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Stella
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Stella

Well known member, Female

Thanks she 333 Jan 12, 2016

Stella was last seen:
Jul 21, 2018
  • My Story

    I have had numerous physical problems all my life; scoliosis (Harrington rods at age 16), depression, TMJ, asthma, allergies, neck pain, low back pain, tailbone pain, Interstitial Cystitis, shin splints, pelvic floor pain, tingling in my feet and hands, carpal tunnel, acid reflux, restless legs, leg cramps, Dupytrens contracture, IT band pain, myofascial pain, IT Band pain, disc degeneration, heart palpitations and Haglund’s Deformity.

    My physical pain and depression became significantly worse 4 years ago, when I had to move my parents to the city where I live, due to their growing health issues and very limited medical support in their small town. This required significant (and almost continuous) efforts on my part, to address their numerous health issues as well as managing virtually all aspects of their lives.

    As part of my continuing search for relief from pain, I had to start seeing a physical therapist for pelvic pain, and she recommended I read a book called The Divided Mind by Dr. John Sarno. I knew stress had to be playing a major role in my pain so I was open to anything including reading this book. In his book, Dr. Sarno said that a traumatic situation during childhood could well be a possible cause of the depression and physical pain.

    As I considered this point, my initial thoughts were… I was not verbally abused, physically abused or sexually abused. No alcoholic parent. No violence in the home. No negative treatment by peers. The standards for parental approval were not too high, in fact, they were very low! I did not have to take on parental or adult responsibilities when too young. So what was it? I did not recall anything that could have happened to me to cause various physical ailments all my life.

    But the personality traits Dr. Sarno described fit me perfectly; perfectionists, people pleaser, needing to be right, my own severest critic, very responsible, the “Goodist” and many others. And (surprisingly) my pain was slightly alleviated when reading the book. I thought “this is really weird” so I knew something was going on. I just didn’t know what. But what was it that happened to me?

    The only thing I could think of was I had a baby brother die when he was 14 months old. He had pancreatic cancer. Mom and Dad kept him in the home during the dying process (months of sadness and his almost constant crying). I was always sent to my grandmothers. I was 4 years old. My sister was 6. After his death there was no crying, no grieving, all the pictures were taken down, the high chair was gone, the baby was gone and he was never discussed again. It was like he had never existed.

    My Mom and Dad were in indescribable pain and sorrow. My Mother held that dying baby for 4 months.My parents both pushed us away. They distanced themselves from us. My Mother tightly wrapped herself in grief and did not wrap us in with her. My Mother resented having to take care of us. She resented the fact that we were alive and he was dead. She just wanted to grieve. She never wanted to experience pain of this magnitude again. She decided to never let anyone get close to her again.

    Being pushed away by my Mother meant there was no physical affection. There was no interest taken in me. Praise was infrequent and tremendous effort was required on my part to earn any attention.
    There was no emotional support for my entire life.

    As a child I developed a very narrow band of acceptable emotions. No anger, no conflict and no disagreement ever. I watched every breath my Mother took, every sigh, every body movement, listened to both her tone of voice as well as her words. I tried to be perfect so she would accept me and love me. I tried and tried for years. But I was never “good enough” to be wrapped in that grief with her. She always kept us so far away. I just wanted her to wrap me in her arms telling me how much she loved me. She could never do this.

    I am now journaling every day to try to understand the past events in my life and how they are connected to current stresses with my parents and other family members. The theme of never being “good enough” is intertwined through my entire life.

    When I was 12 years old I got paddled in school along with 6 other children. We had to bend over the desk in front of the class and get paddled with a board 7 times for playing with a can of xmas snow spray on the playground. All the parents complained to the principle that the punishment far exceeded the deed done. All complained …. except mine. I was not “good enough” to raise a stink about or care enough about.

    In junior high I did self-mutilation – cutting. I didn’t know why. I hid it from everyone. I know now that acts of mutilation such as cutting can provide a way to feel “something” and can serve as a distraction from emotional pain.

