A few months ago, due to several misunderstandings, I found myself in a frightening situation in which I was detained at Puket airport for just over 30 hours. To make matters worse, my wife, with whom I was traveling at the time, was also deprived of her freedom and we were, at times, kept in different rooms.
We were treated "well", the people at the airport were generally "friendly" to us. We were allowed to communicate together for a short time if necessary. Nevertheless, it was the first time in both our lives that we were held against our will and locked away.

We got into this situation because our visa agency, our language school - where we had booked a language visa - and officials from an immigration office gave us incomplete information about the conditions of our visas. As a result, we were ultimately refused entry into Thailand. And because by the law of the airport we were only allowed to leave on the route back to the starting point of our journey, we had to wait for the next available flight to do so, which resulted in this so-called quarantine.

But that in itself is not the reason why I am writing this blog post.

I felt motivated to report on an interesting self-experience in the context of this deprivation of liberty.

It all started when, in the situation where we were told that we would not be allowed to enter the country, and the conditions were explained to us, I realized that my whole body was shaking. I felt uncomfortable, to say the least, and remembered scenes of violence from my childhood and youth in which I reacted in a similar way.

A little later, when I was alone in a room somewhere in the airport, I decided to curl up protectively and fast until I was released, while reciting my meditation mantra and doing Ho'oponopono (a Hawaiian forgiveness ritual) in my mind.
I have to mention that I am in many respects rather rational, but have been surrounded by spiritual people my whole life. Nevertheless, it was sometimes not easy for me to experience spiritual practices in a confident fashion and as a result I was sometimes disappointed with the outcome of such practices.

But one thing at a time. 😝

Because what I ultimately realized in this situation was that I am afraid of violence and when confronted with powerlessness, a certain shame arises in me because I cannot resolve such situations and therefore cannot free myself or others affected.

I think I know that this stems from moments in my childhood when I was exposed to domestic violence, but also from my early confrontation with the suffering and agony caused by people to animals (or other people likewise) in this world.

In any case, I felt the core of this fear more clearly than ever before in those hours at the airport.

And it was also at this moment that I found a new way of working with this primal energy of fear within me.

Here's what I did:
I intuitively imagined myself stepping out of my body, becoming twice as big as I actually am and taking myself in my arms like a baby and talking to myself. I met myself like a mother, with unconditional love and super understanding. If the situation required it, I took other people involved (such as my wife) into my arms as well and then no longer just talked to myself, but to everyone involved.
I tried to more or less follow the following structure in the conversation:

  1. I am sorry that you are experiencing this situation as unpleasant.
  2. But in the end, it is a valuable experience that you can be happy about and grateful for.
  3. You don't need to be ashamed or apologize for your feelings. Everything is fine and if there is something to forgive, it has already been done.
  4. I know who you are and I love you more than anything.

Although this framework worked for me, I relaxed it at times - depending on my state of mind - to a more unstructured conversation with myself or the people involved.

With this "technique" I was ultimately able to rise (in waves, but still) out of fear and shame and feel strong and complete. I also reached a state where I didn't worry about myself, my wife Mónica, what might happen next or how long the unpleasant conditions might continue to last.

Whenever I fell out of rhythm, I immediately started shaking all over again.

As mentioned before, my fear seems to be based mainly on shame not being "strong enough" to prevent violence and injustice. Based on this, especially in such moments, a kind of self-loathing with numerous negative effects is probably the result.

I am glad to have had this experience and look positively towards a future in which this trauma will have less and less impact on me.

2024-01-21 (amadeus)