One frustrating aspect of my chronic conditions is having a body that absorbs its surroundings, mainly sounds and vibrations. I physically feel every beat of a drum, which sucks since my son is a drummer. It’s a miracle I survived his days of Marching Band and Indoor Drumline. I never shared this with him at the time, but when he would practice at home I would lie in bed crying from the pain. I never asked him to stop because I refused to let my conditions get in the way of my children’s passions.
Higher volumes produce a harder hitting punch. My muscles and nerves may begin to spasm or twitch with the beat of the song. Unfortunately this doesn’t end once the music does. It will continue for hours, days, and sometimes weeks. However music isn’t the only thing my body absorbs. It has a vivid memory of all past physical trauma as well. My muscles tense up and prepare for impact anytime someone hits their brakes quickly if I am a passenger, or if I hear the sound of a car engine revving up behind me. But it isn’t just being in a car that reminds my body of past car accidents. I have been in my house and heard car tires screech to a halt at a nearby intersection and had my muscles react in the same manner. The abuse of my childhood also haunts my body. While I have dealt with and come to terms those issues on a mental level, my body can’t forget the physical harm it received. To this day my body reacts negatively when someone touches me without my permission or if I am unable to see that they are going to touch me. What I mean by that is I am okay if someone is standing in front of me and goes to give me a hug or pat on the shoulder because I can see it coming, but not if they come up from behind. I’ve improved, but there are still times when my body reacts faster than my brain which results with me hitting the other person. It doesn’t matter who you are, if my body is the first to react I will hit you. Because of this I try to sit with my back to a wall as much as possible. BTW this is not a challenge for my family and friends; I really do not want to hit you.
Living with a body that can’t seem to forgive and forget isn’t easy, but I have learned to make the best of it. I refuse to let it stop me from living. However, I am careful about what I expose myself to. For example, although I love music, I can’t spend my days listening to it. I’d never get any rest if I did. This doesn’t mean I never listen to music; instead I limit how much I listen to. Of course there are times that I can’t avoid sound or noises, like when I am at Disneyland. I know that my sleep will be disrupted by the thumping of my muscles and nerves. I prepare myself by making sure I have nothing scheduled for several days after arriving home. After spending 3-5 days at Disneyland I am sure to clear my schedule for at least a week or two.
I am envious of people who can actually sit and relax when they are out to dinner or anywhere out of the house for that matter. I envy them because I long for just one day when my body doesn’t react to every noise it hears or vibration it feels.
Do you have a body that doesn’t know how to relax or how to forgive and forget? How do you handle your triggers?
Wishing you a day filled with gentle hugs and many reasons to smile,
The Disabled Diva