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Caught by surprise - life events and symptoms

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by quasar731, May 26, 2012.

  1. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    Greetings dear people,

    Yesterday evening was a typical example of being caught by surprise (a nice way to say I was assaulted by symptoms). One of my kids rang very upset about what ended being just 'a storm in a tea cup'. But at the time it was very real to her. I was so far away and could not do much to help. I was left 3,500 kms away (as the distances are big here in Australia) with the impact of the SOS.

    Needless to mention that I did not realize that 'emotionally speaking' (being in my nice comfortable grotto), I was suddenly dragged out by the waves of what was a mundane and resolvable issue. My daughter sorted herself out in a few minutes and after that it was all bliss for her. However, I was blasted with what it felt like a physical nuclear meltdown. The 'signals' run from my neck, to my low back, to my hips, down my legs:confused: (ay- ay- ayyy!) and were so strong that I had to take myself to a warm shower. Being proactive I took the opportunity to explore the issue and talk to my brain. I knew this was psychological. This was not about me, it was about somebody else and yet it became my physical business. I got angry with myself :mad: and then realized that I should not do that, :( it could get worse. Oh God! :rolleyes: It was so desperate that I yelled to my brain 'please stop'. I wobbled out of the shower and had to reach for analgesics because I just could not cope with the assault before going to sleep.

    After a few minutes, there I was, in bed doing some breathing and talking to the self, trying to contain a thermonuclear blast while the kid who was so upset was having a terrific time going out to dinner. I was so happy for her and thinking, thank God she sorted herself out. However, I look at myself and thought 'this cannot happen again':( . Nevertheless, the difference between this event and past similar events is that I was aware at the time of the 'strategy' and its cascading effect, the 'signals' . Again it is a call for a change. It is not about others or circumstances, it is about me and how I respond to them. It is a dichotomy of new clean patterns of thinking and the old cognitive structures. It is a slow but steady learning curve.

    Happy Sunday to you all!
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    It's still Saturday here :) Hope Sunday is going well.

    I also take on other people's emotions. You can change the patterns around that, but I'm also finding that I need to look at why I do this. My childhood was not the greatest and I had to be able to sense and anticipate what was going on with others so I could have some control of what was going to happen and be able to protect myself emotionally. I know I probably can't change my personality and usually I don't want to...being sensitive and aware has also really helped me a lot...but there are times where it's a burden.

    I caught myself doing this last night...I was at a family dinner and there was some awkwardness between two people, nothing to do with me but I could feel it and I felt responsible for diffusing it. I noticed this feeling and I just stepped back for a moment and held some space for this situation, realizing I could let it be, be present with compassion, and yet not have to jump in to fix it. And it passed, and everyone was ok. I'm realizing I don't always have to put in so much effort.
  3. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    Thank you Veronica, indeed Sunday is going well. For a moment I forgot that some of you are still a few hours behind.
    Thank you for sharing such pearls of wisdom. I see myself in the quote above which is an excerpt of your posting. And you know what? For the first time in so many years, your words threw a light on a very dark spot. Thank God and everyone in this forum for their contributions. There is a reason why we are walking parallel roads!

    I too come from similar upbringing stables. To say that my growing up years as a child were unsafe is an understatement. Having done enough science to last me for a life time, I now know that I was in a hyper-state of alert almost continuously. I can't begin to think the amount of cortisol spread over my body. It affected my immunity for years and years.

    I could never understand why is it that I tend to feel like I am not doing enough, or I am feeling short of expectations, or simply feeling guilty that other people are suffering or having it harder than I am. It is utterly neurotic. The only thing I could do is stay with this awkward feeling and not being able to bring an interpretive tool as to translate what it meant and why. You just did it! There is a positive in being sensitive as you said well, the fact that we are caring about the plight of others.

    Domestic disturbances are a double edge sword. They can make people sensitive and compassionate or insensitive and uncaring or recalcitrant and therefore perpetuating the violence that was done to them. It is a guess as to how people can end after their upbringing. One thing that I know now is that no one is completely safe in society because in some way or other we have all sustained some damage, at home, at school, at work or in society at large. This is a kind of race, we are all running in the stadium of life and we all have some degree of psycho-emotional disability. Hence compassion and caring for others I believe is the best side to stand. But as you said well, this can also end being 'a burden' if one losses balance.

