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 9 Does anyone feel like this too?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by srilankamama, Sep 12, 2019 at 9:20 PM.

  1. srilankamama

    srilankamama Newcomer

    Is anyone having trouble identifying which of their “issues” may be responsible for their pain? Could it be more than one?

    I approached this treatment very open to the idea that the pain was “in my head”. I’ve added to my list of stressors and life experiences that could be harboring repressed emotions and journaling about each one...

    It definitely feels good to “work through them“ and I’ve had a few a-ha moments. I even believe that my hamstring pain that I’ve had for about six years is lessening significantly.

    However, none of these topics or issues seem really groundbreaking to me, like they might be the root of the cause. I haven’t had any tearful moments. I was hoping to have a total breakdown, that led to a breakthrough! But nothing really sticks out.

    Does anyone else feel that? Could it be a lot a little things that I’m holding onto from my past that add up to this pain? Or am I looking for one big significant event?
     
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I knew going in that I didn't have any major trauma that I was going to find, so I'm a believer in the "many little things throughout our lives" theory. Current stressors are important, but our basic coping mechanisms were laid down very early in life, and I do believe that we all have repressed memories (mostly very typical childhood guilts and embarrassments) going back to our very earliest years.

    One turning point for me was recognizing that my lifelong anxiety is probably the result of being the first child of a 30-year old mother who married rather late (for those days!), was an only child raised in English and French boarding schools, never baby-sat in her entire life, and had a miscarriage before I was conceived. By the time I was old enough to really "see" her, she'd had three more kids and never showed a sign of anxiety again until she was in her 90s and facing the end of her life.

    Understanding the genesis of my anxiety was very valuable, and it allowed me to forgive myself. That's one thing we all have to do, by the way. Just another wrinkle in the process.

    In a related theme, the other significant turning point was realizing that by virtue of my mother having so many kids to take care of, I, being the eldest, ended up being somewhat isolated by the time I was 4 or 5 years old (resentful of losing all the attention?) and by doing this work, I eventually got in touch with myself at that age to discover that I really felt very lonely and awkward during those years - something I had completely forgotten/ignored/repressed, probably because the reality is that I was well-loved and nurtured and really had an excellent childhood with two very loving parents. But that's just intellectualizing. The reality for me at the time is that I felt isolated - aka abandoned - in those early years, and acknowledging that openly to my adult self was somehow another emotionally freeing event in this process.

    Now, I discovered Dr. Sarno when I was 60, so in addition to childhood stuff, I believe that there are two main reasons that my symptoms came to a crisis point that year, which was 2011. One is that I was recently divorced, which meant that I no longer had a marriage to distract me from my real emotional issues. So even though I was happy to be single again, my symptoms started getting worse over the two years since the separation, whereas for several decades prior, I had been able to keep them somewhat under control (and only had one or two at a time). But then there's the second reason, which is that I was 60 that year. And age-related rage is known to be one of the big repressed emotions. The moment I read that in The Divided Mind, I said "yeah, baby - there it is".

    The practice of Existential Psychotherapy postulates that there are four core issues (we might as well call them emotions) that affect human beings in every action, interaction, or relationship: Freedom, Meaning, Isolation, and Mortality. I hit on the big one (Mortality) just by reading my first Sarno book. The next one (Isolation) came along as I described above - that was while doing the SEP and after listening to one of Alan Gordon's webinars from back then (linked on my Profile page). I've since found plenty of examples in my emotional life around Freedom and Meaning as well. Our freedom is constantly at risk (eg: privacy concerns are, at their heart, fear of losing our freedom. Aging, if you live long enough, almost invariably results in a loss of freedom). The search for and questioning of Meaning is universal. And let's be clear: Mortality and Isolation continue to rear their ugly heads frequently - as they do, I am convinced, for EVERYONE. I advise everyone to look closely at Isolation/Abandonment and how those emotions affect them every single day. They are HUGE in human existence.

    There's nothing linear about this, by the way. There is no one way that it unfolds for everyone. Each journey is completely unique, although there are some very basic steps that are the same for almost everyone. But not necessarily even in the same order.
     
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  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Amen.

    I do believe it's a collection of things that overload us like the Holmes Rahe stress scale

    https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_82.htm (The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale: Understanding the Impact of Long-term Stress)

    Also There is a distinctly creative element to getting over TMS and that is POSTULATING what might be going on 'down there' that is creating conflict(s). Jan did a great Job in the previous post. It's not just guesswork, but calm intorspection based on the models Sarno used in his works as well as stuff we share here..

    Those conflicts are always gonna be' ID vs Superego' OR 'child vs Parent' Inside of us.

    I lived pain free for the first 20 years of my life as an animal (violence, drugs, alcohol, hedonism) then when I needed to become an adult (Citizen, Husband, Father, good worker) I came down with pain. Not one incident, but a whole-istic approach.

    I don't need to go back to being an outlaw. I just have to be aware that this 'form' of 'responsible guy' is just that, and the Wild thing is still inside there . Also, certain painful things from 1-6 years old that I thought I understood are still raw and painful, I just can't feel them anymore... but they are there at war with my positive plans and aspirations in 2019. Once again, they don't need a voice, just to be understood.

    The Pain came to distract me from this. When I discovered that and realized it fully (deep down) the pain stopped.
     
