Thursday, February 23, 2006


Well, in my ongoing pursuit of challenging myself this year, stepping outside the box, taking on adventures big and small, I am going to be getting my first massage tomorrow and will be crossing that one off the to-do list.

Over and over in my life I have shown courage, whatever the challenge. I'm also generally a pretty calm person.

And yet I'm positively anxious tonight at the prospect of having the massage tomorrow. (And my emotional eating tonight is reflecting that.)

Originally, I wasn't going to blog about this until it was past and I could share my triumph and my foolishness with bemused hindsight. But I'm here tonight hoping writing it out will help ease the anxiety.

I have every reason to be confident in the masseuse I'll be seeing so my fears are really unfounded but, oh well, here they are:

I'm afraid there will be a fallout in pain due to my fibromyalgia. The thing about FM is that sometimes it hurts at the time of the touch, sometimes it doesn't hurt until later. So if that's the case I won't be able to say "stop, it hurts". There are enough distractions and endorphins in other kinds of touch for it to be less of an issue for me.

I try to let this one go but due to some perceptions instilled during my upbringing, it's difficult for me to believe my body deserves any kind of pampering.

There are some sexual abuse issues for me; massage was what was used to 'groom' me for it.

Being basically nude in front of another. Funny, I can do this just fine with a sexual partner and have few, if any, inhibitions. But for this I'm just lying there, not doing anything diverting, not overwhelming anyone with my personality or sexual prowess. Just L-Y-I-N-G there.

My skin. Excema has been the bane of my life for the last few years and I've become very self-conscious about it.

It's difficult for me to accept kindness, kind touch. I'm afraid it will trigger something in me. I am feeling very vulnerable lately and have what has sometimes been referred to as 'skin hunger'; the need to be touched at all is overwhelming at times. And I'm afraid I'll burst out crying. (And yes, I know that's not unusual and I know that she will be fine about this but *I* won't.)

Since my love died I have kept myself very very busy, challenging myself, pursuing creative projects, even just having fun. I fill up the silences with music which has no connection to HIM or the t.v. is on all the time. Soothing music in the background isn't diverting enough. So I will be there with no book, no project, no distraction, just lying there with time to think. (I feel the same at the dentist's, by the way. I have zero fear of dentistry despite having a lot of often painful work done over the years, so I'm relaxed when I go there with too much time to think.)

I fully expect that tomorrow's experience WILL BE okay and I'll be blushing at my foolish misgivings. (Heck, I'm already embarassed.) But tonight I can't convince myself of that.

Hmmm. Writing it out may have helped. A little bit. Maybe.

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Blogger DrumsNWhistles said...

I had the same misgivings when a friend of mine insisted on sending her personal masseuse to me after Dancergirl was hit by the car and I was living a life of post-traumatic stress.

I can't speak to how it will affect the fibro pain, but for me, it was an ultimately wonderful experience. Drinking lots of water ahead of it really helped, because the deep muscle massage raises a bunch of impurities in the muscles -- the water helps flush it and keep the soreness away.

I slept better that night than I had in years. And felt better and more able to face life after that.

Oh -- and she was very, very good about covering the areas she wasn't massaging. I can't say I relaxed to the point of falling asleep, but I didn't find myself in any place where my thoughts or sense of place was at all uncomfortable, so enjoy!

1:08 AM  
Blogger SwampHag said...

Thanks DnW, I'm glad it was a positive experience for you. :-)

11:21 AM  

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