The Body Keeps The Score.....
There is this incredible series (that we have been glued to throughout lockdown) called 'This Is Us'.
It's all about the trials and tribulations of an American family. The ups and downs of childhood, adolescence, dreams lost, family dynamics, addiction, adoption, health loss, racism, PTSD and so much more.
Rebecca and Jack are expecting triplets. On the day of delivery the unthinkable happens and tragically baby Kyle doesn't make it. He is born stillborn. In what seemed like a surreal turnaround Jack, Rebecca's husband persuades her to adopt the dear black baby boy who was abandoned that morning at a Fire Station.
I watched the series and always felt that somehow Rebecca and Jack, may have 'skirted around' that devastating loss, adopting the dear baby boy was such an amazing thing to do but had they had ever really allowed themselves to 'grieve' for baby Kyle?
Series 3. Episode 9 and the extent of her silent suffering was shared.
Rebecca is talking to Randall's eldest daughter Tess about the untold damage that 'holding onto grief, or a secret, or deep emotional feelings' can do to our health - whether that be emotionally, mentally and physically too. Tess is gay but is really scared to tell her parents. She's keeping her sexuality a secret.
Rebecca:"I have this pain in my wrist,
& my back -
I have had this since I was in my late 20s.....
I have this theory; that I used to keep all of my emotions so bottled up that it started to affect my body.
I lost a child - I buried that real deep.
I never talked about it ever.
And I kept some secrets from my husband too and from your father.
At first it started with a 'headache, or an upset stomach. But eventually I started to ache all the way into my bones.
I don't want you to be like me; carrying around ibuprofen in your purse like candy.
Talk to your parents
Talk to someone when you feel the time is right."
I know from personal experience the enormous benefit I had from sharing painful and traumatic experiences with another. I had struggled for many years with Fibromyalgia & CFS.
I lost my health, from holding onto sad, painful, traumatic & stressful experiences. I struggled with pain all over my body. With extreme fatigue I could only do one 'task' a day; like a short walk with the dog, or cooking one meal. I had to leave work as a teacher as I couldn't function as I once had. By losing my health I had also lost my purpose and my identity. I grieved the old me. I grieved the life (and health) I once had.
Do reach out if any of this resonates with you or perhaps you know someone who is struggling right now.