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Trace History of Sandy with Heart-pounding Terror
I first met Sandy at a New Leviathan Tea Dance at the Dream Palace on Frenchman Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I had just recently had a new roof put on my house and told her the story of my playing Fiddler on the Roof on the roof of Timberlane. How it came about is an interconnected story in which the Christ symbol I wear on my neck, my brother's violin, a friend who was playing in the New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra, and my roof replacement are all interconnected. She was tickled by the story. So far as I can remember three years later, we never talked about the work I was just beginning to do with Doyle Henderson, but we may have. In my journal notes for the day she came to me for a session, I used the words "doyle storage" so I had already coined the term doyle. I was still using the slow form of the speed trace as my notes show that the trace took us twenty minutes. Now it would only take about twenty seconds with about fifteen minutes to give the person a background in doyletics.
When she called me, she said these exact words, "You seem to have your life together, and I want to get mine together." Here was an attractive 62-year-old widow, a striking redhead, who was an independent, working professional, and she seemed to have her life together so far as I could tell.
We talked and she told me that she had been in and out of therapy for many years, had been diagnosed as a multiple personality at one time, and suspected she had an early history of sexual abuse as a child. I explained to her that I was going to show her a process that was not a therapy, but rather a simple memory technique that might help free her from her two prominent remaining problems from her childhood. One was the inability to eat red meat and the other concerned hearing a man whistling in the dark.
From her earliest recollections, about six or seven, she had been unable to put a piece of red meat into her mouth without a severe reaction. She didn't specify exactly what it was, but it seemed clear that this abreaction stemmed from forced oral copulation when she was below five. The second problem occurred whenever she heard a man whistling in the dark, which would send her into severe, heart-pounding terror. This second one can also be understood to have a sexual abuse origin. If a man were having sex surreptitiously with a small child, he would likely whistle so as to mask from her mother in the other room any sounds the child might make. She chose these two to apply the memory technique to.
In the first case, she did the trace and was able to imagine eating red meat without the abreaction. In the second case, I began by turning off all lights in the living room, which even though it was in the afternoon, lowered the overall illumination enough to simulate night. I walked around the room whistling and was able to stimulate the doyles of terror in her enough to begin the speed trace. We went slowly, as I was apt to do in the early days of helping others to apply the speed trace. At the time mark age of seven, she had a severe reaction, mostly shown by the look on her face, so I directed her to move to the next time mark of five. The abreaction disappeared and sometime between the ages of two and four the doyle disappeared. I walked around the room whistling again, this time I made a note later that I was whistling the tune that went "this old man, he played one, he played nick-nack on his drum, with a nick-nack, paddy-waddy, give a dog a bone . . ." now there's no way that was a conscious selection on my part, but that's what came out. She had absolutely no reaction to the whistling, even with the metaphoric juice that was added by the unconscious tune selection.
Three years later I was flying to a television interview in El Paso when I saw a woman on the flight to Houston that reminded me of Sandy. Her hair was a silver gray instead of the reddish color I remembered, so I didn't think that likelihood of it being Sandy was high enough to disturb this stranger on an airplane. Later in the Gate to my Houston, San Antonio, El Paso flight I returned with some coffee and a roll and took a seat in a row of chairs that had another row of chairs behind them facing the other way. I was reading and enjoying my coffee when a woman's voice behind me said, "Excuse me, I just dropped my earring under you chair. Could you get it for me?" I got on my knees to retrieve the earring and handed to the lady. Unbeknownst to me, Sandy was sitting next to the lady and right after I turned around and sat down, I heard her say, "Bobby?" I turned around and knew that this was indeed Sandy. We talked for a long time there and later sat next to each other on her flight to San Antonio.
She began by telling me that just ten days ago she had been thinking of me because she heard a man whistling in the dark and had once again, absolutely no abreaction to the event. She merely thought to herself, "Oh, I'm not feeling anything at all from that whistling!" Here it was three years later, and the original doyles of heart-throbbing terror were completely gone.