When I was little I didn’t get to listen to my body.
I don’t think I was connected to it often. I think anxiety took over my tiny body and I felt fear and stomach aches and nothing else.
I learned other ways of surviving that worked really well. If I focused hard enough on getting the best grade, on doing all the extra credit, on making sure my teachers liked me, I could tell myself I was good enough at something and loved enough by someone.
And then my capacity for being the best began to dwindle because other kids were naturally better at some things and while I stayed academically strong—I was rarely number one and thus lost my survival mechanism (it didn’t work if I wasn’t winning). I blamed my body for not being the best. Gosh I did that so little. In first grade I thought like that. In third grade I began to hate my body for all my (perceived) failures.
I wasn’t allowed to listen to my body. I wasn’t allowed to be emotional. I wasn’t ever ever ever allowed to let little-me get anything properly emotionally out.
I’m learning to listen now.
I am physically hurting in the way that I know is trauma related. As much as my logic tries to tell me this isn’t possible, it’s really unexplainable by anything else. The places I hurt and the coincidental timing of my process in therapy can’t be ignored. At least, I don’t want to ignore it anymore. I want to help myself, especially my little self, feel better. I want to let her know that her pain, all of it, is real.
I couldn’t move on Saturday. I spent almost 6 hours frozen in bed, hiding under my weighted blanket. Everything hurt and I lost all my energy and truly needed someone to physically help me out of freeze. It was sort of awful feeling so trapped. I was wavering between feeling panic while being stuck in flashbacks and feeling sheer exhaustion along with major anxiety and depression that I was being unproductive.
This week I am taking little-me to her therapist. To her dietitian. To her massage therapist. Because she needs all of their help and I want (her) to feel better. This week I’m doing my best to listen to my body because I couldn’t when I was little. And now, it’s time to practice letting little-me really show up. If for no other reason because it’s allowed now, without any repercussions, and with safety, God, and love.