I am currently reading Pete Walkers book on complex trauma and he describes constant muscle tightness, which I have suffered all my life, as ‘armoring’. I have not heard it described this way by anyone else and it makes perfect sense.
My massage therapist once described my body as being continually ‘braced for something’, which she was correct in describing, and is a symptom of my hypervigilant state, that always assumes subconsciously, that I need to be prepared for trauma. In the case of my body, I always have my ‘armor on’.
It is no doubt why I have always required alcohol to actually relax.
I know my muscles are continually tense and this ongoing wear and tear, causes considerable pain, that worsens in cold weather. It is what I consider to be complex trauma induced fibromyalgia. I think many fibro sufferers who have had prolonged child abuse or prolonged domestic violence, will relate to this.
This constant muscle tightness, is not something chosen by the sufferer, it is a subconscious need due to prolonged trauma abuse, for the body to be ready for abuse, regardless of any actual, or real threat of abuse being present.
I have to make myself relax, and at any given time that I stop and think about it, I will feel all the muscles in my neck and shoulders tensed and have to tell myself to relax. And this is constant and I suffer pain continually.
Regular guided muscle relaxation exercises help, but nothing provides continual relief.
My body protects itself in this way, the same subconscious way, we all breathe.
See my Website, for more info on complex trauma and how to manage symptoms
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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