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Connection between feeling emotions and the body

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Chris GR, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Chris GR

    Chris GR New Member

    Hi All,

    My primary TMS symptom is testicular pain.

    I'm a bit confused about learning to "feel my feelings." My primary emotions are worry and anger. I have pretty good insight into their underpinnings: my mother is a very anxious person and I learned this from her as a child, and I have a problem expressing anger (It makes me feel awful) because I had a physically abusive brother who mocked me and laughed at me when I got angry with him. Therefore I feel I should try to get more in touch with these emotions.

    Am I asking myself, "what emotion am I feeling right now", and then connecting that to what is going on with my body? For example, when I feel anger, I can easily connect that to my stomach feeling warm or even hot. And when I feel scared/worried/anxious, my stomach feels ticklish but in a painful type of way or explosive, or my shoulders feel like that are weighed down or like they are made of concrete. And when I'm supposed to stay with the emotion, does this mean I should focus on that stomach feeling or shoulder feeling. And what is the therapeutic benefit of this?

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Chris.

    These are good questions that many people have.

    "Feelings" refers to the deeper emotions, and has nothing to do with the distracting symptoms. Always remember that the physical symptoms are there to distract you, which is why you need to get in the habit of treating symptoms as unimportant and not worth your attention.

    But here's what's even more important, and often misunderstood :

    "Worry", and "Anger" are not deep repressed emotions! They are very shallow feelings, and they can also act as distractions, covering up much deeper pain, and primal fears.

    Use the exercises in the Structured Educational Program to really dig deep into how the very young boy that you were really felt about the abuse by your brother. Go even further, and ask how that little boy felt about not being protected by his (your) parents from the abuse?

    THAT is where TMS comes from. But be forewarned: your brain does NOT want you to go there and it will do whatever it can to convince you not to, including worsening symptoms, and trying to convince you that I'm full of shit.

    Maybe I am. But fighting back and "going there" worked for me.
  3. Chris GR

    Chris GR New Member

    Wow, really great advice. I never thought about the fact that my parents failed to protect me and that might be a cause of my TMS. Much appreciated Jan!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank YOU for asking this question! Not only is it a good one, but this is a really great example of how repressed emotions can stem from issues that aren't overwhelmingly traumatic. The things I uncovered in my own childhood weren't even as bad as bullying - they were kind of normal family issues that led to me feeling rather isolated and awkward at a very young age - issues which actually resolved as my (three) younger siblings got older and less needy. But that little girl who was left to her own devices because there were too many demands on her parents had never really got over the emotions of isolation and abandonment- and my brain, in its primitive attempt to protect me, repressed it for decades.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, I just had an "Aha!" moment on another thread, where someone else mentioned bullying in childhood. Here is my new, two-part realization:

    - The goal of the bully is to Isolate the individual from the group. Bullying, of course, is a primitive behavior, based on territorialism and genetic dominance (ie: breeding). But more importantly, Isolation is a really important deep emotion, and a scary one that our brains will repress, because community is so important to our survival.

    - Even more importantly for your awareness: when a parent does not protect the child from being bullied, it leads to Isolation's emotional cousin: Abandonment. Abandonment is a HUGE emotional issue for human beings - and another one that is regularly repressed by our primitive brains.

    Personally, I think that everyone needs to get in touch with these two emotions, which I am confident exist in the repressed depths of every single person who ever lived.
    Dragonfly likes this.
  6. Chris GR

    Chris GR New Member

    Hi Jan,

    Today I found out I lost out on my dream job and I was a "close second" to the chosen candidate after endless interviews and anticipation. I felt intense rage and sorrow as I was driving home. My body was telling me to unleash the rage and sorrow so I let myself first cry then I screamed at the top of my lungs and told several people to fuck off and die. Then I pounded the armrest as hard as I could, several times as if I was assaulting someone. After that, I felt intense relaxation.

    You noted that worry and anger are shallow feelings. But had I not let my emotions overtake me, wouldn't that be unhealthy and not conducive to my TMS healing process?
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Considering that you started out by saying that you have a hard time expressing anger, this sounds like progress! And the kind of anger that you let loose sounds more like honest rage, which our brains are really good at repressing, ESPECIALLY if we grew up repressing any signs of rage.

    Even more useful to your progress, now that the rage has been released (and your fearful brain understands that you survived it) would be some honest journaling which explores how this event really feels at your core - in terms of the deep issues such as self-esteem and community, your sense of security, providing for your family... etc.

    Frustratingly for most of us TMSers, who crave order and control, there's nothing either black & white or linear about any of this :D
  8. Chris GR

    Chris GR New Member

    Thanks Jan. What are your thoughts about releasing anger through journaling? Like writing about causing great harm, in graphic detail, to those who have hurt and wronged me in the past?

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    All I can tell you is that the master of journaling (she calls it "JournalSpeak"), Nicole Sachs, advises writing and then destroying.

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