The word for the day is Alexithymia.
I don’t know why I have this picture in this post since it’s not me and wasn’t done by me and really has no relationship to what I want to write about. Unless of course looking at the model’s behind I’m reminded of the fact that it will soon be my time for that scope up the ass at the doctor’s office. But since I think I have a few more years before that happens, I’m probably not thinking that at all.
Speaking of medical procedures and stuff, a few years ago I started to have this severe pain that would start at the base of my neck, spread down to the middle of my back and run down right arm as far as the elbow. It got so bad that here were times that I couldn’t jog because I feel as if my upper arm was being slowly ripped away with every slight jolt my body made. I couldn’t sit up straight at work and even lying in bed at night I would have to lie on one side so as not to aggravate the situation. Eventually I decided to see a doctor about what I was going through.
The doctor was a short little woman who asked the usual questions, you know the ones about fevers, drinking smoking and who I was having sex with. Then she gave me a physical where she asked me to stretch out my arm and resist any movement while she pressed down on it. Of course nothing happened and she said that if I was in real pain I wouldn’t have been able to withstand the pressure that she had given me. I thought that he I had not been able to resist the pressure of an elderly woman a foot and half shorter and about 80 pounds lighter than me then it would have been time to see a priest and not her so he could administer the last rites. Anyway, she had me get some x-rays taken and gave me some cortisone shots and made arrangements for me to have some rehab sessions at Jefferson Hospital which was where she was affiliated with.
Long story short, needless to say none of that worked. I would appear to get better during the weekdays while I was doing the rehab but by the time the weekend came around my pain would seem to get even worse. In fact the pain got so bad, it started to migrate to my left heel and I couldn’t walk without a slight limp. I would try to cover up but then my ex asked me, “What’s wrong with you?” I thought it might have been bone cancer by that time, but I didn’t tell him.
He didn’ t think that I was doing the right thing so he suggested acupuncture which I rejected right away. The idea of some guy without a license to practice medicine sticking rusty needles in my spinal cord wasn’t going to happen. Instead, since he was a dancer on Broadway, we agreed that I would see two of the masseurs that he would use when he was in pain. There was an African guy in Brooklyn who would crack my neck each time he got the chance. I always said after leaving his place that I should get my Will done just in case something happened. And then there was the Italian guy who would have me lie on my back while he cupped my naked nuts in his hands and twisted my legs when he wanted to stretch my lower back. That was kind of nice, but I’m still not sure what purpose being that familiar served.
Again nothing worked and as with many other relationships, my relationship with the ex didn’t last as long as I thought it would either. The partnership stopped so I stopped seeing the ex’s masseurs. It wouldn’t have felt right to have the same hands that touched him touch me, plus I didn’t think that it was doing any good anyway. I resigned to myself that this was the kind of pain that I would have to adjust to and live with it because there were other people who were probably going through worse.
About six or eight months later, the ex called up to see how I was. I don’t even have to think about I said since automatically it would have been, “Fine,” my standard response when I don’t really want to respond. He asked me about my back and it was then that I realized I hadn’t been in pain since about two weeks after the split. It had gone away without me noticing it and without me doing anything for it. A great weight had been lifted off of me and I hadn’t even recognized when it was done. But then I thought that that like the movie The Matrix or the TV show Battlestar Galactica, this had all happened before, just not so severely. I remembered that I had been in a relationship before where just before the break up I was also in physical pain. And just as with this relationship, when it was over the pain was over as well.
It wasn’t until years later when I took a class on emotional intelligence that I realized that I was one of those people who can find themselves in a situation where they are so uncomfortable but for one reason or another unable to recognize or express their feelings or emotions and so ignore their predicament. Eventually, as that emotional state builds but is suppressed more and more, the mind will react in such a way that may be harmful to the person, such as making them anti-social, overly aggressive, cold and or aloof. The cold and aloof thing has been said about me for as long as I remember but this time my mind turned my body against me. That condition is called Alexithymia and that’s what I experience. I have the inability to recognize and process certain feelings while I’m going through them to my own detriment.
Fun huh? So that makes Alexithymia the word for the day.