Lupus is a chronic, auto-immune disease in which the body's immune system forms antibodies that attack healthy tissues and organs. If left untreated, lupus can be serious and even life threatening. Here I share how I am using my artwork and learning music to navigate me towards a simple goal of daily peace~

Bright Bird

Bright Bird
scroll way down to view my Hawaiian photos and don't forget to feed the fish!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The bad and the good of a choice made

Ah, the choices we make. No matter if they are hasty or thought out carefully we eventually get older and then wonder what we were thinking or are so happy about the choice we made. My valuable lesson is not to beat myself up about some of the choices I have made. I do and I have and I am really trying not to.
In all honesty that is a great attitude to adopt if you have Lupus or any other health issue where stress is key way into the mix.
The choice I made in 1987 to join my oldest son in his Tae Kwon Do class was to later become the trigger for me to become auto immune.  To explain, Lupus needs a trigger to be set into action. This trigger is a trauma you suffer. It can be emotional, like the sudden death in a family or it can be physical such as a car wreck. In my case it was both. You can read this in any Lupus book. Which is a great help now after the fact right? How was I to know that I was one of those people predisposed to getting SLE Lupus? Would I have done TKD if I had known? And please note that the Docs won't say it out loud, but the knowledge here is that Lupus is hereditary.
So what was the trauma that triggered me? After 12 plus years of horrible injuries and emotional stress involved of doing a very aggressive martial art the real clincher for me was my master hitting me with a bamboo sword in Kumdo practice so hard that my arms were black with bruises. (and yes, I was wearing double layers of protective gear and I did go in for X-rays) My theory is that he being newly married was taking his anger at the bride out on me. I made a point to show her the bruises even though he asked that I hide them. After he repeated this bashing the next practice I never went back. I was 5'1" @ 100 lbs. and this Korean instructor was in his 60s (meaning old enough to use self control) and over 200 lbs of body building on steroids solid muscle.
So here is the physical trauma and you are thinking why this situation over the other injuries? Throw into  the situation the mental trauma of having a trusted person assault you. Actually my therapist pointed this out to me.
 duh Joie.
All those years I blamed myself for putting me into the position in the first place. I can hash this around in my heart and mind over and over. It isn't going to make my Lupus disappear. And it is my take on the situation anyway.
Let's go forward to my learning Taiji (Tai Chi). Ahhh the soft martial art. Actually said to be the most powerful of all on its highest level, but for you and me just the slow breathing happy one. Like doing one of the Yoga forms, Taiji is going to help you in your life and with your Lupus. It will be a good choice. Now you have to make the good choice of choosing the right instructor for yourself. Don't call me, you are on your own!

Now lets look at the situation I walked into yesterday. At a local Merc I ran into an old towney that knew me in the days when I was doing TKD. He said "are you still beating people up?" I stammered out a "no" being suddenly thrown into the past like 25 years. He said it 3 times. "yeah but you used to beat people up..." On and on. Wow, that is all he knows of me. I walked away feeling bad. And that trauma pain I previously spoke of was suddenly back in my chest. I felt rather assaulted or shame -on- me and then BINGO!.... as I was driving away I remembered!
 It was Tae Kwon Do training that saved my life in Hawai'i when I was beaten and raped while in a cast up to my knee and using crutches. Whoooa. What a great choice I made to instinctively use my training that I had learned while beating people up.
Yeah, I know. It is back to therapy for me and you need to find a Taiji or Yoga class......

1 comment:

  1. I've spent a lot of time ruminating about my choices, and trying not to imagine that I could have made everything better if I'd done this or that, if only, etc. I'm trying to accept my life as it is, instead of comparing it to some perfect life that I imagine I could have had . . . if I were a completely different person!

    But yeah, it's hard at times. I've experienced a lot of consequences of having four children, for instance! I tell my husband they should give you a user's manual that would warn you about all this stuff ahead of time. But I can't regret having had my children. I'd rather have a slightly battered old body and still have the experiences that make me who I am, and the family I love.

    It's different when you end up with a life-threatening illness, though. But that part was NOT your choice! That was our instructor's choice to be an abusive bully. It also makes me mad to hear about that guy claiming you "beat people up." I never saw you beat anyone up. I saw you spar with people--but in my recollection, you were always respectful of them as a martial artist. "Beating people up" involves intimidation and doing them harm, and that's not what you were about as a black belt. It's a common misconception, though, and I get that too. I know people who would joke about how they weren't afraid to walk around the city with me because I would kill anybody who bothered them, and I would patiently repeat that I took an oath to "avoid senseless killing of all living things." They never took that seriously, and it was irritating. Clearly they were intimidated by what I could do, so they chose to see it in a negative light. Oh well.

    Lately my joints ache pretty much all the time, to the point where they sometimes keep me awake at night. The worst ones are my left knee and my right hip--where I used to plant my left foot, then kick with my right. I know it's overstress from Tae Kwon Do that's making them painful now. But, at the same time, Tae Kwon Do gave me pride and a sense of myself that made my life better. Still, I totally agree with you that if you're going to do a martial art, you'd be better off with Taiji! And with a teacher who wasn't crazy and evil. . . .