1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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I am Annie

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Beach-Girl, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hello all:

    When Forest first asked if I would like to participate in the conference with Alan Gordon, I of course said yes. But I wanted to remain anonymous. I didn't want sympathy from those trying to heal too. But we are like family here and I trust and get a lot out of each of your posts. I've learned a great deal about TMS and watched others get rid of their pain, while mine has persisted. And since you all put yourselves out there, why shouldn't I?

    I took many notes during the call, and have listened to the conference again. There were two major things that stood out to me. My flat affect and my mother's bullying me.

    Flat Affect: When Alan told me I sounded like I was talking about a plot to a book or a movie, it really struck me. I realized in the past couple days (and finally had a good melt-down) that I am totally immersed in my life and all the stress that comes with it. I have been under the impression that I had my childhood pretty well sorted out. But Alan corrected me by telling me my mom was still bullying me! And he's right. We can forgive, but we can also be angry. And before Saturday, I thought I was all good with my all mostly bad mother.

    We are in a lot of financial trouble, my husband does have cancer, and I'm on the run most every day trying to fill out paper work and put out fires. Not a very fun way to live. My husband is trying the best he can to help me, but suffers from depression. So a lot of times I also have the title of "cheerleader". It's draining, it's hard, it's infuriating, and I am really burned out on this.

    Hawk (husband) has had cancer for over 10 years. It's incurable advanced prostate cancer. We're in a "holding pattern" and see his oncologist every 3 months. I can't tell you how scared I get, each time we visit this great doctor (he really is) and await new test results. Hawk is on an infusion every 6 months, but it's not chemo.

    Hawk is a fantastic musician. He plays many many different instruments. But Hawk also had a problem in his neck (the same year he had prostate cancer and his prostate removed) and had a Laminectomy. The vertebrae in his neck were closing in around his spinal cord and he was losing function on the right side of his body. This is surprising - no doctor caught it! Finally after he had an MRI, we saw very clearly the problem. But he has never regained his proper balance and has numbness in his right hand. He's adapted many of his instruments so he can feel the pads, strings, etc. He is really quite amazing in that he won't give up. He's also is into Dada art. He's created and driven art cars for the past 20 years. Amazing mind too.

    The oncologist has told us if it comes to having chemo, that it will wipe out the rest of the nerves on the right side of his body. No music. No driving. No cooking. It will end his will to live. I know him. He lives for art and music.

    Needless to say, I am in a great deal of fear over this possibility and the topic was thrown out at first, but since the cancer is on the move, the doctor has been talking about chemo.

    I've done the program on the wiki, I've done Dr. Schubiner's program. Now I'm reading "The Great Pain Deception". I really like this book so far and hope it will keep on clickin' with me. I am still on pain medication. It helps get all the things I do (and it's everything for two people) to get through the day. Back in December, I had hoped to be off of it now.

    But the pain is still there, I know I have more work to do, and I will not stop until I reach a place of comfort. I have a really great therapist who is following my TMS journey. She knows me very well, knows Hawk and all his issues, and is trying really hard to redesign our sessions. I think. She seems interested in TMS and isn't just going with it because I say I know I have it. She had told me for a long time that I am going to get sick if I don't get rid of some of my stress. Well, I'm not "sick" - I told her recently, but her prediction has been with me for a long time - in the form of lower back pain.

    I want to thank Alan again (if you're reading) for taking so much time with me on my TMS issues. I want to thank Forest for thinking of me as a client for Alan. And also thank all of you who listened and were patient. I know many must have had questions that we didn't have time for.

    The melt down yesterday was great. It truly was. I am not much of a crier, but yesterday couldn't stop! I have been writing like a wild woman (in my spare time) about my mother bullying me and ways I can get her to stop. I keep seeing Jody's brain because it feels so much like Beach Girl's brain.

    I learned a great deal on Saturday in the session. I am still not sure how I'm going to get rid of this, but as I often tell many of you: it's the journey. It's not the end result that really matters although I will gladly take a pain free life. But it's what we learn along the way about ourselves. It's wrapping up hurtful things that are past or present. It's about learning to stand up for yourself. And although I know this will take awhile - I'm never giving up!

    And finally. I love this community so much. Each and every one of you has been kind not only to me, but to each other. This is truly a place to land whenever we want to express what is happening in our lives, or to simply help others.

  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    I think it's a great step that you feel comfortable letting people know that you and Annie are one in the same.

