Friday, 12 June 2009

Facing the phobia - killing the bird and shoelaces - but still panic

It was a crisp February morning in Berlin and one of my last sessions with my behavoural therapist. Apart from the relaxation techniques I could use as tools to relax in a panic attack, I had not come far in 18 months - nor had my bank account. Then during one of my deep relaxation sessions the atrangest thing happened. I was again in the lighthouse situation and this particular morning the bird was trying to attack. I articulated the "waking dream" and my therapist encouraged me to defend myself. Panicked I searched for a weapon and looking down all I could see was my shoes and my shoelaces.
In a state of fenzy I undid my shoelaces all the while this enormous ugly bird trying to attack me through the bars of the cage. In fear and trembling I opened the door of the cage and approached the bird, the taut shoelaces in my hands. I grappled with this dirty, ugly animal and slowly got the shoelaces round its neck. And then I pulled harder and harder. Within a few dreadful moments I had strangled this hideous creature, it lay motionless on the floor of the cage covered with its own droppings. it looked pathetic and sad.
Did I rejoice? No, I broke down in tears of sorrow for the poor bird and could not stop sobbing.

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