Monday, November 17, 2008

Mac an Cheez plz!

I have been healed! Yes, that's right, healed! Well, according to the person who ever so 'kindly' did the healing I have. Skeptical? You should be.

So, how did this miraculous healing event come about? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

A couple of weeks ago I met a friend of a friend, a delightful American lady. It turned out we shared some interests, including blogging and so we swapped details and became facebook friends. On Saturday I was invited to the lovely lady's home for dinner.

It was only when I arrived that I realised it was a dinner party. Having only met my new friend once previously I didn't know anyone, but my heart still sank when I first entered the kitchen and heard another guest earnestly describing how everywhere she lived was always haunted and what the various ghosts did. I mumbled something about preferring the rational and hypnagogic dreams when asked for my opinion but mainly kept my mouth shut, y'know being in someone else's home and all that. I tend to believe in the Voltaire misquote, "I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it" and so I reminded myself of that and gritted my teeth and went to meet the other guests.

Without exception they were grolies, I was particularly mystified and revoltedimpressed by the earnest, white, middle class, male African drumming instructor. Quite what connection he had with Africa I never did elicit but he was into ghosts too. Unsurprising I suppose as ghost lady no.1 was his partner. The other guests were a yoga teacher and a man who defrauds people for a livingis a life coach. It was white, over privileged, upper middle class hell. And vegetarian. My teeth are yet to recover from so much grinding.

Dinner was lovely if you like lentils and tofu. I like chocolate, chips and burgers, but happily I'd brought chocolate with me, ostensibly for the hostess but I ate most of it afterinstead of dinner.

Having Ehlers Danlos Syndrome means my disability is pretty much invisible and it's not something I tend to bring up unless asked about it or most commonly, when I'm asked what I do for a living. I usually just say something about having a genetic disorder which makes my joints unstable and leave it at that so if people are interested they can ask. I had been asked the occupation question by several people and particularly Mr Life Coach(MLC), but after dinner the talk turned to healing.

I was struggling to get up from the sofa which was noticed by MLC who commented that I could 'probably do with some healing'. As it was kindly offered and I couldn't see a way to politely refuse I accepted thinking it couldn't do any harm.

So MLC suggested I get into a comfortable position on the sofa, put his hands on my hip and told me to put my hands together infront of me, in a sort of open handed prayer type posture. So far so not too awful I thought, but then he started to speak.

MLC instructed me to repeat after him something along the lines of, 'I have a problem, I want this problem to change, this problem will change' Again I thought, fair enough, the power of positive suggestion being particularly important in eliciting money from vulnerable peopleany kind of recovery. So when MLC first asked me what I had done wrong to cause this problem I didn't understand and just said 'well, I have a genetic disorder'. That wasn't the answer MLC was looking for though as he said it again, more emphatically. "What have you done wrong to cause this problem" Being slow to catch on I mumbled about genetics and DNA. "No" he said again,
"What have you done wrong to cause this problem".

It was at that point I knew the only way out of the situation was to start making things up, but not before I'd had that momentary feeling of guilt for causing my own disability. Hmm, perhaps MLC went to the same school of communication as my old GP? Then MLC told me that his shaman was telling him off for not asking my full consent. I'm still not sure if his shaman heard my brain suggesting it fuck off, but I'm going to assume not. Especially as my more socially acceptable side told my mouth behave and give consent.

I managed to come up with a couple of reasons I'd brought a dislocating hip upon myself, though oddly having screwy collagen was no more acceptable a reason than genetics or DNA had been. Things like lacking self confidence and inner strength however were deemed as excellent reasons for my hip to dislocate. I have since told my hip, shoulder, jaw, rib, knee, take your pick joint, that it lacks self belief but, unsurprisingly my hip, shoulder, jaw, rib, knee, take your pick joint poo-poohed that idea and dislocated itself instead.

