PT today involved mostly myofascial work on my quadratus lumborum fascia to see if that wasn’t involved in both the pelvic floor and solar plexus issues. My QLs are super tight, especially on my left side, though they did some releasing as L worked on them. L was happy to hear of my progress with sex becoming more comfortable.
New homework: Get and use foam rollers to stretch my QLs and spine.
During sex last night, I was initially tight, and then my pelvic floor released out a couple minutes in. It’s never released during sex before. I’m pretty excited about this.
And I had a particular sexual experience last night that I hadn’t had since my traumatic weekend almost exactly four years ago. And it was good, and I am super happy about it.
I have really good people and continued healing. It is good.
My belly has been hurry on and off for several days. Yesterday was bad, today is better. My solar plexus has been very sore, something I’ll ask L about when I see her later this week. Last night, I was spasmy just above my pubic bone, and BF1 thought he was seeing some spasm in my back muscles, too.
Today I am wearing my negative-heeled shoes, which may be helpful. I also automatically positioned myself well as I sat in the car, before I even thought about it. Victory!
Still slightly periody, so at least there’s a clear cause of the discomfort, and a very obvious correlation between a more reactive pelvic floor and the abdominal discomfort.
I got my period last night! This means two things:
1) That things feeling tighter isn’t a backslide, and there’s a reason and common denominator behind this (I got a period last time my pelvic floor got tighter and abdominal issues reared up, too).
2) That there really isn’t a backslide, because it’s been less tight and painful, with lesser abdominal issues than last time I had a period. So this is actually real progress.
My abdomen got super crampy in the car this morning. I adjusted my posture, and shortly thereafter, it got WAY better. Direct correlation? I’ve been watching it today, not tucking my tailbone, especially when I sit, and it hasn’t been bad.
I thought this morning of this bit I heard on the The Liberated Body podcast with Judith Hanson Lasater:
“When you stand with a normal lumbar curve, the viscera or organs. Jean Pierre Barral has a theory about a visceral column and spinal column and they support one another. When we tuck the tailbone the organs fall down onto the prostate, the bladder, and the uterus which I think contributes to prolapse for women, and I have a theory that it affects prostate issues as well.”
Is that part of the connection between my pelvic floor and abdomen, and why my abdomen gets upset when I have a period and am tucking my tailbone? I hadn’t thought of that before, but it definitely makes sense.
Four years ago:
We’d been in some sort of nebulous sexual relationship for a few months, with a prior six-week period before that. The sex was good; we had chemistry. He was not amazing at checking in or adjusting when I had muscular issues, and had always been a little pushy sexually.
I was at his place for the weekend. We were having sex; he was on top/behind me, I was on my belly. Things were going well until he was close to coming, at which point, he pushed in, all the way, hard. It HURT (and continued to do so for at least twenty minutes as my muscles seized up). I said, “Ow, ow, ow, please pull out now.” And he waited a minute before he did.
When he pulled out, I went fetal, withdrawn, and semi-catatonic, feeling very sad (I later learned this is a very typical trauma reaction). He was a bit concerned, and said, “Hey, I don’t like you like this.” He cuddled me, and once I came out of my withdrawn state enough to talk, after several minutes, I told him that I used to allow someone to fuck me a lot before I found my vulvodynia treatment and when it hurt every time; and that that wasn’t something I would allow, ever again. That when sex hurt and I said I needed him to pull out, he needed to pull out. He didn’t really respond to any of that, and I think I went out to the couch shortly after.
He never did apologize.
I was reading this and thinking about how tight my pelvic floor muscles are. Katy says, “The action of the pelvic floor muscle, like every muscle, is position and load-dependent. If this muscle group was “designed to be in constant contraction” then when we laid down it would be generating the same force with a smaller load, which should not be happening in muscle.” Mine are as tight lying down as they are when I stand, I think. Their default position is contraction.
I’ve been getting better at being mindful of this lately. I think of it many times a day, and I’m getting better at keeping them relaxed for longer periods of time when I do think of it. It used to last about ten second before I paid the slightest bit of attention to anything else, and then they’d default to their “tight and lifted” state.
So I’m improving that end of it quite a lot. I still need to do more reading on how to engage and strengthen my glutes appropriately so they provide the proper counter-balance to my pelvic floor. Once I get the sitting worked out a little, that will probably be my next focus. More squatting, it appears.
I’ve been realizing how often I sit on my sacrum, and how much that must be contributing to my pelvic floor issues.
It’s hard to correct. All my “curled up in bed/on the couch” positions involve rounding my sacrum such that it’s bearing weight, and almost certainly stressing all the pelvic floor muscles that attach to my coccyx. I rarely sit on my sitz bones like I should be. I’m trying; it’s hard to remember, and I must be overcompensating because it often makes my lower back hurt. It’s especially hard in the car where, even with the towel I now have in the driver’s seat to compensate, I’m still fighting the backwards tilt of the bucket seat.
So, I’m trying to figure out how to sit well, and going to try a head pillow to see if that makes it come more easily for me.
Helpful things I’ve found so far:
The Basics of Sitting, Part One (other parts linked at the bottom)
Ramblings from my pelvis
I’m going to try to sit a lot less, but since I only have so much control over that right now (and especially in the car), I’m also going to be working on sitting better.
I awoke to abdominal discomfort in the night. I’m not sure what sparked this, since I haven’t had any bodywork since last week’s PT appointment. I’d run out of an herbal formula that may have been supporting me and didn’t know whether I still needed it, but that’s all I can think of. Perhaps I’m getting a period (I have a hormonal IUD, so I often go for many months at a stretch without a period at all, so I never know when they’re actually coming).
My belly feels full and uncomfortable and distended. This is one of my least favorite sensations.
I’m back on the herbs as of this morning, hopefully that will help.