Lilly Hope Lucario and I must be on the same wavelength. She wrote about the chronic pain from constantly being on-guard. Never relaxing because I knew that as soon as I let my guard down my abuser would strike. They would persuade me I was safe, I would relax then wham full attack. I was in counseling before I understood this was a sick and twisted game my abuser was playing with me. An elaborate cat and mouse game with me being mouse. Never hurting me enough that someone could see evidence but hurt enough to feel pain. My body doesn’t relax. Even when I am alone with the dog with the doors locked with music on….constantly vigilant always watching…..n e v e r relaxing.
Massages are miserable for me. The massage therapists feels one of my tense muscles and tries to ‘loosen it up.’ The harder they dig into my body the tenser I become. I only had one massage that I actually truly relaxed however it ended in disaster when I moved too quickly and ever muscle in my body came to screaming attention at the same time.
What to do?
Lilly mention meditation; she also pointed out it is a temporary relief.
I learned that talking in counseling eventually started helping me to relax a little.
Exhaustion works. I mean stay up for 72 hours style where your body passes out. Yup I feel fairly relaxed when I pass out. I don’t recommend this method very much. However an occasional collapse does give a bit of relief.
When ever I start to feel too whiny I remember the book I found years ago. https://www.amazon.com/Could-Always-Be-Worse-Yiddish/dp/0374436363 It could always be worse. I wasn’t amused the first, second or third time I read it. However, the Lord kept putting the book in my path to get the message through to me, “It really could be worse.” So how does this help? Being thankful for where I am and who I am gives a small relief that I can barely understand; I can’t explain the results. It just works.
Distractions, Karate, exercise, dancing, singing, coloring, creating anything, all of these are different ways to approach the process of allowing my body to relax, a little.
I also accept that any relief will be temporary, so is washing dishes. That is why self-care needs to be a daily habit, not a once-and-done.