    When 16 years old I had Scoliosis surgery. I had been having back pain for a number of years. The first night after arriving home I knew I was going to be in a body cast for 6 months and in bed never getting out for 6 months. My bedroom door was shut. I was crying. My Mother came in yelling... telling me how lucky I was that I was not going to be crippled the rest of my life or dead(like my brother). I just wanted her to wrap me in her arms telling me how much she loved me and that I was going to be ok. She has never been able to do this all my life.

    I have numerous examples of not feeling “good enough”. When I was 17 years old, I married an alcoholic. I was not pregnant. My parents never tried to stop me. But he wanted me when no one else did. I was not “good enough” for my parents to raise a stink about me getting married. It lasted 4 years.

    I divorced, moved to a large city, found a job, took a loan and secured both an undergrad and Masters in business at night, and started over on my own! I was driven to succeed even though deep down I had tremendous low self-esteem.

    The good news is I now know why I have had numerous illnesses all my life. So has my sister. My younger brother was the Replacement Baby. He has numerous physical problems too. My Mother kept all of us at a distance from her. She pushed us away all of our lives.

    Today, I am working a program of reading, journaling and communicating with others on the internet about Mind/body pain. My pain is almost gone. No more acid reflux, no more leg cramps, no interstitial cystitis, no shingles pain, no cramping in my legs and feet, no restless leg, no tingling in my hands and feet, no low back pain, no neck pain, no carpal tunnel, no IT band pain, no myofasical pain and NO depression. I know for the rest of my life I will need to manage my thoughts so I can manage my pain and depression.

    I still see my Mom and Dad 2-3 times each week, which can be challenging but I can do it. So many times I have felt like nothing I ever did for them was “good enough”. Most of the time I know I am good enough. And I have forgiven them. They did what they were capable of doing at the time.

    I have to stay vigilant with my emotions, particularly anger and the need to please and not disappoint. I cannot let these emotions be expressed as physical pain or depression. The journaling helps me bring these emotions to my conscious mind to be addressed. Writing has an almost magical ability to pull buried thoughts and emotions into conscious awareness. The physical pain is a warning bell going off, telling me to think in an entirely different and healthy emotional way.

    Since starting this program my self-esteem has increased significantly. All my relationships are changing. The man that saved my life is my husband of 29 years. My husband lifted me up. He believed in me and was so very supportive of anything I did during our entire marriage. I could have so easily found myself in another disrespectful relationship because of my low self-esteem.

    As Dr. Peter Levine says in “Waking the Tiger” while trauma can be hell on earth, trauma is a gift of the gods—a heroic journey that belongs to each of us.
    1. Maribel
      Maribel
      I also have scoliosis! ;)
    2. Maribel
      Maribel
      I am sorry for the sorrow of the loss of your brother. Your story lets me understand my father better for he had a similar life event. For him it was a sister that died!
    3. Stella
      Stella
      Thanks she 333
    4. she333
      she333
      Thank you for sharing. Wow, you must have felt like your body was attacking you with some many diagnoses. I know your parents were probably just doing what they could to persevere and protect themselves, but what you and you siblings experienced was incredible. As a fellow "ICer " it gives me hope you recovered.
      1. Stella
        Stella
        I know now my Mother was in incredible pain. If she new how it would impact us, she would have changed.

        I was so scared that IC would come back and I would not be able to deal with it (worry and fear).

