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My stomach is doing flips(long ramble)

Posted by my-cup-of-tea on July 13, 2007, at 12:34:00

My T is going to do EMDR for my performance anxiety that I have had since last Nov., when I flopped on stage. Luckely, it wasn't that noticeable by the general public, but I am still haunted by it.

I am not sure what happened, I rehearsed everything fine, but once I got in front of an audience, I thought I was okay, but I came in early and couldn't find the right measure to get back on track. It was jazz, so it is more allowable. Everything was in slow motion, I could feel every eye looking at me, I thought I would die of embarrasment. My trumpet instructer wouldn't look me in the eye when I was done. He knew , I knew, the band knew, FAILURE, INCOMPETENT! What a dumb sh*t I am !

Well I should give myself a break intellectlly I know it was my first one in 20 years , but still I can't shake the fear from my mind. I know I am only creating more problems with my thinking and avoidence. I know this and should know better, but I can't let it go. It is there, in my mind, in my body's response.

Now I am taking group guitar lesson. I play fine , confidently, while I play with the group. But my last lesson only 2 others showed up. Everything was fine when we were all playing through all the parts at the same time. But then we each had to play our own part, which included solo's in parts. My heart races, my hands got so sweaty, I couldn't find the right strings,all of this, but earlier I played the same stuff with ease with everyone else. Then at the end my teacher asks what happened, because he heard me play great before that.

My trumpet instructor knows me very well, he has know me since 1984. Every month he has a trumpet recital where all of his students perform in front of each other and if they are young, in front of their parents. Since that horriable performance, I haven't been able to do it again. I work on the piece, it is ready, but the lesson before the recital, I cancell it and don't show up for the recital either. Now a pattern of several months. I know what I am doing, isn't good, but I know things are just getting worse, I get more anxious. I don't even want to practice anymore, because I don't want to be good enought to perform. It is getting to the point of me wanting to give it all up. I will work on my classes.

Well finally I called my T and asked him if EMDR would help with my performance anxiety. He never suggest it, in fact we haven't really gotten in too deep about me not wanting to practice anymore. He has asked me why I don't practice, and I tell him I am too busy. He says yeah, I know you are busy, but I think your excuse is a load of crap. (he was right, damn it)

I left him a message, and then soon regreted for letting the cat out of the bag. Yikes! To admit to this, mean he will want me to confront it. He tells me to bring along my guitar, damn here we go. So I will probably be asked to play for him in his office. Which is bad enough, but he knows how to play guitar too, so nothing will get past him. I have only been playing a month, yikes! I think I will play Beethoven's Ode to Joy. I feel like this will be a performance of a lifetime. I am so nervous.

He told me he usually uses EMDR for trauma, so I will be his first to use it for performance anxiety. I have read about it and it is suppose to help a lot. But if it does help, will that mean I will be expected to get back on stage?

It is hard to sit too closer than normal therapy, and watch his fingers go back and forth my vision path for an hour and think about the dreadful solo or whatever he wants me to think about. Last time it brought out some rather distrubing memories, but this is for a different situation. But yet I know there are some issues about me and my music. Very critical band director,parents not coming to my performances etc.,

I also wondering if playing in front of my T, is too personal, too intimate. Music is very personal to me, and opening myself up like that to him seems almost too sacred. He knows about this emotional side about me, but hasn't witnessed it. I think I will feel so bare. And to play in front of him will make me nervous.
I feel like I am showing him everything and I feel scared. Not of him, but of him knowing even more about me. He says, "I know you", but after this he really will. I don't know if what I am posting is making a least bit of sense. I feel like my mind is going in circles and stomach is doing flops. I am not sure why. My artist side is the real me, my emotions, my soul,it is what is inside of me, the part of me that is real, but very vunerable. I don't know if I want anyone to know me that well.




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