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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ralph99, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Ralph99

    Ralph99 New Member

    Like a lot of people on here, I believe unresolved subconscious rage/anger and general life frustration is one of the main causes of my TMS. Some of it goes back to childhood and some is a result of my life experience, current experience, and even some related to having TMS itself.

    I have been through TMS psychotherapy with one of the excellent practitioners on this site, and part of that involves ISTDP (intensive short term psychodynamic therapy) to try to uncover some of this rage and anger.

    The goal was to "feel" the rage/anger instead of thinking about it. Supposedly it feels like "heat" for some people. My problem is that everytime I go through any process of trying to explore my anger or rage, I think about it and analyze it more than feel it. I don't know that I really feel it, other than it makes my stomach feel tight and my arms stiff. It makes me angrier, and generally I feel physically worse afterwards. It just leaves me with a feeling of resentment toward my parents and even God. The more unsent letters I wrote or journaling I did to express my inner anger/rage, the more resentment was created toward my parents in particular. So I stopped doing that, b/c it led to me basically hating them for creating me like this to be a perfectionistic neurotic pain-filled TMSer. They could have done some simple things to make my childhood more enjoyable and less stressful, like playing with me more or hugging me or not fighting with each other so much. They raised me in an environment of pure stress and anxiety and tension. Realizing that made me bitter and resentful, rather than allowing me to release the anger and forgive them. I want them to have TMS instead of me. And thus my TMS hasn't resolved. The anger is still there.

    But to ignore or suppress this rage/anger is just as bad. It stays stored in my body as pain. I know that is true. But I feel like the more I explore the anger, the more angry I get at those who are at fault. The more I want to blame the people responsible. Because I know almost none of this is my fault. I just don't understand how to feel it in a way that I can let it go and release it so that it is no longer stored in my body, but it doesn't generate even more anger and resentment. I know I need to feel the anger/rage instead of think/analyze, but that is easier said than done. That's part of why I have TMS--I have problems with feeling. I am always in my head thinking/analyzing.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Ralph

    I trapped myself in exactly the same set of feelings you're experiencing. I didn't have the benefit of access to a TMS therapist, but the way I got around it was to realise that they were doing their best with what they had been taught themselves, they weren't damaging me on purpose.

    I'll bet if you think about it, you'll find that either one or both of your parents are TMSers, mine certainly are. If you try to see them as more "human", and realize it was just your bad luck to have them are parents, it's helps to get past it. They repeated their own experience.

    Remember Dr.Sarno tells us that very few people actually get to experience the unconscious emotions causing their TMS; knowledge of the process is the key. Don't get hung up on this, acknowledge it and move on. By overthinking it you're giving them power over you, just give it up. What's more important is what's going on in your life NOW, take your power back.

    From your post I would guess that you're putting yourself under too much pressure; you're angry at yourself for being angry !

    Try and practice some self compassion. Have you been through Alan Gordon's Recovery Program on the wiki, I think it would really help you.

    Don't listen to all the negative rubbish your mind chatters on with, you have a choice, you are not your mind.

    I hope you can feel some peace soon.

    Bless you :joyful:
  3. Ralph99

    Ralph99 New Member

    Thank you, Mermaid. Very good advice. You are so right--I am angry at myself for being angry. I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to uncover my rage and let it go. And at least one of my parents is a definite TMSer. He just doesn't know what that means. He has 20 doctors and always has had gastrointestinal issues (like me) and yet no doctor has ever diagnosed him with anything, other than symptoms. He is now 88 years old and goes to the doctor all of the time and they still can't find anything wrong with him lol. He loves having tests proving he is okay, and that usually helps him for a little while.
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  4. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    I don't have the same experience as you but I do read a lot on the forum like you have and I know what you mean about "when people uncover their rage." I think that only works for some people. In the bigger picture, it's enough to just be aware that that's what's causing your symptoms. You don't have to force yourself to get angry and then be disappointed in yourself because you are mad. It seems counter-intuitive and I get that it can help people but to constantly do it doesn't seem right.
    What about forgiveness? Mermaid, might be on to something. I'm not sure how old you are but the older I get the more I see my parents as young children trying to figure out life.
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  5. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle


