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Guilt and Relapse

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by COgirl05, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    I have been feeling great for the most part for about a month now. I have had ups and downs, but have really been thinking psychological, working out a ton, trying to overcome the fear, and the pain has been moving around and decreasing. A couple weeks ago, my mom moved to the town I live in and it was supposed to be a joyous thing. She has been very negative about the entire thing and I can't help but feel guilty about her moving to the city that I live in. I feel accountable for not helping her unpack enough and that she moved from a small town that she felt comfortable in to a bigger city to be near me. She seems completely miserable. I am frustrated by the whole thing and tonight, I finally felt some pain back in the same old spot and am feeling a TMS relapse starting. I really am trying to think psychological about the whole thing, but I could use some advice!

    My husband and I also decided to start trying to have another baby. I am excited about it, but am not so naive this time about how difficult being a mom is. I am finding myself worried about future TMS relapses which I know is ridiculous, but could also use some words of wisdom for this too!
  2. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Okay, so your Mom. Typical trigger right. Parents always are, no matter our relationships with them (good, bad or somewhere in between). You can detach with love. You need to for your own sanity. Your Mom is her own person and she made her own decision. Only she is responsible for her happiness. Support her, love her...but create some boundaries for yourself so you don't internalize her feelings of negativity. Her energy right now is probably digging up some stuff from childhood with her. Have there been other times when she has put this kind of pressure on your...pressure to make her happy and feel secure? Time to do some digging and be really honest with yourself. In addition, practice mindfulness when it comes to your current emotional reactions to her negativity and frustration. Try to observe when you are feeling guilty etc. Don't judge yourself...just say, "wow I'm having intense feelings of guilt right now because my Mom is so happy. How does that make my inner child (ID) feel?" I would venture to say that it is your Superego that is feeling guilty, but your inner child is PISSED!!! Angry! Rageful!!! How dare your Mother put so much unfair pressure on you! It is NOT your life, it is hers!!! Why are you so responsible for HER happiness! Really allow yourself to feel that rage and frustration. Give your ID a voice. These darker, repressed, unconscious emotions are what Sarno talks about when he is talking about the emotions behind TMS pain.

    Baby-okay...I am a mother of a 5 year old. You are obviously a conscientious person, probably a worrier (typical for us TMSer)...also a planner? You like to know what to expect? You like to be in control? I am all those things. Here's the think about raising a child...you have to let go...completely.

    Parenting if FUCKING HARD. I'm not going to lie and tell you it is easy or fabulous all of the time. I love my son. I would die for him. I have NO regrets about brining him into this world. But parenting him has brought on a few TMS relapses for me (one was the typical foot/shoulder pain I had had 1o years earlier, currently I am dealing with anxiety/stomach stuff). I was 38 years old when I had him. I was used to living my life, having balance, time for myself, time for my marriage...then having a child through that all out the window and I had to start again. It involves a LOT of self-sacrifice and soul-searching. Looking back I think I could have avoided or minimized my relapses if I had done a better job at allowing myself to really FEEL the full range of emotions parenting a child brings up. Of course there have been so many moments of joy, love, pride, and happiness. However I think we are brainwashed in this society and pressured to be these "perfect moms" all the time. It is just too much. There were also many moments when I resented my child, I was angry at him, I even hated him (this was all deeply ID based).... But society told me that I wasn't allowed to feeling these dark, angry, rageful feelings because if I did that would make me a BAD mom. So I buried those feelings or if I allowed myself to feel them I felt shame and guilt.

    So the biggest piece of advice I can give you as you embark on this incredibly powerful journey of becoming a parent is to make sure you have a good support system in place...journaling, family, a good therapist, a mommy's group, hobbies and interests that are reasonable to keep up even with the pressures of raising a child. Allow yourself to feel and experience the FULL RANGE of emotions that come up (and constantly change) as your child grows. If you can really be present/mindful and aware of the full spectrum of emotions you are experiences then I think you are far less likely to experience relapses.

    And if you do, they happen for a reason and we are always here.
    Lizzy, Ryan and Ellen like this.
  3. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    PS-I also suggest reading STEVEN RAY OZANICH'S THE GREAT PAIN DECEPTION. It is my TMS bible.
    donavanf likes this.
  4. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much Lala! You really hit the nail on the head with everything you said about both topics. I definitely agree that my superego is feeling guilty for my mom's unhappiness and my ID is just pissed that she's doing this and acting this way. It's definitely true. My dad died almost 11 years ago now and I think my ID is also pissed that he died because now I feel more responsibility to my aging mom. I watched my parents and now my mom take care of their parents when they had health crisis and it consumed their lives. My mom also has my grandma with dementia living with her and she's really miserable as well. I think she's rubbing off on my mom in the first place. This also makes my ID pissed because she needs to be in a nursing home and selfishly, I want my mom to myself. She's completely tied to my grandma right now and I feel can't do anything with my family. Then the superego comes in and (even as I typed that, I felt guilty for thinking that) tells me that I need to have compassion and that's just being really selfish on my part. It definitely is a big battle that you brought light to.

