Monday, June 9, 2014. I continue to document my ongoing experience of being alive in a body permanently changed in its physiological development by overwhelming traumatic abuse from birth as it continued unabated for 18 years of my childhood. In ways that I do not understand I often find it helpful to snatch things that trouble me to confine them in words I write here.
It’s not that what troubles me STOPS troubling me after I write a post. I wish that were so. But something helpful does usually happen when I write. So what if this process remains a mystery to me? I need any reprieve I can find.
One thing I know about myself is that I am always in danger of being blindsided by my trauma history in ways that I have in the past allowed to dissuade me from pursuing experiences that bring me joy. Currently the threat is to my drumming passion. I do NOT want to let myself walk away and leave behind something that is connected to a powerful inward passion, something I LOVE to do.
I have a dear friend who has agreed to not let me walk away from drumming. Yet it is inside of myself that I am fighting this battle with myself today. I am hoping if I write about this the burden will be lifted and my joy will return.
I am paying 11% of my meager disability income each month to take weekly 1/2-hour drum lessons at a local music store taught by an expert who has a doctorate in percussion. Brett also teaches piano and flute. Up until this past Saturday my desire, my willingness, my enthusiasm, my hopefulness, my resiliency has carried me forward just fine.
I was “HIT” and I am wavering. My spirit is dwindling.
The first time I went to lessons I blanched as I walked through a wall of terror into a tiny practice room and the door was shut. There I was choosing to enter a tiny confined space which triggered a long history of trauma from a childhood filled with solitary, forced confinement which progressed into my teens where Mother’s psychosis led her to finding even more bizarre ways of enforcing her desire to keep confined me in her hell.
On top of that I agreed with myself to sit with a stranger. Well, as time has moved forward I am finding that even having to drum during lessons on the same small practice pad (which sits on a stand) with Brett is extremely hard for me to do. On top of that his pad has a raised rim around it where mine at home does not — so hitting the rim during lessons remains a big problem for me along with having to share a drumming pad with anyone else!
Then comes the performance anxiety. I can drum the first piece of music Brett gave me going on 3 weeks ago just fine at home alone and on my own. I CANNOT do so under the lesson’s conditions. So I am paying my money to be sent home each week to practice this single damn piece yet AGAIN — not because I cannot play it but because I cannot play it in front of my teacher, along WITH my teacher.
Then it comes to now being corrected for flaws in my hand position that have been there for weeks. It strikes me as extra difficult to have not been corrected weeks ago for flaws in hand positioning that I have continued to practice until I have great prowess — with the flaws!
It is all nerve wracking. It all discourages me — right on through the part where Brett insisted in my last lesson that he gave me three sheets of new music to practice –WHICH HE DID NOT GIVE ME! I would HAVE them if he’d given them to me — as I so smoothly pointed out to him.
He was also not happy I went to YouTube to find out how to do a triple stroke drum roll because Brett had assigned me that for a week’s practice without showing me how to do one first. I learned to do what I watched online — and of course — you guessed it — it was ALL WRONG!
Along with what else I pointed out to him when he told me not to worry if I can’t drum perfectly…. “After all it took me millions of hours of playing to get as good as I am,” Brett said to me.
Me in return? “I don’t HAVE millions of hours to practice left in my lifetime. In case you haven’t noticed I am significantly older than you are.” Brett is half my age! We both smiled. That tight lips-in-a-line kind of smile.
Do I give up? WILL I give up? I don’t WANT to practice today. That’s the first time this has happened to me since I began my lessons. I MUST work through this. I don’t have that many years left to let go of my passions. I deserve my joy!
I WANT to learn this. Brett is teaching me the perfect way to drum — classical drumming. I MUST let myself understand that perfection is not in the people although it is to be striven for in technique.
Who is going to advocate for me if I don’t do it for myself? Nobody.
So my next step is to have the music store order a cymbal stand for me that my own practice pad will screw onto. It will help me at home so I don’t have to tape my pad onto a stool that I need elsewhere for other things in my tiny apartment. I won’t have to battle the baby who likes to rip the pad off of the stool and run away with it. (We argue about whose turn it is to use the drumsticks quite often throughout a day.)
Then…. Next step…. I will be able to decide if I want to carry my own stand along with me on my mile walk to lessons so I can set it up in that tiny studio to play on my OWN pad. Talk about problems with personal space and boundaries!
Where there are problems there have to be solutions. NOW I will practice. At the moment I don’t feel I WANT to practice. I will do so because some part of me is insisting I MUST!!
But what a pain-in-the-patoosky that even the smallest things nearly always turn into some kind of a HUGE CHALLENGE!! Oh, well. That’s the story of my life.
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