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Abandonment issues and TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Jules, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Jules

    Jules Well known member

    I had quite a breakthrough with my therapist today that I wanted to share with you all. As you know I have been doing with TMS for the last 20+ years, and never understanding why or what triggered it. Today, in therapy, I talked about my youngest daughter wanting to move out of the house for good, not just for college two hours away. I realized that all of my kids have abandoned me, and all within three years of each other. I also realize that being an empty-nester has its own trauma associated with abandonment.

    As a child, I was in foster care for a while because my mother had a nervous break down. My father had a horrible accident when I was three months old, and for a few years afterwards, he either was afraid of picking us up or us climbing on top of him, or he couldn't, due to horrific injuries. So of course, I attached to my mom, even though she wasn't in a healthy place to really emotionally care for me.

    I left the LDS church a year and half ago, and at first my husband was going to divorce me, because I left, which brought up another issue of abandonment, and which set my shoulder pains through the roof. Even though he has stayed with me, the fact that he was entertaining the idea, is what bothers me to this day. If any of you understand about Mormonism, when you get married in their temple, you make covenants that Will affect you and your family for a turn it he. And if you leave the church, you break those covenants and therefore cannot be with your family after you die. And since I abandoned my religion, I felt like God was abandoning me.

    I realize now that I have a huge issue with abandonment, since childhood, and I think I realized that is a catalyst for pain. My therapist thinks I have created this pain syndrome or at least my brain has to protect me from ever being abandoned, because if I'm in pain, no one will abandon me. It makes sense, and something that I am wanting to pursue. Have any of you dealt with abandonment issues, and what has been your experience, if you don't mind me asking?
  2. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    Your therapist might well be correct. Your therapist knows y0u. I goes without saying that I don't know you at all (and besides I am not a psychologist), so it would be inappropriate and presumptuous of me to assert anything to the contrary. I will merely note that your statement above reminded me of what Dr. Sarno says about the idea of secondary gain in The Divided Mind pp. 19-20:

    "The persistence of the pain--the fact that it often lasts for months or even years--is explained by an ingenious idea conceived by behavioral psychologists many years ago. According to their theory, the pain continues because it serves the purpose of what is called secondary gain, that is, an unconscious desire on the part of the sufferer for some kind of benefit from the symptom, such as sympathy, support, release from responsibility or from arduous labor, monetary gain, and so on. . . . It was [according to this theory] the patient's own fault. One cannot imagine a more devastatingly wrong explanation, from both the scientific perspective and that of the suffering patient.

    "As we shall see, the true cause of the pain, TMS, serves the purpose of primary gain, that is, to prevent the conscious brain from becoming aware of unconscious feelings like rage or emotional pain. There is rarely secondary gain. We shall elaborate on this in the chapter on the psychology of these disorders."​
    Ellen likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Duggit and Jules,

    I was thinking the same thing Duggit, that Jules' therapist suggestion may imply "secondary gain." Like Duggit, Jules, I don't know you or work with you as your therapist does, so I hesitate to make a suggestion. And your question was "have others experienced abandonment?"

    I will say though, that a more strict Sarno interpretation would lead to inquiring into "What does it feel like to be abandoned?" or "How does my Inner Child react to feelings of abandonment?" or "What does not want to be felt when issues abandonment arise in my life?" Writing these out, I can see there might be all kinds of fruit here.

    Good luck in your inquiry!


    Andy B
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    To me this is a huge, recent "echo" of your experience of father and mother not being available do to their circumstances when you were young. I hope you can have tenderness for yourself in this realization. We all have imprints of abandonment since our parents were not always available when we needed them. These experiences can cause deep pain, fear, anger, guilt, shame.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Are you familiar with the writings of Clarissa Pinkoka Estes? She famously wrote "Women Who Run with the Wolves". She is a Jungian Psychotherapist, poet, author and story-teller and she has saved more souls than I can imagine.

    She created an audio book on abandonment called "Warming the Stone Child". I've not heard it yet but if it is anything like her other offerings it will be immensely wise, loving and healing. I highly recommend her to all women, there is much balm and goodness in her words.

    Here is the amazon.com link:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1591793033/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491595627&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=warming+the+stone+child&dpPl=1&dpID=51-HSklg79L&ref=plSrch (Warming the Stone Child: Myths & Stories about Abandonment and the Unmothered Child: Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs: 9781591793038: Amazon.com: Books)

    I greatly admire your commitment to healing and the courage you are showing in breaking free of all that binds you.

    Sending love from afar,

    Plum x

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