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Clarification on Hiroku's case from Divided Mind

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by spoonhead, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. spoonhead

    spoonhead New Member

    I'd like some clarification if anyone could expand on this case from "The Divided Mind". From Chapter 2 - the case about Hiroku:

    ------- Start Quote
    In her meeting with Dr. Sarno, Hiroku showed herself to be extremely perceptive and articulate. She cataloged her emotional conflicts in a breezy, engaging, and, most of all, sophisticated manner. Although she agreed with Dr. Sarno’s premises, and frequently recognized herself in the pages of his books, she was somewhat skeptical as to whether the treatment would work for her since she was already so in touch with her feelings. As an example, she launched into a devastating tirade against her boyfriend without even breaking a sweat. Her aplomb was impressive, but more eerie than admirable. Despite her skepticism, she was highly receptive to Dr. Sarno’s recommendation to begin psychotherapy. Within the first few sessions Hiroku’s foot pain almost completely resolved, for reasons that still remain unfathomable. Then the honeymoon was over – abruptly. Hiroku’s foot pain not only worsened, she developed new symptoms in her knee and wrist, along with a rash on her forehead. Hiroku demanded answers and resurrected her early skepticism about the treatment’s efficacy.

    When questioned about recent experiences, she freely reported feeling angry about out-of-town visitors and how the requirements of hospitality further strained her already over-scheduled life. In fact, this very access to her angry feelings proved that her treatment was doomed. It was then explained to her that while many people are fully aware of experiencing emotions, a part of them struggles against feelings considered taboo. For example, many mothers are aware of resenting the demands of newborn babies, yet they often feel guilty. They are ashamed of having these feelings, even when their behavior toward the child remains beyond reproach. She then acknowledged that although she outwardly appeared gracious toward her guests during their entire stay, she felt ashamed of her resentment toward them. According to her, to experience resentment was tantamount to being selfish, no matter how you actually behaved…
    ----- End Quote

    Why was her treatment doomed? I feel similar: that I'm in touch with my feelings and I could see myself saying the same thing: out-of-town visitors can make me angry. But why would being in touch with my anger mean my recovery is doomed? I can kind of understand that some feelings can be taboo but that means I'm unfixable? (that's my take on 'doomed')

    Any help/clarification would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    He means that her therapy wasn't going to work because she refused to see, or accept, that she had even darker feelings within her.

    She had access to many of her emotions, but she didn't have the strength, or capacity, to reach down deeper to the reason for her anger. For ex. when she was criticized for doing something wrong, she would immediately blame herself, or be ashamed, due to her cultural mindset. Her anger outburts weren't coming from her open expression, or a great ability to access her emotions. They were coming from her trying to suppress her deeper need, want, or desire to hate, resent, or harm "the other".

    Her pain spread because she was still refusing to admit to, or accept, or allow the deeper cause. And also because she was getting closer to the truth.

    Healing can't occur until you surrender to yourself. As long as you refuse to see yourself as you truly are, you are doomed to failure, in healing--in becoming whole again.

    Find the reason for your anger. Don't just say, "I feel anger, why I am not healed?" The anger is hiding something deeper.
    spoonhead and Tennis Tom like this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is actually on page 164, in Chapter 4 of my copy.

    I take this to mean that she is aware of anger (which is 'farther along' than some TMSers) but that she is under superego attack about it, and that she is not fully allowing the anger to be there. She feels her anger, but the anger is not "OK."

    Also, the anger itself can be an expression of her arguing with her Inner Critic (superego), and this keeps her more on the surface of things. Because she is not dropping below this distracting inner arguing---part of what Steve is suggesting, I think.

    Also, Sarno later implies that part of what she doesn't want to feel is neediness. In my experience, it is easier to blame (get angry) at others for their "neediness" in serving them than it is to feel my own neediness. So there again, her anger isn't the deeper feeling. It is a sort of defense.

    The next line past your quote: Hiroku continued to deepen her understanding of how she couldn't tolerate certain emotional experiences, even on a private and internal level. ==Inner Critic activity, in my opinion.

    Divided Mind, page 52, Chapter 2:
    At a personal level there is a battle raging in the unconscious of everyone of us between the residual child-primitive that Freud called the id, and the representatives of reason and morality he called the ego and the superego. This conflict is responsible for psychosomatic symptoms...[two paragraphs further]: This mental dichotomy is responsible not only for the common pain disorder I have described in my books, but also a host of other medical disorders...

    Spoonhead, this quote below from the book seems a little inexplicable, in fact. I don't see any follow-up asserting or explaining that her case is "doomed" after this statement. Mystery to me. But it got us talking!
    Wow, Spoonhead, this is pretty dense stuff. I think you asked a good question, and there is a lot implied in this case of Hiroku, and leaves me conjecturing!

    Andy B.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Her TMS healing is "doomed", or for a more positive spin sidetracked, until she acknowledges the existence of her unconscious or shadow side. This is contained in the primitive survivalist fight/flight brain that reacts rather then reasons. She wouldn't acknowledge for instance, that maybe she wishes her guests would be in a plane crash en-route to her, therefore necessitating not having to entertain them, and she could go golfing or play tennis instead. Her sub-c feels guilty about harboring such anti-social thoughts that would subject her to ridicule by the "group". Instead, for protection from acknowledging her ugly, dark, shadow side, she gets TMS symptoms as a defense mechanism. She can safely discuss these structural "injuries"--misery likes company-- in the hot-tub without people thinking she's mental. The group meme has decided physical ailments are safe topics to chat about rather then anything more relevant such as politics, religion or sex. I'm telling you that goal line call for a pass instead of a run in the Super Bowl was the dumbest call in all football history, I could have made a better call then that.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great question, @spoonhead and very interesting answers and discussion. Thanks for starting this thread.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    It took me realizing how much anger and feelings of insecurity I had when my parents divorced
    when I was years old. Journaling led me to understand them better and I realized they had their own
    TMS repressed emotions that went back to their childhoods. This helped me to forgive them and that
    helped to heal me of severe back pain.

    I strongly believe we have to be honest with ourselves in digging deep for our repressed emotions.
    I held anger and other emotions in for most of my 84 years. I'm finally free, thanks to what
    Dr. Sarno calls "TMS knowledge and penicillin."

    Steve, you're the greatest. Great explanation and advice for us all.
    Tennis Tom likes this.

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