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If you're lucky enough to live at the beach..

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Beach-Girl, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Good Morning:

    I thought I would start the first written blog - just to get the ball rolling. My progress has been slow and hopefully by writing here, it will help to get things moving - well they are moving, my neck hurts mostly instead of my back now. Of course my back hurts too at night so I'm a spread out TMS mess at the moment.

    Today is my brother's birthday. He is younger than me, but experienced a lot of the same as I did growing up. But we're so very different. I am the elder by exactly 2 1/2 years to the day. Great family planning! So today would be my half birthday. Yay me.

    Being the eldest and none too dumb, I took over the roll of parent at age 10. Told my brother I would take care of him when my parents suddenly split up. And I do mean suddenly. No fighting. No harsh words in front of us. Just love fun filled days. My dad was a pilot and we had our own plane. We used to travel often to BC just for lunch. We went to Disneyland, the mid-west, everywhere, the four of us in our plane.

    My parents loved to sing together too. And would wake my brother in the middle of the night (alcohol may have been involved here) to learn a new song they had written. We were taught to sing harmony to their tunes. We were encouraged to sing at the dinner table. It was an oddly ideal childhood. Plenty of money for what we wanted but we were never taught money was a big deal or that we even had money. It was just the way our lives went. My father was on the way upward in his law firm. One of the best attorneys to practice law in the state. Not my words, but those of a famous retired Oregon judge who lived in our town.

    Anyway - back to the divorce. They suddenly announced they were splitting. And boy were we confused! I had my version of what would happen and my brother had another. I knew that my dad who I loved so much - was gone. Out the door. My brother expected he'd return.

    We grew up very differently and now my brother is very successful. But somewhere along the line he got his wires really rewired. My anger at him for some of his actions is really "hot." But instead of confronting him, I've been writing about it. And on the phone today, I was slightly more "hostile" with our typical sibling banter as I wished him Happy Birthday.

    I love my brother very much. We grew up very close, and the closeness serves him now - he calls when he has to talk on end about something. But it's not a two way street. Here we are, smack dab in middle age and my brother still treats me like I'm mom. Gotta smile. Gotta still send him love instead of all this anger. That will resolve with pen to paper or with my therapist. He is living the life he needs. He's living the life he chose as am I.

    My cousin says we were "feral children". That we raised ourselves while our parents tried to figure it out. She's right. We had one or two of those parents who cared, tried, but eventually would leave us out since they were busy getting on with their new lives.

    Feral children. My brother needs to be trapped and domesticated.

    And so my story begins, this I felt like writing here today. In my writing I'm finding so many things that are contributing to my TMS. They are deep in the past but I'm telling people about this or that injustice. Fun for them when out of the blue I start talking about something that happened eons ago.

    I'm a real pain in the neck.

    Forest and yb44 like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    What a great image.... I know it's easy to romanticize the past, but that just sounds so wonderful.

    I know that if I were in your situation, I would also feel angry at my brother. You were the one who took care of him when the two of you were younger, yet now it sounds like things have come fairly easily for him, relatively speaking, and your reward for all of your self sacrifice is pain. It's not fair, is it? It's enough to send one to the book of Job.
  3. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    It was a great life, everything seemed in place, but then everything changed so drastically. We developed different coping skills. And he doesn't even realize NOW how much he leans on me.

    He doesn't see it. What I'm trying to do is send him love. He's my only family that is "mine" - we have two half sisters, my brother and I have lost both parents. But our childhoods were very different than our younger sisters - more of that will come out as I write. Our younger sisters are 17 years younger than I am. They are full of life and "happiness" because they're in their 30's and adore my brother.

    I want to work through the anger, and come to a place of love for him. I love him very much. He's simply kinda thick. lol

  4. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member


    I love numbers that show themselves in patterns. I feel it's a code of some kind - a message just for me. Yesterday I saw 4's all day long. I saw them so many times I noted each time. I saw them on my odometer, on license plates, when I looked at the clock (4:44). I think my grocery bill was.... "and 44 cents". There are theories in the metaphysical world on why this is. But for me, I simply enjoy noticing. Noticing all those 4's yesterday was fun.

    I didn't sleep very well last night. I awoke to our kitten biting my toes. This is the last ditch effort on his part to wake me for his breakfast. I also have a 15 year old cat that I think is egging him on. They are used to getting me out of bed at around 5:00 AM each morning and getting to work. I journal, and for three months have been doing either the Structured Program on the wiki or Dr. Shubiner's book "Unlearn Your Pain." But March was take-a-break month. March Madness hit me. I seemed to have taken a break from everything that isn't involved with being in the outdoors. Or online. Or watching nature films. Just had to check out.

