When I first noticed a glitch in the space time continuum, I was in Jr High school.
I went to class early one morning. No one was there yet so I sat on the steps outside the classroom. I waited for what seemed like 5 minutes before going in to take my seat. The teacher was there, packing books into her bag.
“‘Bout time you showed up.” She said. I thought she was joking because I was obviously still too early as no one else was there.
I felt the room spin. By the look on the teacher’s face I began to understand that the reason no one was in the classroom was because everyone had gone home for the day. Somehow an entire day had passed by and I had no idea where I had spent it. As far as I knew I was only waiting on the steps for five minutes. If I had been there the whole day someone would have said something. I must have gone somewhere, but I don’t know where. That time was just gone.
I thought it was odd, but really I didn’t give the missing time that much thought. I didn’t think it was any big deal; I thought it probably happened to everyone. It was normal. It made me feel stupid, but it wasn’t so unusual.
It got more dramatic as I got older. I ran away from a foster home once, disappearing in a cloud of road dust and waking up a month later living in the top bunk of a camper in Albuquerque. I couldn’t figure out where I was or who I was so I just faded into the black of my mind space and didn’t reappear until somehow I was in my hometown again a year ? Or some time later.Right before I went into therapy I was in the hospital, recovering from severe depression. I was almost catatonic I guess, I couldn’t move. A nurse brought a radio in and put it beside my bed. The sound from it didn’t make sense but it drew me towards it. After a time I reached out and touched it. I kept my hand on the radio for hours as if linked to a life line. After a day or so I was able to get up with assistance and go into the day room. I remember trying to make sense of the “moving noise”on the screen of the television. It didn’t mean anything to me and unlike the radio and music, the TV noise was uncomfortable.
Let’s fast forward now to the year 1990.
After a history of suicide attempts, I had been told that I had, what they called, at that time, Multiple Personality Disorder. I didn’t believe it. I thought it was stupid to think such a thing and that they were just making things up. I fought the diagnosis for quite a long time, but by 1990, when my last baby was born, I could not deny that I had a problem more serious that depression because when someone stopped me on the sidewalk to compliment my new baby, I could not remember being pregnant. For a very stressful afternoon I was terrified that I didn’t come by the baby I adored, honestly. (Even though I did, and have a whole pregnancy and family to account for her.)
I decided to give Diepold, Jr. from Moorestown, NJ, a chance to show me why he thought I had the thing called MPD.
Later on I worked with Elaine Predergast Paulson, also from NJ, who I continue to learn from to this day. She is a true treasure and a wealth of wisdom. One of the most valuable lessons she taught me was how to be present in my body with all of my senses. She literally helped me learn to make sense of of my life and to appreciate my body for the amazing instrument that it is. I am barely at the beginning of learning what this body/brain can do.
But before we go there, let’s go back to 1990, to Dr Diepold’s office.
He built on my strengths first. He helped me find the strong parts of myself and to my surprise, there were parts of me that loved physics! I had no idea!
I had four kids. I’d go home and sit on the landing and read college physics books to them as if I were reading some book of great poetry or a great adventure. They listened fora little while just because I was dramatic. That is when I fell in love with Fourier Transforms.
The equations were so elegant. They were beautiful. And a part of me knew that they had something important to say about the way my brain worked.
At that time, whenever I “switched” from one mind state to another, I felt a hard fluttering” in my eyes. I don’t usually feel that anymore. There is more fluidity, more open communication, more integration, which is the natural state of a functioning brain. But when a brain is highly stressed and has to compartmentalize, what computations have to made to scoot all the data here and there? And what keeps it there and makes it easy to find again in a similar set of circumstances?
There were years, for example, that I couldn’t go into a grocery store on the meat side of the store. I avoided it. I could shop the vegetable isles, but if I saw blood I’d have a panic attack. Yet, somehow, I cooked for my kids. So who went shopping? How did dinner get on the table? I don’t know. How did my brain scoot all that data around to allow a part of me to buy meat and cook it without another part of me knowing about it?
I don’t need to figure it all out.
I need to do my best to be the best mother and grandmother I can be NOW which is no easy feat. And the ONLY way to do that is be myself. And that is something I am still learning to do.
Meanwhile, I have a lot of things I’m curious about and Fourier Transforms, especially how they are being used in music therapy are one of them. Specifically, do our brains have a FT like function when we switch from one mind state to another? And if so, can we use sound to facilitate switching and integration?
Now, while I say a part of me seemed to enjoy physics that does not mean that I know anything about the topic except that it makes good material for my poetry and it keeps me up at night wondering about the beauty of the world we live in.
Music and sound is one thing that seems extremely interesting to me, but I am no expert! I need someone out there to take up the baton.
The first time I went to Dr Diepold’s office he asked me what it would feel like to be be well and I sat on the edge of the sofa and told him that it would feel like I was “real in my belly.” I remember the feeling I had when I was about 8. We had gone to a symphony performance at the local university and as my class was filing into our row the orchestra started to warm up. I felt the music fill my body. I felt real in my belly. I felt as if my head and body belonged together. I have been trying to feel that way again, ever since.
I have other questions about music and healing and the brain. I’ll save those for later.
There are articles I would like to post on the topic. I’ll need to get permission to publish the links here. Meanwhile, I encourage you to look with me into healing with sound using FT and let’s see what we can drum up!