That’s my superpower, for better or worse: I feel things in my body.
At its most benign, this comes in handy during therapy, where I might suddenly get a twinge of sensation – pleasant or unpleasant – in part(s) of my body. My therapist and I have slowly learnt the language of my body, what a pain here or a tickle there might mean, what it might add to our conversation.
At its worst, it’s literally crippling. I’ve stood in the middle of my therapist’s office, at the end of a session, with tears streaming down my cheeks, saying “I’m sorry, I can’t move my feet.” I literally could not take another step towards the door. My feet would not budge. When I persisted in trying, I wound up on the floor. There was no way my body was going to let me leave the office in that moment.
I also get:
- ear infections when there’s something I need to “listen to”, but refuse to (I was fighting off one of those all last week, which, looking back, makes more sense of my hypersomnia – I was not paying attention to something I needed to be paying attention to)
- a sore throat when I am feeling repressed – from holding back the scream I want to let rip
- sore jaw muscles from gnashing my teeth – though we all feel that pain, occasionally.
Another useful aspect of my superpower is that I can feel or sense emotions, thoughts or memories as though they were in the room with me. This is terrifically handy in therapy, and has sometimes lead to some wonderful breakthroughs, when I’ve experienced something as present in the room before I was able to consciously ‘know’ it. For example, yesterday I suddenly flipped out in therapy because I felt this great pressure pushing me back into the chair, which helped me finally get in touch with the feelings I’d been repressing these last few weeks. Scary; in fact, the word awesome is not out of place here!
Now, I don’t ascribe this superpower to anything supernatural. I don’t believe there’s anything spooky or creepy about my psychosomaticism: I just happen to have a body which is really tuned in to what’s going on in my mind. It actually took me a long time to accept that I was so deeply psychosomatic. I think the “feet nailed to the ground” incident was a real turning point in that process.
What’s your superpower? Does it help or hinder you in your journey towards wellness? I’d love to hear about them.