    So I woke this morning lucid dreaming. The only thing I remember is the word "until". As I made the kitties breakfast, I mindlessly wondered what this meant. I am really into dream interpretation and am not bad at it if I do say so myself. I had a recurring nightmare from the time I was very young until I was in my 30's. I took every class and read every book I could on dreams. I finally discovered the meaning and it's gone now. But this wasn't a dream per se, it was simply one word.

    Until. To me it's obvious. I work the program until every last bit of "stuff" has been uncovered and resolved. During my month long break, I realized so many more hurtful events that took place when I was a young adult. Big things I totally left out. I never mentioned or wrote about them when I did either program. I was following the directions too carefully. (good little perfectionist) But now I have a place to start again. And work the program (haven't decided which one yet) "until" I am pain free. As I've said a majority of the pain is in my neck now. Bothersome, but liveable. Yes. My life is a pain in the neck. I get it.

    It's inspiring to read the success stories here. I really want that too. I want mine to be announced on CNN by Anderson Cooper or MSNBC by Rachel Maddow. I want to shout if from the rooftops. For although my path is not an easy one, and I carry a lot of stress in it, I know I can do this. The perfectionist is also a person who sticks to it till she gets it. I do have TMS. I know it. But I need to keep digging. The anthropologist gets to work.

    I'm a little loopy from a long day yesterday, so will begin tomorrow with a program. Again. I want to know the freedom from symptoms. It's been ever so long since I haven't dealt with pain. I think once a TMSer, you are in it for life. Kinda like AA "Hi, I'm Beach Girl and I have TMS." Well that's fine, but let me see this from the seat where I can sit for more than 10 minutes.

    Something I find encouraging is that when I dumped my therapist, she went out and bought "Unlearn Your Pain" and I have the impression she will be getting more books. I flat out told her a couple months ago that we weren't addressing a cure for my anxiety. In fact she couldn't answer some of my questions that day. It's like she doesn't believe it's possible to rid me of GAD (generalized anxiety disorder and if you're not familiar with them - yes it's real). We medicate it. We discuss it (me). But we don't look at the cure.

    I think that set her back on her heals when I told her I was leaving and intend to rid of myself of my anxiety issues once and for all. If she wasn't coming along, I was quitting and "going rogue". I went on to explain that I had asked her several times to look at the wiki, and she must have shortly before my appointment because she simply parroted some of the info. But it was obvious she didn't get it.

    When I saw that book lying there the last time I saw her, I realized, she does want to help me with this. And it's not just for me, but other clients as well. I've made huge strides with my anxiety issues, (on my own) but it still rears its ugly head in a learned pattern I've developed. It's how I finally melt down. And TMS/PPD/MBS is about learning a different place to live with stress. Everyone gets stressed.

    So: "Until". I will keep working these programs until I find that moment - and it will be huge - when I wake with no pain. I know I have it in me, but there is more work to do until I find the other side of this and work a new me. The me that plans to live her next decade, doing exactly what she wants when she wants to instead of trying to figure out when and where I can participate due to pain.

    This is how I interpret that dreamish state I was in this morning. I'll continue to dig it up, splatter it across pages meant for only me, (and some of it here too.) I'll battle those demons that I've cleverly buried so deep in my subconscious. They've officially been put on notice.

  5. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I love that you are blogging Beach Girl! About having TMS forever--well, I think Dr. Sarno has said that TMS symptoms probably happen every human being at some point(s) in life. It's something everyone should be aware of but I don't think this means it will always be a big part of your life.
  6. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Thanks - you could start one too. Its intention here is for progress and generally writing about the road to recovery. Although you seem pretty "there" now.

    I think for me, until I wrestle my anxiety issues to the ground - it's going to take awhile for me to achieve "nirvana". So that's why I say "Hello, I'm Beach Girl and I have TMS." Oh how I wish that I could take the fast track. But for a variety of reasons, this is going to be an ongoing journey (until I wake up one morning sometime in the future and feel no pain) for me. That's why I decided to free write a blog. See what comes up and out. Plus I love to write.

    And I encourage comments, observations, and everyone to start one if they're so inclined!

