Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Slap, The Silence and The Scream

I found myself at lunchtime, bare legged, prostrate, waiting in anticipation for the hot towel that was about to be draped over my legs. I was back at the myotherapist for another session to ensure the kink in my right leg is finally ironed out.

"And how's your day?" asked Liz.
"That good?"
"What's up? You're normally chatty." she said  as she moved from gently thumping my legs to my back, pressing in sections up and down my spine. Gentle, reassuring pressure.

I will admit to the following two things. I got into massage therapy some fifteen years ago (and associated modalities like reflexology, aromatherapy and reiki) because it allowed me some touch in my life. I also have a monthly massage to ensure that I get touched at least one a month - safe, gentle, healing touch. I hope this doesn't sound strange. It's not pervy or kinky, but necessary. I attribute my mental and physical health to my monthly relaxation and remedial massage. I do get out of sorts when I don't get a regular massage. It's not an indulgence - it's a necessary part of life. When you don't have a partner, touch is something that sadly lacks.

"So, Missy, what's the matter?" Liz prodded further as my back refused to budge.

"I need to scream, but I can't. My throat is sore."
"My right leg niggling tells me it's family stuff. The small kinks in my left leg say it's emotional stuff. The fact my throat feels like it's embedded with razorblades - I need to scream at something."

I know there's some elements of truth to this.

"Yep, that will do it," replied Liz, moving back down to my right leg to start belting it up.

Thankfully, the massage practice where I get my massages and the folk who work there are pretty tuned into the Body/Mind/Spirit connection. They're also used to me. I go in there occassionally to do a contra reflexology session with the therapists there.

"And when I get like this, when I feel like crap like this, I go quiet."
"And is that a good thing?"
"Probably not."
"Well, tell me, what's up."

Hmm, where do I start.

Things I want to scream at:

Work - I haven't been feeling too valued of late - but intellectually I know it's the climate and lots of change. It shall pass, but it's a bugger to go through.
Lachlan - I give up there. Still no contact. Stuff him
Myself - not being able to run, not being able to focus, letting myself have a too busy a diary, not losing weight... it's a long list.

That's a good start.

Liz got the above, potted version. Details weren't required.

My hackles rose a little further when she said I really shouldn't do the Half Marathon on Sunday. The ten kilometre race she was fine with, but not the half. Pull out of the long race or reinjure myself.

I know she's right. Yesterday I did at solid lap of the Tan with a few of the guys from work. We had a run and my leg came out of it well - but I've still got a few lingering tugs and pulls. Rang the organisers later in the afternoon and now I'm down for a slow ten kilometre run. It's for the best.

She then asked about my book group, from which I've just come back from. We read Christos Tsiolkas' "The Slap" this month. A controversial, polarising book about the fallout after an incident where a man slaps a child that isn't his own.

"Sounds interesting." she said.
"It will generate some great conversation."
"And why is this bothering you?"
"Brings up a lot."

She started what she calls "percussion" on my legs - firm slapping to get the blood running. I began to feel the release.

Six hours later I sat at book group, at our wonderful Irish pub. I sat in the corner, a little removed from the conversation. My throat contained by some butter menthols, a soda, lime and bitters in hand. A great night was had, fantastic book to talk about. Questions of loyalty and loss. Would you slap another person's child? How would you react? Did the author fairly represent Australian society. Were you slapped as a kid?

I once again kept pretty quiet - but as I'm the organiser and occasional referee, I interjected when appropriate.

But my head was full.

Was I bullied like one of the characters at school? Umm, yes. But I let most of it run over my head and they went away. What was going on at home at the time was worse.
Was I slapped as a kid? Yes. Rather frequently at times. I'm a child of the seventies. Who wasn't?
How would I react if I was betrayed like one of the characters in the novel? I would go silent.

Silence is my scream - a scream from within.

I now know that the silence is my time to start working throught the real reasons why I need to scream. It's my first trigger point before depression cycles. Catch it now and it doesn't blow into a deep spiral.

I just wish it was as easy as opening my mouth and letting it out.

Maybe a better start would be to go to the gym and belt up a punching bag.

All I know it that's it's better out than in.

1 comment:

Kath Lockett said...

Exactly, Pandora. Just like a good fart: better out than in, but we all know that saying (or screaming) what we'd LIKE to say is costly, so a punching bag - and a good long run when you're up for it - is the best way to go.

Or see a footy game. Those bogans aren't really there to scream out advice to their favourite players or insult the umpires; they're there to let off steam.