So, lacking in enough self confidence to leave I allowed the 'healing' to continue. It consisted of my having to come up with various reasons I'd brought this all upon myself, tapping 7 times on various parts of my body and 7 deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. At the end of which I felt a bit lightheaded and therefore slow on the uptake when asked to rate my pain level between 1 and 10. Silly me, I had always assumed an honest answer was the only right answer to such a question. It took three repeats of emphasising my guilt, tapping and breathing to be told this would continue until the answer was 0. At which point my pain had a miraculous curing event and got itself down to a 0 pdq.

Not quick enough to avoid several more rounds of guilt stating, tapping and hyperventilating. 'What can I say?', I'm a slow learner. Especially when distracted by chocolate and the thought of proper painkilling drugs.

Eventually though, I was declared cured. Yes, really cured. Apparently all I had to do was keep repeating the exercise any time the pain or symptoms came back and they'd go away again. I'm not too sure what MLC made of me then dislocating my hip into the yoga teacher's hand to explain exactly what I meant by 'unstable joints'. Probably similar to the yoga teacher who emphasised people can never be too flexible and suggested I attend a class. MLC gave me his card and told me he would email the exercise to me.

I thanked MLC, because really, what else could I do in someone else's house, and it was a kind offer for a service that
judging by his non environmentally friendly executive car, I assume usually costs quite alot of money. Fortunately the entire group then focused their energies upon changing the direction of the Californian fire by controlling the wind and so were distracted from my miraculous non healing healing event.*

I blame the 'healing' for my dislocating shoulder pulling the shower curtain, complete with metal pole onto my head the following morning. Concussion is a wonderful thing and certainly more real than this kind of 'healing' could ever be.

Next time I find myself in such a situation I plan to get incredibly drunk and explain sexual positions in explicit detail. Again. I find it ensures one never gets a second invitation, and hey, if it ever does it'll probably be a party worth attending.

*Yes really. D'you think I'm capable of making this stuff up?!


Rae!xx said...

How unbearable that must have been for you, well done on not telling him to fuck off, I am damn sure I would have done...prick!!..xx

Fire Byrd said...

Oh now you have to come to my party as we're all lovely people, even if two of us are therapists.... but we both do great tarot readings as well and QV is a witch. The others are all normal, if anyone in blog world is that!!! And we'd promise not to heal you, but just feed you and pour liquor down your throat.
hugs xx

Unixman said...

With hindsight it reads absolutely hilarous - ah yes Guardianistas - but I think that FOAD would have come to my mind at the time ....

frogpondsrock said...

Oh my Farking God.. Bendy you are a superstar.. Life is full of tossers and you dealt with them heaps better than I would Kim

Dave said...

Some evangelical Christians pull that "your illness is due to sin in your life" crap. It tends to happen when the miraculous healing does not show up on cue. Being unable to blame God, and being certain that it's not them, they try and tell you that it's your fault you didn't get healed. Or if it's not your fault then it must be your parents' or their parents' fault.
It's not as if you asked to be healed is it? God save us from well intentioned people, liars and charlatans of every shape, size colour and creed.

However, the miracle is that some people, albeit only a few people do get healed and no-one can figure out why they are and the next person isn't.
I suppose God knows and he ain't telling.

Just tell yourself it's a test of how much grace you have BG.
From reading your posts I suspect that you're full of grace.

wordsmith_for_hire said...

Geez, what a fucking charlatan! Send me his phone number - I'll do an article on him for the Guardian about how coaches prey on the vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

"What have you done wrong to cause this problem"... I love it... maybe he should come work for us!

But seriously, den må de dra lengre ut på landet med! I would not believe such people existed outside of california if I had not read your post.


Trixie said...

Might have been crap people..but makes great blog fodder! lol.

Mr. Nighttime said...

MLC's shaman was telling him off?? Hmm. My shaman can kick his shaman's ass. Tell him to read "Black Elk Speaks" (,M1) to understand what a shaman really is.

Ask him if this cold and laryngitis that I have is my fault too.

