Friday, December 11, 2009

Body Memory And Trauma - Part 1 of 3

Over the past several weeks, I have been experiencing “body memories” (somatic memory). This is not the first time I have been through these things and as usual, they are difficult to go through. Anyone that has been through them, knows exactly what I’m talking about. This time, it has been something totally different for me. Most of it involves intense itching all over my skin (itchy skin) and especially in the groin region. Sorry, but that’s as informative as I’m going to be because it isn’t easy to talk about. However, this is not all-the-time itching, but it just happens when you’re least expecting it and when there is no apparent reason for it. It comes and goes almost as quickly as rain starts and stops.

More importantly, there are moments when the pain starts in (not to be confused with the itching) and the pain gets so intense, I just want to cry and scream out. Keep in mind that this is not pain from some injury or other physical abnormality. If you viewed my skin and my body, you would see nothing that would lend itself to these types of reactions. However, they feel as real as if some pain or some condition was being inflicted upon my body in that moment.

These moments have seemed to focus more on the night time hours than the daytime, yet sometimes the time of day makes no difference. Usually, when these times hit, my anxiety level is through the roof and it feels as if it is 1000 degrees in the room, when the temperature is actually on the chilly side. In addition, there is a feeling of despair and anger that accompanies these times that is unexplainable. No, it is not because of the body issues going on, although that adds to it. These are things that seem to appear as entities with their own existence.

I’ve had several nights when I was awakened from a deep sleep with itching that would make me want to remove every body part I could. Fortunately a knife was not in close proximity. The pain would start coming from somewhere deep within me and pushing me to the brink of feeling like I could not take any more. It left me tired from the nights of hardly any sleep while I would struggle to shut my eyes. Even though I was tired, my eyes would almost have to be forced to close so I could sleep. It was as if they were watching out for a predator that was hunting me down.

While this may sound intense, it has gone on for several weeks. At the moment, the duration feels like an eternity. It has pushed me to the point of really wondering whether I wanted to keep going at times. Between the lack of sleep, exhaustion and the physical realities, it seemed as if there was no way through this. Even though I’ve been through body memories in the past, it still does not prepare you for when you come up against new ones. There is nothing that I have found to this point that puts me in control. It is as if this entity must run its course, and I have no say in it.

While I know that these things will pass and that there is more going on which is trying to find a place of resolution, it still takes determination, courage and strength. The body sometimes plays these past events in a continuous flow until it finds an exit route. No matter what, until these things are released from the body in such a way that the past events no longer loop in a continuous circuit, they will continue. That does not mean that we are able to get through these events in some easy fix it event, but that they often take time. Many of these body memories are well rooted and fixed within our bodies, our minds and our consciousness. So to take them on, a small piece of them is sometimes all we can handle at any one given moment. As long as we allow ourselves to go into these things and be with them, we are taking back the power from them and giving ourselves the much needed power we so deserve. It isn’t about just releasing some emotions or bringing emotions up, but it is about chipping away at these body memories one piece at a time. These are the things I remind myself of right now as I progress through these difficult times.

NOTE: Due to the length of the article, this is the end of Part 1. For Part 2 of 3, click here Part 2

1. Somatoform Disorder/Body Memory: The presence of physical symptoms that suggest there is a underlying medical condition, when in fact the situation cannot be explained. These situations most likely represent an unconscious reaction of psychological situations and show up as a medical condition with or without any physical manifestation.

2. Body Memory (Somatic Memory): Sensations in the body that often link to some portion or aspect of trauma that the individual has been through. Body memories may occur in many ways.

Definition Source:

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