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Alex B. How do I feel rage?

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by jay1979, Apr 23, 2015.

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  1. jay1979

    jay1979 Newcomer

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    What does internal rage feel like? Can you describe the sensations inside of the body?

    I am certain I have TMS (see http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/hello.8106/) , but I'm not 100% sure what to look for inside of my mind/body. Whenever I am meditating and I 'let go' of all of my thoughts and muscles I feel a sensation which might be rage? I feel a sort of rush that starts in the middle of my chest and rushes through my body and sometimes causes kegel muscles to clench up. Is this rage?
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi Jay,

    Thanks for the question. This comes up with a lot of people I see and I think that to give a satisfactory answer we have to take a step back and look and the nature of the question itself.

    Based on what I've read from you intro post and the situation you're describing above, my impression is that you are applying a certain degree of pressure to feel what you're supposed to feel. Reading and understanding the literature and discussions on TMS you have correctly understood that often one of the roots of the issue is underlying repressed rage. Therefore, in order to feel better you just have to somehow un-repress the rage and everything will be dandy. This is how you get into the somewhat frustrating position of sitting quietly and analyzing every sensation you have wondering if it's this hidden rage that will make everything better. I wish it were so simple! What actually is happening here is that you will end up putting more pressure and increased expectations on yourself and become more frustrated as you try to force yourself to "let go" as you say.

    It's important to remember some of the reasons why we want you to get in touch with these emotions, be they sadness or anger. During their formative years many TMS sufferers learn that expressing and even just experiencing these powerful emotions is dangerous: they get yelled at, ignored or punished somehow and in response they learn to ignore and actively suppress these feelings. The problem is that the emotions themselves don't actually go away. Therefore there is a continual struggle as your unconscious mind works desperately to keep you distracted from the truth of what is happening internally. One of the ways to do this is through pain. This ongoing struggle creates all kind of tension and anxiety and when feelings come close to the surface it can feel very destabilizing and uncomfortable. This can just reinforce the tendency towards repression. So what can be done in the face of this mostly unconscious process? First of all, take hope. Every one of us is born knowing how to feel. Babies get angry and cry, they express their needs and so do little children. As a father, I'm sure you're VERY familiar with that. At some point along the way you learned to stop doing that, and so you can unlearn that. Again: the feelings are in there you just have to begin to let them through. Rather than sit and pressure yourself to feel them, keep in mind your patterns and tendencies as you go throughout your day and try to be aware of when you are feeling anxiety or emotional bubblings. I guarantee that throughout your week there are things that are giving rise to emotions. Track your responses and see if there are feelings that are being covered up.

    As you begin to open yourself to your feelings not through pressure but by openly and honestly letting it rise up, you will find that getting in touch with anger can actually be an empowering experience. Anger reminds us of our priorities and needs and helps us to take care of ourselves. I'm not suggesting that in order to feel good you need to yell at everyone or something, but to learn that simply feeling anger is actually safe and even adaptive can be a very freeing experience. No one can tell you specifically how to feel. In response to circumstances you faced at some point, you erected a wall to block out some of your feelings; as the architect of that wall, only you have the power to take it down. But you can do that. You learned to do it, and you can unlearn it.


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    Durga and Walt Oleksy like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Jay. Alex Bloom gives you great advice. I didn't realize as I tried to heal from back pain that I was repressing rage. I just thought I was unhappy after my parents divorced when I was 7. In journaling I learned that I had been repressing feelings of anger, abandonment, and insecurity. Dr. Sarno writes that those feelings over the years escalate into internal rage and that's what caused our pain. By journaling, I learned that my parents had TMS pain of their own Understanding them better helped me to forgive them, and my back pain went away.

    So what we consider to be rage, going into a tantrum like a child, is really anger built up inside us over the years because we did not recognize we were even just angry. Like a volcano holding in natural explosives that finally erupt. In humans, this results in pain. Self-discovery, by way of TMS knowlege through the Sructured Educational Program, will heal us. I found that forgiving had a great deal to do with my healing.
     

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