        But I started feeling symptoms, I worked my program and it went away. You can do it too.
        Jan 12, 2016
    5. breakfree
      breakfree
      Wow that was a really powerful !! I am so happy that you are now doing so well, well done, and please keep it up x x
      1. Stella likes this.
    6. speedysel
      speedysel
      Wow Stella! You can be so proud of yourself. It takes such inner strength to be able to do all that you´ve achieved! I was so moved by your story and so inspired. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!!
      1. Stella likes this.
    7. scootertoe
      scootertoe
      Wow, you have such insight Stella. I know we all have our histories that have led us to this forum and each one is hard to discuss so I really appreciate you sharing with us! Support is so helpful and critical and nobody can understand better than someone dealing with the same thing.
      1. Stella likes this.
    8. Kim Mc
      Kim Mc
      Stella, I find it therapeutic and draining at the same time to share the whole story start to finish. I appreciate you telling yours. When is the next group meeting in Kansas City?
    9. sara_cynthia
      sara_cynthia
      I loved your story. Ive been around for one week. I've been pretty much in bed the last 4 months I'm hopeful that this program will work. I've been out of bed this last week. Yay, I've been journaling but most what I find is coming up is fear.
    10. G.R.
      G.R.
      Stella, I just want you to know I was so moved by your story. You have so much strength and sounds like perseverance, too. I am so happy you have such a loving
      husband. I heard once, that we get hurt in relationships and that that we healed from the hurt through other relationships. Thank you so much for sharing; it
      has really blessed me. G.R.
      1. Stella
        Stella
        G.R. thanks for the support. It is not easy. I struggle on a regular basis particularly dealing with my parents and other family members. Will it ever be easy... probably not but I use all my tools on a regular basis. Some days are much easier than others.
        Oct 12, 2013
    11. Crust
      Crust
      Wow--what an story. I feel so bad for the tragedies. I am glad your are getting better. Would you say most of your maladies were a result of repressed emotions?
      1. Stella
        Stella
        Hi Crust,
        Yes, they ALL are TMS. All a result of repressed emotions.
        Sep 21, 2013
    12. MatthewNJ
      MatthewNJ
      Stella,
      What a fabulous, honest, sad, happy, "right from the gut" heart wrenching story. You are a successs!
      Matthew
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  • My Story

    Gender:
    Female
    I have had numerous physical problems all my life; scoliosis (Harrington rods at age 16), depression, TMJ, asthma, allergies, neck pain, low back pain, tailbone pain, Interstitial Cystitis, shin splints, pelvic floor pain, tingling in my feet and hands, carpal tunnel, acid reflux, restless legs, leg cramps, Dupytrens contracture, IT band pain, myofascial pain, IT Band pain, disc degeneration, heart palpitations and Haglund’s Deformity.

    My physical pain and depression became significantly worse 4 years ago, when I had to move my parents to the city where I live, due to their growing health issues and very limited medical support in their small town. This required significant (and almost continuous) efforts on my part, to address their numerous health issues as well as managing virtually all aspects of their lives.

    As part of my continuing search for relief from pain, I had to start seeing a physical therapist for pelvic pain, and she recommended I read a book called The Divided Mind by Dr. John Sarno. I knew stress had to be playing a major role in my pain so I was open to anything including reading this book. In his book, Dr. Sarno said that a traumatic situation during childhood could well be a possible cause of the depression and physical pain.

    As I considered this point, my initial thoughts were… I was not verbally abused, physically abused or sexually abused. No alcoholic parent. No violence in the home. No negative treatment by peers. The standards for parental approval were not too high, in fact, they were very low! I did not have to take on parental or adult responsibilities when too young. So what was it? I did not recall anything that could have happened to me to cause various physical ailments all my life.

    But the personality traits Dr. Sarno described fit me perfectly; perfectionists, people pleaser, needing to be right, my own severest critic, very responsible, the “Goodist” and many others. And (surprisingly) my pain was slightly alleviated when reading the book. I thought “this is really weird” so I knew something was going on. I just didn’t know what. But what was it that happened to me?

    The only thing I could think of was I had a baby brother die when he was 14 months old. He had pancreatic cancer. Mom and Dad kept him in the home during the dying process (months of sadness and his almost constant crying). I was always sent to my grandmothers. I was 4 years old. My sister was 6. After his death there was no crying, no grieving, all the pictures were taken down, the high chair was gone, the baby was gone and he was never discussed again. It was like he had never existed.

    My Mom and Dad were in indescribable pain and sorrow. My Mother held that dying baby for 4 months.My parents both pushed us away. They distanced themselves from us. My Mother tightly wrapped herself in grief and did not wrap us in with her. My Mother resented having to take care of us. She resented the fact that we were alive and he was dead. She just wanted to grieve. She never wanted to experience pain of this magnitude again. She decided to never let anyone get close to her again.

