Last week my massage was particularly harrowing. I told Gen how it’s hilarious that she lets me talk about what I think is wrong and what hurts, but she gathers all the information she needs by looking at me as I get up from my chair and walk to the room and then she gets down to business when I’m on the table.
She laughingly referenced the day we met – You had a hundred “rules.” Examples:
- No cream – I’m allergic
- Don’t touch my neck
- All these clothes stay ON
- Don’t touch me in general
Just kidding on that last one. Kind of :/. PS. Not kidding re. the clothes.
She recited some of my introductory rules and then mimicked her inner thoughts when we I first showed up – What, did someone bring you in here at gunpoint?
I thought that was hysterical bc I had never verbalized it like that before but it’s so representative of this whole situation. Now I flatter myself that I’ve gotten used to this whole Recovery thing and can roll with the punches, but apparently I still give off the air of being an unwilling participant who just wants to be left alone.
The problem is that my physical deficits require a lot of close contact for treatment and safety reasons.
Mm hmm. How terribly ironic. Holding hands with people was not my custom in my Old Life. One day I stumbled at the Gym doing some kind of I don’t remember what sort of move.
Trainer D: Ok, do it again. Wanna hold my hand?
Me [shrilly]: NOOOOOOOOOOOO.
[reconsidering] Sorry, that came out meaner than I meant it to.
But when it comes down to it I have become dependent on the safety provided by another person. But it turns out everyone’s plan is to lull me into a state of complacency and then SURPRISE!! It’s time for you to do this on your own.
Last week Coach R progressed from the pinky-swinging to making me doing step-ups without holding on to anything (he put me on a step near a railing so I could grab it if I lost my balance). The idea was for me to practice my balance and move my arms, which you know I love.
Coach R: I want you to do this without me holding your hand.
Me: How did I NOT see this coming? (Seriously, I was shocked.)
I WILL cry if I have to. (PS. I don’t make idle threats.)
Coach R: I’m RIGHT HERE (indicating his proximity.)
Me [sullenly]: Yeah, yeah, yeah…
I could tell from his silence that he was concentrating on his ready stance and it was time for me to stop protesting and start moving. So I did my best but we stopped without even completing the full set bc my left ankle was hurting. I used my core as much as I could.
Coach R: I’m happy with the way that went. That was better than what I was anticipating. Was that what you thought would happen?
Me: I didn’t think
Coach R: [Chuckle] – that’s a really good answer.
Me: Seriously, I never even imagined that you would make me do such a thing.
In retrospect of course I should’ve known that we were moving in this direction – but I guess I refused to let myself think of it.
When I told Gen the story about the pinky swinging she smiled knowingly bc this is very much her world. But the thing is that it wasn’t my world until I got sick. When I landed here I was terrified and appalled at all the things that have to happen in RecoveryLand to get you healthier.
But Gen summarized it nicely. After she listened to my rules recitation at the beginning she (after laughing inwardly) thought to herself, Okay, I get it – you’re telling me I have to earn your trust.
And she did. They all did. So now even though I’m still scared sometimes, and although I like to put up a bit of a fight and say sassy things for fun, they all know that I’m really just along for the ride.