Sometimes it’s the strangest things that get to you, and you can’t always predict what it is.
I hurt my back. I was in a car accident 20 years ago, a pretty significant one in which my elbow was crushed and my tricep was severed. It was as gruesome as it sounds. And the lasting effects have been just as bad. Ever since then the strength in my arm hasn’t been the same and about a month ago the pain in my back was so bad I ended up at the ER.
Today, I went back to physical therapy to address my back pain and try to strengthen my arm. My doctor recommended this new physical therapy place and told me that she really liked the woman who owned the place. So for whatever reason I assumed I would be meeting with a woman for my physical therapy. But it wasn’t. It was a man.
The receptionist told me that “he” would be with me shortly and for some reason my breath caught and my heart started beating faster. I couldn’t really identify why, but I was shaking. So I stopped freaking out and forced myself to think logically about what was going on.
Then it hit me, my ex. He hated when I talked to men and he would have hated that my physical therapist was a man. He would have hated that this man was going to touch me, albeit in a professional manner, he would have freaked. And that is why I was freaking.
I’ve been to PT several times over the past few years and when I first got the referral my ex-husband (we were married at the time) freaked out because my physical therapist was a man, a young man to be exact. So even though the PT helped, I began creating excuses as to why I couldn’t go so that my husband wouldn’t be mad at me.
When I had to go to PT again, I made sure I had a woman therapist, which was fine, because she was awesome, but it was also kind of stupid of me. That was the kind of thing that I did. I always tried to manipulate the situation so that he wouldn’t get upset with me.
So here I am sitting in the office of my new physical therapist, a man, realizing that when I get home at night, no one is going to grill me about him, or about what he did, or if he touched me, or if I liked him, or make me feel bad about it. I could, very innocently go to a physical therapist and get help and not feel bad about it.
So that’s what I did. And I’m going back again next week…