My sixteenth year was a big year. I got my driver’s license. I started working at a “real” job and found a new boyfriend. I also frequently wrestled with one of my best friends who happened to be a linebacker, a full foot taller than me and four years older.
One day, he picked me up and body slammed me onto the couch, which was an ecstatic place to be, there beneath his beautiful body. I had about a nanosecond to enjoy the pleasure of feeling him atop me before stars filled the ever-deepening blackness in my head and my stomach churned. My skull had come into contact with the corner coffee table in the then-popular over-stuffed modular couches. My occiput (the ridge at the base of your skull) slammed into the solid, wooden edge with a hard enough of a crack that I was certain my head was shortly going to go rolling to the floor.
I didn’t want to cry. Big girls don’t cry, ya know and they definitely don’t cry in front of the man they want to climb into bed with, even if they are only sixteen and have no idea what the hell that means. Instead, when he immediately sat up and helped me up, I laughed a nervous, jittery giggle while rubbing the knot on the back of my head and assuring him, “No, no. Really! I am really okay.”
He apologized continually and I smiled lamely, “It’s really okay,” while consciously leaving my hands in my lap so I wouldn’t keep rubbing my head and attracting his attention and apologies. I ignored the nauseau. I ignored the spots in my vision. I ignored the shooting pains.
It caused serious damage down my entire spine, however. It knocked all seven of my cervical vertebrae (neck) critically out of alignment and for a year afterward, I was silent about the excrutiating headaches. Reflexively, it also malaligned my five lumbar (bottom of the spine) vertebrae, especially the last two, which resulted in pain in my hips.
Finally, my parents could see the pain I was in, although they did not know the origin. For years, I went to a chiropractor who whacked and cracked me into place and I found some release.
Fast forward to today…
I have come to understand, now, that physical ailments, illnesses, diseases and, even, injuries are rooted in the emotional, energetic and mental bodies first. As I have grown in my profession, I have become accutely aware of my own body, my energy systems, my thought patterns, my emotional life and how they are all interrelated.
Now, on evermore rare occasions, my lumbar vertebrae will slide out of place. Because my lower spine is weak, it has now involved the sacrum (big triangular bone in your pelvis at the end of your spine) and my ilium (hips). This week is one of those weeks. It starts with stiffness all over my back – I imagine that a weakness has been detected along the spine and the muscles are struggling to hold me erect. And then, I will experience moments when I am unable to stand up with any speed and, once I do get up, I stand crooked. Then, at the most unforeseen and inopportune moment possible, I will reach for the toothpaste and that will be all she wrote. The SI joints (where the sacrum and ilium connect) will pop out, throwing my spine in an obviously, visible jag to the left or right in agonizing, blinding pain that takes away my breath and the inability to walk and breathe at the same time.
As I have gone through my week, I have been aware that my back is speaking to me. Given all that I have experienced over the last couple weeks, it is understandable. The lower back stores the energy of how one feels about “support” – financial and emotional. It goes without saying that my thoughts about “support” in this moment of my life are very weak and it is showing up in my back.
In the deep of the night last night, I yawned. I had no idea that I yawned while I was asleep and the only reason I know that I did was because my right SI joint flipped out of place for an instant and shot pain in every direction, waking me up in the middle of a gaping-jaw yawn. I was dreaming. I recently learned that when one is processing fear, yawning is common and it did not escape my noticing that it had been the yawn which had moved me. The images burned in my eyes. It had been a dream about my former husband.
Shaken, I rolled to the other side, seeking relief. Within an hour, I woke up in the middle of excrutiating pain in the middle of a yawn. This time it was on the left and the dream was about myself.
This morning, I am tired. My back is tight and weak. My neck is stiff and my range of motion is greatly hindered. And I feel scared that I am ignoring some really big things…