Hip Openers 2

“It’s the flexible side that gets injured,” Kimberly said as she adjusted my hips. “The inflexible side stays weak.” This was one of those moments when something said almost casually strikes you like a thunderbolt. You know it has hit home when the tears arrive. It seemed she had given me the perfect metaphor for the problem in so many of my relationships, especially my marriage.

Nearly four years later, I am still exploring the meaning of this metaphor. In the first instance, however, it touched deep-seated feelings of being a victim of what I saw as my husband’s problems, the root of which was – by my diagnosis – depression. I felt that the anxiety and depression that often beset me were the injuries caused by his inflexibility, his resistance to change. Suddenly the various strategies I was using to remain open minded, patient and loving with my husband, while taking care of myself as best I could, seemed misguided, like the impulse in my poor left hip to over-rotate and compensate for tightness on the right. This view of things started me thinking and talking about moving out of our home, and this led about a year later to a six-month separation.

The trauma of that experience prompted me to reevaluate the whole victim thing, along with many other aspects of my life. The process has been both difficult and rewarding. Now my effort is directed toward finding a workable balance between flexibility and strength, in my relationships as well as my hip joints.