Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Retracing Motor Development (1)

In my last Somatic Experiencing® session, T (Therapist) started to work on exploring my early motor development between the ages of 1-2, which is where we think problems begun. I was easily able to sit up and reach things, but when put on my tummy and asked to reach for a blue ball, I used my upper body to pull myself along to reach it, with no use of legs. T was quite surprised that this was how I moved, and then we started to work on using my legs and arms in a coordinated fashion, but now actual crawling, as such. I found this very difficult and tiring to do, which greatly surprised me, although the second attempt was easier. T then asked me to kneel with my bottom on my legs. I wouldn't do this (after a brief attempt), because my calves felt 'sore and wired.' I then explained to T about all my previous micro-tears to my calves and how sensitised they were. T looked at my upper body and neck and then gave me some exercises including depressing my shoulder blades and looking up, and having my neck in extension, which again caused problems as it was too difficult for me to go straight backwards, my neck deviated to the left, like someone with tortocolis. T asked if I could straighten it, but my neck "didn't want to." T gave me other exercises for gluteals and illio-tbial band and psoas. We were about to look at some emotional aspects, but unfortunately ran out of time....

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Revisiting childhood development

Following a session where it was possible that my Somatic Experiencing work would be suspending, this was revoked during the session when I begun to share with T that I had started to feel like a child in the way in which I wanted to express my anger or upset. I said that I had images of a child sitting alone on a play mat with some toys and that I had wanted to shout (in anger), don't take my toy, its mine. On other occasions I had imagined that I was crying to the point that tears were flowing down my face and saliva (toddlers don't worry very much about tissues!).

I told T that in terms of my motor development that I was almost 2 years old before I walked and that I had never crawled but had bottom-shuffled in order to get about. I explained that although delayed walking was normal in our family, that it would have been related to my hypermobility and lack of stability. I explained how I had done lots of crawling in other somatic work - but acknowledged what an important part of development I had missed. Having had a look at T's own notes, T thought it was possible that I was stuck between 1-2 years of age in my development and that it was absolutely essential to revisit these stages. It was also discussed that this was possibly how/when my masking behaviour (masking emotions) had started. T said that it would be essential to go through all these stages in childhood/adolescence as they had obviously been missed. I asked T how I would manage this as it would obviously be inappropriate to be throwing bricks and shouting at people. T explained that the adult me would need to facilitate this work in a safe space - and that it was important to let out the anger/tears - perhaps using pillows to throw. I asked T if this was something we could go through in session and T said that it was. I will have to see what happens over the week, but have permission to explore these childhood states, and indeed as T says, this is absolutely essential.

I am fine, thank you!

This session of SE® was a little bit of a challenge. I had arrived feeling rather angry (caused by public transport), and had been doing my 'anger exercises.' T (Therapist) asked how I was. I said that despite feeling a little angry and stressed out about my journey to the session that I otherwise felt "fine" and that I could feel "nothing!" T asked for more information about "feeling nothing", but I insisted that there was nothing more to discuss about it because it was just as it was and that I felt well and fine. It was obvious (to me at least!) that I didn't want to explore the concept of feeling nothing or feeling fine. T, however, continued to probe this point.  I then started to get visibly weepy. T asked what was behind this. I said that I just couldn't go or explore the concept of not feeling fine or feeling nothing because it was too painful to consider that 3/4 of my life to date had been about not feeling well or fine and I didn't want to go there on this beautiful sunny day. T would not leave this alone and eventually I became angry and told T that this was the case.  T said, "that's OK." but I couldn't say goodbye and walked out and left the building in a fury.

It took me some considerable time to calm down - despite having to walk long periods of time both for another bus and another appointment. I was also upset because I liked T - so why had T made me feel this way. I felt confused.

I tackled T at the next session and T said again that what T had said about my anger was, "that's OK." I said I didn't know or understand how to interpret that as his face had showed no expression. We explored this further and then whether just at the moment that there was too much double up with other therapeutic work that I was engaged in. T said that it may be a good idea to take a break and that T wouldn't be abandoning me, not allowing me to come back. I took this as a straight rejection and became very upset. T asked where I felt this in the body and I said that it felt like a deep line along my diaphragm and shortly afterwards in my right shoulder and down my left arm into my little fingers. I said that I didn't want to stop the sessions. The next entry explores why suspending the sessions was no longer necessary.