Even though I knew I was doing all I could to care for Jack’s congestive heart failure and kidney disease last year, unconsciously I felt increasingly powerless and ineffectual. I think tennis is so appealing to me right now because I succeed in my intention to hit the ball across the net over and over and over again. It’s cathartic and gives me a sense of competence. It also releases a lot of tension.
Speaking of releasing, I do my Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) every day.
One morning, I did TRE before tennis and, oh-my-gosh, I was on fire–or “in the zone”, as the tennis pro said. He asked what happened. I thought it was possible the TRE I did beforehand helped, although I didn’t tell him that.
In a trauma situation, the psoas muscle is activated first. It is in your deepest core and connects to your leg muscles so you can immediately fight or take flight. If you can’t fight or take flight, and the trauma goes on too long and you don’t get a chance to release that crazy life-or-death energy in a timely fashion, you freeze and can tighten up at your core and eventually get lots of physical symptoms like IBS (because you can’t digest in a fight or flight situation—only diarrhea and/or constipation), insomnia, all sorts of pain, inability to cry, and so on.
My childhood situation went on too long without a safe place or person to accommodate the release of my trauma energy. I was too young, small and dependent to fight or run, so I froze at various levels (emotionally numb, physically numb, etc.).
Every once in a while I physically freeze in situations that evoke some level of fear or apprehension.
About eight years ago, I stood with Jack on a Chicago street. Suddenly, a potentially dangerous scenario between the police and a man who appeared deranged and violent was playing out a few feet away from us. I remember wanting to back away from the situation. At the same time, I saw Jack moving closer. I tried to move towards Jack to pull him back and found myself frozen from the waist down. It was crazy. I couldn’t move. It dissipated, but ugh. Don’t like to feel like a little kid again, but the survival brain transcends the thinking brain so what can you do…
The following is kind of absurd. The tennis pro was trying to teach me something new last week—to punch the ball at the net, not swing–because there’s no time. I felt apprehensive, unsure of what to do. He started hitting balls at me fast and furious. Guess what happened.
For a few seconds, I locked up from the waist down! I could move at the waist and lean into the ball, but I briefly couldn’t move my legs. I was like, Give me a break, Survival Brain. We’re not exactly anticipating the threat of annihilation here.
It’s like my body learned this paradigm to survive when I was a kid and every once in a while, when I get a sense of apprehension, it won’t allow me to move until it assesses the situation.
I love my survival brain. Sometimes it’s like Shane with Alan Ladd (saw that last night). Sometimes it’s Don Quixote. Either way, it’s protected me for such a long time.
The best thing for me—and my tennis game—is to stay loose with Trauma Releasing Exercises.
Why do 90% of sports socks have compression arches now? They didn’t have them for decades. I do not believe the sock manufacturers of the world got together and said, What can we do that will unnecessarily increase our budget, but will potentially benefit the feet of our consumers? Let’s do something altruistic because love and compassion are what we’re all about.
I think it must be somehow cheaper for them to manufacture these socks by double knitting that area over the arch. Forgive my cynicism, but it just doesn’t make sense to me they would voluntarily do anything that doesn’t increase their bottom line.
I do not like these socks. By nightfall, my feet are super sore under the “protected” area–and I never had an issue with my arches.
I don’t like it when something is presented as if it’s to my advantage, but it’s really to the advantage of the other party.
It’s going to take time to meet new friends here in AZ. I’m trying new things like a boxing lesson next week.
Ode to the Cotton Bug V
Oh Cotton Bug, Oh Cotton Bug
Where have you gone?
Is the season over
and you’ve gone on to more accommodating climes?
Was I your Palm Beach?
Was I your Breakers?
Or maybe I was West Palm Beach
and one of those little old, dank motels across the street from the big ones on the water.
Was I caviar?
Or chopped liver?
I finished watching all 300+ episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
I thought maybe I could take a selfie of us in my closet
before I flushed you down the commode.
But you’re gone.
“When the rain beats against my window pane
I’ll think of summer days again
and dream of you.”
Goodbye Cotton Bug.