I continue to experience some body memories 24/7/365. My daily body memories are the physical sensations of my sexual abuse (vagina, colon, throat, neck). These sensations are always worse during menstruation and the week of the full moon. I’m ‘used’ to expending some measurable amount of my daily energy while experiencing these body memories.
A few days ago, new-to-my-awareness, a body memory has added itself to my daily experiencing. In addition to the new experience, I felt noticeably more tired and more dissociation. I felt myself instinctively seeking out ‘body numbing’ activities, like stimulating acupressure end points, eating chewy sweet candy, knitting without breaks, choosing to distract myself at work, to name a few.
I think I understand the origin. Since my sexual abuse started so early, in the first week of my life, the cellular locations are slightly askew. Because when you are a baby, you are small and the cells affected by that trauma become cells in adjacent body areas. For instance, oral throat trauma has previously expressed itself around my collar bones, neck and upper chest.
This newest memory has created the sensation of muscle contracture of the front and back of my legs. It makes walking a more difficult task, like walking with two fence posts. Additionally, I am yawning most of the afternoon and evening, an atypical activity for me.
“Body memory is a hypothesis that the body itself is capable of storing memories, as opposed to only the brain. This is used to explain having memories for events where the brain was not in a position to store memories and is sometimes a catalyst for repressed memory recovery. These memories are often characterized with phantom pain in a part or parts of the body – the body appearing to remember the past trauma. The idea of body memory is a belief frequently associated with the idea of repressed memories, in which memories of incest or sexual abuse can be retained and recovered through physical sensations. The idea is pseudoscientific as there are no hypothesized means by which tissues other than the brain are capable of storing memories. Some evidence suggests that such means may be available to simpler forms of life. …… Cellular memory is an additional hypothesis that memories can be stored outside the brain. However, unlike body memory, the cellular memory hypothesis states that these memories are stored in all the cells of human bodies, not in the bodies’ organs. The idea that non-brain tissues can have memories is also believed by some individuals who have received organ transplants, though this is also considered impossible.“
There is a great article about Body Memories and their place in the healing process on http://www.survivormanual.com/2011/11/what-are-body-memories-and-how-to-heal-them/. The below quote is from that article.
“Body memories can take a long time to heal, most likely because they are the last memories to be addressed. To be respected. To be listened to. I mean, really. My body remembers, at a cellular level? What is this, the Science Fiction channel? ‘When the body remembers the traumatic incident at a different time from when the mind remembers the incident, it can feel very crazy making,’ says Discussing Dissociation’s Kathy Broady, LCSW.”