    One of the goals in emotionally healing is reducing the level of shame. Shame is when you feel like the real you is not okay or will be rejected, and must be hidden.

    Allowing your real self come though, and getting the feedback that you are still okay is one of the best ways to work on reducing shame.

    You did yourself a great service today, and should be proud of yourself.

  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Beach-Girl,

    Having already known about the stress you are under, it made me happy to see this. You've been under so incredibly much stress for so long that you haven't had time to express your emotions. As you wrote,
    I wonder if that might be where your flat affect comes from. You feel like you can't afford to express your emotions. You had to repress them as a matter of what felt like survival. But it does feel like there must be a better way. Perhaps the tools that Alan showed you (using body sensations) can help with that.

    It feels good to hear you connecting with your emotions.

    I think of being a caretaker for someone you love as one of the great emotional challenges in life. Even with the great techniques that you have been learning to express your emotions, it seems like connecting with a "caretaker's support group" might help you diminish some inner tension and, in the long run, help with your pain.

    And it feels good that you felt comfortable enough to connect your two identities. I think that it is in the nature of peer support communities that we are "wounded healers." We help each other by having the courage and the selflessness to honestly and compassionately share our experiences and what we've learned. Through your compassion, your wide reading and your life's wisdom, you have a tremendous amount to contribute to this community. I, for one, appreciate your contributions every day. I am truly grateful that you are a member of our community.
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  4. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Thank you Alan and Forest:

    REAL tired, so will write more tomorrow. But I wanted to thank you both for responding.

  5. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

    Hello BG.. I am short of time as have to get ready for work but I just had to say that you are an amazing woman. I have listened once to the conference with Alan Gordon and I was so
    touched by your honesty and bravery..You should indeed be proud of yourself.
    I certainly got a lot from hearing yours and Alan's discussion and I am glad you did too.
    I also really appreciate the posts and kind thoughtful support you give to so many on the Wiki.
    When listening I really wanted to reach out and give you a huge hug and am sending you lots of positive thoughts for you and your husbands journey.
    Don't ever give up (I am sure you will not) ... you have come so far already.. :)
    Forest likes this.
  6. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Thank you so much Spiralgirl. I was overwhelmed by your kind message. You are so kind.

    Wow. Thank you . I'm oddly at a loss of words today.

    Thank you. It doesn't always feel like it, but having the good cry was exactly what I needed. Rather than "stuff it" - I did what Alan suggested and felt it. Hard day. But we will be where we're supposed to be when all is said and done.That's the way life works.

    And no - I'm never giving up!! Had a lot of pain and anxiety since Saturday. But I'm trying to stop now and then and remind myself that everything really is temporary. Even TMS. We can conquer this - but it takes time and facing many buried issues. I'll get there and when I do, boy will you guys be the first to know!!


    PS your post got me all weepy again - must be on a "feel it" roll.
    spiralgirl1 likes this.
  7. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Beach Girl,

    (((hugs))) I still haven't gotten a chance to listen to the program from Saturday but I've read some of the posts and I just wanted to leave a note of support. It's OK to feel everything and you don't have to be positive or brave if you are not feeling that way now. It's OK to be "weepy" too.

    I'll write more once I get up to speed on everything here :)

    :) Veronica
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  8. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Way to go, girl! I've been thinking about you all week, and today I finally sat down to to listen to your session with Alan (since I missed a lot of it on Sat) and it was fantastic. Many many gems, universal application to so many of us even if our stories are not the same - because our personalities are! I was writing stuff down the whole time and I intend to put his techniques into practice myself. I hope.

    My take-aways:

    - Find the physical feeling that is associated with an emotion and FEEL it.
    - Separate anxiety symptoms from emotional pain (that's a big one for us, don't you think?)
    - Recognize the internal bully, the one constantly trying to terrorize you
    - Feel the rage against the bully
    - Feel the sadness at allowing the bully to get away with it
    and above all,
    - STOP and FEEL

    Repeat that last one, over and over and over again.

