All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin.  ~Lord Byron

I’ve always thought I was a twin; every time I mentioned it growing up, my parents would act as though I was being ridiculous and scoff or brush the thought aside. Fortunately, I landed in eating disorder treatment two and a half months ago. The outpatient setting and transitional living home I reside in is validating, more so than other places I’ve journeyed to in the past. It was at this place that I was referred to a somatic therapist about one month ago.

To think, it’s been only one month I’ve been seeing this amazing human being is beyond me. I had yet to cry in front of her though I have two session per week with her. Then, last Friday happened, and last Friday was quite an experience.

Quick note about somatic therapy: it’s when a therapist deals with bodily responses to trauma, and yes, we all hold trauma of some sort, it doesn’t have to be abuse, neglect or torture. The somatic therapist I see incorporates touch as she holds a massage therapist license as well.

The first session with her she didn’t touch me at all, she sensed energetically that my system was not ready to handle it. Gradually, she integrated touch, almost always starting with my kidneys/adrenals.

Last Friday, I mentioned to her that my eating disorder therapist believes I hold my trauma in my throat. I’ve been having many throat issues and have had to resort to a soft diet. We ended up on the topic of babies and suddenly, for the first time in her office, I realized I had to close my eyes. I hadn’t yet closed them in her presence because I never know what will happen if my eyes are closed, my safety feels compromised.

However I closed my eyes and put my hood on. Up to that point, I hadn’t worn a sweatshirt on the table. It is ideal for her to have closest access (without touching) to my skin. She asks me to take it off usually, and I obediently do, but not Friday thankfully. My hoodie is a security blanket and extremely soft.

Upon closing my eyes, I saw a baby. Have you ever gone to a museum where they outline the stages of a baby in-utero and you see a small object about the size of an egg surrounded by amniotic fluid? That’s what I saw. Then I thought to myself, “I thought I was a twin” and instantly I saw two of these fetuses, mirror image of one another.

As though I were looking through a kaleidoscope, the image in my mind remained, along with a slight beating or pulsation as though it was to a heartbeat or someone’s breathing (like the carrier of the babies). I saw the color yellow flood through me and then miniature babies, maybe 8 or 10 were in a kaleidoscope image circulating about in a circle, in various positions. 

The image then returned to the two babies, facing one another. One baby detached from the circle and began drifting off. I began to feel an overwhelming sadness. When the therapist asked me what was going on, I explained to her that the other baby was leaving, saying to me, “I’ll be waiting for you.” It wasn’t in a creepy way, just sincere and matter-of-factually.

Suddenly, there was a bright light and I was surrounded by about four sets of arms over me, and a mask on my face. At this point, the therapist had hand placement; one on my lower neck and one on my chest. My breathing was rapid. I told her I barely felt the presence of her hand on my chest and she began a sort of kneading motion with her knuckles, not harder so much as to bring awareness to my body.

I felt an extreme pressure on my chest, not from her and not from anxiety. It was the sort of pressure one would use to stimulate a baby upon birth (as an EMT, I am aware of this tactic). My breathing continued to be erratic, my left hand was tapping up and down on the table. She took her hand off my back and placed in beneath my left hand. I made no motion towards it. She asked me what I wanted to do with her hand. I said, “instinctively, I want to grasp it”. She asked why I didn’t, to which I replied, “because then that would mean I’m in this world. She said, “You are in this world.” I, as the baby speaking, said, “I made the wrong decision, I want to be with the other baby. She said, repeatedly, “You’re here, you chose to be here. I continued to reply that I didn’t want to be, I made the wrong decision. She asked me to decide if I was ready to have this happen, to be present, to let the other baby go. I wasn’t. Usually, she doesn’t push me into any sort of decisions, this day she did a bit it seemed.

We ended at the point of conflict; my choosing to be in this world though I don’t want to be. I badly want to be with the other baby. Not wanting me to think too much about it, she said to not rationalize what had just happened. I haven’t too much though I’ve thought about it most of the days since. Seeing her today, she said, “Happy 5 days since your birthday”.

A few sessions ago, she mentioned that my nervous system is like an infant’s and to my therapist at the center, she said it’s like a newborn’s. Even if my age progresses, if my emotions are never dealt with accordingly, age will remain inconsistent to my developmental state.

I saw my psychiatrist today, the first person to get intimate with my case, “a little too much” as she said in a joking manner. She said I have to consider my situation as though I’m an orphan. Even though I’ve thought that constantly, and said to a few people, this was the first time someone else brought this to my attention.She spent a lot of time with me, much appreciated.

Today, I arrived slightly late to session because my psychiatry appointment today was delayed, resulting in my delay in arriving to the somatic therapist’s office. She didn’t want to use the table today (where touch often takes place). She asked me to sit with being alone, to feel what it feels like to be alone. An overwhelming emotion flooded my body and a steel gate went down, and I went blank and unable to talk.

This has happened before, not in her presence though. She came over to me and put her hand on me. Later on, she explained to me that my cells froze and that was validating because then it was as if someone else was validating my experience, someone so gifted and knowledgeable and attuned to others’ bodies. Someone who won’t run away and enjoys a “complex” case.

Even though my individual therapist can’t handle me too much right now and is struggling through her own stuff, I’m very grateful she referred me to the somatic therapist. My experiences are finally feeling more real as opposed to surreal, and at least one other human being on this earth cares about me.

Someone cares about you, somewhere, somehow, even when you least expect it.

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