Our bodies have memories too.
I was told.
They remember what they saw, what they felt, what took place.
And they put away.
To the naked eye everything seems fine. We don’t know you see. Not consciously. Sometimes we don’t even remember. We’ve forgotten.
The memory’s been
shoved to one side,
It can’t hurt us from here because we can no longer see it. We’re no longer aware of its presence. Even though we carry it with us daily, unsuspecting, like a ghost companion.
The body will remember for us.
Or forget for us and remember for itself.
Stashed away in its own archives.
I stumbled upon TRE (Trauma Release Exercises) just like I stumbled upon a revelation about my body’s memories. How could it be true if I had no conscious recollection, no tangible memories? Although can the mind really be trusted? Especially when it fabricates memories sometimes, to suit our own narratives. So, who’s to say which are the real memories from the imagined ones?
But the body remembers you see. The body doesn’t lie. It doesn’t need to fabricate memories because the only narrative it obeys to is the one that really happened.
But my mind at the time didn’t know this and it questioned what I couldn’t see or had tangible proof of. I was told facts about my body and its dark recesses. I was told statements that rang true but were hard to swallow at the time. It took me a while to digest and process. I sat with this new information, held it and accepted that it was a part of me, might always be a part of me in some shape or other.
Maybe its impact and strength would lessen over time. Maybe I would heal. But I wasn’t thinking about that at the time, I was bawling my eyes out.
I was shown a way out. A way to expulse all these residues of tension and patterns lying inside. This debris.
A way to release and free my body.
But first I had to ‘fatigue’ my leg muscles.
A preparation for the actual experience.
I stood with my legs apart rolling the soles of my feet from one side to the other. Rolling to the right and then to the left, the small bones cracking as my feet contorted against the floor. And again, back and forth, for a few counts.
I then stood with one arm stretched out to the wall, the leg closest to it bent at the knee and the other leg curled up on itself. And up and down I bent and came back up, and again for fifteen counts on each side.
The fatigue was already starting to set in.
Next, I stood with my legs apart, wider this time, and my torso and arms stretching towards my right leg, taking deep breaths. I then swerved to the left and repeated the same thing. And ended with my arms dangling in the middle of my legs, reaching as far back as I could.
But it didn’t stop there.
Two more exercises.
Back up vertically with my fists clenched and pressed against my lower back and my torso bending backwards as far as I can go. Before I leant to one side, my hips popping on the other. And back to the other side.
Now this last one is the one that really tires you out.
I stood with my back against the wall, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms dangling at the sides. And I waited for the next five minutes, breathing more and more heavily as the strain set inside my thighs, the mental focus becoming harder and harder to hold onto.
Lying on the mat was a relief.
I bent my knees and pressed the soles of my feet against the mat. And then
the shaking happened.
It started as a quiver. A slow small hum inside. My legs begin to sway back and forth to the sides in irregular movements. And then the pace picked up. I had never experienced anything like this before. It was like the wind going through me, rattling everything inside.
It surprised me, the shaking. It had a rhythm of its own, a tale I did not know. I had to let it unfold of course, I couldn’t interfere. And it revealed itself in all its nuances and complexities.
You see each tremble has its own tempo, its own personality, course and intensity.
Sometimes the tremble is faint, like a slight breeze or caress. Sometimes it’s violent, agitating everything along its path, not caring, bulldozing its way through. Sometimes it’s like a series of beads strung together with current running through each one, starting from my coccyx and moving towards my belly button. And as the current moves up, echoes ripple throughout the inside of my thighs.
At other times the shaking seems to say
Enough, let’s get it all out and be done with it!
jerking my legs and spreading my hips violently.
Out, out, out!
Get it all out!
You’ll feel better afterwards.
And I lie and wait till it’s finished telling its story.
Cleansed from the inside, I’ve gotten rid of my memories.
Till next time.
And for now,
I lie curled up in a ball,
worn out but
feeling born again.