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I reclaimed my life

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by SelWylde, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. SelWylde

    SelWylde Peer Supporter

    This is my first post here, but I hope this does not discourage anyone from finding hope in my story.

    First, I'll tell you about me. I am a 23 years old girl who lived an ordinary life, my parents always loved me, but they always found it difficult to be emotionally close and physically affectionate to me and oftentimes while growing up they made me feel rejected involountarily.
    Because of this I was not comfortable in asking them for help or comfort when I happened to be bullied through elementary and middle school. I didn't have many friends, and apparently boys in my classroom made a habit of sexually harassing me because they thought it was funny and made them look manly and cool.

    When I was 13 years old I was diagnosed by a professional with Major Depressive Disorder after I stopped going to school. I started having panic attacks when near schools and lost every will to live. I found my only light and hope in an online videogame and I got addicted to it. Despite many therapy sessions nothing was getting better, actually it was getting worse. I started to self-harm to dull the pain I was feeling inside and they put me on medications, which I did not want to take and because of this I took them inconsistenly. It got to a point where I was starting to plan my suicide and my psychologist put me in a psychiatric hospital against my will. I spent 3 months there, and it really helped me get a hold of myself.

    I was now 16 years old, and while a bit more peaceful than before I still was unable to function socially and attend school. At this time I met my first serious boyfriend who happened to be suffering from severe anxiety and dissociative episodes. I ended up taking care of him and this is when I probably discovered I was Codependent.
    After this relationship, at 18 years old I jumped immedialy into another one, with a boy who was the polar opposite and emotionally distant. At this point I developed severe food allergies. After some time, and still while being with my boyfriend, I met a boy, who I later discovered suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, who targeted me as his source of self-esteem supply. He took me, made me fall in love really hard and walked over me several times. I started manifesting consistent physical symptoms (even though I had minor TMS manifestations all my life), it started with a persistent low grade fever and muscle aches.
    I was increasingly worried about my health, having panic attacks almost daily and probably ended up in the ER more than 10 times in 3 months. My parents were fed up with me because doctors were telling me I was healthy, but I felt so ill that I couldn't believe every test came back negative.

    Then the thoracic pain started, so bad I could hardly move my torso without suffering, it actually awoke me in my sleep, I was crying daily because I felt so hopeless and alone. My boyfriend and I broke up and this is where it got real ugly.

    Now 20 years old, I was unable to be by myself and I hooked up with a guy from another town whom I met a couple years prior. This boy was everything I could have ever hoped for. He was my prince charming, believing me, telling me it was going to be okay, that he was going to stand beside me no matter what.
    We both fell in love really hard and really fast, he idolized me to a point I felt like I was a goddess to him, he actually told me he wanted to marry me after 1 month into the relationship. He said he wanted to live together and was considering moving to my city to attend art school here.

    I didn't pay attention to the signs, but they were there. He was very jealous, getting angry when I didn't tell my male friends to f**k off if they dared make a flirty joke. He couldn't accept the fact that I was not interested in them, he wanted me to cut them off harshly.
    We started having huge fights and arguments because I was not behaving like he wanted me to. One time he hung up on me and told me he was going to kill himself. He ignored all my phone calls on purpose and I had to call the police to his house (he got really angry at me and threatened to call the police to my house if I ever dared do it again).

    It was a nightmare, it was like living with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He started to deny the fact that he ever said he'd move to my city, getting angry at me for daring expecting him to leave his family and friends for me, so I started looking for apartments near him, but we could not afford them (I was basically unable to work or go to school at the time).
    Fast forward 2 years, my self esteem was at an all time low, I lived for the moments of kindness from him, even though over time he grew more and more emotionally distant, lashing out at me and accusing me of being aggressive to him, of being needy because I asked him to spend time on Skype together. He told me that he was avoiding me because I was bothering him when I wanted to talk about the problems in our relationship and my feelings. When we fought he started to develop the habit of gripping me by the wrists or shoulders, one time he shook me while I was crying and begging for him to let me go. He gave me the silent treatment every time he got angry, but he always came back victimizing himself so I forgave him and ended up picking up the pieces of my heart silently because I was busy reassuring him that I still loved him.
    Because of this relationship I regressed and picked up self-harm again to cope with the intense distress I was feeling during our fights, occasionally I was even feeling suicidal.

