My usual massage therapist is still unable to work due to her shoulder problems so my appointment with her was cancelled this week. I had booked an alternative appointment with the massage therapist, Donna, who I saw last time but she had to cancel too so I had to either go without or try yet another different therapist.
I decided on the latter because now I'm having massage as part of my healing I really need it when the appointments come round. I had an awful night overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, it was obviously playing on my mind and I got very little sleep, if any.
So come Wednesday I felt absolutely awful and forced myself out to the massage. I was very glad I did though!
The massage therapist was called Tracy and combines aromatherapy with massage. We talked about the purpose of my massage and where I am on my healing journey. She suggested an orange blossom mix of oils to use for the massage. I happen to love blossom. I love how it looks and how it smells so I felt that she'd read me very well.
We agreed that she'd massage my neck, back and shoulders with the option of turning on to my back at the end to massage the front of my neck and shoulder area.
It was a very nice massage. Gentle but thorough and I found it incredibly relaxing. I was amazed at how relaxed I was during it. The smell of the orange blossom essential oil mix was beautiful and I loved it.
While she was massaging me I was weighing up whether or not I'd feel able to turn over so she could do the front of my neck. Lying on my back feels like a very exposed position for me but my gut was telling me I was safe and could trust her so when we got to the end of the massage and she asked me I said “I'd give it a go”.
To start with it was ok. I was totally covered up apart from my neck area and I felt surprisingly ok about her touching me on my front.
After that part of the massage she lifted the back of my head up and massaged it. The first time she did it I was sort of ok, the 2nd time I was aware of a greater sense of unease. Both times I felt a tensing in my neck and head area which made me wonder what was being triggered. The 3rd time I completely dissociated.
I didn't realise I had until I heard my name being spoken from what seemed to be a long distance. I snapped back into myself and heard Tracy gently telling me to relax my head. I tried to but the more I tried the harder it got! Tracy gently said to me “think heavy, let your head to go heavy, I have it safely in my hands and I'm not going to let it drop.” Eventually I was able to and she finished the massage.
As I reflected on what happened afterwards I was aware of memories – memories of my head being held in a vice like grip for various not nice purposes by paedophiles at my grandparents' house – memories of my head being held then deliberately allowed to fall and hit the floor hard – memories of my head being deliberately smacked against walls – all of these memories involved the back of my head/neck being touched where Tracy touched it.
When I go for a massage I never quite know what might be triggered by it. But I have to say I didn't expect that to happen. I've always known I don't particularly like having my head touched which can make getting my hair cut difficult and is also one reason why my hair is kept very short so it takes the minimum of work to look after. The least I have to touch my head the better. But I didn't quite know why that was, just that it was. Now I realise why I'm not all that surprised.
Those memories had been very buried but now they've come to the surface they need to be acknowledged and honoured.
I'll be very relieved when Juliette comes back to work because it's been really hard having to go to different therapists. I just want get back to where I was and to progress to the next level with Juliette.
However, it's also been an interesting and useful experience having to see other massage therapists. Each one has been different. Each one is one more person I've trusted. Each one has taken a lot for me to be able to do it. I've learned all sorts of things about myself I wouldn't have learned otherwise.
I'll just be glad to get back to 'normal' where my massage is concerned. I can't wait for Juliette to get back to work but in the meantime I'll keep plugging on knowing I can work with other massage therapists, even if it means I lose a night's sleep before it.