That might sound like a really weird title for a post, but I hope when you've read my story you'll understand totally.
I have had RLS since the day I was born, as far as I can tell. There are photos of me, as a baby, with my legs crossed over each other, doing what I found out in later years is referred to as "straining".
Throughout my early childhood years I would be "straining" very frequently. As I grew a little older, my mother would tell me to stop. My father, if he saw me, would smack me and tell me to stop. I didn't understand what was wrong, I was just trying to relieve the sensations going on in the upper part of my legs. I couldn't help myself, my legs were driving me crazy.
As I got a little older I realised I had to hide my behaviour in front of other people, and so I went "underground" and hid my coping mechanism for RLS as I got into trouble every time I used it.
Eventually I found out that, apparently, "straining" is a form of masturbation, which is why my parents had reacted the way they had. Instead of wondering why I was doing what I was doing, and my saying that it was because of my legs driving me mad, the emphasis was on "the wrong thing" and I was punished so much that, even today, I have a real hang-up about talking about it.
I want to know if anyone else out there has ever used straining as a coping mechanism, or knows someone who does this. Probably most people don't even know what the hell it is. All I can say is it does give temporary relief from RLS, and given that I was a baby when I first started to do this, it's obviously natural and innate and nothing to be ashamed of.
Would be really interested to hear from anyone else, or if this sparks curiosity in anyone else. I just cannot be the only person on the planet who has used straining as a natural coping mechanism for RLS, surely.