1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

Day 18 Identifying emotional patterns, but also a little confused

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Janine28, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Janine28

    Janine28 Peer Supporter

    As I looked back at my journal entries, I found some expected emotional patterns around sadness, fear and anger. However, I'm most surprised to see how much the word "terror" came up in relation to my childhood memories. This is because I have never thought of my childhood as terrifying. I did not go through some of the horrible abuses other children face. And yet... there were periodic terrors followed by extreme physical hardship. When I was 11, I went to a sleepaway camp in which I felt terrorized by the girls (and bats in our bunk and being forced to watch horror movies like Amityville Horror while bats swooped down in this tiny wooden movie house). Six weeks into the experience, my legs stopped working. On the day that my parents came to pick me up, they worked again!

    The other major emotion that has been followed by physical problems revolves around sadness, particularly grief. When I was 5 years old 4 of my family members died of cancer, all women. Soon after I had kidney infections and got hospitalized (where I had some terrifying experiences) and underwent surgery. I'm terrified of experiencing grief. When my son got diagnosed with cancer, I knew that I was not letting myself feel all the layers of grief. I felt like, if I did that, I would literally drown in this bottomless well of pain that I couldn't imagine getting out of. My knee pain showed up 6 weeks after Sky's treatments ended.

    I see these patterns, and yet I'm a little confused. Today I've been having trouble taking deep breaths and my knees feel so uncomfortable. I've been trying to check in with my emotions, but I'm not identifying any particularly stressful thoughts or emotions. I've enjoyed much of this day and I even felt a lot of serenity and joy in some of the areas that create steady stress in my life (revolving around work and parenting). Does anyone have any insights into how to work with TMS when painful emotions are either not in the picture (or maybe hiding)?
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Janine,

    What I am reading is that you are having some symptoms of TMS, like the pain in the knees, and you are having trouble taking deep breaths, and this seems like it might be related to your feelings, and yet you're not aware of any troubling feelings.

    I think that the symptoms can arise simply by the kind of journaling you are doing. Cognitively, you are contemplating the difficulties, even terror you had in the past. So my guess is that this is impacting you, just the same way an apparent emotional response might. Remember that most of the kind of triggers we have is unconscious to us. That is why the journaling is helpful.

    You might address all this assuming you are activated, and that you are unaware of this emotional activation directly. You can simply acknowledge that part of you is terrified, or feels abandoned, or ______? --use your imagination based on your journaling. You can say some kind words to yourself, really allowing that you might be suffering from some of these feelings even now. Just acknowledging the feelings, and connecting them with the fact they "don't want to be felt" is sufficient practice with Dr. Sarno's theory, in my opinion. "You're feeling terrified, and so symptoms are coming up because you don't want to feel this." might be a way to talk to yourself.

    Andy B
  3. Janine28

    Janine28 Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much Andy. Learning how to compassionately talk with myself seems essential. I appreciate the example you offer and the support.
  4. Sean

    Sean New Member

    This view ' uncomplicates' it for me...hopefully for u 2
    Janine28 likes this.
  5. Janine28

    Janine28 Peer Supporter

    Hi Sean, Yes, exactly. This really helps!

Share This Page