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The body keeps the score

I’ve mentioned the book “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel Van der Kolk before, about how the body displays outward manifestations of inner pain. Well the last week has been “interesting” from that point of view. My body has been very active in outwardly manifesting! Basically I have had a week of migrainous type attacks (actually quite strong symptoms, more than usual) coupled with a cycle of IBS. Annoyingly, my husband and I were away in North Norfolk, checking out a venue for a family celebration later in the year. Instead of being able to enjoy the lovely surroundings, walking around in a relaxed holiday mode, I was irritable and eventually had to retire to a darkened hotel room and sleep some of my symptoms off.

The migraine was unusual in that the aura of flashing lights was not present but I seem to have a new symptom of extreme dizziness, the room spinning which then stops and a vice like headache gripping my forehead, neck and shoulders. I also noticed extreme hypersensitivity to noise, for example, I had to ask my husband to stop sending a text, or at least leave the room!

The IBS was the usual stuff, not so bad at home but a bit of a nuisance when I’m out and about.

So what to make of all this?

Is this part of ageing? My body now reacts more strongly to stuff and I just have to accept that?

Another way of looking at it is my positive spin, that this is negative emotion from the past coming to the surface and being released. For example, the painful head, neck and shoulders could be a sign of tension being released, another step in the healing process. I keep telling myself that because the alternative, my migraines are getting worse with new, different symptoms is not a cheery outlook!

My trigger for migraines has always been a release of tension, and coming to the final stages of my Zine on my Dad, with realisations and conclusions reaffirmed has been crucial.

In the last few days I have been able to make a bit more sense of Dad as a person. He has always seemed very opaque to me, a dark horse, but this last week I suddenly recognised how he might actually share characteristics with his mother (my Gran). Whilst I loved my Gran, she was a woman of not much conversation and never seemed particularily sharp or insightful, playing very much second fiddle to my grandad. As always, I could be wrong but coming to the end of the Zine, I wish him and his family well but am glad that I have closed the door on them. No regrets, it has been the right and only decision possible for me.

Another insight I experienced is seeing families, children, people, generally enjoying themselves on holiday, it is an alien experience for me (as a child). For a start we weren’t taken on holiday as children in this way (after I was 4) . Watching 2 boys playing, mucking about, lost in a silly game, I was aware of how as a child I never remember feeling carefree and able to play this way. I was always an observer, spectator, picking up the feelings and emotions of adults around me, trying to process those and react correctly.

I need to practice enjoying myself, I’m good at working hard at stuff, not so good at playing, in a holiday resort for example.

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