Call-in Tuesday Nov. 26, Steve Ozanich Book Chapters 16: “Our Painful Personality: and 17: “Goodism.” This Tuesday, November 26, the call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 16 (Type-T personality) and Chapter 17 (Goodists) in Steve Ozanich's book The Great Pain Deception starting at 9 pm Eastern Time. It lasts an hour, sometimes a little longer. Phone lines will open half an hour early so you can talk to hosts and early callers. Here's how to join the discussion (for detailed instructions, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Connect ): If you're connecting by phone, dial 1 347-817-7654 and when prompted enter the pin code 183 11 499 pound symbol. If you're connecting via your computer (Fuze Meeting), go to www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/app/48fb7aa8/18311499 and follow the instructions from there. For more information, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Call-In_Peer_Discussion_Group. One day I overheard my best friend say “You are not only a beautiful person, you have a beautiful personality.” He said it to his wife, and she did have a beautiful personality. But Betty (not her real name) had it despite a lifetime of feeling inferior to her younger sister. Their mother had told Betty many times that she loved her sister more, even once telling her, “I wish you had been a cat. I would have drowned you.” Betty finally had a mental breakdown while she and my best friend were married, but neither she nor her husband nor anyone else knew why. It took being in the mental ward of a major hospital for nearly a year, and daily sessions from a psychiatrist, to uncover the truth of a traumatic childhood and young adulthood because of rejection from her mother. She had TMS, but at the time no one knew that was what her psychological condition was. Only talking about her childhood brought the relief she needed. She found that, went back home to her husband and three small children, and lived a happy life, finally, and with a beautiful personality. She never had harbored jealousy against her better-loved sister, and was even able to forgive her mother. Years later as her mother was dying halfway across the country, she flew to be with her in her final days and was at her mother’s bedside in her final moments. She had years earlier been able to forgive her. You and I also are beautiful people and have beautiful personalities. Only, sometimes, as Steve Ozanich writes in Chapter 16 of his book, two things may happen. One, we may not believe it, or some part or parts of our personality may cause us pain. That can come if we are expecting too much of ourselves. People with perfectionist personalities, for example, can be a pain to everyone around them including themselves. I love one of my nephews, but he has a dominance personality that turns off his siblings and others around him. I call it a “Know-it-all” personality. Mack knows best. He knows everything best. No wonder he’s almost fifty and still a bachelor. One date with him telling a girl she must think what he thinks, and she must decide that’s enough. Steve says “The Type T can be a stubborn mule.” Steve says that the slowest healing TMSers are “stubbornly resistant to accepting new beliefs and extremely recalcitrant to change as to how they see themselves, only partially accepting TMS, clinging to medication and other excuses for their continuing symptoms. They hold strongly to their own ideas of what is wrong with them, their own concepts of healing and perfection. Steve elaborates on Dr. Sarno in Healing Back Pain when he explains that the type of personality that gives people the most trouble and pain is the Type T personality. That person was often abused, molested, or abandoned, and have experienced early separation trauma. “They crave the approval of others.” That fits Betty to a T, if you’ll forgive me saying. Others with T-Type personalities are “goodists, hyper-responsible, worriers, emphatic, competitive (although many would deny it), and on-confrontational,. They fear making mistakes. They possess low self-esteem and high-tension, but function reasonably well in society. Steve says they have, to varying degrees, repressed anger problems. They unconsciously use pain or other symptoms to control situations that enrage them. They are the perfectionists of the perfectionists. (A boss I work for is that type of person. Nothing is ever done perfect for him, or faster, yet he is not really the perfect worker or employer he thinks he is. He makes mistakes which I find and correct, without telling him, of course. Repressing that has caused me considerable pain, but hey, I want to keep my job, don’t I? So long as I identify the pain being caused by TMS in repressed anger, I keep the pain under control. But he lives with his perfectionist personality and, dare I say it, it is not beautiful. Steve also says that the overwhelming personality type of the TMS sufferer is the introvert. And introversion is often masked by extraversion. So the guy who wears a lamp shade at a party may really wish the lights went out and didn’t shine on him. Steve says, “Perfectionism is born in childhood along with the first layers of the persona. It can follow the need for parental approval or acceptance that never comes. The child feels that if he becomes more perfect, the angst will cease – rendering rejection an impossibility.” Children want their parents to love them, but they also need boundaries of behavior. However, the fear of making a mistake for fear of parental reprisal is just as problematic as not having the parent engaged at all in parenting. The child may suffer from a too easy-going or too strict parent or guardian. The child needs to feel security, which is found in a middle-ground of parenting. Steve concludes Chapter 16 on Type T personalities by writing that one of the more common traits that lead to perfectionism is that as young children they were taught it was bad to show anger. They were told that it was not good, so to be good they developed a method of hiding anger inside the body. But if the person knows she isn’t being true to herself, she may cope by becoming detached, which also detaches her anger. He cites Princess Diana as an example. Who should hide her anger from the world but a princess? In my biography, Princess Diana (Lucent Books, 2000), I wrote that Diana’s girlhood was lonely. Her parents were in an unhappy marriage to the extent that they hated each other, and she was reared by a succession of nannies. She felt guilty for not having been born a boy since her father wanted a son and heir. He finally got one, after she and her two older sisters were born. When she was six, Diana looked out a window of the family mansion and saw her mother leave in a car, never to return. She said she never forgot her mother’s leaving. A child of divorce, guilt, feelings of being abandoned: all pure TMS. Her father becomes heir to a family fortune, estate, and title of nobility which thrusts her into becoming a Lady while yet a teenager. Soon she was a young woman of high British society who was merely another poor little rich girl from an early life of TMS. Biographers have described Diana: “The unhappiness behind her beautiful mask was becoming more evident as her true self began struggling with her persona. To grow is to shed the mask that was once worn in order to please others, as the wrong assumptions come from a right person. In attempting to infinitely please, the TMSers finds herself feeling alone.” Princess Diana became a Bulimia sufferer in her own unhappy marriage. She tried to be the Perfect Princess and self-sacrificed to become “The Peoples’ Princess.” We love her for it, but she paid a heavy cost for her perfectionist personality. If only she and those who loved her knew about TMS and its pain begun by repressed emotions in early childhood that were later triggered in what she called a three-way marriage. Chapter 17 is titled “Goodist-itus – Inflammation of the Low Esteem.” That refers to those who suffer TMS symptoms because they strive to be the best person ever created, but that takes them into conflict with the person they really are. They try their hardest to be like the perfect people they think others are, and probably are not, and that pursuit drains us of our potential, increases our anxiety, and intensifies a feeling of helplessness. Goodists often feel they need to live like those they think are more perfect than they are. This often comes from low self-esteem. It’s all part of the T type personality and those people tend to let themselves be used by others since they don’t have the control over their anger to say no. Sad to say, these people are usually very dependable but are used by undependable people in order to conserve their own time and energy. On the other hand, there are those who intentionally remain undependable so as to avoid being asked to help in work or anything. They run from anything asked of them, or told to them. These people often are socially challenged and resort to drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Steve says we should not live to please others and need to learn “when good is good enough.” Being accepted by others is not that important in life. It’s much more important to accept ourselves. “Those truly free in spirit are the happiest and healthiest people. They understand that they are not perfect.” Be perfectly happy with being imperfect. It will help relieve your TMS symptoms. We hope you will join the call-in Tuesday and share your thoughts and experiences on being a Type T person and a goodist.