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Sneaky Symptom Imperative?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by HattieNC, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. HattieNC

    HattieNC Peer Supporter

    Around January, I was reading the Wiki forums and came across a lot of discussion surrounding pelvic pain. I thought "thank goodness I've not had that one yet!" Wouldn't you know it, within a few weeks I began to have pelvic pain. At first, it a minor annoyance so I tried treating it like any other TMS symptom by ignoring it and reassuring myself that there was nothing to fear. But when the pain escalated it started to seriously interfere with my romantic life, so I became more concerned. Finally, last week I gave in and went to the gynecologist to reassure myself there was no cancer or anything serious. The doctor immediately diagnosed me with vulvar vestibulitis. My first reaction was enormous relief and to thank God that I didn't have cancer! The doctor sent me to the compounding pharmacy to pick up a lotion that has a mixture of Gabapentin, Lidocaine, and Amitriptyline, which seemed reasonable to me -since I thought I had a true medical condition.

    After doing some research I realized there is a lot of confusion and conflicting ideas about treatment for this "condition." More and more, I beginning to wonder if this isn't a sneaky symptom imperative. I probably should also mention that I'm trying to reconcile physically and emotionally with my spouse whom I found out two years ago was having an affair. He has been remorseful and doing everything he can to assure me that he is faithful, but I wonder if my pelvic pain isn't a way of not dealing with the trauma/rage of finding out my partner of 35 years was unfaithful. Or perhaps, I do have a medical condition. I have a lot of faith in this particular doctor. I've been seeing her for over 20 years and she's always been straight with me.

    What do you guys think? Will taking the medication destroy my chances of treating this as TMS? Right now, I'm telling myself that I have TMS, and that the medication is a placebo to placate my brain. I'm also seriously considering going to counseling. I've journaled a lot about his infidelity, but it still feels raw and painful even almost two years later.
     
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hattie,

    Angel, I'm really sorry to hear you've had to endure the heartbreak of betrayal. In "your story", amongst other things, you say your marriage is in shambles. I'm guessing this is why.

    I don't think you need to spend much time considering whether this is TMS or not because at the root you have those "raw and painful" emotions, and Sarno (and Gabor Maté) acknowledge these as integral factors in the genesis of conditions that are "real". So my pragmatic thoughts are that you ought use the medication to bring relief whilst maintaining your deep TMS work.

    Are you familiar with the concept of armouring? Essentially it is a form of somatic protection whereby the body shields itself. Under the circumstances it makes complete sense that your vulva would create pain and tension to keep you safe.

    Here is an article that explains armouring a bit:

    http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/psychotherapy-counselling/characterology/reichs-segmental-armouring-theory/ (Reich's Segmental Armouring Theory - Energetics Institute)

    To reach the place where you open literally and romantically to your husband again necessitates much compassion. That he is remorseful and sorry means a lot. Infidelity is so very human and maybe within that truth you can find a softening that can help begin to melt and ease the sharp, protective burrs of rage and hurt.

    At some point we have to let go, we have to endeavour to forgive the person (if not the act), we have to lay down our weapons and our shields, for our own sake.

    Perhaps you reinstated your sexual relationship too soon and your body is telling you that. Perhaps you need to spend more time re-building your emotional connection with your husband. True intimacy is of the heart and of the body, and what your husband did has caused you to place a shell over your heart. Yet you continue to love and to be kind. Look at the many beautifully supportive posts you have made here. All that love you have given even though your own heart was breaking. That chink is your way back. One of the most exquisite gifts of emotional healing is vulnerability, the courage to be ourselves and to feel what we feel without the need to micromanage our way through life. We can learn to trust again. Nurture this small flame within yourself until it sets your heart on fire and the healing blazes through you.

    With time and with love, the emotional scar tissue will form and your relationship has the potential to be stronger and truer than before.

    With a huge blanket of care wrapped around you from afar,

    Plum x
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  3. HattieNC

    HattieNC Peer Supporter

    Plum,
    Thank you so much for your warm words of wisdom. I've never heard of armouring, but I will definitely check it out. My best friend used to tell me that I needed to "guard my heart" more often. I've never been a suspicious or guarded person. I guess you could say that I'm even somewhat gullible. So, to have my trusting nature taken advantage of by the person I love most in this world- has thrown me for a physical and emotional loop. But, I refuse to let this act of deception define me or make me into someone I'm not. That's not the way I choose to live my life. Thank you for the blanket of care. It helped me more than you'll ever know.
     
    Gigi likes this.
  4. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Blessings and prayers to you, Hattie. My heart hurts for you. But I see such strength and resilience in your response. TMS opens us to the amazing ways in which our conscious and subconscious mind interact. This program has led me to become pain free, and also brought me deeper insights into myself and others. I'm wishing you all the best on your journey to wellness and wholeness.
    Gigi
     
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  5. HattieNC

    HattieNC Peer Supporter

    I wanted to do an update about my recent pelvic pain journey. In my original post, I confessed that I began to have pelvic pain and painful intercourse in January of this year after reading some of the horror stories about pelvic pain on this Wiki.

    After seeing my gynecologist, I made an appointment with a pelvic "guru" in Western North Carolina. She is a Urogynecologist and an expert in the field of pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction in women. It took me 6 weeks to get an appointment. In the meantime, ruminating about my pelvis skyrocketed! I was convinced I had pelvic floor prolapse and was headed down the long and painful journey of surgery. I even had worries about what I would do if my organs suddenly dropped out of my body while going to the bathroom. This anxiety also ramped up my back spasms to an almost intolerable level. But, I stayed the course and continued the TMS work. I meditated, visualized, listen to podcasts, read this Wiki, and used self-care to calm my nervous system. I also continued most of my physical (but not sexual) activities.

    Two weeks ago, I met with the guru. She was sweet, funny, gentle, and spent a lot of time with me. After the examination, she assured me there was nothing functionally wrong with my private parts. She also took the time to ask about my family and if there were any issues with us getting along. At the end of the visit, she prescribed an vaginal Estrogen cream. She also instructed,"when you use this cream, tell yourself ....I am fine, I will be okay." Isn't that freaking awesome? My trust in her exploded at that point and I knew she was telling me the truth! Since then, I rarely think about my pelvis and the pain is almost gone. My husband and I are planning a romantic vacation next week to SLOWLY reignite the flames.

    This journey has taught me a few things:
    1. That even though I believe in TMS and have extensive knowledge on the topic, I still have to be on guard when reading other people's symptoms.
    2. My mother's dire warnings about what my hysterectomy would do to my body, infiltrated my subconscious more than I realized.
    3. I don't know what I would do if I hadn't found Dr. Sarno and this forum. I'm so grateful!
    4. I'm proud that even during the worst times, I kept using TMS techniques and strategies that have helped me in the past.
    5. I feel like my brain "played it's hand" on this one and I am better equipped when the next symptom imperative comes long.
     
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