So the other day I’m in the surgery room waiting to have stitches taken out —

— and before you completely freak out because you are my mother, let me reassure you that it was not a big deal at all and it was just a thing being removed by the dermatologist and it was completely benign and I’m okay mom, I promise

and I can hear the doctor (it’s a he*) talking to the nurse (a she) in the next room.

*Not because it matters to the story. Just so you’ll know who I’m talking about when I use a gendered pronoun later.

It’s not related to anything in particular, but I absolutely have to share this conversation with you because it was so completely insane.

Not even exaggerating. More insane than the conversation I had with that cab company in Texas.

And then I have to tell you about the other thing that happened. Because that was pretty great too.

The conversation in the next room.

The doctor: Don’t we have any scissors around here?
The nurse: I don’t know.
The doctor: It really seems like we should have scissors.
The nurse: I don’t know. I don’t see any.
The doctor: Didn’t we order some scissors?
The nurse: Oh, that’s right. We did. We haven’t picked them up yet.
The doctor: Well, we’re going to need scissors, you know.
The nurse: We should have some somewhere. They’ve got to be around here.
The doctor: Yes, scissors. I need scissors.
The nurse: I think they’re around here somewhere. Wait —

Sound of crashing and stuff falling over.

Me (in my head): Oy Vavoy.
The doctor: Oh dear.
The nurse: Well, I just walked right into you, didn’t I? Dear me. Well, at least the floor is clean.
The doctor: Do we at least have suture scissors?
The nurse: What?
The doctor: I need suture scissors.
The nurse: Indeed you do! You have a patient waiting in surgery in room 3.
Me: Uh oh. That’s me. Room 3. Crap crap crap. They don’t have scissors. What am I doing here?

The one-sided conversation in my head.

This is me, talking to myself. But when I say talking to myself, I mean talking AT myself.

Okay, sweetie. We’re good. We’re good.

What do we know about this situation? We know that you’re feeling nervous and needing some reassurance. And that’s legitimate. It’s understandable.

We know this doctor is very competent. You wrote a personal ad for him, remember? He did a lovely job putting the stitches in. You like him.

Sure, the nurse is a bit of a flakerooney, but at least she’s really nice. And anyway, you didn’t say anything about that in your personal ad, so yeah, you know …

Kind of funny, actually, because weren’t you just telling your Kitchen Table-ers about how important it is to be specific?

Okay, sorry. That was kind of obnoxious. I don’t mean to be lecturing you. I guess I’m just nervous.

Maybe we can just work on making this whole experience more comfortable. What can we do here? What would help?

Yoga breathing. Check. Mudra. Check. Grounding. Check. Centering. Check. What else?

The two-sided conversation in my head.

This is me, talking to myself. But when I say talking to myself, I mean talking WITH myself. Like group therapy, except that everyone is me.

Kind Sensible Loving Me: Okay, what are we feeling? What are we noticing?

Scared Tiny Me: Fear.

Curious Me: Is it ours? Does it belong to us?

Observer Me: Some of it is. A little. The rest is just residue. It’s in the room. It’s other people’s fear that they’ve left here.

Healer Me: Is this something that has to be here? Can I get permission to clear it out? Or to let it be cleared out?

Unsure Me: Maybe. Hmmmm.

Cruise Director Me: Alright. Anything that isn’t ours? Anything that doesn’t need to be here? You can go back to the earth and dissolve. You don’t need to be here anymore.

Twenty-five Year Old Me: Man, you are such an embarrassing hippie freak. How can you stand to be around yourself?

Right-Now Me: Sweetpea, I know this is hard for you when I’m all kooky and weird. I’m just going to remind you that we don’t have to believe in this stuff for it to help.

Reasoning Me: You know what it’s like when the energy of a room changes. Is there a reason why we can’t let that happen now?

Scared Tiny Me: Because I’m scared.

Kind Sensible Loving Me: Oh, my love. Oh, that’s hard. I am not going to try to talk you out of feeling what you’re feeling. Come sit here and be loved.

Long story short.

I finish talking to myself.

I clear the fear and the discomfort out of the space.

Then I remember how Hiro suggests calling on your allies in situations like these, so I asked for some helper mice to come to the rescue. Or at least to keep me company. To help me feel safe and supported.

There was some eye-rolling from my inner sarcastic zebra (don’t ask), but we got there.

My helpers and allies showed up. And we waited. Together.

Nu? So what happened?

The nurse comes in to take out the stitches.

Me (in my head): Nooooooooo. She’s doing it? Oh, disaster.

And then she starts to take out the stitches.

The nurse: Oh dear! Oops-a-daisy.
Me (in my head): Breeeeaaaaathe.
The nurse: It’s like I just can’t seem to focus my eyes. I should really have them checked.
Me (in my head): ?!??!
The nurse: Let’s put you at a different angle. Maybe it will be less blurry that way.
Me (in my head): Oh. My. God.
The nurse: Nope! It’s just me. Okey-dokey. Let’s see here. Is that two stitches or three at the end there? It’s certainly hard to tell!
Me (in my head): This is going to be really funny later, sweetie. I promise. In the meantime, just keep using your techniques and we’ll get you through this.
The nurse: Gee, I hope I’m getting them all. I might have left in one or two. We’ll ask the doctor about it.
Me (in my head): Oy.

But that’s not even the funny part. Or the strange part.

I look around at my circle of allies and helpers.

And they’re laughing so hard they’re on the floor. They’re just cracking up completely.

Falling apart.

And wouldn’t you know. That’s when all the really bizarre stuff started happening.

To Be Continued …

p.s. The stitches came out fine. No pain. It looks great. No worries.

I’ll call, I promise.

[Okay, if you missed the follow-up post, it’s right here: Scissors, Part 2. Enjoy!]

The Fluent Self