    Obviously at the time I assumed my physical symptoms were due to a physical problem, and I spent most of my time looking up Fibromyalgia information. I was paying attention to my body every day, obsessing over every little new thing.
    Headaches, fatigue, TMJ disorder, sciatica, rashes, vertigo, pain, dyspnea, itching, weight loss, migraines, GERD, you name it and I probably had it. I developed severe mysophobia and I was afraid of breathing near other people or of touching handles/money/doorbells. At one point I had one of the most awfully painful migraine in my life, I'd rate it an 11 out of 10, I wanted to scoop my brain out with a spoon because it'd be less painful.

    Then roughly 10 months ago everything went downhill. I thought I felt pretty okay emotionally compared to the past, despite some moments of crisis. I didn't know that my physical symptoms that were now at their highest intensity were making up for this apparent calmness.
    My parents thought it was time for me to try and pick up school again, and I agreed despite my physical "disability". I realized it was gonna be really hard from the first days. Instead of getting panic attacks, I was now getting EXHAUSTED after every school day.
    I literally spent my days between school and the bed, I had trouble keeping myself clean, let alone do homework. My boyfriend started secretly resenting me because now that I had started school I was not free anymore to spend time with him when he decided to (he got hired at his first job at the same time).

    I could barely function, I had trouble calling myself a human being. I could not do anything without feeling so exhausted that I *had* to go and lay down for hours and get some sleep. The pain was unbearable, I felt like all my bones were broken and shattered in a million pieces.
    The highlight of my day was crawling under the sheets at night and feeling safe until dawn broke.

    4 months went by like this. My boyfriend started making up excuses to not see me anymore, and it happened. I cheated on him through a webcam, I immediately regret it and actually started to cry and pour out my fear and pain with the guy I was on Skype with.
    Eventually I told my boyfriend what I did through tears and his first reaction was "I don't know what to do, I'm so angry, where will I find another girl who will put up with me like you do" I was shattered, was that the only reason he was with me? But we decided to stick together and try to bond again.

    That's when I had the most awful, terrible, mind shattering pain of my life: Out of the blue I developed severe Pudendal Neuralgia and Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder. I could not sleep, I could not sit, I could not lie down. Nothing brought comfort, I was numbing myself with ice and hot packs without results.
    I immediately looked it up online and a sense of doom got a hold of me. Chronic severe pain like this for all my life? After all that I had to endure up until now?

    I booked doctor appointments, physiotherapy, I was looking up nerve blocks, surgery, medication, ketamine infusions. I was bookmarking every useful website with information about doctors and therapies. My only desire was being able to sit again, let alone lead a fulfilling life.

    That's when I found ezer's story on PudendalHope forum. He was strongly advocating a mind-body approach to this, telling his success story after years of pain. Something clicked in my mind. It HAD to make sense, everything matched up.

    I started to look up TMS and found this forum and immediately felt something I thought I could never feel again: hope. I started the SEP, I bought "Healing Back Pain" and read it in 2 days. I also bought "Hope and Help for your Nerves" by Clare Weekes which helped tremendously with managing my anxiety and floating day after day through pain.
    I found my favourite success story from balto, and a light went on inside my head: I was tired of living in fear. Fear of dying, fear of pain, fear of being unworthy because I was sick. I refused to give up. I started to live as if the pain or fatigue didn't exist anymore. It was hard. When I was eating out at the reastaurant it was hard to sit still. But I forced myself to not care. I wondered if it'll ever go away, and I often looked up for advice and suggestions in this forum.
    One of the best advice is "You have to reach that point where you don't even care if the pain'll go away or not" because it's so true that it will go away by itself at that point. Remember, it serves as a distraction.

    I delved deeper into my own feelings, I spent hours thinking, realizing, reaching inside myself. Looking deeper and deeper. I was now turning my attention inward all the time.
    I came to terms with my absolute fear of being alone. With my need for validation from other people. With my low self-esteem. With the mistakes I had made in the past.
    I looked at myself in the mirror and something amazing happened: I felt compassion for that girl who was looking back at me. I thought that she had been very brave all this time. I cried, but it was such a refreshing feeling.

