Thanks to my compensation I now have choices financially. One of those choices is to pay privately for massage in the hope I will have something I can rely upon better than the current shambles with Quiet Mind.
So last Monday I paid £38 for an hour's massage with a private therapist who works for Exmouth Osteopathy Centre.
It went incredibly well. She's been doing massage for over twenty years. After the expected medical questions she asked me why I'm having massage, saying if she knew my reasons for needing massage then she'd have some idea of how to work with me.
She really 'got' the reason why I have massage and why having massage I can really depend upon matters so much to me – that it's all about getting safe touch back into my life in a therapeutic environment - you simply cannot do that on last minute cancellations and anything up to six weeks between appointments.
We discussed where I want to be touched and how much. I agreed for the first time ever to take everything off my top half. That was a MASSIVE step for me emotionally and I reckon it's going to take a few goes before I get used to how that felt. I felt very vulnerable and exposed although I was covered with a towel. It was a HUGE step!! My massage therapist said she thought it would be good to use some aromatherapy oils to help me relax and checked I was ok with that before mixing and using a gentle combination of lavender and camomile with a couple of other oils.
I settled under the towel and the hour's massage went very well. She did all she could to put me at my ease and I felt safe and ok with her, which was a good start.
I was very tense all the way through despite feeling relatively safe with her. But I did find her massage relaxing. It was a strange combination of tension and relaxation. I guess it was more being on guard and making sure it really was safe.
My massage therapist told me she could tell my neck and lower back need a lot of work and that I have a lot of pain and stored tension in those places. I totally agreed with her, I'm not sure which is worse - my neck or my lower back. She went on to say most people undress to their pants. I didn't make a comment as I knew that would be way too far for me to go. That is virtually naked and no way can I do that, even if I am lying under a towel and she can't see anything and doesn't want to see anything [which in some ways is more important]. It's too big a step for me emotionally and mentally. However, I decided to buy a pair of loose shorts to change into for massage as a compromise between staying in trousers/crops or dressing down to underwear and hope that'll work ok.
I see her again in two weeks time because I can only afford to pay private fees on a fortnightly basis.
In the meantime I am due to see my usual massage therapist tomorrow at Quiet Mind after a six week break due to her cancelling an appointment three weeks ago at very short notice and not being able to offer an alternative. That was the final straw for me and made me realise I was going to have to go private to be able to have massage I could rely on.
I'm just glad that for the next few months private massage is an option for me. Without the compensation that would not have been an option for me. To be honest what I need to heal is of primary importance in my life right now. Massage is just as important as counselling or therapy and needs to be given the same level of commitment and dependability, as much as possible.
When I see Donna tomorrow I will be saying something about how badly affected and inconvenienced I have been by the ridiculous six week gap in appointments. What I will actually say I don't know. I had a really bad dream about it last night. I always find it very difficult to say when I've been so negatively affected and impacted as I have been by that situation.
I'm so glad to have taken the step I have so that whatever massages I am able to get at Quiet Mind will be a bonus but at least I won't have to rely on them for the deep emotional healing that having massage is all about.
Probably for the first time in my life I have recognised what I need and why, accepted it, prioritised it and done something positive about it. And that is a HUGE step for me.