  4. LaineyVeganseed

    LaineyVeganseed Peer Supporter

    Very sorry for your pain... :-(
     
  5. LaineyVeganseed

    LaineyVeganseed Peer Supporter

    I find that it is - sometimes it is from present issues, sometimes it is from past... I actually discovered some caused as well by a traumatic past life death when I did self-Reiki earlier this week... I see that in Reiki a lot, one we peel back the onion on current situations, and past events in this lifetime, we start healing past life traumas too. Interestingly, the layers can get added back with current situations. So think of your "roots" going deeper than this present lifetime, especially if you are an "old soul".
     
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  6. LaineyVeganseed

    LaineyVeganseed Peer Supporter

    Thank you for sharing your story and for sharing this, Jan! I am totally struggling with the first 3 right now...!
     
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  7. SRcombs

    SRcombs New Member

    Oh Yeah! Jan you are right. I turned 50 this year and am finding it more and more frustrating. I thought this time of my would be freeing. Kid's grown and gone, Whoopie! Well, not so much, it is fraught with financial and health issues I find myself daydreaming about younger days especially high school/college. When I had a whole lot of freedom and very little responsibility. I miss feeling good, looking good, having very few worries except for studying for exams. Lotta rage right there.
     
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  8. srilankamama

    srilankamama Newcomer

    Jan you are so incredible, thanks for sharing your perspective, and for your vulnerability. This TOTALLY makes sense to me!

    Little things that happened to me as a young child don’t seem like a big deal... but they WERE a big deal to a 3 year old... a 7 year old... a 12 year old. And of course the “young me” didn’t know how to deal with them at the time.

    This is the most eye opening “a-ha!” from this whole experience. Thank you <3
     
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  9. srilankamama

    srilankamama Newcomer


    That mind tool questionnaire was so fascinating! Thank you for being such a big contributor to this group. You have had such incredible success here, and I appreciate your generosity for openly sharing your experience here in the group.

    The questionnaire made me realize how stressful this last year has been for me. My family moved from California to Sri Lanka, and it was quite an adjustment for me to get my children settled in a foreign country. Then, our city was bombed by Muslim extremists on Easter Sunday, and we were evacuated to Singapore. I decided to take my kids to California to stay with my parents (very disruptive to both them, and us!) until we were cleared to return. Last month we returned to Sri Lanka and are getting settled again. Also, next week I turn 40… Mortality hasn’t hit me but it’s definitely a milestone birthday!

    It just never occurred to me that “moving“, especially to a location that I was really excited about, would cause so much stress! That questionnaire had several questions about moving, change of location, change of housing, mortgages, etc. I definitely feel how much of an impact this experience has had on me and my pain! In fact, I feel almost silly for not recognizing it first!

    Thank you everyone for your valuable contributions to this trip; I’m so grateful to have this chatter as I make my way through all the journaling…
     
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  10. srilankamama

    srilankamama Newcomer

    Yes, layers, TOTALLY!!!
     
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  11. westb

    westb Well known member

    My goodness @JanAtheCPA this is one of the most powerful things I've read on the Forum, and very helpful for me personally. Thank you so much. I particularly resonate to the four core issues hypothesis, and hope to be working further with these in my daily journaling

    I was a first child as well born to a mother aged 34 who had been trying to conceive for many years. She was very isolated from sources of support within her family and did not make friends easily. She did not really trust men, even my father, who was the most loyal partner imaginable, as her own father had abandoned her mother (whom my mother adored) for another woman when the former developed terminal uterine cancer. My parents had also just moved to a new area when my father changed career. And of course in 1949 there was no internet and no help to be had from that quarter. In any event she was of the (British) generation who certainly did not believe in talking about her feelings. Keep it private, within the family, so even if a therapy had been readily available I'm not sure she would have used it. She was always very conflicted with strong emotions which would erupt at my father or me out of nowhere, and these erupted sometimes even into physical violence against me as a baby when the frustration and powerlessness got too much - she told me this, apologising, not long before she died. So I'm not surprised that I have been riddled with "fight or flight" and anxiety and fear my whole life.

    Wow. Just writing the above paragraph is quite something for me!

    I was an only child until age 11 when my parents adopted my sister after my mother had a miscarriage in her early 40s and was advised not to get pregnant again.

    Down the recent maternal line the pelvis has been the seat of pain. My grandmother with the uterine cancer, and my mother died of multiple myeloma at aged 88. One of the symptoms was disintegration of the pelvic bones from a type of osteoporosis which was extremely painful, to the point where she could only sit down for short periods, even with morphine. She either lay down, or stood up to relieve the pain at the end. And here I am, aged 70, with bouts of acute rectal/pelvic pain from IBS .... too much of a coincidence I think.

    So I'm pretty sure I'm a TMS/MBS person, and maybe my mother and grandmother were as well, and the answer, if there is one for me, is in the Mind/Body sphere. Belief, trust and patience I read somewhere here are the keys to recovery, though I also have to take on board that aging is a factor and that I may have to learn to distinguish between MBS pain and the general aches and pain caused by increasing wear and tear in the body - which requires a degree of acceptance and inevitably limits freedom.

    I've run on a bit here so I'll stop. Thank you again, Jan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019 at 6:05 AM
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  12. Jude

    Jude New Member

    @LaineyVeganseed thanks for saying that! I just recently made a connection between a current pain and a recurrent nightmare that I was only able to stop having 25 years ago after I said one morning, Okay, I accept that was a past life! It's mind-blowing how this can literally be "lodged" in my body now. But thank you also because I was afraid I'd be laughed off here for mentioning anything beyond "this" lifetime = )
     
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