    It was very encouraging for me reading how 'you caught yourself' in the act of 'compensation' (as I call it). Congratulations, this is such an achievement and I celebrate it with you! I must take heed of your experience and also observe myself the next time I face one of those moments. Being before our thoughts is absolutely necessary. Until we have it together, being mindful in the presence of others can be helpful. That is, rather than floating in the unmanned room of the subconscious, is a good idea to use our pre-frontal cortex while in the presence of others. Mindfulness does that. In this way, the deep structures of the Limbic system (the amygdala in particular) do not take over. We avert much sorrow by being in the present and present with others.

    Thank you Veronica for sharing such grace with me.

    Have a refreshing and happy Sunday (now I got it right, I hope ;))
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I'm glad my story helped!
    It's a challenge to live mindfully...but hopefully as there are more and more moments of awareness like that we start dissolve some of the old patterns and stuck emotions.

    Yes, it is finally Sunday here now-- I'm on the east coast in the US so pretty much a full day behind you I think :)
  5. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi guys:

    Been reading this thread, and I too have issues with sensitivity. It serves me well in my business, so I don't want to lose it either. I pick up on ALL the energy of families having "family time" in our store. I'm typically exhausted after being around all these families. It's obvious that a lot of parents aren't used to spending time with their families. Yesterday a man and his 5 year old were picking out a kite. The little girl was being good and respectful of our store. But then the man's phone rang. He answered. And that was the "cue" for the child to start......yelling at the top of her lungs. I just about walked out!

    However, when I was working with a teacher/mentor years ago, she taught me a really great trick that works. When negative energy is coming at you, simply imagine yourself as a screen and the energy will flow right through you. It works - when you remember to do it. Otherwise I can't do this work. Either of my professions. It helps me too to hang on to my sensitive side, but it's not a great mix with anxiety.

    The "screen" works. Be aware of the energy passing through. After any uncomfortable encounter, you will notice a difference!

  6. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    Hi BG,

    Your post provided me with food for thought on the issue of handling different types of energy. If one could be well prepared ahead for everything that could happen at a given day it would be terrific. But as I read your story and I think about my experience (yesterday morning and in the afternoon), most of the times one can be taken by surprise and sweep by an underground river of anxiety and emotions. Needless to mention that it can be devastating if one is ill prepared.

    If I was to seriously ponder on the energy present in large public or simply smaller social events, or in a shop (in your case), it could become daunting. Yet, it stands to reason that one cannot let the energy of social life to become an issue, to the contrary. I am only reflecting here. And yet, without becoming anxious, one has to be mindful of the inherent capabilities of our personalities. What I mean is being able to handle this amazing 'world energy' which comes through different mediums and rates with our background of personal sensitivity. It is just as well that we do not live thinking about the impact that high octane emotional events can have on us. Otherwise we may end like hermits:D . If it is positive, well, one basks in the opportunity of swimming in the energy of the moment. But how about when one is hit, as you were or as I was yesterday by a wave of energy (some pretty prickly).

    Your strategy below is so timely, thank you and I will give it a go.

    My situation started as I was attending a happy event for the daughter of a friend of mine who was confirmed in church. The latter was followed by lunch to celebrate the day's event. As I look back, I was having great fun until the subject of my fall and injuries became the topic of conversation (brought up by my friend). This was followed by a very depressing and concerning conversation about bullying and harassment in my friends' work place. She is going through a difficult moment. On the surface I seemed to handle things well. However, I was with people I never met, except for my friend, her daughter and her husband.

    As I left and drove back home, I had the MP3 from Monte Hueftle playing "think clean and the Master practice". I was trying to dissipate any antagonist thoughts and energy that could have lodged in my tissues. For the rest of the afternoon I felt fine. However, nothing prepared me for the nigh ride, it was tough! The signals were so strong that I could not lie in any position:(. I talked to myself and did not succumb to grab pain killers but nothing stop the experience. Needless to mention that this morning I feel spaced out (for the lack of sleep) and I am still having some low back signals lingering. I am going to Pilates in 10 minutes, not matter what.

