pt 1 – becoming speechless

A few months ago I took part in a two day workshop designed to give experience and insight into a resilience and confidence programme used with teenage students. I was really enjoying the first day, as we worked through the same activities used with the students. I realised at the end of the first day that what I liked so much was the opportunity to focus on myself, my strengths, challenges, high points and low, some shared, some kept private. I felt excited, bouncy, chatty, very “up”.

My response to the second day was so different. We revisited a “life-map” begun the first day. Looking at it again I realised that I had recorded, amongst other things, all the times I had moved house and town as a child, as a teenager. Seeing this on paper in front of me somehow made it more overwhelming than any time previously. It explained so many things, especially my difficulty making friends as a child. Its hard to get close and then be moved again in a few months or a year or so. I understood how it had became easier as a child to be “stand-off-ish”, to keep to myself, to tell myself I was shy, or that I liked being a loner … and I couldn’t help but begin questioning the actions of those responsible.

So, seeing this lifemap on the second day resulted in my emotional state plummeting. It was as if I could feel a part of me fall, as if I had physically fallen to the floor. It was the weirdest thing. I got through the rest of the day. Resilience has always been a strength – just as well. But I was quiet, I felt low and sad.

When I got home I felt as if I had a slight sore throat. When I woke the next day, I couldn’t speak. I lost my voice for three days. There’s a message there somewhere…

(My reaction to this course was unusual. Certainly not the expected outcome – and I do not bear any ill-will towards the programme or its organisers. In fact, the analytical part of me found the whole process fascinating – and recognises the insights I’ve gained as a result of this and events that followed during the next few months.)

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