  7. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    4/5 - Musings

    The pain in my lower back is most definitely in my neck and arm now. And I'm excited. Yes my lower back turns on me later in the day, but as my day progresses it seems there is always more to do. Always more that I don't see coming. Not a real fun way to live. But everything is temporary, so I see this as coming to a head soon. Soon we'll have the ducks in a row.

    How delightful it would be to spend my summer with my dog in the early morning, walking the beach or woods. Then work on one or two "hard tasks", check in with my shop, and spend the afternoon with my wonderful 8 month old kitten and writing. He is joy in a little orange body. He is smarter than we are, and a fun challenge to meet. Amazing little soul. I have it worked out. I know in my head what I want to create for myself so that number 1: I can get healthy and number 2: take care of business. I've gotten the nights I want so that I can teach my class. This in itself is a small victory as my beginning animal communication class has really taken off in popularity. Everyone in my class so far has gotten information from the animal they work with. I guess I know how to teach. And the word is spreading.

    My husband's health is doing well. He is holding his own for the moment - taking many things off my plate. I should celebrate this, but haven't as of yet. Again, we don't give ourselves the credit where we should sometimes. A TMS personality trait. I know it. And I'm trying to learn to let go of this part of me. Can't always be perfect. Can't always get it right but honesty and being humble are getting me through. And celebration. My husband says I never ever celebrate the things I accomplish.

    This may sound all vague today. I slept late. Aforementioned kitten allowed me to sleep in. Typically I wake up with him biting my toes. Today he gave me a pass. Must have known I needed the sleep.

    So launching into another day here on the coast. It is by no means, a mellow beach life. My family often thinks since I live here, I live in a state of constant vacation. But that couldn't be further from the truth. I live a pretty hectic existence, which is why I think I developed my TMS symptoms. I can't stand being in pain anymore, but then the things I do that help this are out of reach today. I have to be responsible and work our store. Then another doc appointment for my husband, then I show my rental unit to a couple I don't know. This will bring me home around 7:00. I like being home and firmly ensconced in "my world" by 4:00. Every little thing helps. Resting and celebrating.

    Another day with this nagging neck pain. Perhaps if I start into one of the projects I have ahead of me, it will lighten up a bit. And this day will fly by into the next.

  8. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

  9. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    The photo above is from a recent haul of agates I found one morning last week. Hovering over it is my 8 month old kitten: Jack. Jack brought home his first dead rat yesterday. (Yes, start with something easy for mom to remove a RAT) but instead of it being a prize, he thought it was just a bigger version of his toy mice. He's still a kid.

    Oye. He's going to be a hunter.....
    veronica73 likes this.
  10. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    4/8 Easter

    I note that it's Easter because I started this journey at Christmas time. The day after Christmas I started the SEP on the wiki. I got so much out of it that I wanted to know more. So I ordered Dr. Schubiner's book. Got through most of it and then burned out. I was and am burned out on me and my past.

    But two things have happened since I stopped. I've recognized several places that show me, I've got more work to do. I lost someone very close to me in the 90's and it had a huge impact on my life. I didn't include this on any of my "lists". So I need to go back and write about this very painful time. I have written ad nauseum about my mother and the damage she did. I've written a lot and made discoveries about my childhood. I've had conversations with myself, my child self, my parent self, and still - I live in pain. Frustrating!

    But what's interesting is there is a distinct knot in my shoulder now. I don't notice my lower back, but my shoulder is constantly alerting me to "something". I went to the beach yesterday to hunt for agates. I noticed I do this with my head hanging down as I'm really tall. Could I have done something in my hunts? From all I've learned, I doubt it. Looking for agates is a bit like looking for Easter eggs. You search all the cool rocks that have recently been uncovered (yay ocean!) and in their midst find the gems you're searching for. Yesterday was really cool. The tide was high when we arrived, but on its way out. So I walked out onto the beach and looked. Had to run from several waves. And again, no pain in my lower back, just my shoulder.

    I notice that my pain is there when I'm on the beach, but mostly I'm focused on what I'm doing. So I tend to ignore it. I am the cook around here so once home, I was well aware of the pain as I cooked dinner. *sigh* And again this morning - I have a lot of pain in my shoulder, but at least my lower back has given up the fight. There is something I uncovered I need to finish, but I'll be damned if I can't figure it out!

    I wonder if it's TMS if I can feel the knot in my shoulder. I no longer require the heating pad I used to crave at night for my back, but I did use it on my neck and shoulder for awhile last night. This morning my pain is at an 8.

