Breakingdown, Breakingthrough

- by Margaret Coyne -

6th Holotropic Breathwork Workshop - 16-9-'95

The first session got underway around 9.30am. Diane chose me as her partner and between us decided she would "breathe" at this session. It felt very strange having only two "breathers" in the room, as though the energy felt from a large group was missing. The session ended around I2.30pm. with Diane having had a good experience.

Following a nice lunch hour, during which the four of us somewhat intimately discussed ourselves and our therapies, the afternoon session began at I.30pm. Geraldine and I were "breathing". This time I did not have a fit of the shakes while doing the relaxation exercises. I wasn't sure whether that was good or bad, although I did enjoy the wonderful sense of calmness. And so I began my journey:-

"After about five minutes into the breathing I get a sharp pain in the left side of my head, also the feeling of a tight band across my chest. I continue on. As usual my hands curl upwards onto my chest, where I begin pulling at my fingers quite a bit, and for the first time during these sessions, also at my neck. All of this continues for about twenty minutes to half an hour, then I begin to feel the other familiar sensations of hyperventilation. They are not so strong as before.

I begin to make a kind of wailing sound which eventually develops into a full-blooded scream. Within minutes I am rotating my body backwards while groaning forcibly with each downward movement. At some stage I have managed to propel myself far from my starting point which results in me having lost all sense of my position in the room. I am aware of cushions being placed around me and for a brief moment take refuge within their protective walls.

Descending deeper through my mother's birth canal, I'm becoming increasingly aware of the terrible restraining effects of her taut muscles on my highly sensitive skeleton. For some reason she is holding onto me and won't let me through. I scream "let me out" over and over until, exhausted from my frustration, I can no longer utter another word.

Drained from the shear effort to free myself, I sink into total despair and begin to cry. I continue to sob for some time. Suddenly I am seized by an overwhelming feeling of hatred towards my mother. Again I begin to scream, only this time I'm telling her "I hate you, I hate you". The shouting is coming right up from deep within my guts. I begin to sob again. The realisation that she was the one responsible for fucking up my whole life by causing me to hold back on everything and having no confidence to carry out even the simplest of tasks, is too much to bear. I begin screaming at her again with a renewed intensity, repeating my angry utterance "I hate you, I hate you".

The feeling is now so great it is as if I am being totally consumed by its ferocity, and unable to cope, I eventually give up. Every so often I am reminded of my terrible situation in life, and in further fits of anger, resembling the tantrums of a toddler, I stamp my feet into the floor, pull at my hair and scream my lungs out.

Finally, exhausted and drenched in sweat, I curl up on the mattress to cry out my pain. Too distressed to accept the tissues offered by Diane, I lie in my mess of tears and snot, desperately needing to be held. I reach out and she takes my hand. After a while my sobbing subsides and I drift off to sleep for a few moments. When I open my eyes again it is Lynn who is sitting beside me. I have a lot of discomfort in my upper tummy, but when she asks if I need help with any pain in my body, I tell her I'm fine.

l don't know why I did that. It is as if I'm afraid to ask for help. After I talk through my experience with Lynn, I feel OK to ask her for a hug which she willingly offers and I accept. For the best part of an hour I lie listening to the beautiful music which helps me return to a more peaceful state, before returning indoors for something to cat and draw my Mandala. It is 5.00pm".

Once again we were all together in the little room where some of us shared our experiences while eating the food prepared by Lynn. My Mandala was easy to visualise. I could immediately see a tiny person locked behind bars who seemed to be screaming "let me out". Again I chose just the one colour, blue.

At around 5.30pm. we returned to the session room, where we each discussed our experience and explained as best we could, our Mandalas. During the discussions I was again aware of the absence of energy usually generated by the large group. We finished up just before 6.00pm. I gave Lynn another hug. While I was waiting at the bus-stop, Diane came along, so we took the bus together into town. It was a very pleasant journey. I arrived home around 7.00pm. I wasn't really very talkative and felt that some of the dreadful anger experienced earlier was still left inside me.

Go to the next Holotropic Breathwork session

Return to Margaret Coyne's Breakingdown, Breakingthrough Index page.