Jenna, I say gently. Can we take a slow breath together, I ask.
Yes, let’s do that.
I slowly gesture my right hand and put it on my heart . “Will you do this with me?” Let’s just place our hand on our heart and let's breath.
If there's anything that comes up, simply notice it and breath. Ok. We take a few deep inhales and exhales.
I notice Jenna begins to fidget a bit.
I’m wondering how you’re doing right now in this moment, Jenna.
I don't know Esther, I’m breathing but it's like there's something stuck in my throat...and my whole chest feels heavy.
I encourage Jenna to stay with the sensation as we know from somatic psychotherapy that our bodies are always communicating with us nonverbally and often, sensation, such as tension, pressure, heat, coldness, numbness, tingling or dizziness simply come up to help us process something important.
She stays with the pressure and her eyes begin to well up.
Ugh….. I think it’s Mother’s Day. All these emotions.
My friends all delight in this thing called mother’s day and it’s been the topic of conversation all week. They’re planning where to buy arrangements for their mom, how to plan a socially distant event or how to thank their moms and I just don't feel in the spirit. It’s not that I don't want to, I just can’t focus on it.
To me, that day feels numb.
I look at her as she speaks with an exasperated look on her face.
I'm numb. I'm here, but I'm feeling numb.
Can you check inside for a moment and check if there's a place where the numbness begins, where it may generate from- I wonder out loud, inviting her to deepen her somatic awareness
Oh, hmm, she says, as she breathes in. My heart, yes, it's my heart.
Mother’s day. You know. My mom. I love her. But I am also sad.
I feel bad saying this, but I’ve been thinking about what a mothers’ role is and I don’t feel like my mother has been a mother to me in some of the ways I’ve really needed her to be.
Tears slowly well up in her eyes.
As she speaks, I see her energy slowly come back to her. The numbness is lessening. This often happens when we uncover the emotions that are beneath the numbing. This usually offers some relief to the mind and body.
In our work together, Jenna and I had done some work on her “mother wound” she carries. In her life, though her mother tried really hard to the best of her ability, Jenna often felt misunderstood and disconnected from her mom. It was hard for Jenna to acknowledge the disappointment and disconnect in the relationship with her mom, and she often avoided looking at it. Her wish was that if she ignored this relationships’ impact, she would feel better.