    All I can think that I never expected to be the topic at the table about my injuries and surgery and least to hear about some very depressing news from my friend's work. I was not prepared for tough conversations. I could feel the waves of sorrow from my friend and the concern expressed by the rest of the invitees. I was only prepared for a party. How naive of me!:(

    So, your energy shield will become very handy. I dislike to think that I have to wear an emotional riot police uniform and shield when I am with people. People are not the problem, is the fact that I have this in-built sensitivity that I must learn how to handle. This is what made of me good in nursing and in business and being a priest. However, the other side of the coin is what I have to learn to manage. The rivers run deep, no one knows except my mind and my body:rolleyes: .

    Thank you again and have a healthy and happy week!:)

  7. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    I do this very thing, Veronica. I have been aware of it for a long time, but I guess I've just never made the effort to try and change it...until now.

    My childhood experience sounds identical to yours. In my family, I took on the role of caretaker...to the extent where I even tried to "fix" my parents' marriage to no avail. My dad was rarely home, but when he was, all I remember is them arguing about money problems. I would by lying in my bed at night and hear them fighting. At the young age of 6 or 7, I decided that maybe I could help the situation by "not" ordering cheese on my hamburgers and only water to drink whenever we went out to eat. I thought that saving 10 cents on cheese and money on the soda would maybe make a difference. My brothers and sister all got cheese and soda, but when asked why I didn't want cheese, I simply replied, "I don't like cheese."

    I have only been meditating on a daily basis for about the past 10 months, but one of the things that keeps coming up is how I have shouldered that responsibility for saving my family. In a nutshell, my parents' marriage failed and for some reason I am holding myself accountable for it. Is it any wonder that I have been suffering from headaches and neck pain for the past 18 years???

    I'm grateful to have finally found all of the TMS literature and this site so that I can finally heal once and for all. It's only been a few months, and I have not seen much reduction in my pain...if anything, I have had more and in different areas. I know, though, that it is only my brain's last ditch effort to try and protect me from painful emotions. Eventually, this will all sink in, and as I do the work, I will start to feel better.
  8. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Most of my TMS stuff comes from childhood, if not things that happened then, then behaviors and beliefs I developed at that time. Even current things that stress me out really all go back to that. Like I was really stressed about my sister-in-law's wedding last weekend...that I would end up being in pain and be a burden to everyone. That thought--that I would be a burden to everyone--goes back to when I was growing up (pretty much explicitly stated as "don't bother people" etc.)

    I figure I spent 38 years thinking this way and I'm finally starting to untangle myself, so it makes sense that it might not happen overnight.

    I think you have actually made a lot of progress, Honeybear, especially if you are noticing the pain changing or shifting to other areas.
  9. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    I relate to so many statements made by all of you. Childhood was rough. Unlike Honeybear (who breaks my heart envisioning a small child ordering a burger with no cheese to save money) my parents never fought in front of us. In fact, we celebrated Father's Day with a family picnic and the next day they sat my brother and me down and told us they were separating. I was 10 and devastated. I never blamed me or my brother, I blamed my mom. She didn't like me and the feeling was mutual.

    Thus began my GAD. I became the parent to my brother. My mom was always "out", my dad was dating, and I was nervous - always on guard. So not only was my dad gone (who I was very close to) but we didn't get to see him other than weekends. I was miserable. I made sure my brother was sheltered from things that were upsetting and it became Me vs My Parents. I made all holiday decisions, I went to bat for my brother, and became more depressed as a teen. I have no depression now.

    I still wrestle with anxiety which I know is the reason I still have pain. It won't go away no matter what I do if I'm stressed. It will go away when things are going pretty well and I'm feeling relaxed....and in control. I mean, isn't that what GAD gets down to? The feeling of ones world being out of control?

    I've learned tips and tricks on my own and through others I've read about or worked with. The "screen" worked really well one time when I was in an airport with a long line to security. I used to hate to fly (conquered that one!) and the closer I got to the screening place, the more anxious I became. My anxiety meds were buried in my backpack and I had no time to unpack them. Then I remembered the screen. I was suddenly on the other side walking to my gate. Don't really remember getting through the place they took me to go through my backpack, but the screen was amazing the way it helped me just ride out an unfamiliar 15 minute experience. I've use the screen (when I remember!) now.

    But it's not always easy to remember all your tricks once you are in the anxiety moment. Takes practice. Just like all the rest of the TMS recovery process.

    honeybear424 likes this.
  10. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    What do others think about learning about your pain in the way described above. Are you making the connections yet from the emotional issue to the pain?

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