Sunday, August 23, 2009

Revisiting Drama Workshop

We were ten participants, just enough for a small group therapy session. It was a very interesting group because it was multi-generational (from 17 to 63 years old; with 40s, 30s and 50s age representative) , across social classes (urban poor and middle class; educated and uneducated) and representing different cases of VAW (battering, sexual harassment). Some were also survivors-counselors. It started with introduction of oneself by citing one's most significant attribute. Then, we were grouped in dyads. A would introduce B and vice-versa. Another session which was very powerful was the sensory release exercises. They sat like "doll rags" and experienced relaxing exercises. Afterwhich, they were instructed to create their own mug. One must feel, smell and taste what's in their mug (the objective of which is to be able to become confident of creating one's life). In the afternoon, we drew our "24-hour" routine, based on our own interpretation. It was funny because one of the participants mentioned that her own mother verbally abused her at certain time of a day, almost everyday. The youngest, surprisingly, was the earliest worm among others. She wakes up at 4am so that she can reach her work at 7am. Then, we again plot our "lakbay-buhay" (life journey) by using Rudolf Steiner's seven year cycle. My own personal plot revealed that I did not remember my earliest memories of abuse because the 7-14 experience were littered with happy moments. But the teen age years and adulthood became sad because of the remembrance of abuse. Now, I'm on my way to spiritual quest...Life, I believe is marred with those "grief" to enable us to learn certain needed virtues...

Lastly, I personally learned that women underwent different challenges in life and came out as if unscathed but resolved to be more courageous and determined. I admired all of the participants because each of them came out with courageous stories of how they were able to overcome challenges in life. One was an uneducated woman who married young and now longs for a life-long learning experience and she found it in a women's group. Another was a former prostituted woman and now she vowed never to do that again. She turned to prostitution in the hope for easy money. Now, she learned that life is more precious when one is with people she loves, particularly her own children. Another one has reached a top position in the finance world (vp), and she realized that it was not that fulfilling! What fulfills her now is her relationship with God. Another one said that she also had had experiences of intellectual successes abroad but her own family tragedies forced her to reflect and change direction towards spiritual path. A younger woman dsclosed for the first time that she was sexually harassed by her own brother. Another maturing woman related her unrelentless quest for financial support from her husband. She persistently monitored the paper trail of her request and waited for the Secretary of Dep Ed so he can sign it personally. What a trailblazing act! The youngest participant also revealed the tragedy of her childhood years when she was kidnapped by her own father and witnessed him battering her own mother. Now, she initially blurted out that she does not want to get married.
I, for one, realized that being complete is being at peace with oneself...All of us were hoping this kind of session will continue, if not with the same group, maybe for different sets of women.

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