I’ve started having some reflexology. J and I recognised a very long time ago that I have a lot of stuckness in my body. Not only feelings, but body memories from the time I was abused.
Even though I knew this, I didn’t feel ready to do any body based therapy. It wasn’t that I was concerned about how it would feel to be touched. I am a very tactile person; I hug people all the time and I’ve always loved any kind of massage. From time to time, the anxiety in my system causes my back to seize up, and even though it hurts to have my physio work on it, I never dread going there.
I think I was worried about trying something body focused because I wasn’t sure I wanted to move that stuff. I’m not particularly spiritual, but I do believe that we get energy trapped in our bodies and it can affect us in all sorts of ways. I guess I have been a bit scared of what might happen if I were to shift some of it. Like I’d be unleashing something powerful and potentially horrendous.
While J was on leave and I had no therapy for a few weeks, I thought I would finally try something new. To make it a bit less daunting, I made an appointment with a friend who used to give me reiki a long time ago. That took some of the uncertainty out of the situation. I knew I would feel safe with her and that she is gentle and compassionate.
When I met with her, I wasn’t sure what sort of treatment I wanted. She suggested we try out some reflexology and explained the basics about it. I agreed to it because even if it didn’t help emotionally, I could just enjoy having my feet massaged. But I was pleasantly surprised, when after the session I felt a wonderful sense of calm. Real calm, not the sort brought on by alcohol or benzos. I felt a contentment and ease with myself that I don’t recall experiencing in quite a few years.
My wife describes this friend as ‘witchy’. I haven’t shared that with her – I’m not convinced she wouldn’t be offended… But she is a bit witchy. She picks up on all kinds of things without me having to say much about it. After working on my feet and doing a little reiki yesterday, she basically summed up where I am at right now.
She said she thinks my emotions are really fragmented and that I have cut myself off from them. She said she has the impression I am afraid to connect with them. She told me she could tell how incredibly fragile my feelings are and how I lack resilience because of this. And she explained that she thinks the way I have cut off from my feelings means I can’t access any of the good stuff and hold onto it enough to find strength in it. That means I have no stength to manage the not so good stuff.
Of course this all makes perfect sense to me. It was just strange to have someone I’ve not really spoken to about any of my struggles tell me it. Strange and slightly comforting. It felt good to have someone demonstrate this level of understanding without the discomfort and anxiety of having to try and articulate myself. Plus, it feels great to know that she thinks we can work on it. Again, without me having to say anything much at all.
In our next session, she is going to focus on helping me reconnect with my emotions, and in her words, strengthen my heart. I am skeptical, because this seems hugely ambitious and damn near impossible. But I will go with an open mind, as I know that even the tiniest bit of improvement would go a long way. I feel so vulnerable lately, I can’t help but feel hopeful that someone may be able to help my heart become stronger.
Photo: Caitlin Regan, Creative Commons.