I had a bit of a head slappin' realization the other day. Brace yourself for this profundity….They're called repressed emotions because they're REPRESSED! I'm still slogging along in my healing journey. (It must be amusing watching me get up out of chair when my achilles are all locked up.) With a wedding, a house on the market and an inconsistent (or nonexistent) cash flow, I haven't been surprised at the current flare up. One of my symptoms has been a nasty rash that comes and goes. Between that and a scar that keeps growing, I decided to journal over those symptoms. The words I came up with where: Both the scar and the rash look angry. I mean really angry. The rash feels like my skin is burning. Burning up with anger, I wrote. Whoa. I'm a good person. Like the characters in "Madeline", I frown at evil and smile at the good. Me, angry? I often say I didn't realize I had a temper until I had kids. But I'm seeing now, that temper has been there all along. Safely under lock and key. Which brings me to a dream from last night. I was in a large room with other people. And we were all clinging to the sides of the wall to stay out of the line of fire of a sniper who was up in a guard tower. We were fine as long as we stayed imprisoned along the wall. If we ventured out, we risked getting shot. Even though we had not seen anyone getting shot. The biggest shock of all was…my mom was the sniper. My wonderful, loving, generous, mom. My mom who would give away her last nickel and excelled at random acts of kindness. I was well trained by mom. I credit my volunteerism to her and I love encouraging random people. Thanks, mom. But I am also seeing the performance tendencies. And how I was kept in line with regular doses of "Shoulds" and "You should be ashamed of yourself!" There is no guilt like a Catholic mother guilt! She was the master of the silent treatment too. And god forbid we ever discuss stuff….like my brother's nocturnal visits to my sisters. Or dad's alcoholism. Or any number of the trauma and dysfunction growing up in my home. The I love you/hate you dance commences. And this conflict must go under deep cover because the ego is too threatened. I'm not on a witch hunt with my mom. There's not a day goes by that I don't think of her. But I am realizing I am beginning to see that some of the seeds of my TMS where started here. (I was also one of those kids who awoke with terrible leg pain when I was very young.) I can also see how mom's health was fueled by her conflicts. She was a loving mom with a heart for the poor AND….she was a guard in a maximum security prison. And yeah, she really was a sniper. Good God man! Can you imagine THAT conflict? Seeing my shadow in all this is horrifying and freeing all at the same time. And I trust unlocking its secrets will eventually have me pain free…with clear skin. So all this to say. If your healing is stalling out - look at your most beloved relationships (including your own with yourself). Realize there are likely some deeply conflicting emotions. And that is okay. I also realize I can be my own sniper…shooting myself down whenever the ego is threatened. I love you/I hate you. I've rambled long enough - thank you if you're still with me!