Organ – Posttraumatic Practice Disorder (Musicians, Pipe, Psychology, Pain, Strain, Injuries, Posture, Alexander Technique)

by ethankind on November 13, 2014

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Organ Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate organ technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.

I never knew I was experiencing Posttraumatic Practice Disorder, until I realized it through my journaling this morning. This is not a medical name for a medical disorder of performers and conductors, but it is my diagnosis of what I’ve been experiencing, modeled on PTSD, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder suffered by soldiers who’ve been in combat.

Here is my definition of PTPD, Posttraumatic Practice Disorder.

NO MATTER HOW LONG AGO I STOPPED PRACTICING HOURS A DAY EVERY DAY, I FIND MYSELF UNABLE TO COMMIT TO REGULAR PRACTICE OR LEARNING SOMETHING ELSE NEW. EMOTIONALLY, I FEEL AS IF IT WAS JUST YESTERDAY THAT I COULDN’T PUT IN ENOUGH HOURS A DAY TO BECOME A GOOD ENOUGH PERFORMER.

It’s been over 35 years since I stopped attempting to become a concert guitarist, and I’m finally realizing time has not healed me. Let me give you more information, so you can understand why I’m saying I have PTPD.

At around eleven-years-old I had committed to becoming a concert guitarist. I was expected to practice 6 hours a day 7 days a week, go to school 7 hours a day 5 days a week, and go to Hebrew School 2 hours 3 days a week.

WHAT WAS ASKED OF ME COULD’T BE DONE, BUT I WAS STILL EXPECTED TO DO IT. My father got mad at me for not practicing enough, when it was he who forced me to spend endless wasted hours in formal schooling and go to Hebrew School.

You know what my response to all of this insane pressure was? I attempted to do what he demanded, and I never said it can’t be done. I blamed myself for not being able to do what was being asked of me, even though it was impossible.

THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY TO DO WHAT WAS BEING ASKED OF ME! SINCE I TRULY WANTED TO BE A CONCERT ARTIST, I BLAMED MYSELF FOR NOT PUTTING IN ENOUGH PRACTICE HOURS. I REALLY TURNED ON MYSELF, SO THERE WERE TIMES I WAS SO DEPRESSED I COULDN’T PRACTICE.

My father was a salesman on the road, so he couldn’t monitor my practicing every single day, since he was gone 3 or 4 days a week. When he came home, he said I was lazy for not practicing. You know what my response was? I’LL SHOW HIM! I practiced even harder.

Today, as I became aware that I had been attempting the impossible as a child and young adult, all of the old feelings of being trapped and overwhelmed flooded back. I became aware of why I find it impossible to practice guitar and piano and draw regularly, even though these are things I would love to do. (Because of my Alexander Technique training I can do these things with great ease.)

Emotionally, I still feel like I don’t have the time to do them and also have free time, even though I could do these things now with joy. This is crazy! Here and now I’m not stuck in school all day, knowing I’m going to have to go home and do homework and practice guitar until I go to sleep, and it be my fault there isn’t enough time to do it all.

Soldiers who come back from war suffering from PTSD are emotionally still on the battlefield, and I’m finally admitting all of these years later, that I’m still on the familial battlefield.

For years and years I’ve had all of these things I’ve wanted to do, to commit to learning new things, but I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO DO SO, BECAUSE I’M EMOTIONALLY A CHILD/YOUNG ADULT OVERWHELMED BY A WORLD THAT MADE NO SENSE, ALWAYS ASKING THE IMPOSSIBLE OF ME AND ME INCAPABLE OF SEEING WHAT WAS GOING ON.

What is the solution, the healing of my PTPD? As I was journaling this morning, I finally realized that what was expected of me was impossible, and that I was NOT wrong to be angry and depressed.

I wrote out everything I wished I had said to my father, telling him what he was demanding of me was impossible. I’M NOT GOING TO TRY TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE ANYMORE. I’VE HAD IT! NO DAMNED MORE! As I wrote with great anger, I realized I wasn’t lazy, and that it was insane to force me to do the impossible.

There’s more to be done, but now that I’m not in denial, I WILL be free to do as I like without the ghost of insane expectations still haunting me.

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