One of the things I appreciate the most about retirement is the time for inner reflection and the courage to really search for self-truth. Though some of the truths may be unappealing, there is still time to make the adjustments necessary to clean them up!
The process was so easy and yet so telling. The consultant interviews you, recording the interview.
The questions are very simple and basic; Greatest strength? Biggest challenge? Most crazy weakness? Favorite movie? What one thing happening on earth bothers you the most. You know, your basic sitting-around-the-campfire questions!
Following the interview, you watch the video with the consultant.
One of the questions: "What would you like people to think about you?"
My answer; that I'm open and easy to talk to and a good listener! Guess what my body language tells people? "Back off!" Truly, my posture, my hands, my legs said "Closed For Lunch. Not Coming Back After Lunch Either!"
Now she did say that she has seen my during the show and breakouts, and in less formidible circumstances, I do present myself a little more relaxed and open but it is evident that I have a big shield up.
During the interview, she asked about my favorite movies. The three that popped into my head were Sliding Doors, French Kiss and Enchanted April. All movies about women who have to and do make major changes in their lives...
Could it be that I need to make some major changes in my life? That would be a firm YES! Can anyone make those changes for me? Firmer NO!
A little more discussion and we talk about my PTSD. This is when she becomes my new bestie!
We discuss the how's and why's I have this protective shield in front of me, not the particulars about the origination of the PTSD but how I handle the triggers in the present. She gives me a wide smile and says, "Wow, seems to me you've done your work!"
Apparently, the way I present myself is more muscle memory than actually feeling in harm's way. Her advice? Put away the shield. I have the tools to walk right through those concrete walls that jump out of nowhere now and then.
At the end of the interview, she tells me that I need to stop rescuing other people and rescue myself.
What a heads up! So when I get home my clay supplies come back out of storage, my art supplies come out of storage. I will start juicing again and eating salads for dinner. I will be responsible only for myself.
Several years ago I saw a therapist for a short while. She told me then that I was a Kick Ass Warrior.
Somehow, I forgot.
The first thing I might do is to build a large paper mache warrior's shield, decorate it with some rich symbolism. While laying the strips in, mixing the paste, creating the symbols and icons, I will be exceptionally aware of my posture. I will be instilling the old posture and muscle memory into the shield. When it is dry, painted and ready for battle, I will take it out to Whiskey Creek and ceremoniously burn the hell out of it!
Kick Ass Warrior's don't need shields!