    I started to change, people around me started to notice my change. It was like I started to shine from the inside. I started to finally put the puzzle pieces together. My pain was 70-80% less intense than before and it had moved around.
    Not even a month into this process, my boyfriend broke up with me over the phone. He refused to see me again, he cut off all contact and deleted all our pictures within 2 days. It was like I had never existed in his life.
    The emotional pain was like nothing before. I was also afraid of relapsing, but I understood I didn't have to be as long as I let myself feel all that sadness. I didn't relapse.

    It was one of the hardest times of my life. I was an emotional mess, my abandonment wound was ripped open and enlarged. I let myself be an emotional mess. I reminded myself that feelings were okay to have. Feelings are fleeting.
    Feelings feel real but they are not reality. They will pass. We live in a world where the only acceptable life is always joyful and happy. We look down on people who cry, we deem them weak. Society invalidates the full range of our human emotions, to experience them all is healthy, it's the key to peace. During this emotional trasformation my pain went away completely on most days. I was now pain free, but my feelings were all over the place.

    Despite this, I felt a sense of belonging like I never experienced before. I decided on my own accord to go back to school and attend the last month before exams. My fatigue and muscle pain were gone and I didn't even realize it.
    I was able to do whatever I wanted to, I could go to school, go home and study, then play videogames or read and not feel tired. I started to travel and I met friends I haven't met in months. I called one of my old friends and we bonded again.
    Despite being on an emotional rollercoaster, every day now felt like a gift, I felt like I had been given a new life. I felt so much gratitude for Sarno that it brought tears to my eyes.

    I looked back at my life and let myself feel the rage and sadness for all the times I let people use and abuse me, at the times I was sexually touched without consent by "friends".
    I realized it is my duty to look after myself. I can not put my own happiness in the hands of someone else. My life is mine alone, if you walk over me I will show you the door. No one will be more important than my self respect anymore.
    I am no longer afraid of being alone, because now I appreciate my own company, I don't despise myself anymore.
    I may fail, but it's okay. No failures will take away that sense of unconditional love I have for myself, I don't feel the need to search for it in anybody else anymore.
    I can't be perfect, and I'm still having trouble accepting it fully. But these days I can sit for hours upon hours normally. I can travel, go out, have fun without feeling like I'm sick at the end of the day.
    Occasionally I have little reminders of pain, or I get a headache, a rash, but I know what these are and I immediately turn my attention to my feelings now. I realized that my body tensed up whenever I felt an unpleasant emotion, now I try to let go and experience it and to my surprise it feels much less intense and lasts a shorter time.

    It's true that there isn't a "cure" for TMS, it's a mindset change. A lifestyle of acceptance. But I'm grateful for this. On the first question of the TMS Structured Educational Program "What would a life without TMS mean to you?" I replied "A life without TMS would be a life where it's not needed. A life where I am in touch with myself and my emotions and I'm not afraid of them. A life where I can accept failures without shame or resentment towards myself." I think I'll get there. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  2. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    WOW. What an incredible story, so honest. You are amazing SelWylde! I think my favourite parts are where you say you experienced a sense of belonging and developed compassion for yourself. Thank you so much for sharing :)
     
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  3. SelWylde

    SelWylde Peer Supporter

    Thank you very much. :) I tried to pour my heart into it so maybe people could benefit from my own conclusions about taking responsibility for our own happiness and refusing to be a victim any longer.
     
  4. Bunneh

    Bunneh Peer Supporter

    Thank you for that glimpse of hope. I have a bad flare-up today.
     
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  5. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Beloved Grand Eagle

    Amazing Story
     
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  6. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    God bless you for such a heart-rending and utterly honest telling of your story and healing. There's quite a lot I identify with and I have a hunch I'll be visiting this post repeatedly over time because it's such a valuable resource. Thank you for taking the time to write it, and I hope you know that it will be a beacon of hope to many.

    All the best to you angel.

    Plum
     
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  7. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Selwylde,

    You are very brave to write such an honest account of your pain. But you discovered how to recover, and now because you took the time to write out your story, others will be inspired to do so too.

