Professional Help Activity 3: Body Memory & Acupuncture, Sexual Problems

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C.

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Reminder: In order to honor our group process we ask that only current members post and respond here please.  Thank you.

Note:  Your recovery is unique to you.  These topics and activities are suggestions.  Please feel free to do and respond to those that work for you at this time.

3.   For example, if you have body memories that manifest themselves as muscular aches and pains, soreness in certain areas of your body or decreased joint flexibility, consider seeing an acupuncturist, who may be able to provide either topical or systemic relief for these symptoms.  Acupuncture treatments can also trigger the release of specific feelings, especially fear and anxiety, that may then become localized in the specific areas of the body that were directly affected by the abuse.  However, unless your acupuncturist is also a trained psychotherapist, you will need to continue to work with your therapist to identify and resolve the underlying feelings.

Sexual problems can be addressed directly using specific behavioral techniques.  However, these may be outside your therapist's area of  expertise, and you may need to seek a referral to a specialist.  Severe mood disorders, especially in survivors whose parents were similarly afflicted, may have a physiological base and may not be a delayed reaction to the abuse.  If this is the case, therapy may be more effective if augmented by some of the newer psychotropic medications.  You will need a referral to a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation and ongoing monitoring.  Likewise, parenting problems may require either a consultation with your pediatrician or a referral to a child or family therapist.

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VeryFoggy

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I have no "body memories" like the author describes, but I do have some reflexes that surprise me.  Once I was grocery shopping and coincidentally my boyfriend was in the same store shopping too.  He saw me and snuck up behind me and grabbed me.  I roundhoused him.  Punched him in the face before I even knew who he was or what had happened.  Many years later a boyfriend and I had had a fight, and he left, but he had a change of heart and came back.  I was in bed asleep. He woke me up and I gave him a bloody nose before I was even awake or knew what was happening.  My son who is a PD "picks" at me.  He will grab the (I am proud to say) small amount of flesh around my waist and squeeze it when I am not expecting it. It zings me.  Triggers me. I get angry. I feel violated. I do not hit him?  But I want to.

So I don't know if those are body memories or not but I do NOT like surprises that involve touching me, or grabbing me unexpectedly. AT ALL!

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bee

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I also have a very high startle response.

I am still pretty cut off from my body, though by observing my siblings, and knowing that I used to be where they are now, I can see that I have made huge strides.

I used to go to a massage therapist that did body work, basically gental touching on shoulder, arm, leg, torso, etc. it produced huge emotional responses in me. I know from this that I have tons of memories stored in my body.

Previous to seeing a naturopath/acupuncturist I had a lot of hip pain. That is gone, yay!

I have learned that it is bad idea for anyone other than my therapist to go anywhere near my feelings. Other people do not know how to deal with me/results of trauma. They can trigger me without intending to. In future I will have to figure out how to tell a naturopath to stay in the physical realm, far away from the feelings/psychological/spiritual.


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Kizzie

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I also have a really high startle response, so much so that my H and S tap on the wall if they are coming into the room or cough or something to let me know they are coming. If we are in a store, they will not come up behind me but will go around so I can see them coming.  It's a bit ironic because I feel like I am hyper vigilant and yet have this startle thing going on.  You know it's when I am distracted that the startle thing happens, when I am concentrating on work or shopping or deep into a book or TV show.  If I am in a social situation, I am definitely hypervigilant, reading the room constantly for signs of tension or anger.  So perhaps a startle response has to do with being very self-referenced (in your head), while hypervigilance has to do with being very other-referenced (scanning the environment for threat/danger). Just noodling a bit here.

That's great about your hip Bee  :thumbup:  I am  looking for a new T who is trained in trauma and somatic therapy as after all the reading about CPTSD, it's clear to me that I need to get out of my head and into my body more.  I think you're quite right about having someone who is trained in therapy to do that with, although I am also looking for a massage therapist to help with one area in my back that seems to store a lot of pain and flares up when I am stressed. If it does trigger me at least I will have a T to go to about it. 

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VeryFoggy

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Kizzie - I felt tears, probably tears of self pity, spring into my eyes as I read how careful your family is of your startle response.  They know about it and they CARE.  And they care so much that they do small things to alert you to their presence.  And as I read that I realized I have never lived with anyone like that ever.  Who would care so much for me, and my feelings that they would do special things to try help me.  All of my weaknesses?  Were used as ammunition, or used as a way to put me down, or used as proof of my defects. And the bigger the rise they can get out of me?  The more often it will be used. It's just sad. It's so sad that they enjoy small tortures, and doing things to make me scream, and react, and get angry.  It amuses them. And all I can do? Is try my best to not let them know that they were successful. That is a sad and loveless way to live.


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C.

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I too have a bit of a startle response. 

One way I've delt w/it is to make it a playful game w/my son.  When he was about 11 yrs old he liked to be "stealth" so he'd crawl slowly across our home, making no sounds and try to come up next to me w/o me hearing him.  I remember being in the kitchen preparing dinner, turn my head to the right, and there he is, grinning from ear to ear.  Knowing he would do this from time to time actually helped me to tone down my startling.  It was a game and made him feel great about himself at that age.  Like VF my son doesn't trigger me.  I'm in the nurturing mom-zone so it's easier for me to play.  And yes, that is quite loving how Kizzie's family members help her avoid startling.

I remember a few years when I had a two hour full body acupuncture.  I meditated during the treatment and went all the way back to my infancy.  That was how I first became aware of my C-PTSD, although I didn't yet have the "name" for it.  At that time it was just PTSD which didn't quite fit.  I didn't know about the Complex type in name.  But my heart and mind knew it started w/the poor emotional response I received in infancy.

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Kizzie

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VF - my FOO would take great pleasure in torturing and or belittling me with my startle response too so  :hug: to us for having to endure that kind of behaviour.  We did not deserve that!

And C that is such a positive way of dealing with your startle response with your son.  I had this wonderful image of a young boy with this big satisfied grin in his face and I enjoyed  the thought of how fun that must have been for him.   :thumbup:
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 05:23:53 PM by Kizzie »

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anosognosia

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I have an intense fixation to fall or jump when I'm on heights - eg I was at the opera a few days ago on the third floor and the railings were really low, maybe up to my thighs. I could have easily jumped.

I also have these really hard muscle knots which I have to massage out every week or so to prevent them from becoming giant.