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

My biggest criticism (Day 9)

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Justina, May 21, 2012.

  1. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    I've been avoiding this question for days because this one really, really hurts. That's why I'm posting my answer, I don't want to hold on to it any more.

    I've come to realise over the last few days (and sleepless nights) that a lot of what I repress is fear. Fear of the future, fear of other people and fear that people will discover what a horrible person I am.

    My biggest self-criticism revolves around money. My family wasn't poor, but were very tight when it came to money. Everything revolved around how much it would cost and how it could be made cheaper. I've developed that habit myself and I despise it. I'm constantly bouncing between berating myself for wasting money on frivolities like dinners with friends (it's cheaper to eat in...), books (you can get Kindle freebies! Sure, they're terrible...) and heating (it's only -4C, put another jumper on!) and loathing myself for being such a cheap, pathetic looser who spends her time obsessing over one of the most boring and selfish things on the planet.

    You want to know the saddest thing? I think I've worked out what it was that finally pushed me to seek help, the stress that gave me such bad neurological symptoms I thought I'd never recover. It all started right after I booked a trip to Japan for myself. ... *sigh*

    I have tried to shed this habit and I've had some success in writing things down so I stop obsessing over them. So here it is.
    quasar731 likes this.
  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Justina,
    Wow, that sounds like a big breakthrough!
    Hope you feel a little better now that you've written about it here.
    ~ Veronica
  3. chumba

    chumba Peer Supporter

    Hi Justina, that's a pretty courageous insight and what's scary for me is that I can relate to it. Do you think the attitude to money is a learned behavior or driven by an underlying fear?
  4. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Good question! We have money issues right now. They are fairly intense, and the projects we have going are up to me. My husband is ailing and not what he used to be in terms of understanding where we are. It IS scary if one has no money.

    But, if one DOES have money, enough to be comfortable, then it is a silly worry. And worry drives a lot of us, and then TMS won't go away. I know this from personal experience. I do the worrying, watch myself do it, and try and stop it. But I find myself worrying again a few hours later. It's a real tough nut to crack. But an important one for me.

    Last night my husband was "sad" and worrying about our financial situation. I reminded him (and me) that there is SO much more to life than money. There is the simple joys of morning coffee. There is food for dinner. There are two cats to entertain and love us. We love each other. The rains have briefly set in, but being outdoors and hearing the rain on the trees brings my whole level of anxiety down. I would go to the beach.....but did I mention it's raining?

    I grew up next door to some kids who were raised like you were Justina. They were constantly "impressed" by who drove what car, who had what house and what they put in it, who had the nicest clothes etc. It meant nothing to my brother and me in that we were raised to simply enjoy what we had. It was the divorce of my parents that sent me into early adulthood (age 10) that got my anxiety going. I've never worried about money until recently. It's not in my nature. But I have found plenty of other things over the years to worry about up until now.

    Justina: I felt like you "a loser" when I finally opened up to a group of wonderful friends. They are all weathering this economy well. And they were so kind to me! The suggestions were great. No one put me down for where I am. I felt so much better after confiding in them. And I know it won't go any further.

    Financial issues seem to be drilled into us, one way or another, from the time we are small. So it's a hard habit to break which ever category you land in. But Justina, your trip sounds very exciting. I hope you enjoy every second of it and focus on a new country, new food, new smells, new ways of doing things - and NOT the fact you are on the trip. You deserve it. So go for it.

  5. Justina

    Justina Peer Supporter

    Thanks for all your comments. I've been thinking about it all for a few days.

    chumba, you made an excellent point. A lot of my obsessing over money would be tied to my sense of independence. I'm fiercly independent, hate asking people for help and pride myself on my self-sufficiency. Money is closely tied into that.

    BG, I know exactly how you feel, I do precisely the same thing! I just watch myself worry and then worry that I'm worrying so much... I'm gonna try and focus on the simple pleasures, like you suggested, and not on the financial drama. :)
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I know that the other posts in this thread revolve around financial concerns but this line really stood out to me as the reason so many of us have TMS in the first place...our fear that people will discover what horrible people we are. But this is just because we have yet to accept our emotions and anger.

    You have TMS because you feel that having the emotions of anger or rage make you a bad person, so you repress these emotions and push them deep down into your unconscious. But these emotions are perfectly normal and you are not a bad person for feeling angry at your boss when they treat your badly.

    You can call this your inner bully or whatever you like, but the key is to realize what these self-criticisms are and stand up to them. This is why I really like this question. It is all about setting the stage to stand up to your inner bully. Behind every self criticism is an emotion that you are trying to repress or something about yourself that you do not fully accept. If you understand where these emotions or thoughts are coming from you can begin to recover.

    This is, in my opinion, where our childhood comes into play. If you can understand what aspects of your childhood created your inner bully, you can begin to gain the strength to stand up to it. By the way, there is a great post about doing this in the thread entitled, Clicking.

    By standing up to your inner bully, you will begin to understand that you are not a horrible person and you will begin to accept your emotions.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

Share This Page