    Thank you so much.
     
  8. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Fabulous story. Thank you so much for sharing.
     
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  9. Avy

    Avy New Member

    Your story and problems are very similar to mine, thank you for sharing and inspiring!
     
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  10. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing and being honest. I hope you have a lifetime of happiness.
     
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  11. silentflutes

    silentflutes Peer Supporter

    Thank you for wonderful post. I loved it. It was honest and in detail.

    I was intrigued by this passage. Can you elaborate on this?

    thank you for this.
     
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  12. Sacha O.

    Sacha O. Peer Supporter

    So glad I read your post today. Thank you.
     
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  13. SelWylde

    SelWylde Peer Supporter

    Sure. I realized that I forgot myself in the quest of trying to keep other people in my life at all costs. I never gave voice to my feelings of discomfort or even my needs because respecting myself was less important to me than keeping that person in my life, after all I thought I could put up with whatever negative behavior they displayed because the good one would make up for it, after all "no one is perfect". I realized that I was so afraid of being alone because I costantly needed to be validated in my feelings or opinions from other people, or because I thought I needed support when I was feeling sad or I had some problems, not even realizing that 90% of the time those problems came from relationships with others and that I wouldn't even have them if I were by myself or associated with different people.
    I could not grasp the concept that I have a right to whatever emotion or opinion I may have even if everyone else thinks that I should not be feeling that way. I literally believed I could not handle life if I didn't have anyone else to turn to to make decisions.

    A very simple example would be a friend hurting me with a "joke" that's more like a gratuitous insult (a friend while joking said publicly that I am like a dog, stupid but lovable), me protesting and receiving a reply similar to "What? You can't be hurt about that! I was only joking! I can't believe we are fighting over something like this!" I would feel frustrated and even abandoned by this person because they did not understand my hurt. But now I would simply tell them they hurt me and if they didn't mean to and they are indeed my friends then they should accept my reaction, and I'll also calmly ask them to never "joke" again in the same way. Basically I am asking them to take responsibility for their actions, abusive people really hate to say sorry. I try to respect others so others should respect me if they want to associate with me.
    This applies to every situation where people told me that I should not cry over something that happened to me, I should not get angry, I should not feel the way I feel basically.
    I'm stating how I want to be treated, what I will or won't accept from others. Basically I am putting up boundaries to keep my life a peaceful place for myself , I realized have the choice to go away from toxic individuals. I think there is a very fine line between controlling others and putting up boundaries for ourselves. We need to understand when bad feelings come from "inside" us or "outside" us, basically if someone is really not respecting us or we are triggered by normal behavior because of our own insecurities.

    The low self-esteem was the reason I could not validate my own feelings or opinions by myself. Sure, we as humans need to feel accepted by others and it feels great when you can connect emotionally to someone, however don't let anybody convince you that you don't have a right to feel the way you do. You can't control your feelings, only your actions. You can't be held accountable for something you can't control, therefore all of your feelings are valid and human, don't let others convince you otherwise. However, it is our duty to behave correctly, wrong actions are not justified. If one believes their feelings are out of proportion or too intense I believe it is necessary to reflect on those feelings and to try to understand why something is so triggering to them.
     
  14. silentflutes

    silentflutes Peer Supporter

    Exactly spot on. This is what happens to me. People make fun of me at first. When I revolt, they say just joking. And i feel i am making fool out of myself so I try to hide my pain, hurt. But, lately, I have been bold enough to say what hurts me and accept if that person wants to go. Few of my friends have stopped talking to me and I am ok with that.


    Exactly. We resonate so much. I also put up with everything the person does and say so that I wouldn't have to fight with them.I do not feel like speaking for myself. I feel hurt and pain but I never speak. I prioritize everything else except me. How did you resolve this?

    And,Hmmm, I stammer. So, makes me object of fun among friends. So, I guess, I am not speaking for myself and hence it has to do something with stammer.
    Since I cover up and hide all my pain and hurt, stammer is there is express it. Yeah, I do got TMS but later on that...

    And how do I do this? Either I end up putting a lot of boundaries or I end up accept all the shit. How to balance these?

