A couple of months after Dr. T started having sex with me, my pelvis began to destabilize. Coincidence? I think not.
There’s a little more to the story. First, I already had low back trouble. Nothing major, but I had some chronic weirdness and discomfort due to some disc trouble. And I had some other minor health issues, too. This destabilization thing was new. And, frankly, rather frightening.
Second, just to make things really confusing, I’d supposedly just received shaktipat. What, you ask, is shaktipat? Let me try to explain. Dr. T was a devotee of Siddha Yoga, a Hindu-based spiritual tradition. He brought many practices and teachings from Siddha Yoga into our therapy sessions, presenting them as tools for transformation. Of course, I wanted to be transformed, so I did my best to get on board with this stuff. I learned the mantra he gave me, began to chant, and tried to start a meditation practice. I listened carefully when he talked about the teachings of the Siddha Yoga gurus, read the books he recommended, and started spending time (and money) at the ashram bookstore (the only place there I felt relatively comfortable). I made every effort to be a good student.
Then, Dr. T mentioned something called shaktipat. Translated from Sanskrit as “descent of grace,” shaktipat is a transmission of spiritual energy from guru to disciple intended to awaken the disciple’s kundalini energy, said to lie dormant at the base of the spine. Once activated, this energy moves upwards, purifying the mind, body, and spirit until eventually the disciple attains the state of Self-realization. Dr. T thought it would be a really good idea if I got shaktipat. It sounded good to me, too. Maybe it would heal what ailed me, both physically and spiritually. It just so happened that everyone who attended one of the meditation intensives at the local ashram was guaranteed to receive shaktipat. Guaranteed! I had no idea you could guarantee a spiritual awakening. I couldn’t pass that up.
So I paid the $425 (hey—no one said Self-realization was cheap!) and went to the intensive. Unlike other people, who had what I call “lightning bolt” experiences, nothing terribly profound happened to me. During one meditation I started feeling rather expansive, but that was about it. Had I really received shaktipat? I had no idea. Though it was guaranteed…
Whether it was the now weekly sexual violations by Dr. T or my newly awakened kundalini energy, about two weeks after the intensive my emotions went on a rollercoaster ride. My body joined in a week later. I felt weirdly unstable. I was constantly going out of alignment yet I couldn’t seem to hold chiropractic adjustments. My weekly yoga class sent me off-kilter for days. My body seemed to have developed a mind of its own.
I got progressively worse over the next few months. I stopped going to yoga class and had to severely limit my physical activities. By Christmas, I basically couldn’t walk down the street without having to literally hold myself together. It felt like my pelvis was no longer connected to the rest of my body. I thought I was falling apart.
I freaked out. It was a tough holiday anyway, because of the “relationship” with Dr. T. (And if you think that my having a wonky pelvis kept him from having sex with me, you are sadly mistaken.) He had his family, but I was alone and “in love” with a man I couldn’t have. Dr. T kept telling me I should be grateful for what we had and not focus on what was missing (as I was often wont to do). I tried hard to be happy and grateful and loving, but truly, I just felt miserable. I had no power, no rights. My self-worth fell to a new low. I became seriously depressed.
Dr. T suggested medication, but I refused. I didn’t want to put chemicals in my body. Besides, how would taking a pill address the very real problems in my life? There had to be another way.
Maybe the Guru would help me. Dr. T described her as a “wish-fulfilling tree” who would answer all prayers that came from the heart. Plus, Dr. T seemed to have an “in” with her. He felt a special connection to the Guru and believed that her grace had profoundly changed his life. (I found his devotion very moving.) I thought that if she took such good care of him, maybe she’d take care of me, as well. (After all, I was devoted to his happiness…) But as fervently as I prayed to her for comfort and relief, none came. (I wondered, Was I not devoted enough? and prayed harder.) I prayed to God, too. I prayed for someone—anyone—to come and help me. When no one showed up, I prayed to be put out of my misery. That didn’t happen either. I felt completely abandoned and alone. I must not deserve help, I thought, and spiraled further downward until I hit bottom.
I felt powerless, helpless, and hopeless. I was incapable of taking my own life, and apparently God wasn’t going to do it for me. I had to find a way out of my suffering…
(Next: The Search for Healing – Part 2)