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Introduction and Question

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Coffeeplease, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Coffeeplease

    Coffeeplease Peer Supporter

    I'm writing this to help continue my healing process from TMS. I am in the midst of a flare of new pain which started in September of this year.

    It's difficult for me to share all of this, and I'll be honest, a part of me feels that there are so many others who are suffering far greater than I, so who am I to reach out and tell my story? I should be just sucking it up and dealing with it, but I know that is what got me here in the first place. I can't say how grateful I am to have found Steve O's book, and on my wish list is to read Sarno's books, Tolle, and Claire Weeks. This forum has opened so much for me.

    My father was physically and verbally abusive growing up. My mother, sister, and I all lived in fear. Mom and Dad were both alcoholics, starting off with being "fun" drunks, happy, having a great time...then morphing later in the evening to fighting. Usually Dad would beat the hell out of my mom first, then come after me with his belt, fist, wastepaper basket, open hand slaps, choking, kicking, it really just depended on what was close by. I don't think he remembered a lot of what happened because of the alcohol. My mother was very distant and self absorbed, no motherly love or comfort given to myself or my sister, ever. I was never allowed to cry out loud, because if I did he would come back and, "really give me something to cry about." Usually later, he would come to my room and apologize and then give me food as comfort. This started a very unhealthy relationship with food, where it became a coping mechanism for my sadness and pain.

    I remember sensing when things would get tense with my Dad, and I would try to diffuse him if possible. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't.

    Fast forward to my latest husband (3rd). As I examine my past, I realize that I've tried to mold myself into being the "perfect wife", becoming what I thought my spouse(s) needed to be happy, and avoiding fights/confrontation at all costs. What I really have always wanted and needed was the love and acceptance of my father. And to feel like there wasn't something fundamentally wrong and unlovable about me.

    My current husband and I are separated, he is a military veteran with severe PTSD. I thought I could fill the gap/void and make him feel safe, fix his trauma, by creating as perfect a home and life I could for both of us. What I didn't realize was that his issues were far deeper than I imagined, and while my gut always told me something was "off", I didn't listen. In September of this year, I left him and came back to my hometown. What prompted my departure was when I found out my husband had purchased a $1900 wedding ring for another woman in July. The next week we had put our beloved cat down. We also found out my husband's biological father (deceased) was a serial killer (no lie), and husband fired from his job and had to file for bankruptcy.

    I'm now living in a safe place with my best friends' parents and they are wonderful. About 3 weeks after I left, my Uncle died and not even 30 minutes later I get the call that my husband attempted suicide, and my brother in law going into hospice after battling 3 years of cancer. After my Uncle's funeral, I began to have severe lower back pain, swelling in my foot, and a rash burst out all over my back, torso, legs, feet, and arms. I go to the ER, diagnosed with sciatica and arthritis, placed on 40 mg of Prednisone for the rash (eczema, psoriasis?). Now prior to this I was walking 3 miles every day, virtually clear skin and very healthy. So I go ahead and take the Prednisone and both my legs swell with Edema. Back to ER because I could barely walk...all blood tests normal, no arthritis, diagnosed with psoriasis, possible psoriatic arthritis.

    All this time I had been unemployed and searching for a job. Husband recovers from suicide attempt but I had no money, and only the belongings I could put in my car when I left that day.

    I now have a great job, and I found Steve O's book. I interviewed for this job prior to the ER visit, and thankfully my boss was very understanding of me hobbling around the office with a cane/walker. I'm slowly healing and now walking without any assistance, however my leg muscles remain a bit frozen, and it's difficult to bend my knees. The skin rash is about the same. I've been journaling, using affirmations, being patient. I totally accept my TMS. I've journaled a lot of rage towards my husband, my mother, my dad....and at times I feel so sad and alone. I allow those feelings to come and sit with them for a bit. I'm doing better at allowing myself to feel and then let it go.

    The last two nights I've had dreams about my husband, and it makes me feel sad and nostalgic. I can't go back to him, I know that. But I miss my "home" that I created, and the good memories we shared. In a way he was my best friend, but also isolated me. Our marriage was one of tremendous highs and horrible lows. I realize now it was not a good match with two people who have a ton of emotional issues and trauma. I guess I just need reassurance that the dreams are my unconscious bringing these emotions to the surface for me to process them? I probably answered my own question...ha ha. After struggling with so many sleepless pain filled nights, it's frustrating to have emotional dreams when I am now finally beginning to rest more.

