Friday, July 15, 2011

Sensei: So Much More Than Teacher

Since I started my training, Sensei and I have grown extremely close, beyond a typical teacher-student bond. When Sensei asked me if I noticed this I said yes. He has become like a surrogate father to me. As I mentioned in my previous post, family is of huge importance to me. However, because of the abuse I suffered at the hands of my parents, I have myself convinced that everyone who says they love me is being forced to put up with me because I'm being clingy.

And if you didn't notice, I said just now that I suffered abuse at the hands of my parents, rather than just my mom, as previously indicated. The truth is that my dad enabled mom. He chose to walk out of the room or even the house once fighting started, he wouldn't reverse mom's punishments even when I had done nothing wrong, and religion also took a more prominent role in his life than his own kids. As Sensei puts it, he wasn't much of a father. Sure the presents and outings were great, so was the homework help and the help after surgery. But when I needed him most, needed protection, Dad wasn't there.

The only time I have ever seen Sensei truly angry was when I revealed the abuse I suffered and the effects it has had on me. Normally I wouldn't reveal something like that so quickly but because of the way I bonded with Sensei, doing so was necessary. The week I began my training, I also began to have nightmares, usually about Sensei betraying me to a group of people whose goal was to hurt me. It was Sensei himself who made the connection between these dreams and my past. Because I see him as a father, I am afraid he will be like the father who raised me, outwardly appearing to care about me but in the end, too much of a coward to help where necessary.

That's something Sensei has really worked hard to change. He has made himself completely available to me via phone or text, and does his best to see me frequently. Any success or progress is met with hugs and praise. He says good night every night and has simply held me through the worst of my panic attacks. In situations where the dad who raised me would have disappeared til things worked themselves out

Even more special is that we share a totem animal. He is also a grizzly bear, making it easy for him to take a fatherly role, and serve as a guardian to me. We often see each other in bear form in the forest we both use when meditating. The bear, as I showed you in my last post, is extremely protective. And since Blaine sees me as his cub, and I have been a victim of abuse, you can imagine how seriously he takes that responsibility. Something I am thankful for every day.

I love you, Dad.


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