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Day 3 My mind really hates me.

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by susang, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. susang

    susang New Member

    Wow. Yesterday and today I had so many moments of insight. I cannot believe how my mind is usually trying to kill me--and I'm only sort of joking. I cannot believe how aware I have become of how much I beat myself up. No wonder I have TMS. Who the hell can live with that much pressure and anguish?

    And when it comes to my kids and my marriage, that's where it really kicks up. I literally can't do anything right or good. I've gone through periods of time where I just cry myself to sleep every night. Somehow being a perfect Mom would keep them safe. I think it was me I was trying to save though.

    I also have Radical Self Acceptance on tape and listened to it while walking today. I've listened to it before, but I heard so much more today.

    My back went out on Mother's Day. I've been thinking about this a lot. My own mother left when I was seven, but she was pretty removed and distant to me for a long time before that. And she didn't know I was being molested either, which had happened since I was an infant. I realized today that I really believed that one day she would come back to me. And when I needed her the most, she left again, by becoming incapacitated by back pain herself for two years. During that time my own kids turned the ages I was when she left. So I had been having huge historical reactions too. And my marriage was hitting the rocks. I had tried to be the perfect wife for so long, I was so so so angry at how checked out my husband had become. In essence I have literally been trying my whole life to heal my mom and teach her how to love me....and I've picked people who I try to do that to as well, in all my major relationships. When my back went out on Mother's Day, I walked into the house and laid down on the couch. I thought, well I guess I'm not weeding today. So I called her to wish her Happy Mother's Day....and she was lying in the exact same position with the exact same pain radiating down her right hip to her foot. By that evening I was in so much pain I went to the ER.

    Because my back hurt, I had to ask for more help from my family around the house, and that led to months of just being furious all the time at how clueless my husband was to what I was feeling or what I needed. He only responded to my rages. Which were getting more and more frequent. Followed by guilt and despair as nothing changed and I saw how it affected my kids.

    When my mother left, my Dad quickly remarried after a series of housekeepers. My stepmother was a monster who seduced him by portraying herself as a kind child expert. She beat us and terrorized us and kept our family in a continual obsession with housework and yardwork. So as I was working myself ragged trying to be the perfect Mom, wife, and keep the house and yard AND run my business, the perfect storm was brewing for horrible back pain.

    I was able to admit to my husband this weekend that I hate chores around the house with a white hot passion, and I hated feeling bound to them for my self esteem. I was also enraged because I never really had a childhood, because of chores and living in an abusive household.

    That was a bit more than I was planning to write.

    Today's question to ponder is about physical activity. I have continued to do bikram yoga since my "injury" in the spring. But since learning about TMS I have made myself do a bunch of stuff I had slowly backed off of: wearing heels, going on long walks, cleaning house, and of course, the dreaded gardening, which is what I thought caused the injury in the first place. The thing is, I am not gardening like a mad woman anymore. I do a little bit, calmly. We have a big garden and the recovery for me is asking for help, not taking it all on and getting resentful. Yoga probably helps because it's hot in there but it's also where I do a lot of meditation, plus I just love it.
    yb44 likes this.
  2. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    I can relate to several things you mentioned. It's funny how the things we say manifest themselves in our lives, isn't it? For years, I have said that I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders with all of the family stress (especially my family of origin). It's no wonder that TMS for me is chronic headaches, jaw, neck, shoulder, and arm pain...in addition to anxiety. And I, too, try so hard to be the perfect mom for my daughters. When I have the realization that I am NOT nor have I EVER been that perfect mom...or even a good enough mom...it rocks me to my core. I am my own worst critic.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    We all have this voice in our head that beats us up. This is something that Alan Gordon called our internal bully in the first webinar. Part of recovering from TMS invovles recognizing how our past developed this internal bully, which it sounds like you are doing. So much of this also invovles our perfectionsist and goodist personalities.

    All too often we ignore our own needs and push through to live up to our image of the perfect whatever. The thing to realize though though is that when we do this, we are enraging our primitive mind: the id. Simply recognizing that we have these deep emotions is often enough to have our symptoms fade away.

    Being active also really helps in terms of recovering. It play a huge role in reconditioning your brain from believing you are fragile to believing you are strong and capable. It is great to see that you are doing the activities that you once avoided due to your symptoms. I would also recommend looking to do things that are enjoyable to you. If you enjoy gardening, then go ahead and do it. But if you also enjoy doing something else, find a way to incorporate it into your treatment.

    This is really what the Self-Care days in the program are all about: Doing something for you, that you enjoy. So many TMSers put other people's needs above their own. Part of the TMS personality is being a care taker. Most of us have a list of people that we take care of ranging from our family, friends, and sometimes coworkers. Recovering from TMS invovles putting ourselve on our list of people we take care of. This invovles asking yourself what you need to get better, and putting those needs front and center.
    susang, Susan and yb44 like this.
  4. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    What Forest said in his last two sentences. Great words!

    {{{{susang}}}} If you don't have the ability to hug yourself just yet, I will.

    I am wondering after you had written all of the above, all so eloquently I might add, how did you feel?

    What do you guys think is a good-enough mother?
  5. susang

    susang New Member

    Hi all: just first of all, thank you so incredibly much for the feedback. I've been away on a business trip and today am feeling myself again, with all the work and jet lag it takes a couple days.

    While I was gone, some interesting things happened. We have set some new boundaries with our next-door neighbors. Their son is not only a bully, but is starting to show signs of serious sociopathology and in May we told his mother, a friend of ours for almost ten years, that our children could not play with him anymore. He went away to his father's for the summer, and when he came back they all felt an apology was sufficient to resume playing together. Well, by then I had started investigating body-mind connections to my back issues and I knew intuitively that part of why my back pain started was his soft suicide attempts that had the whole family in incredible distress. It's also worth noting that his mother is an alcoholic who has bullied me quite a bit over the years too. So setting serious boundaries meant restructuring everything. And letting myself feel angry, afraid, and hurt. They launched another attack over the weekend, I received an ugly email from my former friend and my ankle immediately swelled up, the numbness and pain started up too. I started talking immediately to my brain and told it, "Listen. I know you're tr
  6. susang

    susang New Member


    trying to help me but I need oxygen in those areas. NOW."

    After taking a long walk with a good friend and venting to many good friends I simply restated the boundary and refused to engage. And the pain went away.

    Then on the heels of that my mother accused me of being self-centered and I hung up on her. MY FOOT NUMBNESS WENT COMPLETELY AWAY.

    That let me know I was on to something. Today in yoga I saw so much of the "conditioning" Dr Sarno talks about...before during and after. I actually made it much harder because of the thoughts I believed about flexibility, etc.

    So tonight I will journal a big fat letter to my Mom that I will not send. I've asked her for space. It's amazing--the neighbor, HER mother, and my own all accused me of being selfish and unforgiving within three days of each other. This is my greatest fear, of being selfish. I've been accused of it all throughout my childhood. Today, I'm wearing it. Yes. I am selfish. I need to be if I am to stop forming relationships with toxic people who are dangerous, mentally ill, and suck the life out of me. I'm very self-centered too. I have two school age children a business and a husband who commutes I'm an emotionally sensitive and loving person and my job today is to protect myself.


    And by the way, excellent question. What is a good enough mother? I'll meditate on that.
  7. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Being centered in ourselves seems like it should be a compliment :)
  8. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    Wow! Susan, I need to write a big fat letter that I don't send to my mom, too! So funny how you mentioned that you have asked your mom for space. I NEED to ask my mom for space, but haven't done so. I am certain that a lot of my pain is related to her. Hmmm....I need to think about this some more...

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