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Emotions....is it just me?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Huckleberry, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Or are they indeed the the trickiest and slipperiest buggers to get a handle on in all of this TMS business?

    Time and time again I'm hearing that my pain is caused by repressed emotions and as a result I'm obviously thinking that this is the key to me recovering. Now, I know that a traditional Sarnoite buys into the Freudian angle 100% whilst other practioners will often state that its a 3rd equal split between repressed emotions, everyday thoughts and behaviours and personality traits but the apparent need to 'feel' our emotions seems to be a nailed on basic requirement for recovery.

    It is with this feeling aspect that I think I struggle. I had always thought that I was relatively emotionally healthy but upon further consideration I'm not so sure that this is the case. For example, I get angry...am I one of those people who get labelled as having anger issues? I'm not sure but heck, I know I can do anger. But here is the thing anger is something that I tend to sit with for quite a short intense period and then I tend to discharge this through the usual door slamming etc etc activity. The thing with this is I've always assumed that this was a correct way to express the anger but is it that the reality is that the outburst is actually nothing more than a 'way out' of feeling the actual emotion? You know, like you bottle it and then pop...well, if this isn't the healthy way to feel than anger what actually is. The door slamming end to an anger outburst seems to me to be pretty much how most people process that emotion...do all these people have TMS? No they don't.

    Another example of this which resonates with me is being with my mother at the moment she died. Both myself and my wife were with her as she passed. Now, my wife wasn't particularly close to my mother and they had a few differences and stuff but they got on OK. I recall me and my wife being at my mothers bedside and I was crouched down holding her had and my wife was stood next to me. At the moment my mother took her last breath I remember my wife letting out a gutural scream and falling to the floor sobbing and totally inconsolable. I recall actually looking at my dead mother and my wife next to her and being so dumbfounded and confused that I actually laughed...I just didn't actually know what to say or what to do. I didn't feel emotionally numb it was almost as if at that moment my practical side just thought, right what do I need to do now? get the doctor, get the death cert etc etc.

    I recall having a conversation with a councellor who stated that he thought that I wasn't actually feeling my emotions...by all accounts he reckons that emotions actually have a physical feeling attached to them but I can ever recall having that, not with the death of my father, the birth of my son, the death of my mother, the loss of my job etc etc. I know these events should carry an emotion with them and when they have occurred to me I have recognised that but I honestly can't say hand on heart that I've actually truly experienced the emotion.

    I did not grow up in a tactile or emotional environment so I suppose you pick up from that and carry that on into your life. There are times that I've actually almost tried to force myself to cry for my dead father and mother or actually feel that heart wrenching love for my son that I know my wife has but it just feels so forced and shallow. I have had issues with severe health anxiety and that certainly generated the emotion of fear and I always attempted to negate this through reassurance seeking through forums, internet searches and doctor visits etc but out of all the emotions I suppose that fear is the one I am most acquainted with and the one I have sat with the longest...I know I have a lot of fear regarding my current issue and the worry of it not resolving etc etc.

    Going back to my original point and always assuming I was emotionally healthy what I think I've done is confused empathy with emotion. Its like because I know how I (and others) 'should' feel then this is enough and that I'm therefore emotionally mature. Reading into TMS and the idea that my emotions are not properly felt does make sense to me. My only confusion really is what to do about this? I am quite a closed off and quite withdrawn person and I suppose I've always felt that showing emotions makes me vulnerable and open to ridicule etc. I remember once going to a football match and just watching a chap who was about 25 interacting with his dad who was about 50 and they obviously had a really healthy relationship...like being best friends and really open with each other...it struck me just how far removed that was from the relationship I had with my father.

    So, what is the important thing regarding emotions? Is it being aware of them, is it feeling them or is it actually the act of expressing them? When we say that as TMS sufferers (sorry to use that word) we repress our emotions what does that mean? do we just ignore them? do we refuse to feel them or do we either not express them or express them incorrectly? I do think as a species we do try and avoid negative emotions as much as possible be it through drink, drugs, food, consumerism the list goes on and on but this appears to be a common thing and not everybody who does this gets TMS. I'm confused.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    TMS is all three: repressed emotions, everyday thoughts and behaviors, and personality traits. I haven't focused much on my emotions except that I try to encourage and enjoy the good feelings and tell the bad ones to stop bugging me. Steve Ozanich says he healed from years of back pain mainly by having faith that he would heal and going ahead with exercise including golf even though he was in pain. He focused his emotions on being active and ignoring pain.