    And hence, I got stammer.

    Hmm and yeah if there is any corner left to this story please do share. Details are expected. I see lot of me in your experiences. Thanks for sharing.
     
  15. SelWylde

    SelWylde Peer Supporter

    It's good that you have found the courage to speak up for yourself! You are very brave to be okay with the fact that some of your friends have stopped talking to you. Some people need to learn to accept responsibility and say sorry when they hurt somebody without meaning to. It makes no sense that they would take your rebelling as a personal offense, they are just trying to turn the situation around because they can't accept being at fault. Fun at the expense of others is only endurable when there is enough self-esteem and a secure sense of self that is not threatened by the opinion of others. What you must absolutely do for yourself is to build self-love, acceptance and self-esteem. You will still be free to demand respect from them, even though their words won't hurt your core self anymore.

    It just has to click inside yourself that you are worthy. Like, deeply internalize this concept. The only person that definitely won't ever abandon you is yourself! You must be your own protector. You are the only one that can assert your needs, and properly communicate to others your feelings and thoughts. If you don't do this you might expect others to act a certain way with you without you asking for it and ending up resenting them when they don't meet your expectations, but truthfully they never had a chance to because you didn't tell them what you needed.

    From the sound of it, I believe that your stammering is indeed a TMS symptom. Since expressing yourself to you is so difficult, maybe this is your own body protesting by making you unable to do so. Just a thought, maybe if it makes sense to you you could elaborate further on this and think about the time you started to stammer. You could start by treating it like any other TMS symptom: pretending it's not even there. Don't let it bother you, it's just a distraction and you know your true goal.

    You are not used to putting up boundaries so probably at first you will be too strict and even react too harshly, like me; but then you will get used to it and start to be more flexible in what you will accept from others because in the meanwhile you will have built a more secure self, you'll be able to observe others' behavior without taking it personally and you won't be afraid of potentially being (temporarily, until you meet other people) alone in the worst case scenario, so you don't depend on anybody and won't be afraid to disagree with others.

    You should look up how to build healthy boundaries on the internet, maybe you could even look into self-help books about it.

    What is peculiar about boundaries is that people can violate them with ill intentions or with good ones.
    I just imagine my own garden with a nice pretty fence. This garden is my own "self". I must nurture and care for my garden, I can't expect others to come in and do the work for me. I am the one who decides who comes inside or not. I am the one who decides what should be or shouldn't be in my garden. Who I am, what I want, what is important to me. If somebody is being mean, destructive or abusive to you then this person is literally stepping in, breaking objects and trashing plants and you should just let them out. But even people that forcibly want to control your garden by helping you at all costs are not respecting your space.

    Since we seem so similar, are you familiar with the term "Codependent"? If you're curious try to look into it.

    This is an extract from this webpage http://samvak.tripod.com/personalitydisorders22.html (Codependence and the Dependent Personality Disorder)

    Codependents

    Like dependents (people with Dependent Personality Disorder), codependents depend on other people for their emotional gratification and the performance of both inconsequential and crucial daily and psychological (“ego”) functions. They seek to fuse or merge with their significant others. By “becoming one” with their intimate partners, codependents are able to actually love themselves by loving others.

    Codependents are needy, demanding, and submissive. They suffer from abandonment anxiety and, to avoid being overwhelmed by it, they cling to others and act immaturely. These behaviours are intended to elicit protective responses and to safeguard the "relationship" with their companion or mate upon whom they depend. Codependents appear to be impervious to abuse. No matter how badly mistreated, they remain committed.

    This is where the "co" in "co-dependence" comes into play. By accepting the role of victims, codependents seek to control their abusers and manipulate them. It is a danse macabre in which both members of the dyad collaborate.

    The codependent sometimes claims to pity her abuser and cast herself in the grandiose roles of his saviour and redeemer. Her overwhelming empathy imprisons the codependent in these dysfunctional relationships and she feels guilt either because she believes that she had driven the abuser to maltreat her or because she contemplates abandoning him.


