I was hanging out on a forum that I sometimes visit, the Out of the FOG forum. It’s a site dedicated to helping people deal with personality disordered people in their lives. As I’ve mentioned before, my mom was diagnosed by two of my therapists independently as probably having Borderline Personal Disorder. After living with Lora, I’m inclined to believe that she may also have BPD, and if not, that she’s somewhere on the personality disorder spectrum
There was a post recently that mentioned TRE – trauma release exercises, which partially work due to provoking your body to have a muscle-use trembling response, and then harnessing that trembling to help release stress and calm down the nervous system. The process works by first working with a person trained in TRE, who will assess you and your conditions and help to develop a system which compliments your personal stresses and life circumstances. There are also home exercises that will be assigned, and as you become more comfortable and progress in using TRE, you can move up to more difficult or targeted types of sessions.
Some people on the forum spoke about TRE helping them after getting away from toxic people. It seemed to somewhat help break the cycle of emotional/physical response that dealing with, or even thinking about dealing with toxic PD people could provoke. I’m still working through some feelings with Lora, absolutely. And in addition to that, I’m trying to work through my feelings with teacher. Both of these things create a powerful, painful physical response inside me. Just thinking about them, merely writing this, causes an untick in pain and tension within my body that I know I’ll need to stop and take the time to try to stretch out when I’m done.
If TRE could be targeted to help decrease then eliminate those painful responses would be a godsend. Additionally, as some of my pain conditions are directly related to the physical reaction that my muscles, tendons and fascia have to stress, this may potentially really help my ability to improve on my physical disability.
Concurrently, I’ve been researching Transcendental Meditation, which one of my doctors practices and strongly recommends. TM seemed interesting at first, but as I read up on it, I felt kind of leery. When I mentioned it to my friends, some commented that they’d heard it can be cult-like and detrimental to well-being. A fair number of articles on people dissatisfied with the movement came up simply by googling “Transcendental Meditation”, without adding any negative qualifiers. And as I’ve read on to exactly how it works (and specifically how you’re assigned your chant), I thought…mmmmm…I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Which doesn’t mean I won’t try it! Some people having negative experiences doesn’t mean the whole system is crap. And my doctor (who is the doctor that finally gave me a correct diagnosis) loves it, so that does weigh in my mind as a positive. But given that my gut response to reading up on it has been skepticism, I would rather try something that I first that I feel more excitement for, or simply feels like a better fit for me.
Which is why I’m focusing more on TRE. I think part of why it viscerally appeals to me is that when I have a powerful experience, positive OR negative, I tremble. After amazing sex with Jon, I tremble. When I get really good news, I tremble. And when my health issues are super crap and stressing me out, I tremble. Already having a trembling physical response leads me to believe that I may be more receptive or more able to dive into that kind of practice.
I know that my doctor already would like to me try TM, and that my physical therapist is also fine with that. But I want to talk to my doc and PT about TRE, as well talk to my emotional therapist about both, to see how they feel about me trying them. I’m not necessarily looking for “that’s a great idea” – though that would be nice. I’m mainly concerned with getting a “I don’t believe this will do further harm”, especially since the TRE does involve shaking, and I don’t know how that will work with my damaged body.
Were I to learn that either practice is only works slightly better than a placebo, I’d still be happy to try. I am actually all for placebos that trick the body/mind into doing better with things. At the end of the day, I don’t really care why I get better, just that I do, and that it happens without harming anybody.
In the next few weeks, I’ll follow up on how my research is going, and whether or not I’m going to try TM, TRE, or both. I’ve already looked up people certified to teach TRE in my area, and I found two who – based on their websites – sound like people I’d feel comfortable being vulnerable with. Naturally, I won’t know for certain until we begin to communicate, but it feels very positive to get such a good vibe from the writing on their websites.