Recently, i had a pretty bad relapse with my back which i’m still recovering from. It’s usually tricky, but y’know sometimes it just decides to up and go completely. So, this was going on, right when i was planning to go visit someone real important to me. i ended up going, and just being in a shit ton of pain and medded up more than usual. About a week into the visit, a new acquaintance offered me a gift certificate to a local acupuncture place. Now, i’d had acupuncture done once when i was a kid, after a particularly bad car accident, and let me tell you: it was not good. It really physically and emotionally hurt me, i was scared and didn’t know what to expect, was not listened to at all when i said it was hurting, but couldn’t physically do anything to stop it because my body was fucked (i had broken my neck, back and jaw in a bad car accident), and the people were just not understanding at all. i felt so fucked with, abused really, unheard, vulnerable, totally disrespected. i’ve never tried it since. So i was hesitant to say the least to try again, even all these years later, but took the plunge because the person is a friend of a close friend, and i thought just maybe it could be ok.
And am so glad i did.
i’ve never experienced anything like it ever. From start to finish it was so completely beautiful and amazing, respectful, supportive. i’ve never felt so comfortable and respected as a trans person, a fatty, and a gimp in a health and wellness setting ever, anywhere. This set the framework for being able to totally let go during our session, and to get the best health benefit from it.
This is what happened:
i went in with my sweetie and spoke with the person at the front, we did some paperwork and then chatted with the acupuncturist. i then went into the space. i undressed a little and got on the table, face down. She told me precisely what she was going to do, what it meant, what might happen, let me know i could say at any point what i needed, if i needed something changed, stopped, explained, anything. She began by doing some cupping on my back. i’ve experienced some of that in another (kink) context, but this…this was something else altogether. It was the most amazing (i keep using that word, i know) thing. She told me what was happening all through it. She left me for a few moments then moved into the acupuncture, left me for about 20 minutes, then returned and did some Moxi (i believe thats what it’s called). She gave me time to take it all in as we went. i told her at a certain point that i thought i was gonna get weepy and i was sorry. She made me feel unashamed about it, and provided just what i needed. i never felt judged or coddled at any point, but supported through the process in every way i could hope for.
While i was laying there, early on during the cupping, i began to have really intense visions. i was literally flying, a huge black crow (which is also interesting to me because the close friend who was the friend of the acupuncturist is named Crow, but i digress), over patchworks below me. After circling and swooping for some time, i was suddenly flying over myself sitting in my lazyboy in my apartment. i circled several times, and heard in my head “get up, romham, get up, just get up, move, come with me, get up… ” and it wasn’t in some Glee-inspired ableist bullshit way of like dreaming about not being disabled or some shit. It was about seeing myself and knowing that i can support my heart and accept others’ help with that too, i can do the things i need to do, can be present even in this body that is so often just so fucking hard to be present in, i have power over my life, i have power and responsibility and i have support.
Then my crow self swooped down and tucked huge feathery wings under my armpits and swooped upwards with me in them, limp, then not, then i was just the crow again. i was flying, swooping, moving, not un-disabled but un-ashamed. i found myself crying, tears streaming onto the floor beneath me, with this stranger, my body open and vulnerable. And i felt completely and utterly safe.
Later on, my sweetie and i talked and i cried more, feeling so overwhelmed by all of it, by the pain in my body, the helplessness, the anger, the vulnerability, the embarrassment, the seeming endlessness of it all, and she was just there, loving me, letting this all come out.
i went back a week later for another session, and will most definitely go back for more when i’m down there.
i guess what i want to say is that i’m super fucking beautiful, and courageous for taking a chance on this, am so fortunate for the generosity of a new friend, for trusting in the good judgement of old ones, and for the love i’m surrounded with.
oh… if anyone’s interested in where i went:
in Portland Oregon.
It is wheelchair accessible and navigable, sliding scale.