    Do you see yourself in this? Are there people in your life that you could describe as emotionally or physically abusive? Many self-esteem and dependency disorders come from a childhood with neglectful or emotionally/physically absent parents.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  16. silentflutes

    silentflutes Peer Supporter

    I got that. Lately, I have realized I am very self centered. Very sensitive. I mean if i do mistake, i have tons of guiltn,anger,hatred towards myself. If someone hurts, again, i focus on my self, why m i hurt? I shouldnt be hurt! Its not good to be hurt. I shouldnt take personally. What happens to me is my mistake. Not anyone's. So i never focus to someone else!!! Either way m hurt....


    I don' t have guts to speak for myself. I become sorry for myself becuase i stammer and i stay quiet.

    Yeah thanks for pointing outt.Stammer is a tms. I realized that a year ago. It is there to cope with part of life that i dont want to cope with. I reject all darkness in me. I want to be perfect. I want everything as i expect. And i fear lot. I am tensed a lot. So those are expressed in my voice. Stammer.

    And it started when i was around 5 years old. And it was like that. When i am too emotional, fearful tensed, it just happened. When i am emotional and try to hide that it happens. When i try to be someone i am not inside it happens. As i recall childhood, there was fear in family. Fight. Suffering. And i realized i am tooo negative orientation and see only faults and create world around it. ....

    That's me. What can i do?

    Thiss is me.i see that in myself.


    Any further insight advice is welcomed.
    Thank you.
     
  17. SelWylde

    SelWylde Peer Supporter

    Well, I'm no expert but I can see atleast two possible reasons: It can come from not enough self-esteem or from too much (secret and fake) insecure self-esteem. You could be hurt because you are self-conscious and take their words to heart because you don't have a secure sense of self or you could be hurt because you're angry that they don't see you as amazing as you think you are, but this is only a mask put in place to hide a deep sense of inadequacy.
    What both these situation have in common is that self-worth is derived from the opinion of others.

    You're disappointed at yourself. Don't be sorry for yourself, go at your own pace, but do it. It's exactly when it feels scary to jump that you should jump or you'll always end up in the same place!

    Try to look up Covert Narcissism. Then look up Codependence, Co-Narcissism (also referred to as Inverted Narcissism, many people think it's synonymous for Covert Narcissist, but Inverted Narcissism is a person "molded" to accomodate specifically narcissists of all shapes and sizes and craves their company). These are all "disorders" that might seem similar, but they're different and only you can know what reminds most of yourself deep down. If you feel you can't handle it by yourself it would be useful to look for a therapist.

    Don't be scared about all these names, labels don't define us as a person but they are useful if you need to look up information that can benefit you in your search for happiness. Personality Disorders seem "incurable" like many other modern physical illnesses, but I personally believe in the power of our own mind. Emotions are the key to everything, personality disorders and the like are generally born as a powerful mechanisms to cope with early traumatic experiences or inadequate upbringing. Only by letting down all our defenses and accessing our most painful memories we are able to face ourselves and be "real" again.

    I 100% agree with this entire post. This is gold. http://www.narcissismfree.com/are-you-an-inverted-narcissist/ (Are You An Inverted Narcissist? – Narcissism Free)


    Look up basic information on Codependency or Dependency disorders. Don't get scared if they say these are "incurable", they say the same thing about every physical disorder we managed to cure on these boards.
    At the very core of these issues is lack of self-love and self-realization. Basically what Codependents need is to be "psychologically born" as a separate individual in the world. It really has to do with realization that you are a separate entity from the rest of the world and you have a right to be here, then working on it with boundaries, then with self-care and respect and then by discovering what are you true wants, likes, desires and where you want to be in this world.


    If you believe your childhood was difficult and you think you can handle it without the help of a therapist then maybe look into self-help books. I still have to buy some but I plan to. This one interests me "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents" It has many reviews on Amazon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  18. beezy

    beezy New Member

    you're a bad-ass. thanks for sharing. Ive dealt with all kinds of TMS stuff in the past, but lately it's been extreme fatigue. debilitating fatigue. I came to the forums and yours was the first post I saw....you've inspired me in a big way.

    "You have to reach that point where you don't even care if the pain'll go away or not" because it's so true that it will go away by itself at that point.

    so good.

    I hope you're still doing great.
     
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