    I am already a mom to a 2 year old too, so I know the full range of the emotions. I really struggled with that too - the fact that sometimes I do resent him and highly dislike what he's made me go through. I feel like I've lost myself sometimes too. I definitely think that society has put so much pressure on moms too. Society makes it seem like the minute you meet your baby you need to fall in love with them and never look back - love them more each day. I do love my child more each day, but that doesn't take out the roller coaster of emotions.

    Overall, you're right, I need to be more present and actually feel more. I was really trying to do that in each situation which is why I think I've not had too big of a relapse but I do feel like it could.

    I am about 60% through the Great Pain Deception and I agree, it's amazing! I really have to get over my fear of pain too. That book has helped a lot, but last night when I felt a twinge of the pain, I got butterflies in my stomach and started feeling the anxiety.
  5. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Ha! I missed the part where you said "another" baby....
  6. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Also check out www.focusing.org. I just started down this path of accessing my emotions with the help of a pair of Homeopathic doctors that are helping me to manage my depression and anxiety (TMS of course). I don't know about you, but I have a HARD time actually feeling my feelings. I am aware of the repressed RAGE, but I haven't allowed myself to feel any of it. I know Sarno says it isn't always necessary to "feel" the feelings...but in my case I think I have hit a wall and it is not enough to just be aware of the unconscious stuff. I think I actually need to start feeling some stuff.

    What these Homeopathic doctors did...this focusing technique...was the first time anyone has really been able to get right to the heart of my emotions in a short time. The woman, Rosemary, was unrelenting...in a gentle way...but still every time I tried to talk about my feelings she would stop me. She would force me to go back to my description words about the anxiety/stomach pain/depression and then make me sit with those descriptions until I really started to feel what my words meant. So she would say, "what does it feel like in your body when you are alone at night, feeling anxious and unable to sleep?" And I would say, "My body feels tight. My stomach feels wound up. There is energy pulsing through my body that won't stop. I can't find stillness." Then I would start talking about what all that meant and she would stop me in my tracks ands say, "Tell me more about the pulsing?" And I would sit for a few moments and focus on those moments where I was alone at night, unable to sleep, and I could feel the endless pulsing through my body and the tears would come...all the loneliness and fear would surface. She then forced me to go into great descriptive detail about what the pulsing sensation in my body felt/feels like...I used descriptive words like "electricity," "roller coaster," "trapped," "outside energy force," "out of control," It was like she encouraged me to really sense my emotions through my body's physical responses. Through connecting with how my body felt in those moments I was able to actually feel the feelings I had buried....beyond just "anxiety"...as I know that is a just a cover up for what I'm really feeling...pain, anger, rage, sadness, loneliness, trapped, disappointed. It was a transformative experience. Now I'm trying to teach myself how to ask the same questions that Rosemary asked me, so that I can access my emotions the same way on my own.

    Perhaps when the "fear of pain" starts to come on you can try to really sense, in your body, what the fear is actually about. Feel it. I am reading/listening to Dr. Gendlin's book FOCUSING so I can learn the technique described above.

    Good luck with baby making #2 and stay in touch. We are here to support one another. Feeling like we are NOT alone is half the battle.
  7. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    Thanks again. I feel like when I feel a twinge of pain, I instantly get really anxious and it's a vicious cycle for me. Any advice on how to get over that?
  8. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    I think just recognizing that the anxiety is in and of itself TMS (I'm struggling with that myself right now too). I am currently listening to FOCUSING by Dr. Eugene Gendlin on iTunes (also a book) and using his technique to help me access my emotions/fears...really name and feel them and then let them go. I am finding it helps. It is so hard to get off the hamster wheel. Trust me I know.
  9. COgirl05

    COgirl05 Peer Supporter

    I think I might try the FOCUSING audio book. How has that been for you?? How many times have you done it?
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your exchanges of postings are wonderful, Lala and COgirl.
    Trying to be helpful and caretakers to our parents can take a lot out of us.

    A friend's mother wrote a wonderful book on this. Avis Carlson's IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME.

    I posted about it on the Wiki so you could look at it.
  11. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    I'm reading the book too, but the ideas are very abstract and take a while to sink in.

    The audiobook is more of a how to. Dr. Gendlin guides you through the 6 steps of focusing. I just listened and did it for the first time last night...really tuned my body into this problem of insomnia/nighttime anxiety. I was able to feel a felt 'bodily' sense of what i inwardly labeled 'constrictive panic,'...like someone is strangling you, but you are still conscious enough to try to escape in a rush of electric energy (panic), but you are held down.

    When i really stayed with that feeling and tried to understand what is the 'worst' part of it of this feeling is my body told me it is a feeling of total weakness/powerlessness. When i inwardly asked what I needed to heal the phrase, 'self-love' arose.

    Powerful stuff.

    It is all about tapping into internal messages from your intuitive body sense (not your intellectual mind). I find it very helpful so far.

    I sleep for the first time in weeks without the use of a sleeping pill or melatonin.
    Ellen likes this.

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