In last week's therapy session, M (the therapist) tried to do EMDR with me (for information on EMDR, please go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_movement_desensitization_and_reprocessing or http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=emdr-taking-a-closer-look*). I think I've mentioned previously that I was happy she practiced EMDR, as my previous therapist also used it.
We started the preliminary work, and as we began, she continued to stress to me that what we needed to accomplish was the clear connection of body and mind. I continued to stress to her that I understood the exercise. Eventually, something became glaringly obvious to both of us: I'm not connected to my body at all.
Now, there are people in this world who know me better than I know myself, and if any of them are reading this, they probably knew this a long time ago. If you're one of these people, you're excused, as I understand there are other interesting things on the internet you could be reading.
I don't understand where this comes from, and this shouldn't really be much of an epiphany to me. My body is a vessel I use to consume music, books, and movies and to spew out opinions and facts no one else gives a shit about. Sometimes, it's a vessel for wine as well. My body goes where I go, simply because I can't leave here at home. In retrospect, I've almost treated her as a second-hand car: "I know I'm hard on it, but I don't need the undercoating - you're just trying to scam me out of more money."
At some point in my life, I focused on my brain, spent a lot of time in there. Early on, I was told I was quite clever, so I went out and used my body to buy books, and then read them. I stayed up late, thinking different thoughts. Fact is, at this point I'm not certain I'm of above average intelligence. A depressing thought for someone who has placed all her eggs in one basket.
While not being connected with my body, I still sometimes obsess about it. I was at the beach last week with a friend, and a couple of larger women walked by and I asked "am I as big as her?" and got the response "what? NO**." I have no idea what I look like. I know that my body is about 50 pds heavier than she should be, and takes up more storage space than need be, but after that point, I just have no idea. It feels almost clinical at times, and the idea of being thought of as attractive seems, well, outside of me. Sometimes, the thought of trying to make myself seem attractive to the opposite sex (or same sex, depending on the full moon) just seems like a lot of work with little payoff. Who would I be fooling? Him? For a few months, until that moment when I realize he's not the one I want and have to have that awkward conversation.
I wish I had some sort of an answer; some coherent way to end this post. Maybe I need to spend some quality time with my body? Even that thought feels preposterous to me, as it's here all the damn time (she's even been reading over my shoulder).
*I wish the evidence were better, but yes, EMDR is controversial. Additionally, it should be noted that I do not suffer from PTSD, and it's been used for me more to deal with stress and depression.
**I'm still not certain that the "NO" reaction was an answer to my question, or her simply telling me not to ask such things. Immediately after answering me, she went into a speech about how I had great hair, was pretty, funny, and I needed to get myself out there and start meeting people. It sounds complimentary, but it felt a little more like she was saying STFU. I can't be sure I wouldn't have done the same had she asked me.