On a related note, I had a Jehovah's Witness come-a-knocking at my door this past Friday. I had fun with him when I told him I was raised Jewish but am now, in the strictest definition of the word, an atheist. The look on his face was worth the price of admission.

Sorry you had to deal with trash like that.

Achelois said...

People like him give the Alternative Therapists who work alongside the Medical Professionals providing support and help a bad name. He does a diservice to the committed ’healers’ the genre is wide, who devote their lives to really supporting the terminally ill, those in pain, emotional and physical. I have a relation who is a very well qualified hypnotherapist, works alongside the medical professionals with their blessing and also by way of referral to help in a mindful way, some very sick people, some terminally so. Helping them to cope with pain and trauma. I sincerely hope this misguided man never ever gets so sick his dreams are shattered and he loses his rose coloured spectacles for shattered dreams are unpleasant for anyone. My relation would never dream to play 'God' for want of a better word and the blame thing is just the biggest load of crap I ever heard. What would he have said to the poor young girl in the papers last week who has decided not to have further surgery - it was all her fault, I think not. You were very well behaved BG, are you sure you didn't play devils advocate on this occasion? Good Blogging BG. I feel bad though 'cos I had lentil soup for lunch!!

Marla said...

Oh. My. God. That is shocking and just plain bizarre. I should be cautious of some of the people I meet on Facebook!

Wow. I will be thinking about this post for a while.

I think you are way more patient than I would have been. Way more.

steph said...


Sorry, but that made for very entertaining reading. It would make a brilliant TV sketch.

However, I imagine that the whole episode was pretty unsettling for you. It was akin to abuse. EDS'ers have enough to put up with without being made to feel guilty as well. You deserve a medal for keeping your mouth shut. I'm not sure I could've held fire!

Jim said...

Didn't the English football coach have to resign a few years ago for suggesting that people have disabilities for things they have done in a past life? Some people never learn.

Anyway, that has to be the best blog post I have ever read. Just unfortunate that you had to suffer the experience before you could write about it!


Mary said...

Ugh! I would not have gone to that much effort for someone I'd only known a couple of weeks unless I was planning to marry their firstborn.

Sitting quietly at dinner, sure. Choking down whatever alleged meal my host had chosen to serve, absolutely. But as soon as someone tries that sort of thing... I usually try to cut off the conversation before it starts with "I don't want to be rude and ignore your question, but I'm sure you'll understand, the last thing I want to do is turn an enjoyable dinner into a consultation or therapy session. We must have something more interesting to talk about." Having a couple of news headlines memorised helps with this, but better still is asking them about themselves - the further back towards childhood you go, the better.

Beyond that, what springs to mind is all the advice from teenage years on how to deal with Unwanted Advances from boy/girlfriends who don't want to take No for an answer:
- "hang on... I'm going to sneeze... oh, how annoying, it's tickling at the back of my nose..."
- "can you smell something?"
- "aargh! sorry, cramp, all along my foot, ow, ow, ow..."
- "oh god, I feel sick" *lurch for bathroom*
and if none of that works, sod it, be rude, start screaming at the top of your lungs.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend, years ago, who tended to attract that sort (she was a very open minded individual, and like most open containers, it was easy to fill her head with rubbish). What I learned from observing her and her circle was that these people feed off eachother, each reinforcing the others belief in the unbelievable, and that as the circle widens they attract all sorts of parasites who make it their professional duty to releave them of their money in exchange for empty words and worthless trinkets. Unfortunately, they tend to be very friendly people (though how much of that is salesmanship?) and draw in those with loneliness or self-esteem problems.

For some odd reason though, I've met several 'life coaches' in England who turn out to be the spouses of successful london bankers - as if this is a way of burning up spare time (and money).


Casdok said...

Oh dear!! But it did make me laugh!
You must have been very bad when you were young!!

OneSick said...

I have to laud you for your restraint and patience. Jaysis!

