From Pain to Pleasure

I am learning how to become my own healer. I am learning to listen to my body. I have a strong need for analytical understanding and confirmation of what my body is sensing and trying to communicate. I believe that what I’m doing here now as a writer is also part of my healing process. I’m constantly sorting through the inputs searching for cause and effect. As I do that I notice that I’m frequently holding my breath or tension somewhere my body, lately my right hip. Even as I sit here and type this I am sitting at my kitchen table, with bad posture. I can’t find a comfortable spot for writing in my home. Right now feels ok, but not optimal. I digress…..


Healing modality breakdown. I decided to rent the BEMER for a week. Bemer stands for Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation. So far the LED light attachment at level ten seems to have an impact worth mentioning. I notice I need to really pay attention to my breath, keep it steady, and have water nearby because it seems to dehydrate me quickly. 


I was interrupted….and couldn’t sit my full-of-energy-ass back in a chair with the focus to write until now…a day later…sitting in a Thai restaurant in Oakland…table for one. Whew! So far it’s been a great day…but let me back track to yesterday….


One of the interruptions yesterday came in the form of a phone call from the hands on healer that I wrote about a few days ago. The session I felt some vulnerability around sharing. I’m going to try out being more vulnerable here and elaborating on that situation since it feels relevant and insightful.


While writing this post I saw a text come in from said healer asking what time our session was. I didn’t immediately respond because I was writing and didn’t feel an urgency to reply. You see, we didn’t have another session scheduled. Last week after our time together he said he was very busy and that he might be available on Monday, and he’d let me know. Well, Monday came and went and I didn’t hear from him. There’s more to it. Do I have the courage to write it here? I think so. Let’s try. 


I continued to write, and try to focus, and then the phone rang, a few times, and emails were popping up. All from my Mom, so I finally answered and we had a long talk. And then the other line stared ringing from No ID, and I thought it might be a call from someone I’d been waiting to hear from, so silly me asked my Mom if I could call her back so I could take the other call. I switched over to the other line and it was Mr. Healer. He again wanted to check in with me about the time of our session. With some discomfort I said, we didn’t set up an appointment. He seemed surprised.  We then entered into an uncomfortable (for me) dialog about why I didn’t want to continue treatment with him. His anger reverberated through me for several minutes after the call ended. Here’s why I don’t want to have any more treatments from him, and why saying no thank you was such a powerful big step for me.



This particular Mr. Healer is a man that I met through an online dating site. After a few online exchanges he shared his occupation with me, and links to his professional work. I salivated at the notion that this man might actually be able to help heal my knee. When we finally talked on the phone he spoke to me primarily as a clinical provider, using what felt to me like a condescending, arrogant tone. He had mentioned that he wished I was salivating over his photos. I gave him a compliment based on the photos I’d seen. He looked like an attractive man. At some point in the phone conversation he abruptly ended the conversation and said he’d get back to me. 

A few weeks later he sent me a text message and I invited him to a party. He declined, and didn’t propose an alternate meeting time. Several weeks later I got a call from him saying that he would be driving through the city and might have time to meet me. I was surprised to hear from him, but still curious about his healing ability, so we made plans to meet in person. Before we got off the phone he asked me if I was blond. It felt very impersonal. We met for the ubiquitous awkward first in-person meeting. He started to speak to me as a client, and wanted to touch my knee and see me walk. He asked me to get up and walk a few steps, and he started humming Here Comes the Bride. Odd. I think that was his attempt at humor. He spoke most of the time, and when he thought to ask me anyhing about me, he was impatient with my responses. I was in a bit of pain and discomfort, and eager to get assistance. 


Within an hour he declared that he had to go, and asked me to walk him to his car. He seemed impatient with my walking. We parted at the bottom of a hill where he was parked. Again, he said he’d get in touch. A few days later he called me to tell me he had time available to work on my knee, and we could go for lunch after. Great! I agreed to his time and location.


As it got closer to the time of our session I started to feel unclear about the nature of our meeting. I didn’t see a romantic future with this person who seemed to waiver between arrogance, condescension, and an impatient kindness. What is his interest in me? Is he merely doing me a favor? Is he providing me a service? Is he going to charge me? How much? I decided that I need to verbally clarify the boundaries before he began his session.


In the car on the way over I was anxious. I did a lot of deep breathing to calm my nerves so that I could relax and receive any healing he had to offer.  I tried to stop over thinking it, and relax. When I arrived he was setting up the space, and immediately started telling me what to do, took photos of my knee and posture, and went right to work. I was able to relax in his hands and the body work felt good. He was entirely professional.