    So I feel like I'm getting there, but there is a huge missing piece. I try and write, but not knowing what kicked this off is frustrating and so writing is kind of a dead end. "Pain in the neck" keeps coming to mind. I wonder if it has anything to do with that? I still have huge projects ahead that I haven't attended to. However it's still spring break here and my attention and energy needs to be with my shop right now.This is a tourist town, we rely on tourists, and they're here.

    I really wish this pain would go away. Perhaps reading the Divided Mind will help. I've had that book for awhile, and it keeps popping up on the forum. So maybe I'll give that a go and see where I land.

  11. Jesse MacKinnon

    Jesse MacKinnon Peer Supporter

    Beach Girl- Ireally love your posts. 2 things I can tell you from personal experience. My pain started as low back pain and progressed to agonizing, lay in bed and cry neck pain. Xrays showed spinal stenosis and a neck that curved the wrong way. All the docs and chiros etc said "yeah a wonder you didn't hurt before this where you in a car accident?" No. Then it went away. not the structural deformity of course that's still there and I still have a lot of back pain- but the neck pain disappeared and except for the occasional twinge has never resurfaced even though every xray shows this really bad neck. Fishy huh? I realized this morning the basck pain started when I was a yoga teacher and very proud of my body and my flexibility- a lot of ego there. I remember kind of praying to be a better man and that's when this horrendous back pain started. I suspect my higher self or God whatever is trying to get me to wake up and be present by journaling and meditating which is very hard for me. Just a theory but worth writing about.
  12. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Thanks Jesse:

    Thought it might be a cool idea for people to blog, and so I'm taking advantage of it by posting my progress. Or lack thereof. I AM getting better - just stuck with this neck pain right now. It's cool you can trace yours back - I'm having a tough time with that. I think it's awesome the pain has moved, but if I could just pinpoint an area. A general idea of why it moved and why it won't leave.

    It was so bad yesterday I was tempted to see my "doctor". I use the term loosely. But I can feel the knot back there. So it's real alright.

    And thanks for the compliment. Don't know if people are reading this or not. Sometimes it's like talking to yourself. But I didn't start it for the entertainment of others, just a way to chart my progress here.

  13. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    4/9 - I Can't Whistle

    In the early 80's my best friend got married. We had been inseparable since birth. Really. Our parents met when our mom's were pregnant with us. We're 4 months apart which I took great glee in when we were kids. I hit "double digits" first (turning 10) I became a teenager first. I got my driver's license first, and of course turned 21 first. All great milestones. We had a lot of fun teasing each other about our age difference. My mom used to caution me about rubbing it in. And she was right. Now on the middle aged side of life, my bff calls on my birthday with "youthful exuberance".

    When she got married, it was a huge deal. Lots of pre-parties. Lots of money thrown around for the dresses, even a wedding planner who I referred to as the "wedding Nazi". She was so bossy. And we were just a couple kids really, watching as my friend stepped into a different world. Not only married. But she married a really wealthy man. He was older than we were and this was marriage #2 for him. It was all quite the scene. And I was the Maid of Honor.

    The whole "event" lasted months. My "loving mother" kept telling me that life as I knew it with my bff would never be the same once she got married. She said it had happened to her when her lifelong friend married. And it would happen to me too. Soon I'd be in the background as they started their life together. This upset me a great deal. My friend and I are so close. We are the history keepers for each other. Every huge moment in our lives - we experienced together. To think that this was all about to change, leaving me out of it and behind was scary and also unthinkable. But I never said anything. We got them married off, and life went back to exactly how it had been. Bff and I still talked everyday. We were fine, but I was not. My mother had a masterful way of pulling the rug out from under me, and her constant badgering about how my bff and I would move into separate lives - worked. Not that we changed anything about our relationship, but one morning I woke up, brushed my teeth, and as I did - noticed I couldn't keep my lips shut tight enough to keep water in my mouth. Then I tried smiling. Only one side moved. The left side of my face was "dead".

    I called my mother. She said it sounded like Bells Palsy. I hadn't ever heard of it. I went to a doctor who confirmed that this is what I had. It was horrible. It was like someone had taken a wand or something and deadened the side of my face. My tongue was numb, I couldn't eat without food falling out of my mouth, and of course looked like Spock when I tried to raise my eyebrows.

    At the time there was no Internet, only the library. A friend and my cousin spent hours researching it. They told me I needed mass quantities of Vitamin B. So, thanks to many friends, I was sent packing to Palm Springs for a week, suitcase had swim wear and Vitamin B in every way possible. I had a wonderful and relaxing time. I cried each time I read the card with the names of all the people who had contributed to the trip. Bff and husband's names were first on the list.

