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.