I have TMS. I've had a really great week. After listening to all of Alan Gordon's audio clips, I realized that I need to increase my soothe to rage ratio and that I have spent a lifetime scaring myself. I have chronic shoulder pain, some neck pain and the muscles between my shoulder blades get very tense. This week, instead of doubting the diagnosis, and scaring myself, or bullying myself, I decided to be very kind and soothe myself. Every time I got pain, I soothed myself and spoke to the child within me who felt very angry and afraid. Within a few days, my shoulder pain went from a 7 to a 3. Until yesterday. When I spoke to my sister. She has TEXTBOOK TMS. She, like me, suffers from a host of maladies, from IBS to panic attacks. Despite me counseling her about TMS, for over a year, she still blames it all on the physical. And I am her "safe person" when she gets into a anxiety attack or doesn't feel well. This may sound funny, but she leaves me 2 minute long voicemails about the state of her bowels, her anxiety, her headaches, her (fill in the blank with a somatized symptom). You name it. I get the call. And even just hearing her voice on my iPhone VM sends me reeling. Yesterday she called me with clearcut IBS and asked me if I would go see the doctor with her this week. And not just any doctor, her "Chiropractor" who is a total nut job, and charges her a zillion dollars for treatments involving crystals, chakra clearings, and all sorts of other New Age fluffy mumbo-jumbo. It' s a LONG story, but he is a trigger for me as well, as I was his patient for years till I found a psychotherapist who helped me way more than his "adjustments" ever did. Here is the deal. My sister triggers my TMS. I obviously cannot cut her out of my life, as I love her, but how do I say "NO, I do NOT want to go with you to...*fill in the blank*. I know, just say "NO". But I find it very hard. She is loving and very generous, but also very manipulative. She knows, for instance that I am having financial difficulties and offers to "pay me to come see her and take care of her". But when I need financial help (I asked her for a loan last week to help me pay my phone bill) she says she "can't afford it". There is a lot of cross manipulation going on. What I want to set with her is BOUNDARIES. Is it just irony that after speaking to her yesterday about her stomach ache, I awoke today with terrible IBS? And my shoulder was talking to me like a bullhorn? No. I think not. So what do you do when you have a family member who has TMS, triggers your TMS and you feel afraid of them and manipulated by them? Dr. Schechter (my TMS doc) told me I may have to "limit contact" with her. I feel like I am THIS CLOSE to CURING my own TMS, and I feel like my sister is impeding my progress. Does anyone else find that TMS runs in families and does anyone have any advice on how to deal with my very sweet, but DRAMA QUEEN sister? I love her but my TMS goes off like a smoke alarm when I'm within 100 paces of her. EVEN on the phone! I want to tell her, "I love you sis, but you're a pain in the neck!". Literally and figuratively! And I am "shouldering" a lot of responsibility as it is, trying to get my own business of the ground, which I am enjoying immensely. I cannot "shoulder" her problems as well. I can't break contact with her, but I want to have a heart to heart talk with her about us having a more adult relationship. Whenever I try, she goes into angry victim mode and says I am being "selfish". Projection, anyone? PS- My current TMS hit its ultimate "peak" upon returning from a cross country trip to NYC with her where I literally had to "babysit" her 24/7, and was her "safe" person for the ENTIRE 2 week trip. I was strong FOR her the entire trip, (even physically strong, carrying all her bags) and I came back riddled with back and neck pain and it took me two years to find Sarno's work and start the healing. I feel in some ways, like I am STILL ON THAT TRIP. I feel horribly guilty for not helping my sister, but I cannot seem to say no to her. Any advice is appreciated. Even reading the words, "I am still on that trip" shows me a big clue on why she is triggering me. Wow. She's bullying me, and and my "goodist" falls right into her trap, every time, time after time.