    Many years later I read the MindBody Prescription. In it he talks about all the things TMS is: and there it was Bells Palsy. I was really blown away. It showed me I've had this lurking my whole life because there were other things he talks about that are TMS as well. I think that along with my anxiety disorder (that I was born with) I was also born with a predisposition for TMS. I have had back pain for over 10 years, but there were other odd maladies along the path of my life that I developed - that were TMS.

    I think I got this strange virus because of my bff's wedding. I got the symptoms less than a month after the wedding. I don't think it was the stress of the wedding. I think it was my mother's constant chattering about a relationship she had no idea about, how it functioned, what we'd been through - she had the nerve to reinforce every chance she got that all this would change forever. It scared the hell out me. What if she was right? After all. She was my MOM. And now I look back and see my mother did this kind of thing every chance she got.

    Her mind f*** on me worked a lot of the time. It's the core of what's not right with me. She really worked me into weird thinking and it's hard to undo all that in a short period of time. I see it. I know it. But still, I fall back into it.

    Got better with the Bells Palsy after just 2 weeks which I didn't know then, is really good. I was waiting tables at a fancy place and really needed to be able to smile. So I was lucky. And the only permanent damage is that I can no longer whistle.

    I was really surprised when I read in MBS that Bells Palsy is TMS. Wow. Had I only known back then what I know now. I was a "happy kid" who was struggling the whole time underneath the surface to feel strong. And my mother tried to tear it down - every chance she got.
    Cog and veronica73 like this.
  14. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

    Now there's a cheerful title! But that line from the bible I never read, is coming through for me this morning. Caught up in yet another event I missed. And I feel rather terrible about it. I have ignored it until this morning.

    Right at noon, on the winter solstice last December, one of my dearest friend's walked through the veil to the other side, after a short battle with cancer. She was the "healthiest one of us all" to quote my ex. We never expected this. She was vital, she had issues like us all, loved the outdoors to a fault (if that's possible) and was a very good friend to me, for many years to me.

    But I blew it in the end. I was told there was a website set up for her for people to write in on. Only I checked too early. The website wasn't up yet. I sent her photos in the summer of my vacation. She wrote back she wanted more - and I never sent any. I was too busy. All summer her battle continued with only silence on my end. She was very close with my cousin - they met through me. And my cousin, being a cancer counselor, was there the whole time. My cousin. Always there for giving comfort. And where was I?

    Well let's see. I was in the middle of a huge war with my husband that ended in a temporary split. I moved out for 6 weeks. We were civil to each other the whole time and have since reconciled. But during my hiatus away from my home, another cousin (other side of the family) crossed into the heavens. He too was a big part of my life. He was like my older brother. His death came rather suddenly, and the entire family was able to meet at his home in Alaska. It was a very tense time for us all. I had my other cousin, who I needed to try and be there for.

    Truth be told, I've lost 3 family members, all close - within the past two years. I grew up with my many cousins and we were more like siblings. Experiencing everything kids do, and into adulthood - we remain close. But I so blew it with my friend. Why didn't I get my act together once I was home from Alaska (September) and contact my dying friend? My ex texted me all the time as to her health - yet I think I was afraid to ask.

    The best I can come up with is that all of the above was way too much at the time. Many emotional things going on - simultaneously, and I am beating myself up? There is a TMS'er if I ever met one!

    I have decided to try my best to attend the memorial coming up in a few weeks. I even phoned my ex at 7:00 AM this morning to ask if I can tag along with his wife and him. I need to be there. I want to help celebrate a life really short, but well lived. I think I may need this more for me, than for her. I need and want to hug her brother. I've known him so long yet have I written a word to him? There I go again!

    It's tough being psychic too. But that's for another time. Today my main focus is to forgive myself. I am one person, who had many many things going on while this was too.

    I shall stop hating myself now and be grateful I knew this wonderful, loving woman.

    veronica73 likes this.
  15. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Yes! Be kind to yourself. You didn't do anything wrong. You did the best you could with what you had going on at the time.
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  16. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    It all kind of bubbled up this morning. All this loss! I hadn't even considered this in my jounraling, but then again, I didn't see any correlation since I've HAD this pain for many years.

    But what it did show me was that I've got this negative self-talk/expectations going on constantly. A clue! So yes, after a few phone calls and a drive, I realize I am being a little hard on myself. Plus I know my friend in spirit would forgive me.


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