***Trigger warning for domestic violence 

 

For 10 days I stopped dreaming. Or remembering my dreams at least.

 

For 10 days I woke up with a clenched jaw. Pain, tightness, gripping.

 

Something working itself out in my body, just beyond my awareness.

 

I think of all the times I have kept my mouth shut. Wanting to be a “good girl.” Not wanting to rock the boat. Trying to keep the peace, always.

 

Laboring with my first daughter. My cheeks raw from pressing my face into a washcloth, keeping quiet.

 

Years of abuse. Time spent perfecting the art of crying without making noise.

 

All the little things in between – discomfort smiled through, hurtful jokes tentatively laughed along with, opinions held in.

 

……

 

This morning I recalled a dream from during the night. This gives me hope that whatever is causing my body to tense and tighten has started to move through.

 

I want to release. I want to soften into the stories.

 

Stepping into my intention, feeling afraid and yet so ready, I ask my massage therapist if she might be able to help me.

 

Her hands come around my face, my throat as she works to relieve the tension. I am reminded of his hands around my throat stealing my breath and the coming to afterward. Thanks to years of therapy the memory is neutralized and brings only a hint of anxiety. Thanks to years of yoga I deepen my breath and the feeling subsides.

 

I pray for release. I promise myself I will not keep my mouth shut any longer.