Thursday * December 18th 2014

Slow Processing…

The Journey of Wrist Healing

I’d like to think that I’m somewhat bright and quick to respond to situations.  However, truth be told sometimes it takes me a very long time to process situations.

Case in point…

A few years ago I attended a tea dance in El Paso, Texas.  It was a lovely Spring day and the dance was packed.  A gentleman I had never danced with asked to dance and I accepted.  He apparently liked to do successive turns – and “spun” me several times.  The problem was that he didn’t keep me within his dance frame, and toward the end of the dance he spun and actually “flung” me.  I hit a nearby table, lost my balance and hit the concrete floor.  I immediately knew my wrist was broken.

In a comedy of errors, I finally got to the emergency room and the “partner” (let’s call him XYZ) came along.  My wrist couldn’t be set (I think that’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt as they were trying to straighten it) and I had surgery to apply an external fixator in Las Cruces.  The orthopedic surgeon (who was arrested later that year over alleged child abuse) took off the device at five weeks and my wrist “collapsed.”  I obviously didn’t trust this person to do any additional surgeries on my wrist and I was in “limbo.”

During the summer, I traveled in my little RV to the University of Washington (supposedly they have the best orthopedic department in the Western United States) saw a doctor, and booked a surgery date.  In the meantime, I “looked in my own backyard” and found an orthopedic hand surgeon that would do essentially the same surgery (plate, screws, and a bone graft).  He saved my wrist and sometimes I think my life…

XYZ never called or checked to see how I was doing.  No apology, nada, zip.  In the meantime I told myself that it was “just an accident,” but I internalized negative feelings.  I told myself I was a bad dancer, clumsy,  and the accident was all my fault.  My wrist healed but my psyche didn’t.  I gave up dancing.

Fast forward to the present…

After I retired I found I had “time” to explore my “dreams,” so I cautiously re-entered the dance world.  However, I knew my dancing suffered because I no longer believed in myself.  Even if the person I was dancing with “missed a step,” I would assume the blame and even apologize.  The demons were alive and well…

I found the Argentine Tango…

Saturday night I drove with a gal pal to a lesson followed by a milonga.  On the way to El Paso we compared, talked about, gossiped about men in our dance circle.  My friend happened to mention XYZ, and that he actually told her his objective was more or less to dance with women who made him look good.  I felt a “flutter of anger,” but suppressed it and kept quiet.  Later that evening he came and sat at our table.  He asked me to dance during a cortina and actually wanted me to do a certain step saying “good” when I did it.  (The problem for me is that I can’t “feel” his lead well.)

Something was happening and I wasn’t dancing very much.  I poured a second glass of wine, went to another room, and began to cry.  I “think” I cried for several reasons – the past pain of my wrist, my lack of self-confidence, and the years I spent not dancing.  Now, I’m sixty.  However, I was soon to find out the “real reason.”  I went back to the dance and sat down at the table.  XYZ asked where I had been.  “Does it matter?” I replied.  Then I said it…

You broke my wrist. 

He looked shocked and whispered, “Yes, I did.”  He then got up to go ask someone to dance.  I went home to bed and stayed there all of Sunday.

I will no longer shoulder the blame for something that wasn’t my fault.  I will no longer apologize to men who ask me to dance and want to “teach me on the floor” because of their poor leading abilities.  I “am” a beginner at Argentine Tango, but I’m a good follower and I “feel” the music.  I know I’m not clumsy because some men are “excellent” leads and when I dance with them I can “let go” and know exactly what to do.

It was “slow processing,” but I’m not going to abuse myself any longer.

 

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7 Comments »Journal, Pondering Life

7 Replies to Desert Diva to “Slow Processing…”

  1. Anne H UNITED STATES says:

    Good for you! Better late than never.
    I hope you continue to trust your instincts (and keep dancing) – its a lesson that many of us need to work on.

    • Desert Diva says:

      Hi Anne,

      Thanks for commenting. Sometimes I realize that “this type of post” isn’t popular, but it helps me to process situations and feel better after I do! I’m definitely going to keep dancing!

      Cheryl

  2. Follow the good leads and know it’s not you!
    Stillhowlyn in 2013´s last blog post ..Island time…Roatan, Honduras

  3. sue says:

    I Love this post. Good to deal with things when they come up again. So glad you are dancing again and TAngo? Fun , fun, fun…

  4. Contessa MEXICO says:

    Good for you for speaking up. You have now moved on and beyond.

    You are a very strong person and that is good because you need to be to dance the tango.
    Contessa´s last blog post ..Que pasa?

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