    Thank you for listening :)
    Upgrayedd likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Holy crap, girl - are you kidding me???? LOL - you should read my (now very old) profile story - it reads like a bedtime story compared to yours. And you know, sometimes I will assert that my symptoms are pretty mild compared to others - but at the same time, I have never once questioned my "right", as it were, to be here, to share, and to find my own path to recovery. That's probably a function of my fairly functional childhood. You did not have anything like a functional childhood, which explains why you feel like you have to say that you aren't entitled to the benefits of this community. And I want you to stop that shit right now.

    All humans, without exception, have repressed crap from childhood. Sadly, those who suffered from the abuse and neglect of their parents, whether physical or emotional or both (you obviously had all of the above) are clearly going to suffer, as adults, much more from the physical results of that abuse, due to the severe emotional repression you had to learn in order to survive. It breaks my heart to read stories like yours, because every child who is brought into this world has the RIGHT to expect that they will be protected and cherished by the adults who made the decision to bear them.

    But you have also reached the correct conclusion :^) Stick with this part, reject the first part, okay?

    I think you're right about this. It totally makes sense. The bad news is that this kind of thing will keep happening. But in a way, that's the good news. As you get used to the symptom imperative, you'll become more adept at recognizing it, and at talking back to your brain. Self-talk, self-soothing, self-nurturing (giving to yourself what you should have received from your mother) and above all, self-love and acceptance.

    BTW, I would make Hope and Help For Your Nerves (Claire Weekes) your next read. That book was the second one that saved me, after The Divided Mind. It's short, and it's sweet, and it's caring, and I found it pretty easy to incorporate her advice into my recovery

    Good luck, - and BTW, Welcome to the forum! If you have a chance, check out the Saturday chat! Tomorrow at 3pm Eastern (just click on the red flag on the menu bar)

    nightfury and Coffeeplease like this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Coffeeplease,

    Like Jan, I welcome you to the Forum. Your self-awareness will take you far. You are putting together your history and more recent events with your symptoms. I recommend the free programs in the Wiki.

    The journey with TMS healing often entails an inner healing and understanding ---compassion, for our experiences, our difficulties in life, and in the present moment. This call to find our hurt parts and be with them is a deep and loving process. Your dreams about your husband, if these were my dreams, would point to a longed-for, loving place inside my life, my experience. I think your healing has begun.

    Andy B
    Coffeeplease likes this.
  4. Coffeeplease

    Coffeeplease Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much Jan and tears streaming down my face for your support and words. I will definitely check into the book you recommended by Claire. It was really scary for me to write all that out, but it is also very healing to do so. It makes me understand and accept how much I have been through and all the emotions I've repressed over the years. And I'm realizing how empowering it is to know that I have the ability to heal myself, the right way this time. I used to think that burying emotions made me strong, and I was wrong about that. I do deserve love and happiness...from myself.

    Thank you again and I feel so grateful to have found this forum. Bless you....
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. Coffeeplease

    Coffeeplease Peer Supporter

    Thank you Andy, and I agree about the dreams. There are so many mixed emotions that go along with him, missing my home, the good times we had, but also anger and frustration...at him, even at myself because in a way I allowed it to happen. It always takes two, and I won't beat myself up for the mistakes I made, I'll look at it as being enlightened to how I've dealt with things in the past, and I have the choice to do things differently in the future.

    Thank you for the welcome and insight, very much appreciated :) )
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. Mitch

    Mitch Peer Supporter

    Welcome to the group.
    Wow! What a life uve had. I wish you the best. And being kinda new to the group myself. I can tell you from Experience that journaling and thinking about everything that has been causing your symptoms will bring up strong emotions which may cause sleepless nights and mayby more anxiety. But the good news as you become more knowledgeable about tms and it’s inner workings you’ll feel better soon.
    Sending you my best wishes.
    JanAtheCPA and Coffeeplease like this.
  7. Coffeeplease

    Coffeeplease Peer Supporter

    Thank you Mitch, and welcome! Things keep progressing slowly, but in the right direction. I'm breathing through panic attacks much better now, and they leave rather quickly. For me, continued acceptance of the pain/anxiety is resulting in more good days than bad, and I have much hope. Last week was pretty emotional, my brother in law passed away from cancer after battling for 3 years. He was so kind and was my "brother". I cried a lot, normally those are emotions I would hide from others but as I learn more about TMS, it's more difficult to bury my emotions like I used to. I consider that a good thing, there is nothing to be ashamed of in expressing emotions, it doesn't make me weak or not in control of my life.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes. I am sorry about your brother, and I am glad you're letting yourself just be you: a tender, loving human being.

    We've been given no instructions,

    only our hungers and our fears

    and this tenderness we share. Elias Amidon
    readytoheal and Coffeeplease like this.
  9. Coffeeplease

    Coffeeplease Peer Supporter

    Thank you Andy, love this quote....your support and wisdom for myself and everyone else on this board is such a gift.
    readytoheal likes this.

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