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Rocking


Guest nejiwhopper
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I used to work with someone who rocked a lot. Especially if she was working on something a bit stressful. I mean constantly through the day rocking back and forth in her chair. I put it down to a comfort thing. As you say it's a stress reliever I guess, some sort of movement. Like a child being rocked in someone's arms.

My Mum used to say I was a nightmare to get to sleep as a child and they had one of those bouncy chairs you rock with your feet. Apparently they would get frustrated and I would practically be bouncing out of it cause they had to rock it so hard :)

But do you feel it is a problem for you?

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Rocking is a comfort behavior. It's actually pretty common for people who have histories of trauma or abuse to rock to sooth themselves and relieve anxiety. But lots of other people do it as well. It's a positive kind of sensory input that can relieve anxiety for anyone. I've told clients many times to try sitting in a rocking chair when feelings start to overwhelm them.

It might also be helpful to you to identify the feelings or events that are happening when you feel your need to rock and discuss those with your therapist.

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I am a "rocker" and also a "rubber." When things get stressful or when my nerves take over I find myself rocking. I have a rocking chair in my home and in my classroom and I often retreat there when things get overwhelming. I have never had an issue with it and no one around me has ever made it an issue. I also self-soothe by rubbing something very soft.

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When I was in my last job some work mates were learning sign language. They said for a person you had to come up with a sign for them rather than signing their name. So for example one was miming smoking a cigarette as she was heavy smoker etc. Mine was either fiddling with a ring on my finger or "twiddling" my hair!! Because I do it all the time. To me it's a comfort thing. I lost my Gran's ring sadly which used to bring me great comfort. So now I fiddle with my hair even more. Even my family laugh about it, how I will end up bald!!! I do it more and more if I get stressed.

I recieved little affection at home as a child. I mean I know they love me but they have never said it or hugged me. I used to suck my fingers (not thumb like normal children) and play with my hair for comfort. Luckily I grew out of the finger thing...could be embarrassing at work!! :)

I've heard similar stories to your's about your Mum bonding with you. Mostly with post natal depression but also depression coming on earlier. And it takes a shock to make people realise how much they love someone. I'm sorry it was so painful for you. So it sounds logical that it is self soothing. If I suddenly feel overwhelmed I sometimes go and hide in the toilet for a bit....not that I'm suggesting lying down in there!

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Yes nejiwhopper, It was sad and wrong on so many levels. You didn't deserve that. You deserved to be loved and cuddled and treated as the valuable human being you are.

I also wasn't nurtured by my parents and even after all these years wish it had been different and that there had been something in me worth loving. You can't change the past but you can change the present and the future.

I hope you do find a therapist who can help you work on that. You're worth it.

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[i wish] ... there had been something in me worth loving.

But isn't this the fundamental misunderstanding?

These events had nothing to do with either of you being "good enough" to be loved, they had to do with the older people not having the skills they needed to be able to show you.

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It must be a self-soothing technique for you...same with the bouncing legs. My fiance constantly bounces his legs and it drives me crazy, but he says it comforts him. He also almost constantly rocks back and forth when he's standing. I think the swaying motion must be naturally soothing.

I used to rock myself to sleep when i was a kid. Now I rock from side to side when I'm up on my feet if I'm upset, or I'll wrap my arms around my legs and rock back and forth on the floor. I know it's a comfort thing for me because i do not like to be touched. I am ok with "hugging myself", and self-soothing techniques. So I suppose it can go both ways. Maybe you do it because your mother didn't rock you to sleep or show you affection as a child, and you need to feel that comfort that you are missing in that relationship. And for me I rock myself because my mother crossed some physical affection boundaries with me and I find other people's touch uninviting.

That's interesting to me that we both do the same thing, yet for different reasons.

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