Dev and Kuldip picked me up on the way to the house for what has become the normal Sunday working session. Sunil and Robert called for Calvin. We sat for a supervision session during which Karaj told me to reacquaint myself with my office and give thought to my visions of the future. He then left us with an audio tape of the sermon he had heard that morning at his wife’s church. He said that it was particularly relevant to Robert (whose wife has applied for an exclusion order after finding his appraisals) but we should all listen to it.
We did so. We all sat together in silence and listened to the preacher tell us the story of Joseph, who was tortured and attacked, first by his own family and later by a woman, for having dreams. Dreams which he stuck to above all else. The lessons for us all were clear and in our discussion afterwards as we stood in the garden, we began to dream, individually and as a group, about where our lives could take us. It was a most uplifting experience and it brought my situation into sharper focus.
Without dreams I am drifting through life allowing others to tell me what to do and relying on them to get me there, whereas if I have a vision for my life then I have a purpose which will help to strengthen my resolve by giving me something to hold on to in times of difficulties and temptation.
While the others set about their work in the garden, I looked to familiarise myself with my desk and my office, with which I had lost some identity in the two and a half weeks I have been out of action. It did me good to spend a couple of hours organising things for myself and the process helped me to re-establish myself in the house.
Unfortunately, it did not do enough to lift the negativity I have felt since coming out of hospital. The slow progress back to full fitness lends itself to worry about the long-term effects of the damage I have done to my back over the years, and I begin to wonder whether I will ever walk properly again. This negativity not only has a habit of running away with itself, it also drags all other areas of my life with it, colouring every aspect of my being. At a time when Karaj is looking to me to assume responsibility for myself, my space and my achievements, I am having severe doubts about my existence and my ability to do anything. I feel uncomfortable with who I am.
[Karaj: Because there is no planning, you drift. Then your mind drifts and goes out of control.]
For the rest of the day I was quiet and withdrawn. I received useful feedback from Dev who told me that on Friday I had grimaced in a way that had reminded him of his mother. I had stood up in front of the group and the expression on my face was there for all to see. I was showing them my pain, displaying it like a martyr who expected unprompted sympathy for his plight. In short, I wanted rescuing. [Karaj: Cut it out.]
The evening finished around 11pm with a prayer during which I cried. I cried because of the fear my condition has nurtured. I was scared, despite any attempts to think otherwise, that the damage to my back is permanent and I screamed at myself inside my head that I do not want to end up like my dad.