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How do I get over a TMS Trigger

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by EileenS, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    One of my major subconscious childhood triggers causes me to feel guilty. It affects my feelings of self-worth and I suspect it holds me back from getting to that 100% better point. Here is the 'story' of where I think it comes from. I am the youngest of 4, with almost 7 years between me and the next youngest. I have 1 sister 10 years older. I dawned on me a month ago after a family gathering that I have been listening to her my whole life tell me that I got more than her from our mother (be it items or love or attention). I journalled about it once. I recognize that this is part of her personality, that it's not my fault if she was treated differently ( I don't know if she really was), and that life is what you make of it and I have worked hard to make more of mine. But I still find that guilt subconscious feeling coming up time and again in various situations with people.
    Any suggestions?
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  2. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    ps, I want to emphasize that although I call it a childhood trigger, my sister reinforces it whenever I see her (about every 3 months). My husband says she has been doing this every visit since he met her 25 years ago.
  3. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Eileen,

    I think the key is learning to notice when the unconscious guilt reaction happens, both with your sister and others. Notice in a nonjudgmental way. You're not judging yourself for the reaction, and not judging the other person for whatever they did to trigger it. Then you can take control of your response instead of reacting by habit.

    Since your husband is onto your sister's guilt trips, ask him to give you a little wink every time she does it.

  4. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    I will try to keep this advice in mind. I like the idea of engaging my husband. We all know it's hard not to go down those roads with our family members when they push those buttons they installed.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Eileen. A friend's wife had emotional problems that stemmed from believing that her mother loved her sister more than she loved her.
    She had to build up her feelings of self-esteem and did so that she was able to forgive her mother.

    Mothers are human and not perfect. So are sisters. My brother used to beat me up and nearly killed me a few times, but I discovered by journaling that he resented having to look after me and my sister when he was a boy and wanted to be with his pals. That helped me to forgive him.
  6. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Hi Walt, yes, I am sure my sister has more emotional problems because of her belief that she wasn't loved as much or treated as well. I am very fortunate because I've always known I was loved unconditionally by my parents and given lots of nurturing. Although, my journalling the first few weeks of my TMS journey revealed my mother did sometimes cause negative emotions in me which I hadn't expressed to her. Mother's are human. I loved her dearly.
    I guess I was looking for ways to stop myself from going down the path that I do when situations subconsciously remind me of this emotional trigger.
  7. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member


    It sounds like your sister is the one with the problem, not you. If she feels you got more than perhaps she should be telling (or have told) your mother that. If it sets your TMS off every time she says it then you can a) stop visiting with her, b) tell her abt it, c) let things continue as they are. Of course there are prob other possible solutions but these are what comes to mind for me.

    I've distanced myself from a family member because I got sick of them dragging me down, I realized the residual aggravation more than outlasted the visit. Life is too darn short to be feeling like this, family or not!
  8. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    When my older sister visits every few years, she loves to relate stories in front of our families of how she was able to continually bully me and frighten me when we were young. She did such things as setting traps for me, scaring me in the dark in many ways, and getting me in trouble by lying. I always know when her conversation is headed there and I can feel my body tensing up as she replays these horrible memories as if to show how clever she was. We shared a room so I had to be hyper vigilant to protect myself and I continue to have that problem to this day as well as anxiety. Her behavior in re-playing these stories is childish and it makes me squirm. I don't want to retaliate and come down to her level.

    Now I am ready with an appropriate comment when she does this again.

    “Sister, are you boasting or repenting?”
    David88 and EileenS like this.
  9. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Hopefully now that I recognize it, I will learn to not engage with my sister ( or others that remind me of her). It will be a re-learning process, like all the other mind body triggers. Maybe I can hum 'Raindrops on Roses and whiskers on Kittens' to myself as the complainer complains.
    David88 likes this.
  10. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    so.. i was just watching a video about projecting... and because of that, this is where my head is... but... if you think about it, you (EileenS and Lavender) came along and sort of 'stole' your parents' attention from the older sibling... what if instead of distraction, you turned it around on them and forgave them when they pull their stunt of bringing up how they bullied you. (DEEP BREATH HERE)... What if you looked them straight in the face and said something to the effect of "It must have been hard to have our parents focus the attention you were used to getting on me. I couldn't control that any more than I could control being born. BUT, I still want to say that I'm sorry that you felt that way when we were kids and I'd really like to put that behind us now and build a new adult relationship as equals." -- If nothing else, it will probably put them back on their heels and make them think twice about bragging about being a bully again in the future. And, if that becomes your standard response (instead of smiling and saying something like "what a scamp you were" while you're hurting inside)... it will take all the fun out of it for them and they'll have to find a new way to torture you.
  11. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    Excellent advice! I intend to practice that . I thought I had made a conscious decision to forgive her ( and everyone else) but clearly, if she still is able to push my buttons, I might have some bitterness there. It's got to go. It only does me harm. Thanks again for mapping out a plan. I intend to put it on a card to keep handy.

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