    In order to recognize our repressed emotions, we have to think about them, but not dwell on them. Dr. Sarno says that just naming our repressed emotions is enough for our unconscious mind to stop the pain it is sending us because of them. We don't have to dwell on the emotions, but we may have to remind our unconscious of them more than once if the pain doesn't go away. Steve says the more we think about our pain, the longer it will stay.

    Our personality traits also need to be considered and, if possible, modified -- such as try not to be such a perfectionist or people pleaser. Like yourself despite any flaws.

    The subject of our emotions and our health could be a book or a shelf full of books. Dr. Sarno devotes many pages to the subject in Healing Back Pain. If you have a copy, take a look at emotions in the index. He's the doctor on the subject.
    Mermaid likes this.
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Perhaps you're feeling those emotions IN your unconscious (where emotions are permitted), but not in your conscious mind where your ego and superego reign supreme? I know that I felt absolutely nothing when my mother died. Just kind of blank and robotic. Very task at hand oriented. However, there sure must have been a deeply submerged part of me that felt absolutely devastated and abandoned because it was 6 months later that my so-called "herniated disk" struck me down in absolute agony. If we've been raised (or reared ourselves) to be a "good little repressors" it could be that you will keep running on autopilot in your conscious mind for quite a long while until - bango - those intense painful emotions begin to rear up from out of the 95% of your mind you've been disconnected from for eons and eons. In other words, based on my own experience, there can be a delay phenomenon associated with the onset of TMS symptoms. There may be a kind of grim economy operating here too: the amount of time you suffer with TMS symptoms may be directly related to how long you've been engaged in those emotionally repressive coping styles that kept you out of contact with your deepest feelings. Not saying that it can't be done, but it'll involve a lot of really hard work. However, sometimes ISTDP and such "Power Therapies" as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and programmed dreams can effect instant cures by burrowing deep down into the unconscious mind itself. Of course, sometimes people just get it all on their own through simply knowing about the process of repression and/or reading one of Dr Sarno's books (aka 'Knowledge' therapy). Different people respond differently to different healing strategies.
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Thanks for the reply.

    Even though I've always been that way with emotions the somatisation didn't start until my 40th and a health scare that turned out OK but led onto a nightmare period of full blown health anxiety. I am sure that the fear I felt at the time of the scare is in someone the underpinning cause of how I am today as it was almost like a post traumatic shock thing. The back issue I have started niggling about a year into the health anxiety but what I perceived to be far more important 'symptoms' always seemed to take precedent...all these symptoms have now resolved but I'm still left with the back/leg pain which has been with me through the death of my parents and all the other stressors. I mentioned in another thread that now I'm not working and that my mums house I sold I thought I would be better but it appears that this isn't the case and things have deteriorated further over the last few months...I'm sure this is down to out and out boredom and a deep worry about what I am going to do with the rest of my life.

    I had mentioned that I haven't really been here much but as my pain intensified I returned looking for answers. The weirdest thing is that over the last couple of days my pain has been worse than ever and felt a tad different...same location but just somehow different. I have spent good time thinking psychologically and trying to locate a stressor to no avail but have deliberately tried to embrace the pain rather than fight it. At lunchtime today I was suffering like never before and yet about 3 hours later the pain has disipitated to hardly a thing. I know I need to celebrate this as it must be totally 100% impossible for a structural problem to act like this...inflammation surely cannot just switch itself on and off at the drop of a hat. If I was pushed to describe it its like suddenly a tap is opened and the vice like cramp grip on my left lower back and leg is released...this has happened before and a new flare up always happens again but I've never really noticed it as being this immediate before.

    Regarding your point about being very task at hand when your mum died I was exactly the same. Something did spring to mind the other day...me and my wife were discussing the case of Marius the young giraffe that was put down by a zoo due to the breeding programme. Whilst my wife was purely emotive on it (I detest anthropomorphism) I was to ally cold clinical and logical regarding it but I was aware that deep inside me I knew it was wrong on some level but it was like I couldn't admit that in fear of threatening the logical and rational ego I present to the world. Funny, most people say as they get older they care less about what others thing of them and know themselves better...I don't feel that at all.

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