So this is totally unrelated to physical pain but it has been something that I have struggled with my entire adult life that I very much desire to overcome. And I am sure this issue has led to the TMS symptoms I have had in the past. I will warn you, it may be a long post. I don't post on here much but do read. I am so grateful that I found this community and information about TMS because it helped me overcome many symptoms I developed after an injury a couple of years ago. I will start with my issue and then give you some background. I am in my mid 40's. I am very successful in many ways. I have a great job that I very much enjoy. I have a 10 year old daughter that I am very close with. I get along with my family and have several close friends. I do well financially, own my own home in a beautiful neighborhood. I recognise that I have a very rich life. Where I do struggle and always have is in relationships with men. The struggle is I really can't even make it past a few dates to even have it turn into a relationship. I haven't even tried dating all that much in the last 10 years because it is just too hard. So on to my background. This is what I remember from my past that I know has led to the difficulty. I was really shy when it came to boys in jr high. Many of my friends already had boyfriends and were pretty advanced in what they were doing with them and I hadn't even had a "boyfriend" or first kiss yet. When I was 14 I liked a boy named Shane and he liked me back. Of course I had no idea what I was doing and it was pretty funny. I remembered the night we had our first kiss. We were out with our friends walking around. We came to our Jr High and our friends basically ditched us and made it pretty obvious that they were waiting for us to kiss. We finally did (very innocently) and then our friends appeared again. After that he became my "boyfriend" and we never kissed again. I think we just hung out with our friends and talked on the phone. Very innocent relationship. One night in the midst of this "relationship" I was out with my friends and we were drinking. A boy (Rick) in high school (I was in 9th grade but back then this was still at our jr highs) gave me a lot of attention. I was pretty buzzed and ended up making out with the guy (this was my first experience with this at all). When I realized what I was doing I freaked out and stopped. I told him I needed to go find my friends. We were behind a Peter Piper Pizza so I was going to walk around and go in. As I was walking Rick and his friend drove by in their car and grabbed me and pulled me in. I told them I could walk but they said they would bring me around to the front. They didn't. I don't even know where they brought me. I was forced to perform oral sex on Rick that night in front of his friend. They eventually brought me back and basically threw me out the car. I was mortified, I was ashamed, I was alone. I had no idea what to do. I think I went and stayed at my friends that night (I can't remember) but I do remember walking home and throwing up many times on the way. I spent that day hiding in my bedroom. I never told my parents what happened. We didn't talk about big things when I was a kid. We barely do now. My friends were aware something happened that night but they never knew it was rape. I was too embarressed so I acted as if I wanted it to happen. This was probably because I felt so different since I was the only virgin in my group of friends so I felt weird. So I developed this lie basically so I could move forward. 3 months later I lost my virginity. I wasn't ready. I did like this boy very much and he didn't force anything but I was afraid to say no so I just let it happen. Fast forward to high school. I drank way too much and hooked up with some guys but thankfully didn't go too crazy. Then my senior year I started dating a guy I had known since I was a kid through family marriage. We went to prom and hit it off right away. This is the only time in my whole life where I can say I was in love with a guy. In the beginning of our relationship things were great. We spent all our free time together. We graduated, had a great summer and both went to community colleges. I was close with his family. For the first time in my life I felt I really belonged. I had a good childhood but I wouldn't say I was connected with my family in the way I needed. Then slowly things started to change. Connected became codependent. I lost myself in this relationship. I stopped hanging out with my friends, I neglected my school work, was rarely home. Everything I did was for Chris. He started drinking more and smoking pot. I did also but not as much as him. He started to change. He was verbally abusive. Then he stopped being affectionate with me but expected me to perform sexually for him. I felt so ugly and worthless yet I couldn't walk away from him. I remember one time feeling so much hurt and shame. We were with another couple driving home from being out of town for the weekend for a softball tournament the guys were in. He had a coke and I was thirsty so I reached for it to take a drink and he grabbed it out of my hand and acted disgusted that I wanted a drink. I was so humilated! I think that was the turning point for me and led towards the long road of ending a relationship with him. I never really told anyone how bad it really was. My family never once asked about him. Again I buried and moved on (or so I thought). Now I was in my early 20's. I had a good job at an after school program and made some great new friends. A few I am still close with to this day. I liked to go out clubbing at night and was just having fun. I would date here and there but nothing ever became serious. I would fool around with guys but it was mostly just making out at the club (classy, I know). But looking back I can see this is how I felt safe and in control. They couldn't make me do more in public. There were a couple of guys that I met who really liked me but one moved back to Boston at the end of the semester so that didn't go anywhere past a few dates. The other I "dated" for close to a year. We didn't date much in that year though and most of the time when we got together it was with a group of friends. I really liked him though but couldn't let myself get close. He recongnized this and even asked me what I was scared of. I never answered him, I don't even think I knew and then it eventually ended. Back to making out with random guys at the clubs I went. I partied too much but was doing well in school now and had a great job. In my mid 20's I started going to church with my best friend (still best friend today). After a couple of years I decided to convert and officially became Catholic 19 years ago. My life changed very much after that. I became a godmother to her first born. I changed my ways a ton. I stopped partying as much, stopped hooking up with guys and started teaching and life was so much better. I have dated a few good guys, ones that I am sure would have treated me well but again I couldn't let myself get close. I also now very much desired to not have sex until marriage which was another reason I wouldn't let myself get to close physically. It was easier to avoid that if you avoid any temptation at all. This would confuse the guys I dated and they would think I wasn't into them. And of course in my usual fashion I would not communicate with them about this. So in my 30's I would date here in there but nothing serious. I loved my job and got a lot of fullfulment out of that. I bought my first condo. Was very close with my goddaughter and her sisters and helped raise them in many ways (because I spent so much time with the family). I attended church weekly and would volunteer when I could. When I was in my late 30's I decided to pursue becoming a foster parent. At age 39 I had my first placement and my life changed. My now daughter came to me a year after my journey began. It was meant to be. After a rollercoaster of a case I adopted her close to 2 1/2 years later and now we have been together for over 5 years. I know that God brought us together. I longed to be a mother for many years which made my challenges with relationships even more frustrating. But now I have my beautiful daughter. But with all this I still very much long to fall in love with a man. I want to share my life with someone. I feel like if I could just get over the hurdle I could do it but every time I go to jump I get scared and turn around. I have tried counseling, talking to friends, praying and lots of reading but I just can't get the courage to jump. Now that I have studies TMS I have learned about repressed emotions causing pain and other symptoms. I thankfully overcame my pain issues but feel like I need to overcome these strong emotions when it comes to dating. I recognize the emotions I feel over small stuff now are the same emotions over the big stuff back then. I know it is not the same but my body reacts the same way if that makes any sense. If you looked at me right now you would see an attractive woman who does very well. I work out on a regular basis, I am a devoted, loving mom, I am active in my faith. I have a great job, beautiful home and am busy with family and friends and activities. I am very happy and content in all areas except the relationship part. My goal is to overcome these emotions. I have recently started reading a book on inner child work. I want to see if this can help me acknowledge the feelings I had that I basically buried in the past. I also know that I had stuff as a child that led to this also but I can't remember much from that. Nothing horrible but not having my emotional needs met from my parents have affected me as well. I also see my perfectionist traits in many areas of my life. I try to be the perfect teacher, perfect friend, perfect Catholic, perfect mom so I need to learn to cut myself some slack. I can be a good mom and go on dates also. I can be a good friend without dropping everything for my best friend all the time. I can be a good Catholic and slip sometimes. I am not exactly sure what I am looking for with the post. Advice maybe? Understanding? Or maybe I just needed to write this all out.