When he was done I drove us to a restaurant that he chose, that I happen to love. We walked a bit before going in. When I tried to tell Mr. Healer that I think I can do a lot of what he does myself, he quickly corrected me and took offense. As if only he could heal my body, based on his decades of study and practice. As if he has the only lease on knowledge, truth and health. He was giving me instruction about how to walk. He was telling me to go faster and stop thinking about it so much. I asked if I could hold on to him at one point to steady my balance. He made some comment about how we barely know each other, but Ok. Seemed odd to me considering his hands had just been all over me. Was that his attempt at humor? Once I had my balance in motion and no longer needed to hold on to him, I released my hold. He didn’t release his. It was as if he was steering me.


I was still in the afterglow of body work and feeling good. He seemed a little more attractive. We made chit chat. Was he actually more attractive or was it the body work? The way your therapist starts to become appealing over time, kind of thing. While at the restaurant, I had my hands on my knee at one point, massaging and making contact. He reached under the table and swatted my hands away and told me to stop doing that.


While it felt good, it was just as helpful as some of the other techniques I’ve been doing. He used some Feldenchrist techniques, mixed with other modalities he’s honed in on to create his unique method. 


Here’s where the dissonance lies. What was the nature of our connection? Why were we having these experiences with one another? It was strange for me to be with someone who was telling me how to be in my body. I’ve never been with a man who told me what to do in such an authoritarian way. Emotionally, it didn’t feel good at all. 


In the days that followed I started to reflect on the fact that this man could guide the restructuring of my body. As I’m trying many methods I began to compare what he did with what I’m doing in Pilates rehab. What I came to realize is that I get similar relief and benefit from the Pilates work, and I’m doing it myself with guidance. I am learning how to control my body and restructure myself. I am learning how to heal myself. 


So by the time he called, I had already moved on with my healing practice. I didn’t feel the need to call on him or seek him out for follow up. It felt charged. I take full responsibility for the fact that I did not establish the boundaries that I knew I needed. I submitted to his strong personality. When I feel someone’s tone, sometimes it can have a painful numbing affect. 


At one point during the angry call, I asked him why he called. With raised volume, condescending tone, for me a venomous energy projection coming my way, he said he called because he cared about me. But in this loud, angry way. Ouch! It stung. I don't like being cared for in that way. That mix of love and anger that many people come to accept through forgiveness and repeated offense. 


I feel grateful that I sensed it right away. I took care of myself by removing myself - ASAP. I don’t appreciate being the recipient of someone’s anger. When I step back a few thousand feet and look down on my life I see that it is not my first experience with this particular flavor of care. That’s all I can say about that right now. Know that I’ve been there, and I don’t want to go there again. 


I am trying to hold back from saying anything more about this man. I do wish him all the best. Know he believes that I also said hurtful things to him. That was not my intention. He told me that my words wounded him. He demanded an apology and then wouldn’t accept it. What’s that about? I don’t want an answer. I got the very clear message that I do not like being with random anger. I’d like to think that I am the same loving caring person across the board no matter who I’m with.  Mr. Healer got very upset. 


So I’m feeling vulnerable about this situation and sharing this story so publicly. And I sometimes wish these online profiles came with warnings, or promotions from other women who have dated these men.  On paper you can’t feel the quick jumps to anger. While I experience people as complex and emblematic of a range of personality perspectives, much like a symphony, I am fully conscious of the fact that I have a choice about which gems I want to pick up and hold, and which one’s I’m content to let be. So I wish him all the best. Hope that his spirit finds comfort and he can lay down his sword. My heart goes out to him. In the way my heart goes out to all being that are suffering. 



So how’s my knee? Getting better. Today I went on my first hike in more than three months. It was an urban hike in my pjs. I decided to venture down to the cafe for coffee. If felt so good to be moving outside in the sun, with a breeze, patch of green grass in front of me. When I came slowly out of the cafe, I felt the desire to turn left and go up Alabama. It felt so good! Walking up that hill really puts my body at the angle that I need to stretch for relief. Glutes, hams, quads. It felt so good! I did it slowly, really feeling my body move into positions that required me to trust my body. This is something major that I’m learning from Pilates. There are some positions where I feel a sore ache in my knee. Pain that hovers like fog that I must push through to get to pleasure. The first few reps are a bitch. And then it starts to break through to ecstasy. So good! I get this feeling sometimes on the core align. It’s almost orgasmic when all of my muscles release and I am strong and balanced. It feels so good! I’m doing it myself. What I realized during a specific deep lunge position where I was guarding is that I didn’t have pain or soreness. The thing that was holding me back was fear. Pure fear. It was a crazy realization. 


I walked all the way up and around. I had to pee so bad about half way around. Yes, I did it. I had too. I did it across the way from the spot where I saw a coyote the day before. Seeing the coyote was fanfuckingtastic. What a gift! Thank you for the coyote medicine! I’m ready. Woof woof let’s play!