    Being pushed away by my Mother meant there was no physical affection. There was no interest taken in me. Praise was infrequent and tremendous effort was required on my part to earn any attention.
    There was no emotional support for my entire life.

    As a child I developed a very narrow band of acceptable emotions. No anger, no conflict and no disagreement ever. I watched every breath my Mother took, every sigh, every body movement, listened to both her tone of voice as well as her words. I tried to be perfect so she would accept me and love me. I tried and tried for years. But I was never “good enough” to be wrapped in that grief with her. She always kept us so far away. I just wanted her to wrap me in her arms telling me how much she loved me. She could never do this.

    I am now journaling every day to try to understand the past events in my life and how they are connected to current stresses with my parents and other family members. The theme of never being “good enough” is intertwined through my entire life.

    When I was 12 years old I got paddled in school along with 6 other children. We had to bend over the desk in front of the class and get paddled with a board 7 times for playing with a can of xmas snow spray on the playground. All the parents complained to the principle that the punishment far exceeded the deed done. All complained …. except mine. I was not “good enough” to raise a stink about or care enough about.

    In junior high I did self-mutilation – cutting. I didn’t know why. I hid it from everyone. I know now that acts of mutilation such as cutting can provide a way to feel “something” and can serve as a distraction from emotional pain.

    When 16 years old I had Scoliosis surgery. I had been having back pain for a number of years. The first night after arriving home I knew I was going to be in a body cast for 6 months and in bed never getting out for 6 months. My bedroom door was shut. I was crying. My Mother came in yelling... telling me how lucky I was that I was not going to be crippled the rest of my life or dead(like my brother). I just wanted her to wrap me in her arms telling me how much she loved me and that I was going to be ok. She has never been able to do this all my life.

    I have numerous examples of not feeling “good enough”. When I was 17 years old, I married an alcoholic. I was not pregnant. My parents never tried to stop me. But he wanted me when no one else did. I was not “good enough” for my parents to raise a stink about me getting married. It lasted 4 years.

    I divorced, moved to a large city, found a job, took a loan and secured both an undergrad and Masters in business at night, and started over on my own! I was driven to succeed even though deep down I had tremendous low self-esteem.

    The good news is I now know why I have had numerous illnesses all my life. So has my sister. My younger brother was the Replacement Baby. He has numerous physical problems too. My Mother kept all of us at a distance from her. She pushed us away all of our lives.

    Today, I am working a program of reading, journaling and communicating with others on the internet about Mind/body pain. My pain is almost gone. No more acid reflux, no more leg cramps, no interstitial cystitis, no shingles pain, no cramping in my legs and feet, no restless leg, no tingling in my hands and feet, no low back pain, no neck pain, no carpal tunnel, no IT band pain, no myofasical pain and NO depression. I know for the rest of my life I will need to manage my thoughts so I can manage my pain and depression.

    I still see my Mom and Dad 2-3 times each week, which can be challenging but I can do it. So many times I have felt like nothing I ever did for them was “good enough”. Most of the time I know I am good enough. And I have forgiven them. They did what they were capable of doing at the time.

    I have to stay vigilant with my emotions, particularly anger and the need to please and not disappoint. I cannot let these emotions be expressed as physical pain or depression. The journaling helps me bring these emotions to my conscious mind to be addressed. Writing has an almost magical ability to pull buried thoughts and emotions into conscious awareness. The physical pain is a warning bell going off, telling me to think in an entirely different and healthy emotional way.

    Since starting this program my self-esteem has increased significantly. All my relationships are changing. The man that saved my life is my husband of 29 years. My husband lifted me up. He believed in me and was so very supportive of anything I did during our entire marriage. I could have so easily found myself in another disrespectful relationship because of my low self-esteem.

    As Dr. Peter Levine says in “Waking the Tiger” while trauma can be hell on earth, trauma is a gift of the gods—a heroic journey that belongs to each of us.