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Learning To Live In Your Body?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Issues' started by rentanaardvark, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. My T has had me doing exercises from a book called The Courage to Heal. So far, everything I have read has been challenging. But, the exercises she really wants me to do are under the title "from hating your body, to loving your body." .... I was able to do a LITTLE of it with T ... but I'm supposed to do it a bit on my own as well.

    But, the more I try to do the exercise, the more my body throbs with pain in protest. The pain has only increased. It's starting to make me lethargic. The pain is becoming unbearable. I know this is an important next step ... but it hurts more and more ... and I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere ...

    Anyone doing anything like this?
  2. Nyx

    Nyx Learning to love myself

    My T gave me a book called Healing Trauma. And it also has exercises I am unable to do. It says there that when we suffer trauma we disconnect from our body and the exercises are meant to help reconnect. I am not in pain, but I am unable to do the exercises, as I don't feel my body.

    Have you told your T that you are in pain? Maybe you can skip to the next exercise and come back later?
  3. This sounds similar to what I have recently begun working on in therapy, although the methodology is different. My therapist and I recently begun focusing on touch, something I absolutely cannot handle. The goal is also for me to feel more comfortable in my body.

    If someone else touches me I usually end up crouching in a corner. So we're trying to help me feel more comfortable with my own touch with simple things like rubbing one palm over the back of the other hand, putting on lotion on my hands. We are still very much at the beginning.

    I still feel absolutely disgusted with myself when trying the first baby steps. I quite literally had an upset stomach and cramps after touching the back of my hand with a finger from the other hand. So we began focusing on my belly, the area where most of my trauma concentrated. When my therapist recognized that my disgust was becoming worse, not better, she backed off suggesting we return to this after she returns from her last training in two weeks.

    We ended by returning to my favorite image of the Dolomites so that I could relax with her help and be ok for the two weeks. This definitely worked and I have been ok for the first week.
  4. T doesn't want to skip this right now, because there is a job that I am supposed to leave for training in January and then leave the country for 5 years starting next summer. If I am not far enough long in healing then I will need to push everything back six months. It will be worth it if that is necessary, however, our goal is remaining to get me out of here in January.

    T says that she has two major goals for us to make it then. The first is to start living in my body again (loving it instead of hating it) and to create a time line of everything that has happened in my life, the good, the bad, and the very bad. I'm not sure why she wants me to do the time line (it seems really important to her), but I think that might be the easiest thing she has asked me to do so far.

    Deaf global nomad, sorry to hear about your struggles :(. I am okay with touch for the most part as long as they haven't come up from behind me. In that case it frightens me as I react as if someone has struck me ... although this is getting a little bit better. A big part of the problem is that I ignore my body. If I get hungry, tired, cold, hot, get hurt etc. I tend to ignore those feelings/needs until I can't ignore them any more or unless it is convenient. My body has always been more of this necessary "thing" that was required to carry around my brain. T is worried that if I go overseas and am still doing this then my situation could be a lot more dangerous than it needs to be or should be.

    There is a part about this that I am trying to read in my book ... but it keeps resulting in tears. AND, I woke up this morning with my whole body throbbing in an amazing amount of pain ... all because I've been trying to acknowledge it, be gentle with it, and take care of its needs .... *sigh* :trapped:
  5. Brucielucy

    Brucielucy I am Worth Something!! Staff Member

    Just wondered how this finally went on? Did you ever complete the challenges?

    I certainly still struggle with liking my body, but I don't hate it nearly so much as I used to. Have your feeling changed since you started this thread?
  6. Thanks for checking up on my Brucielucy :).

    Things have changed quite a bit since I started this thread. T and I decided together that I wasn't ready to leave in January and so we will continue until June. This was a decision I resented some at first, but have become very grateful for.

    I'm doing a lot better living in my body. I rarely dissociate anymore which was a huge part of this. I am now able to be in large groups of people and remain present. I am also able to have extremely painful/stressful conversations with T while still remaining present. I've also not had a flashback in about three months. Most of the BPD push away/cling response has also abated unless I'm under an unusual amount of stress mixed with insomnia and my emotions rarely overwhelm me anymore.

    All of this has helped tremendously with living in my body. I take a lot better care of myself than I used to. I more quickly recognize being too cold or too hot and am much more likely to tend to those needs. I recognize pain in my body and usually tend to that as well, though there are still occasions when I push over the pain instead ... though this is becoming less and less. I still struggle to tend to my body when it is tired and in need of sleep or hungry in need of food. However, those still remain a struggle because T and I have realized that they are both very closely linked to my abuse and linked to parts of my abuse that we hadn't worked through.

    Those two aspects are becoming important in what we are doing now in therapy though. Currently we are addressing the lies I have believed, the damage those lies have created, and the truths that will replace them. We are looking at how self-protective measures I've used my whole life are not really protective at all and slowly learning to exchange those self-protective methods for freedom. I ignored my body's need for food and sleep because those were used to abuse me ... but now, to continue to ignore those needs is no longer protective but self abusive.

    T says this is the hardest thing we've worked through so far because it is the core of who I am. She says that this has really been my deepest question all along ... "Who am I?" and so it makes sense that we will have to go slow and that it will be scarey and painful. T says that I have come a very long way in learning to live in my body and to stop seeing it as a thing, but as a part of me, an important part of me that deserves to be taken care of. This aspect of healing, that we are working through now, will just bring me closer to wholeness in that area.

    Sorry that answer was so long :) This past year has been quite the journey! I had my one year "anniversary" with T this past Thursday .... it's crazy how much has changed since then!

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