My whole life, random people, all over the place, have been telling me that my disconnection from my body is not natural to me. That it’s been caused by things, people, events outside of me. Even total strangers would tell me this emphatically. I never believed them. Now, I kind of do.
I was a very kinesthetic child. I might not have been good at specific things assigned to me in gym class. But on my own? I scaled fences and walked on top of them like a cat. I climbed trees far taller than our split-level house and never once fell. This included pine branches the size of tree trunks that were so big that I had to grab them with all four limbs on the bottom and slowly scoot around it until I came up on top.
I rode my bike fast and popped wheelies and took fast corners without falling. I could comfortably and safely ride near traffic when I was eight. Wasn’t supposed to but I did. I had a few accidents when I was still new to it but none since then. Fine motor was just as good, I was in the junior high orchestra playing violin when I was six, and was always one of the fastest, if not the fastest typist in my grade when we learned typing at my new school starting in my second year of fourth grade.
And besides all these activities, I’ve often relied on movement and feel to take in and understand other sensory information. That’s the reason behind a lot of my ‘stimming’.
And yet I lived with this apparent disconnect from feeling anything physical. It just doesn’t add up. I mean there’s plenty of weird things about me but this one didn’t fit.
In the past year I’ve been getting closer to feeling my body and in the past month it’s been very intense. And it’s not just feeling my various body parts. It’s feeling three dimensional. It’s having a location among my surroundings. It’s feeling whole in a way I never knew I could because I had never felt it.
And it gets the most intense when I play the violin. Someone watching me play recently told me that the way I picked up and handled the violin and the bow was with much more ease than I handle other objects.
And usually at least once per practice session, something happens. Usually while improvising. I start, without even thinking of it, playing something that echoes my surroundings or my emotions in some way I could never do on purpose. When I am through, that sense of being three dimensional is stronger than it is at any other time, and it lasts quite awhile.
And it’s affecting other things. The other day I had my leg in a bad position and my back and side hurt. And I felt it. Normally I would not feel it until the pain became excruciating. And then I would only notice it in terms of becoming unable to do something, and then take awhile to figure out the source of the problem. This is the first time I’ve ever noticed before it got horrible like that.
Just got my violin out for a few minutes, earlier today.
I’ve been avoiding it to give my hands time to heal from playing too much. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to play long today. Both because I’m still pretty sick and because the callus on one finger peeled off and it’s tender. But I wanted to try a little.
It for some reason felt weird to be holding it. (Maybe because the last time I used it was before one of those “time blocks” my brain imposes after major events.) But it became easy shortly after and I noodled around for a bit. Then I ended up playing a song from one of the Zelda games, completely from memory. Then I put it away.
I was surprised how good the violin sounded. I don’t know why. I just was. I’m looking forward to a time when I can get that custom bridge put in. Thanks to being able to pay gradually.
I was even more surprised how it felt. Like I’ve been feeling more like my body is me than I ever have. But playing this violin intensifies and deepens the sensation. Even now cuddling with Fey she feels more real as well. I think I’m beginning to get out of a lifelong problem that I always accepted as the norm.