1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Day 30

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by aa3405, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. aa3405

    aa3405 Peer Supporter

    Today's question to ponder is:
    What are the most important relationships in your life? How has this program affected those relationships?
    My most important relationships are with my husband, mom, and dad. This program has been helpful in that I realize how my tms personality traits: goodist, low self esteem, and anxiety is caused my childhood interactions with my mother and father. My father had rage issues with a lot of name calling and blame of all people in the house (his anger also caused a lot of trouble at work--which he brought home), was anxiety prone with great need of soothing from my mom, myself and my siblings, was a workaholic as a self medicator for his anxiety, so we didn't see him much except for a while on the weekends.

    I feel that due to these childhood interactions with my dad, I now have some issues with my husband who I feel is at times very critical of me. When he complains about something he doesn't like that I do or say, I get easily triggered into feeling worthless, sad, unloved and undeserving of love. I begin to shut down and create armor around my heart so that he can't keep hurting me. I know that my happiness and feelings of self worth should come from me, but my goodist personality trait is very dependent on what others think of me. I try very hard to fit the mold that the other person expects in order to feel accepted and feel loved. When this doesn't happen I feel horrible and feel very sad and depressed. I almost feel debilitated by the feeling. It ruins my whole day, weekend, or week. I can't sleep at night and I constantly feel anxious about what I can do to get the loving and accepting attention back from whoever I felt rejected by. With my husband, however, I just shut down and want to avoid being near him or even talking to him. This can go on for hours to days. I need to try to stay open even when I feel hurt, but I have a strong feeling to protect my heart from further criticism and pain.

    This post is already too long, but my mother is very overbearing which has led to other issues that I have. I still have a lot more work to do on evaluating that relationship through my journaling. This program has definitely helped my delve into the pain I feel daily in my heart and occasionally in my stomach from anxiety and sadness. It is hard for me to do it, but I know it is helpful. I feel blessed to be apart of this community and appreciate all the support that I get.
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, aa3405.
    I'm sorry you're having such a rough time with those closest to you and with yourself.
    That question in the SEP sure rang a bell with you, since your post tells about how your parents caused you to have emotional problems including low self esteem. That's a very common problem with many people and they get TMS. I journaled and discovered that I was repressing anger and feelings of low self-esteem going back to my childhood. My father kept putting me down in front of his friends when I was a preteen and teenager. I never knew why ands till don't, 40 years after he died.

    In journaling, I realized he had a lot of TMS himself, from pressures of providing for us during the 1930s Great Depression, and suffered severe back pain because of that. Mom had migraine headaches from their frequent arguments and her own difficult and unhappy childhood.

    I think if you journal about each of your parents you will discover they had TMS reasons to be hard on you.

    Don't make the mistake of closing down to your husband. If you have to pretend you're happy, pretend. Do some things that make him know you
    love him and appreciate his love and care. Do them gradually, not all at once, or he may not believe they're sincere.

    I love movies and think we can learn a lot from acting. It may not be sincere at first, but you might try pretending you're Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins
    and shake yourself out of all the Joan Crawford you have been displaying.

    I fool myself like this by laughing when I'm down, even if there's nothing to laugh about. Just breaking into a small smile, then a big one,
    leads me into laughing, and that drives away the gloom or anxiety or worry or pain.

    Maybe try to remember some warm and funny or happy times you had with your husband in the past.
    Touch him. Let him realize that your touch means you want to show you love him.

    The toughest love advice I can give is, Love Him or Lose Him. If you show him love, you won't lose him.

    Show yourself love, too. You need a good hug. Here's one from me.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    It sounds like your TMS journey is really helping you to see more about the conflicts and day to day suffering on an emotional level in your life.

    Two ideas from me. One is that your description of your life sounds like a low-grade hell. I know the feelings too, of giving up myself to stay in some kind of "contact" with the other person.

    The conflicts between what you really feel, what you think you should feel, and what feelings you show to others are huge and point to deeper sources of TMS: rage at not being seen for you are, Inner Critic attacks about how you feel toward others, rage at giving up who you are in order to be accepted, hurt for not being seen. You have lots of evidence for what is causing TMS. Bravo! For me, that was what was needed: to see, or get hints at the "war down below." Connecting that war to Dr. Sarno's understanding of the cause of my pain was part of my "cure," I believe.

    Second idea is that eventually, your awareness may lead you to take other, clearer actions in relationships. Like being more honest with your anger, your hurt, your neediness. This will probably take time, and I hope you have compassion for yourself along the way. For most of us, the TMS journey leads to greater clarification of our lives on different levels. In the meantime, in my experience, just connecting your symptoms to the inner conflicts is enough to undo the TMS. Part of this is because you are aware of the feelings.

    Andy B.
  4. aa3405

    aa3405 Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the hug Walt. You always inspire and uplift me. I will definitely follow your advice and constantly show love towards my husband. He is a great guy and I wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize my relationship with him. I'm sending a hug to you today too.
  5. aa3405

    aa3405 Peer Supporter

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks for your thoughts on the source of my TMS. I wrote down the main points of your reply in my journal so that I can refer back to them as I go through the structured program. I am still just at the stage of trying to figure out all the sources of my pain. I have not figured out how to change my behaviors in order to be more of my authentic self. I think I forgot who that person is since I have repressed that part of me for so long in order to be accepted by others. It's sad, but my body recently created a new pain in my left shoulder. The old plantar foot pain comes back periodically, but not as intense. I know work related issues are the source of the new pain. It does help to acknowledge the connection of the pain and my conflict aversion at work. The pain lessens when my mind believes it. Thanks again for your insight.
  6. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for the hug, aa3405.

    Even famous, rich, and successful people like Barbra Streisand have low self-esteem. It probably goes back to their childhood.
    Don't be hard on yourself. Remember all the good things that have happened to you and that you've done for others.

    As for bosses, I rarely worked for any who were really good at their job or who were good people. Some were awful in both.

    I always found it best to smile at work. Even though I wanted to kick my bosses where the sun doesn't shine.
  7. aa3405

    aa3405 Peer Supporter

    It's good to be reminded to focus on the good things I have done and that have happened to me. When I read your post it made me realize that I ruminate and become very anxious over one thing that I might have done wrong in my eyes and I never consider that I should feel good about the good things that I have done. I guess in my mind it's a given that I should be doing good things all the time for others. Those things aren't worthy of praise or acknowledgement, because it is what is expected of me. However, if I do something not up to par, then I do berate myself. I will work on focusing on some of the positive/good things that I do.

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