Were I fed tofu and then forced to put up with that shite, I would have grabbed a blunt object and fought me way out. I wouldn't care whose house I was in at that point. People like that actually scare me.

And if anyone tried to press charges, I would have said "EDS made me do it" (because EDS is Eeeee-veeel doncha know?)


Uncle Norman said...


Nowt so queer as folk. I know this wasn't good for you, but I must give you 10 out of 10 for writing about it so that it became amusing.

Mind you, life can be odd and I would not be too shocked to hear that you get some benefit, even if it is to start laughing and thinking to yourself "I might be disabled, but at least I'm not a barking loon"

Hope the shower pole is up and the shoulder is not too bad.

Stay lucky and cheerful

Uncle Norman

LceeL said...

I could swear I commented here, earlier, but I guess not. Perhaps it's because I'm left at a loss for words at the people you have been left to deal with. I know i don't remember what i said earlier - and perhaps it was yet another expression of incredulity at the stupidity you manage to run into from time to time.

I like your notion of lurid explanations of sexual positions. Just lovely.

Katrin said...

Good lord Bendy. What a situation. But your sense of humor after the fact is terrific!

transfattyacid said...

lol... I love it when cracks try to heel people.

I once had this woman claims she could cure my PTSD with the laying on of hands. It went on for about half an hour, while I sat staring out of her patio doors, te only thing I could think of the whole time was that the edge of her lawn could do with a trim.

Mysterious G said...

please, serously, PLEASE... close your eyes, think deep thoughts of the ocean, small animals within it, relax, think of them calling out to you... do you hear that ? yes, YES shirly you can... they are calling out "Next time you go, invite Mysterious G, take him". :)


I do so love a good argument with a fruitloop :) PURPLEASE!!! WITH CHERRIES!

If nothing more I am sure between the pair of us we could come up with some right good eye watering 'activities' to describe :)

Does sound a little like you were shanghai'd TBH, not very nice at all.

having my cake said...

You just wonder how they get away with actually being paid for it... Awful!

Anonymous said...

I went to one of those only they were Christians looking for ghosts to ask them if we had life after death, they too could heal the sick and the disabled until I said they were in fact to late, and I was in actual fact Dead.

marksany said...

How terrible... but how funny in the telling. Thanks for sharing, I assume you got some catharsis by blogging this.
some good insight into christian healing

Stonehead said...

How did you manage to restrain yourself? I was once asked to a dinner by a reasonably intelligent, reasonably attractive woman. Dinner turned out be a "breaking bread" session with a very peculiar Evangelical Christian sect. I'm afraid I didn't behave for long...

Anyway, if you're ever in Scotland, I'll whip you up a nice big joint of roast pork with gravy, roast tatties, fresh carrots and pickled cabbage, plus gallons of scrumpy and chocolate pudding to finish. It doesn't heal a thing, but you feel good for a long time afterwards!

Ron Knee said...


You summed it up better than I could ever have.

In my experience there are an awful lot of people out there who I reckon are doing the healing thing because they like the power kick or the money. Malcolm Southwell is one, an ex used farm-machinery salesman who delights in pulling the wool over old ladie's eyes.

Lisa said...

Of course; what MLC was doing wasn't really life coaching. I've never met a life coach who was into all that beliefy nonsense bollocks. In fact, the only things I've ever had a life coach tell me is that I don't suck when I'm having a self esteem wibble by pointing out all the things they've noticed that I'm good at. Otherwise I've had life coaches asking me sensible questions to encourage me to think for myself about whether or not I should be doing stuff that makes me unhappy (like staying in a shit job that just makes me sad).

hossylass said...

Next time just wee on their sofa.

I have to admit to not going back to the psychotherapist after the "tapping and chanting" episode.

If its not bad enough staggering round in public, half blinded and dislocating, slurring and crashing into people, I now have to tap bits of my anatomy and chant the mantra "I am worthy".

Not sure how long it would be before I got arrested - minutes I assume.

Even the NHS has charlatan theories - the wankers!