Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I thought you were ready

At feldenkrais I learn that if I let my jaw relax, then my shoulder doesn't hurt as much, actually that's the key and it sounds simple but it's like a revelation. I think it's the same thing in bed, sometimes I can't fall asleep until suddenly I feel something give like my sphincter muscle and that's connected on the other end to my jaw so this is the awareness that's what feldenkrais is about. Of course I'm ready for the next step too, when sleep is nothing but a dream, right?

Donna thinks that when my father raped me, he approached from the left side, because everything on the left side of my body is more traumatized. She tries it out, I'm sitting on the table at the end of the session and she moves to the left, look at me. She's tapping her fingers on her knees almost like she's nervous at first I think why are you tapping your fingers but I think it's to gauge my reaction. I kind of feel scared, like something's going to happen. She says see how you lift your nose and your breathing gets constricted?

I say why don't you try the other side, because maybe I just feel scared and traumatized whenever I turn to the side. Donna moves over, and I look to the right and it's much easier, actually it's kind of relaxing. Donna says do you ever turn to the left, and I do because at home the only place someone can sit at my kitchen table is to the left, but then my chairs rotate so I always turn to face them. But at a movie theater, I usually sit on the right, right at the aisle, so that means I'm turned to the left while I'm watching the movie, and that doesn't seem to bother me. Donna says maybe because you're comfortable that the screen isn't going to move.

Then I realize it's also that I sit at the aisle so that I can get out easily, another impulse for safety that's more important than the direction I'm turning but generally actually at a movie I think I like to turn to the left. Or, no -- at the Red Vic it’s to the right -- whichever side is closer to the door. I'm thinking about the first movie I went to, Alice in Wonderland when I was maybe four, my father and I went to the theater in Wheaton which now seems strange because we never went to Wheaton unless we were going to Wheaton Gardens or to pick up my father's papers from Flora Paoli, the woman who typed them with all the cats, there were always new cats and years later we were allowed to adopt two.

But anyway the theater and I think my father was sitting to the right and Alice kept falling and falling I can remember mushrooms and maybe animals and her hair and at some point I started screaming I'm pretty sure it was my father's hands that scared me not the movie but maybe it was that place of shutting off and the dark and not so much my father's hands as that place almost like sleep I wanted to scream. No I might've been crying, not screaming I know I was scared but in any case we left -- my father said I thought you were ready for a movie but I guess you're too young.


CaroleMcDonnell said...

Oh! Sometimes your posts hurt my heart so much. It's good to remember, though, where all these habits. tics, uneasinesses, come from. Even in a startling painful moment of realization. It's good to know. I hope the feldenkrais help. -C

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thanks, Carole -- I do love feldenkrais, sometimes I think it's the only healthcare modality that helps me in a deep way -- right now, at least -- I keep searching!

Love --

stephen said...

hey girl....

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Hello hello hello!

Love --