreme pain in the left side of my tummy, which has me screaming and twisting my body in agony. Now I'm in one of my tunnels again trying to be born, and as always, I'm stuck and very angry. Begin crying in despair and ask for Tony, who comes over about ten minutes later.

As there is a lot of pressure-type pain in the top of my head, he begins to work really hard on that, applying lots of pressure and encouraging me to let out all the sounds. At one point, I beg to die because of the intense pain, but he just keeps on working on me. I become really angry, screaming "fuck you" every couple of minutes, then suddenly, it's as if I feel this is my last chance to break free, and driven by the combination of sheer anger and dogged detennination, I push as hard as I can against Tony's hand. Afterwards, I feel so much better. Completely exhausted, I rest on the mattress for about three quarters of an hour before leaving the room at 1.05pm".

I went straight into the dining room where already a few people were having lunch, and after drawing my Mandala, which depicted the grey dungeon, the tunnel, a baby being born and my anger, I was only too happy to sit down and relax while having my lunch of a small salad and rice cakes.

The afternoon session got going at 3.45pm. Margaret had a powerful session, moving around quite a lot but I coped very well even though I was exhausted. She finished at 7.50pm. I made her a cup of tea and after she'd finished her Mandala, I brought in her dinner.

At 9.00pm we went back into the session room for our small group meeting. I went through everything in my session, which was very brave of me, since it entailed describing things which I've never spoken about to anyone before. We finished at around 10.15pm. I felt very nervous as I asked Tony if I could have a quick word with him.

I wasn't quite sure if I could go through with this, but yet something was telling me it was the right time and place. I very briefly told Tony about some of the embarrassing and disturbing incidents from my childhood, e.g. being sexually abused in a park near my home when I was around eight or nine, being touched by two middle-aged male neighbours, being physically abused by my adoptive parents throughout most of my childhood, having my breasts touched by my adoptive father at every available opportunity, the painful medical procedures (tubes up my arse and down my throat), and the time I lost control of my bowel for over twenty four hours when I was about eight years old.

Tony was brilliant, reassuring me that there was nothing to be embarrassed about, should any of these issues come up in a session. Being actually able to talk like this for the very first time, proves I'm getting close to something really big. It's a huge step forward.

Went upstairs and talked to Sarah for a while then came back down to the kitchen where I jointed in some of the conversations while having my rice cakes and tea. Wrote up my session, then went to bed at 1.25am.

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