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Day 8 Blank Page

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by sheilbanana, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. sheilbanana

    sheilbanana Newcomer

    I think the biggest hurtle at this point in my recovery is I don't remember. I never have. I remember a couple negative experiences with friends as a teen, but only in a general sense. I don't remember the specifics of the situations and I certainly don't remember how I felt about them. I don't remember any interactions, good or bad, with my parents. I don't remember how they talked to me, if they were compassionate or overbearing. I just don't remember. It makes it hard to journal. I do it anyway in hopes something will break free, but mostly I feel like the feelings I put down are kind of made up because I don't really remember feeling them. And aside from memories, I don't know about my present either. I don't know if I'm a perfectionist. I don't know if I'm overly self critical. When I read about people 'seeing themselves' all over Sarno's books I just can't relate. I guess the point is I don't see myself at all. I haven't been paying attention for 33 years. But I'm awake now, and I'm going to try.
  2. Lolo123

    Lolo123 New Member

    Hi Sheilbanana,
    Just curious - what happens when you look at photos from your childhood? Does it evoke any emotions or memories? Wondering if that might help you.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good suggestion from @Lolo123.

    @sheilbanana, when you are making lists of things in the SEP exercises, do you find yourself not writing down certain things because you think they're not important or relevant? Or perhaps even shameful or embarrassing?

    That's what I realized I was doing. It's as if my brain was literally sitting next to me, going "oh, no, don't write THAT down, let's skip that."

    !!! So I forced myself (which wasn't easy!) to write them down anyway. When I looked at them later for the long journaling, they weren't earth-shattering or even particularly upsetting, but they did reveal the weird things that my brain thought it needed to hide from my awareness. Learning how to free myself from that type of repression was a huge turning point, and I believe it's a major goal of this work.

    You don't need to have had past trauma or abuse to have repressed emotions. This repression mechanism is a normal survival technique that somehow evolved in our brains to deal with the dangerous primitive world. But #1 it's not very effective in today's modern world, and #2 in some of us, it goes into overdrive and we end up with what we call TMS.
  4. ikiwismet

    ikiwismet New Member

    I too have few memories of my childhood, as does my sister. I have a few traumatic experiences I remember, and even some that I am not sure if it was my experience or someone else. I have found that as I have worked through some of those memories that other related memories slip out, adding some detail around the edges. And in recent journaling that absent emotions that went along with some of these memories are emerging. It is a little tricky because sometimes it can feel fraudulent when talking about a memory that I am so unsure of. Even then the journaling really does seem to bring things into focus.
    sheilbanana likes this.
  5. sheilbanana

    sheilbanana Newcomer

    Good question! I've never really looked at pictures and tried to focus on my emotions so I'm not sure. Definitely a great idea though, I'll have to grab some picture books next time I'm at my parents' house.

    I may have been! I was able to think of a couple things to add to my list today that seemed pretty mundane but they came to mind so I wrote them down anyway. I think I was focusing too much on looking for big events, big feelings, but the subtle things could be helpful too. Thank you!

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