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  • KD Bryant

I Have Trust Issues

I kept my eyes closed while lying there, waiting. He grabbed my right thigh and whispered, "KD, let go." I felt myself tensing up. I took a deep breath, trying to relax and struggling to wait. I couldn't believe what he said next. You have trust issues.

Those aren't the words you expect to hear from your physical therapist, but after four weeks of him putting in extra time just to work out knotted thigh muscles, it was clear that his theory might have some truth to it. Even though I've never considered myself one to have issues with trusting people, there must be some subconscious resistance to complete trust, even if it only manifests at the doctor's office, in physical therapy or massage sessions. I am that one pitiful soul who comes out of a massage more productive than when I arrived. While I'm supposed to be relaxing, I'm usually making a couple of to-do lists, coming up with new plot twists for my play, and likely deciding what I'm going to cook for dinner. Giving up physical control and just relaxing, dozing off or zoning out is something I don't do well. Got a company team-building event and you want me to fall backward into my colleague's outstretched arms? I'm probably at the back of the line and praying we run out of time before my turn comes.

I explored probable causes for my 'trust issues'. Could it be my journalism background kicking in, trust but verify? Or, could it be from my childhood? That creepy Jack-in-the-Box has been messing with kids' minds for years. You remember that toy where you turned the crank and waited for that crazy clown to pop out, usually to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel? Even though you're in control of the crank, your heart skipped a beat every time that joker popped up.

It's been nearly six months since I've been to physical therapy, but I've made a concerted effort to work out my issues. I've had a couple of massages where I forced myself to go limp and let the therapists have their way. It was mind over matter.

Today, I took an even bigger leap. I finally took advantage of a gift certificate to float. This is the spa therapy where you experience zero gravity by floating in a chamber of water, in complete darkness. You're kept afloat by sea salt. At this spa, you're in a private room. So you take off all your clothes, shower, climb into the water chamber and close the door to pitch blackness. You float on your back, suspended in water for 90 minutes. When I saw this was a chamber and not some jacuzzi-type experience, I hollered like fifty-eleven banshees on the inside. I'm not afraid of the dark, but pitch blackness in water was like Kryptonite to this super girl. I went alone on purpose. This was something I wanted to conquer for myself. Not only was this a trust quest, it was now an episode of Fear Factor.

I climbed into the chamber, asked sweet baby Jesus to have mercy on my soul, and closed the hatch. I slowly reclined until I was horizontal and floating. The spa therapist said some people fall asleep or meditate because it's also complete silence. After the first few agonizing moments of accepting my fate for the next 90 minutes, I surrendered. I prayed, meditated, and fell asleep several times before my body betrayed me and startled itself awake after remembering I wasn't in my bed. Eventually, I overcame that. The float therapy was nothing short of spiritual for me, a transforming moment where I can say I experienced trust in a way I never would've imagined. If you've done this before, I applaud you. If you haven't, I highly recommend it.

I'm grateful that I don't need physical therapy any longer, but I sure would like to let my old therapist take another crack at these thigh muscles.

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