(I’ve having a couple seemingly non-connected thoughts, but they will make sense at the end. I hope Bourbon doesn’t mind if I snag her wonderfully understandable “heading” type flow. We give credit where it’s due!)
Normally we don’t like being touched.
We have intimacy issues (big surprise there). Yes, Charlotte manages to have “relations”, but I can’t even describe the sort of things she requires of her partner in order to turn her fully on. It’s disgusting. I’m flat-out disturbed the body requires such things in order to react to another partner. She’s handled 90% of every sexual encounter of the body’s life (post abuse, that is). The rest of us just…don’t like being touched.
It’s why, despite Claire’s attraction to Jeff, we’re all getting edgy with his advances. I’m sure it’s the sort of physical things that are the norm for normal people. Cuddling, kissing, head/hair stroking. It just eeks us all. Even Claire, though she tries hard not to get triggered. It happens regardless a lot of the time.
We get crippling migraines
We’ve gotten them since we became more aware of being multiple and started the whole “switching frenzy” thing that led to a lot more blackouts and a period of just being complete dumbasses. They’re bad- they involve crippling head, neck, and back pain, uncontrollable (and constant) vomiting (sorry Bourbon…), and swelling of our face (mostly around the eye area).
We were at a loss for treatment for a long time. Most pills don’t work. The ones that do are hardcore narcotics and not something we can take and still function throughout the day.
Then Daddy insisted we try his massage therapist. He got us a gift treatment. We balked. We hate being touched, especially by strangers. And this was a gift from Daddy.
But we were also told by our GP (an angel) that it would be an excellent idea, as she’d noticed that our migraines seem to have a lot tied to stress (HA!) and when we’d seen her during an actual migraine, our whole neck and back were wound tighter than a top. She thought regular massage would be a perfect solution. And it didn’t involve medications with terrible side effects.
However…it did involve touching. Our GP is aware of that phobia. She’s our Gyno too- we’d never had that kind of exam before and at the first (and last) one, the rest of the doctor’s office was aware they had someone with mental issues. They’d never had a patient start screaming, crying, then black out when given that kind of exam.
She insisted we go.
Kit, Charlotte, Rika, and myself all love horror movies
The rest don’t, but since it’s a genre that has the most “supporters” in our system (and the host being one of them has a lot of pull), we watch a lot of horror movies.
We go to horror related events. We used to assist a local Horror Host, Dr. Creep, with a charity Halloween Horror-moviethon every year. And one year we were asked to help run a booth for Dr. Creep at nearby convention called Horror Hound.
We fell in love.
We go every year now. This past year, it was in March. We mentioned it to everyone we knew.
Including our new massage therapist. Flippantly, of course. Some of that nervous talking in the waiting area before she politely asks us to remove all our clothing except panties. She suddenly grins and Roms detects sincere interest with her “reading ability”.
“I love all things horror!” She says. Kit grins. “I’m planning on going to Horror Hound myself! Did you hear Norman Reedus from “Walking Dead” is supposed to be there???”
Suddenly, she isn’t a stranger.
She’s married and has a daughter. She talks about her daughter’s addiction to pickles with a grin. Anyone who is a sincere mother makes our system melt.
Sincere mothers are our weakness. We love our mother so very much. It broke her heart to find out what happened back in that dirty alley behind our tiny two bedroom house. She beat herself up for refusing Daddy’s handouts after divorcing him and trying to be a “strong independent woman”. She tried to save us from one kind of abuse only to deliver us into the hands of a more insidious kind.
Ack. Tangent. Back to the massage therapist (MT).
The First Massage
We like her. But that doesn’t mean she can touch us.
She politely leads us to the private room, shows us the table and the function of every single thing in the room (the oil bottles, the heater, the stereo playing soft music). She then calmly explains about removing everything except our panties. Shows us the thick blanket that will cover us the whole time. She promises to only start out touching our head, neck, and upper back. That is it. Unless we’re comfortable to allow lower back and legs.
We take a leap of faith that we haven’t done in a long time.
We crawl under the thick blanket in our panties, our chest down and back up, firmly cocooned in the blanket. MT knocks on the door and does not open it, even a crack, until she gets verbal permission from us.
She is made for people like us.
She explains and asks before she does anything. She starts by softly working on our scalp and hair. We are floored by a momentary appearance of Armes, who loves her hair being played with but is terrified of people. Except she loves Mommy-types. She croons happily and MT remains quiet, doesn’t comment.
MT is smart.
The first massage passes with a bit of switching, but not in the scared/upset disassociating way. It is the first time that has happened in a very long time. We all get to share in her gentle, soothing touch.
It is healing.
For the first time since high school, we go a week without any migraines.
Financial and Medical Problems
We start trying to make regular appointments. She gives us a discount when we’re able to produce a prescription from our understanding GP saying the massages are beneficial for a medical condition.
Then the bottom falls out.
We are hospitalized for hypertension crisis twice within a single month. Our finances disappear as doctors struggle to find a cause.
We are no where near obese. High blood pressure does not run in either side of our family. We tend to eat rather healthy-ish (when we do eat).
Must be stress.
They throw pills at us. The pills are insanely expensive. None seem to work, except to give us awful side effects. But the specialists will not let us stop taking them, saying the pills “need time”.
The blackouts start, the depression, the self-harm. It’s a string of events we’re familiar with.
We can’t see our MT. We don’t have the money and we don’t even have the energy or drive to get ourselves there. MT expresses concern.
Then Daddy does a surprising thing. He is being surprising in general, having actually visited us the hospital (without criticism). Daddy doesn’t believe in “psychology bullshit” but he does believe in our migraines and high blood pressure. And he reads articles about massage helping those things. He knows we spend all our money on medical bills and prescriptions to try and keep us from being hospitalized again.
He gifts us a string of treatments.
We know they are gifts of apologies that he doesn’t have the vocabulary to say. After he does anything a parent shouldn’t do and he realizes it, he showers us with gifts. We’ve gotten laptops, a car, cash, vacations, etc…
In this case, we suspect his gift has to do with his suspicion the sudden inexplicable high blood pressure is caused by the stress of our recent miscarriage. And the bastard was relieved that the miscarriage happened.
We have a massage tomorrow afternoon. It is much needed after this crazy week.
Though we do not have an actual therapist, or any sort of mental treatment, we are always grateful for people like our GP and MT for keeping us from that suicidal edge.