Body Language

“Emotion always has its roots in the unconscious and manifests itself in the body.” – Irene Claremont de Castillejo

Continued from Brewing Storm

I learned how to distance myself from the marital discord in my life. I disconnected from its negative energy and allowed it to flow past me without acknowledging its presence. The seasons moved through the calendar without my awareness yet I remained active in the outside world. I ‘felt’ the changes. I noticed it but discarded the information as if it had no meaning. Once in a while, an incident would slip into my consciousness and I would say something to Hubby – “what’s going on?” I would ask. “What do you mean?” he would reply. I tried to explain the ‘off’ feeling that was so strong – something was tugging at my heart silently.

There was a growing battle inside of my heart. I knew something had changed and yet every time I asked a question, I hit a blank wall. “Nothing has changed.”, “What are you talking about?”, “Stop trying to stir something up.”, “Get out of your head.”… It didn’t really matter what the question was, the answer was the same. I felt lost and numb most of the time. I wasn’t living authentically and my body knew it.

One evening I was working late on the computer in our home office and I thought I saw something in the window to my left. It was dark and only light from my computer screen lit the room. I turned my head quickly to look through the window and a wave of nausea hit me like a baseball to the stomach. I bent over in my chair and caught my breath while I tried to keep the bile from projecting across my desk. As long as I held still, the nausea was at bay but each time I moved my head, the room swam and disappeared from focus. I got scared. I could feel my heart beating in my chest and I knew that I didn’t want to be alone. I made it upstairs to wake Hubby but only after stumbling through the hall like a pinball across plastic bumpers. I wasn’t hurting myself but I couldn’t walk a straight line. I sat on the edge of the bed after waking him trying to describe the sensation I had of being suspended in a vat of thick oil. I knew I needed to be upright but I couldn’t seem to keep my orientation there. We opted on the side of caution after thirty or so minutes and went to the emergency room.

We had to wake our neighbor so that someone would be in the house with the kids and she, being the best’est kind of friend – was there right away. By sometime in the middle of the night, I was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis – a virus or bacterial infection that affects the vestibular nerve in the inner ear. I was told not to drive for up to three weeks. Wait, What? Does this man know my life? Is he kidding? Ha!…  He didn’t know that my right hand was away at college and my other right hand had to work all day – especially if I couldn’t! The vertigo didn’t go away. Any time I moved my head, actually – my eyes – my whole body would sway in a direction that my head didn’t want to go. It was often as if one part of me was pulling the other part of me around in circles. Just being in the passenger seat was difficult if I tried to look ahead on the road or out of the windshield at all. I mostly kept my eyes locked on the dashboard and concentrated on the dust there.

Twin two – Emma and her two darling little ones came to my rescue as they had when I had my hysterectomy and stayed with me for a week so that I had help with driving. Not only couldn’t I get to work and back but the girls were incredibly active in scouts, swim team, and friendships that kept me on the road as much as a traditional ‘soccer mom’. There was always someone who needed to be there by 6 while another one had to be picked up here at 5:45 and their locations were ten miles apart… or something like that. It was manageable IF one could just get in a car and travel the roads for an hour and a half a day. It was one of the many reasons that I was trying to get away from the office more – It seemed the older the girls got, the more they needed me at home. With another sister in town, it was that much more fun, at least for us girls. Hubby was way outnumbered. One of the events that I had to miss was a concert that Hubby and I had tickets for. He was a huge fan of one of the old Rock bands that were making their rounds in smaller local venues so he was unwilling to miss it when they came to town. In fact, it wasn’t unusual for him to buy tickets for each of the events if they were within a drivable distance. This night, mom stayed with me so that Emma and Abee could go too.

The twins arrived dressed in jeans and button down shirts, humming Rock & Roll favorites they had been listening to all afternoon. I will never forget the images as Hubby entered the room to greet them and he was also wearing jeans and a tucked in black button down shirt that appeared to match Abee’s black shirt perfectly. It was surreal and awkward and weird and I had a feeling it wasn’t a mistake or a coincidence. As I recall, there wasn’t time for conversation and truly, I was at a loss for words. The three of them left the house chatting excitedly and as I watched them climb into Hubby’s truck, something in my body shivered as if a universal vibration had just split or severed or breached.

Although my dizziness got better, my body was still experiencing indications that something was wrong. My heart would race uncontrollably for no apparent reason. I would frequently find it difficult to take a deep breath. I would get light-headed and feel the need to sit down. After all of the medical issues that mom and SD Frank had over the years, I basically hated going to doctors. It seemed as if there was always bad news and I didn’t realize it then, but I had become an ‘avoider’. My life was busy and I had no time for bad news or a slew of tests. I toughed it out each time that I would experience these body functions that I didn’t understand and dismissed them like most of the other things that I simply didn’t want to think about.

The holidays were approaching and I had things to do.

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  1. Pingback: Missing Pieces – This Is Leslyn

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