    Big hug, more later.

    veronica73 and Forest like this.
  9. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Hi Beach-Girl,

    OMG. OMG OMG OMG. *hugs from me and Bear*

    I did not know the significance of the Drop In Chat (was only directed to it yesterday in session with Alan Gordon, and then again only to a specific later segment-- not yours. And have not had time to listen to it yet). But I can sense how deep and powerful this moment was for you even peripherally. And so here I am, tapping out a response on my tiny iPhone keyboard sitting on a trash can in the middle of an ER shift WITH tears in my eyes for me and you because it's important. Right now, you are so much more important to me than any patient I should be seeing. You are so, so brave. *hugs tightly*

    I'm no TMS therapist, but is it possible that you are in need of acknowledging how much repressed anger you have at Hubby for being so sick--and you pressuring yourself to be his, to be our Wiki "cheerleader"?

    Beach-Girl, veronica73 and Forest like this.
  10. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    *another hug from Bear*
  11. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Thanks all. Long day so I will write more later.

    Shanshu: Got my all weepy again. Your words are so kind. (*for those who don't know Shanshu and I have a nine page discussion here on the board)

    Everyone has been so kind. Even Bear. (give him a hug back from me would ya?)

    Thank you - thank you.

    I've received many kind notes and messages. If I haven't responded to you personally yet, it's because it's been a very long day and I need a break. So I'm going to find the kitty who goes missing about now since it's time to come in - and just kick back.

    As I said - love this community! I couldn't be in a better place to solve these issues. And Jan? I'm feelin' it girl - I'm feelin' it.

  12. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    Namaste BeachGirl,

    I send you a big embrace and the divine and encompassing grace of God that covers multitude of suffering.

    I just caught up with your message in this forum. I feel great admiration for you. What frankness, what gift!! It is a privilege to share this amazing sojourn with you. You have been a welcoming person ever since I arrived in this website riddled with symptoms. I have to agree with you too that there is something very special about the enlightened souls in this community. We have a very powerful advocacy in this place. As Forest has said, we are advocates in adversity.

    One of the very special attributes of the people in this website is that they are prepared to speak out. So many of us have been psychologically muzzled since we were children by the force of the agendas and psychological dysfunctions of the adults that were in charge of our wellbeing.

    I empathize deeply with you because I too share a similar experience as a child that was bullied and manipulated up to 2 years ago by a dysfunctional and at times violent mother. Needless to mention that my father was too a violent man. I still walk with the memories from the experience. Today those scars have been transformed into the jewels of my crown.

    Two years ago, in the midst of a telephone call that took me half a century back to childhood, I departed from my mother. I just could not take the manipulation any more. I was sank in a pool of angry memories of the physical bashings, the cruel words and the sheer toxicity and destructiveness of such relationship. Emotionally and psychologically bent in pain (needless to mention the physical one), I never talked to my mother again. I have pained, I have wailed, I have felt guilty, I have drowned in sorrow about my decision to basically 'divorce' my mother and I cannot see how I can reverse this. I came to a junction without return, something within me snapped and or was fractured. I could not pleased her any longer, my desire to be loved and to be accepted, my desperate aspirations to be her child came to a grinding halt. And here I am.

    God has blessed me with the opportunity to turn my childhood into a wonderful experience with my own children. We can change the profane into sacred and the ridiculous into the sublime. We have the means to do it. We have learned this as we walk the TMS journey. Just last week, I found the phrase that characterizes this 'motherless' journey 'I am a hero'. In his book "They can't find anything wrong!" Dr David D Clarke says that people who have endured abuse as children are nothing short of 'heroes'. He encourages us to look back at childhood as a wilderness and that we survived it against the odds. And here we are, we have this amazing hope, this amazing friendships and we are all amazing people. We could have ended in terrible circumstances but something in us was like a little candle-flame in the dark, it was never snuffed completely and in time became a torch. God bless you for being such a hero!!

    Thank you everyone for such wonderful postings!!:) Let us celebrate life and the otherness in each one of us!
  13. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Don't want to highjack this thread but I have to say, quasar, I stopped breathing for a second when I read the above. I so could have written those words, all of them. The only difference is the timescale. My telephone call took place just over a year ago.
  14. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    I wish they made psychological crash-carts. :(
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  15. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    What a fabulous idea!!!! :) This could be a super business, how would you use them? Elaborate, you got me on board now;)
  16. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Hm. Electro-convulsive therapy?
  17. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    Marvelous! Brilliant mind! why not adding frontal lobotomy too ;):D
  18. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct?
  19. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    Now you got me! I cannot match that:(...wait....thinking about it maybe this guy could (he he):D
  20. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    Oh I don't think the picture got to you...shame...it was Danni de Vitto (he he)

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