Do You Understand?
(This is an ongoing story. If you want to start at the beginning, click here.)
Here’s the thing about me: when I’m going through something challenging, all I really want is to be able to talk about it with someone who has gone through the exact same thing. That’s been the single hardest thing about my work with AE. No two people go through this the same way.
Late last summer, when I was freaking out about how much my foot was starting to hurt, AE offered to let me talk to some people who had done extensive work with her. And by extensive, I mean complicated. She calls me “a complicated unwind.” Between my sheared foot and my C-Section scar mucking up the works, she has many layers of gunk to get through. She used to describe my calves as my “cement boots” because the tissue there was so rubberized, like the consistency of a wetsuit, thick and impenetrable to stabilize the mess my foot had created.
She had six different women call me – all fellow “complicated unwinds” – and share their experiences with me so I could better understand the process. But none of them had pronating feet like mine. In fact, only one had a foot problem at all. The rest had problems – lots of problems – and lots of surgeries that exacerbated their problems, but no one had problems exactly like mine.
Two women shared with me that they’d dropped inches off their waistlines since their AE work. Both these women also told me that in their 10 months of sessions, they regularly had painful days, where their bodies were “processing” the changes and sometimes they just feel like crap. I remember thinking, I don’t want to feel like crap, but if I end up thinner I could probably stand it.
Well, I haven’t ended up thinner and in fact I’ve gained weight from all the chocolate I eat to soothe my crappy-feeling self. But the real loss is that I don’t have that thing that I crave, which is to be able to tell someone what happened to me in my session today and for them to totally get it. For them to say, “You know when you’re near the end of your session and you say to AE, ‘I hope I can still walk when I get off this table?’ and she says, ‘Yeah, I hope so, too!’ Doesn’t that just crack you up?” And for me to say, “I know! It’s hilarious!”
No one but me gets how hilarious that is.
Not even Scott. Because, although he’s been to her many times over the past year, his experience is completely different than mine. He doesn’t feel wrung out. He doesn’t have any blowback. We both see AE but it’s like he went to the ballet and I went to the circus.
I have friends who have seen her, and they, too, have completely different experiences. We could talk about trying to fit a purse into the little cubbies in the closet or the scary BEEP the space heater makes if it gets jostled, but that’s about it.
Today AE told me that there’s a man she works on who has feet similar to mine. Almost as bad, she said. But I’m pretty sure he never had a C-Section, and even if he did, he STILL would not unwind in exactly the same way.
After I cried today, AE recounted again the time when, after many sessions, her neck finally released and her body cried for two solid hours. “It wasn’t from pain,” she said. “It was my body releasing grief. I couldn’t have stopped those tears if someone put a gun to my head.”
And I nodded hungrily. I know. I know. I know. I know.
But I don’t have anyone to talk that way with. I don’t have anyone who will tell me, “I know exactly what you mean.” So I have to just keep telling this story to you, from every angle, hoping I can get you to understand.
Do you understand?