    I hope to chime in with empathy. I was always floored to meet people who had supportive, interested, and affectionate parents. Those people seem to have self-esteem in the bag. One thing I realized I was feeling was jealousy about not having that in my childhood and also resentment towards my parents and siblings. (Middle child was the least of it.) I don't know if resentment falls under the umbrella of "anger," but it is more subtle and built up over time, I think.

    Nicole Sachs, a TMS therapist on here, suggests listing the things that bothered you during childhood, both big and small, and picking one each day and writing about it for 20 minutes. I get too analytical, as well, but I think that matters less than the process of putting on particular incident on paper, instead of a random general anger thoughts that comes and go.

    I have no idea how we end up with the parents we get, and I think it's some of the hardest damage to work through.
    I found that some of my resentment dissolved when I stopped wishing it had been different and I stopped trying to fix it.
    We don't have to fix it. Don't waste your adulthood on looking back at something that can't change. That's my best advice. You already know what happened.
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  6. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    Hello Ralph,
    You received good replies here. It seems that many of us had similar upbringings.
    I was turned off by the audio samlple of intensive short term psychodynamic therapy. Why be encouraged to replay those awful memories in anger if we are also supposed to forgive? As it is said, forgiveness is a decision and does not in any way condone what was done to us. Then there is that old adage, "Unforgiveness is the poison we drink hoping the other person will die." I am not saying it's easy, far from it, but the bottom line is that it is still a decision.
    Wishing you all the best.
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  7. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

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  8. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    Hi Ralph,

    I have been doing this for almost a year and I am doing very well now. I had the same problem with thinking ABOUT those angry things instead of FEELING them. What really worked for me was closing my eyes and going back to the time and place and actually yelling (silently usually) at the person. You can say whatever you want and the feelings can become quite intense. I probably do this almost every day, maybe for only 10-15 seconds, if I feel a twinge of pain.

    I know for some people just understanding, accepting, forgiving, etc., works, but for some of us, we need to "feel the feeling or we will feel the pain." (Sarno)
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  9. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    There is only one reason why anyone needs to mentally replay the terrible angry memories-- it makes the excruciating, gut wrenching pain go away. This doesn't mean you haven't forgiven the person. That's a separate issue. It's taking control and getting your life back. It's amazing how well it works!
    Ralph99 likes this.
  10. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Ralph99,

    Great discussion here! You can see many wise people with various, true experiences around anger. And forgiving parents/or not...

    This strikes me in the conversation. Not knowing you, I wonder if the anger is problematic because there is Inner Critic activity in you which makes your feelings of anger somehow wrong. Being "wrong" also makes anger more sticky and less fluid, less easily dischargable.

    And indeed there seems to be some validity to my idea:

    With any anger, for most people, superego activity (Inner Critic activity) arises. The superego develops to respond to our anger and aggression. It keeps our vital life force (in this case expressed as anger) in check, so that we can stay in the field of love of our parents.

    With almost anyone, there is therefore rejection of anger as it arises. In working with the theory of TMS, your rejection of anger is further given an intellectual foundation: "My anger is wrong because I don't feel it right, it doesn't go away, etc." As an observer it is interesting that this more "educated" rejection of your own anger is in fact the same action as a basic rejection of anger "because it is wrong."

    I think the TMS therapist would help you with really defending your right to feel anger in all the ways you tend to reject it (including not doing it "right" with TMS work), so I may be remiss in this suggestion. But "I am angry at myself for being angry" says a lot!

    Andy B
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  11. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Reading your words Ralph on "thinking vs feeling" and Lady Phoenix's also, again supports that by rejecting anger ---even in very subtle ways, we make it harder to feel.

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