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My TMS Recovery Journey - Accountability Post

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Rainbowdash, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I went for a long walk around the lake (on campus) today during my lunch time. I tried very hard to be mindful, but my mind keeps racing. I focused on what I was feeling and I felt anxiety and fear. Fear of rape. Fear of unknown area in the woods. Anxiety that I’m going in unknown area. I felt it in my head and chest. I tried breathing and slowed down my pace. Didn’t help. I tried relaxation techniques to my scalp but my scalp felt tight. It relaxed once I came back to known territory (paved path).

    I also checked my pain several times. There were a few twinges of pain every so often, but the pain kept jumping over different areas.

    I was also quite anxious about what I’d tell people when I returned. I felt anxious about time. Would people question me why I went out for so long? How long do I have to stay today, now that I went for a long walk? Can I still leave at 4 or do I have to stay until 5? Most of the time I felt going back to what will people think and what should I say when I return.

    I also noticed something and immediately felt the need to tell my parents about it. Several times. Then I anticipate their answer and check if they would approve what I did. I also felt several times daddy’s words that he would not approve of me going into the woods by myself. Finally, as I approached my building, I told myself “I’m an adult. I’m safe. I’m healthy”.

    I came in. It was hot and I took off my jacket and cardigan. My bra straps were showing and I felt a strong disapproval (sensing my dad's disapproval) that I shouldn't wear sleeveless clothes looking like this. I felt glad my husband (who never disapproves me of anything ever and who used to work in this office before) wasn’t here to disapprove of me.
  2. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    What a brave thing you did, both the walk and the soul searching. I wish someone could tell us where the ever present thoughts about disapproval come from. Even though I can rationally understand I that there is no one disapproving, I still feel it much of the time. Congratulations on your walk.
    Rainbowdash likes this.
  3. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I had a few mins before I had to pick my kid up and I sat in the car and tried to feel what I was repressing. I felt a tightness in the chest, throat, ears and head, but I couldn't name the feeling I was feeling. So, after a few mins, I left it at that and went to pick up my kid. I had to bend slightly to sign the sign-out sheet and I could hear a snap in my back and the pain returned 1000 fold. I had successfully managed backpain before, and this felt like the pain I felt on day 1. I was reeling and could barely stand. However, I told myself its just TMS and carried on with the rest of the day.

    I had a dinner planned with a friend, and I did not cancel it. In spite of the severe pain, I went. We spoke about a lot of things and I talked about my TMS work. It was good. I came home, asked my husband to massage my back and slept, telling myself that I'm healthy and this is just TMS. Nothing to worry.

    I woke up in a state today. I continued to try and feel, and suddenly, as I was brushing I broke down crying. I started feeling something. I couldn't stop crying and I kept saying "I'm sorry" to myself. After a few mins, I pulled myself together and went about my morning. Then suddenly I burst into tears, hugged my husband and just cried and cried and cried. I felt sad for myself. I kept saying "Poor Rainbow".

    If my brain has to create so much pain just for trying to feel something, then that feeling must be so overwhelming. I felt sad for myself as a person who had to undergo whatever to have such immense sadness in her heart. I felt sad for whatever I had to undergo to hide so much sadness in my heart. I just feel so sad and sorry for myself. My pain relaxed by 5% and I went about my day and went to work, but I still feel sad for the girl who has so much sadness in her heart.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Rainbowdash,

    I appreciate your experience, and the way you share it. Deep sadness takes bravery to explore, in my experience. And in this exploration their might arise a profound love and care. It seems you are finding this kind of caring and attention for yourself. If we attack ourselves for sadness, or deny it, we are only creating more inner conflict and fuel for TMS (a more hurt and unseen, reactive Inner Child). Feeling sadness for our sadness is a form of love and care, in my opinion. I hope this is your experience too.

    Andy B
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  5. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    Hi Andy,

    This is exactly how I feel. I need to love and care for this person who has so much sadness in her heart. It is easy to rationalise away life experiences and say "starving kids in Africa have it worse, so suck it up". But when u acknowledge that no matter what the reason, if there is sadness, that means that person had suffering... then it becomes a lot easier to accept it and show love and compassion.

    I'm still not able to feel the actual sadness. I felt sad for this person who had sadness in her heart as if it happened to a third person, not me. I'm telling myself that I'm an adult and I'm safe to feel whatever it is. Waiting for time to heal and trust to build. Isn't it sad that I don't trust myself enough to come out with it.
  6. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    In spite of the pain, I went for another walk. I'm doing gentle stretching, exercise bike for 15 mins and telling my poor back and brain that I love them for trying so hard to protect me. I tell them I'm an adult now, I'm safe and they don't need to protect me like this anymore. I can handle feelings. Pain is an inconvenience. Feelings, I can deal with.
  7. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I'm going to continue to post my updates on this thread for accountability and for me to go back and refer to my TMS recovery journey.

    Day 8:
    So far, I have understood the difference between thinking the feelings and feeling the feelings. I'm still very much thinking and working on dropping into the feeling space. I have had a significant flareup on Day 6, but I'm managing it without fear. Co-incidentally, I started this program for my hip and foot pain (having resolved back pain years ago). I had a flare up of the back pain and immediately my foot pain disappeared. The back pain flared up after physio therapy almost sorted the hip pain and when I began to make myself feel the feelings.
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    To me, this is a profound and tender relationship you are building, with yourself. Patience is a great expression of love too.
    Laudisco and Rainbowdash like this.
  9. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I see that when I interact with my 5yo. I used to lose my temper often with her and yell and scold and she felt unloved. I read the book "Unconditional Parenting" recently and I can see how losing patience can be seen as withdrawal of love from a child's perspective. I'm more patient with her and my inner child now. I don't think I have ever loved myself unconditionally until now. It is amazing how much one can heal when they are handled with patience and compassion.
  10. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Love wants to be free to be itself, to connect us, inside and out. When we see where it is blocked, love's natural action begins to free itself. Love loves loving... Thank you for your posts, Rainbowdash. I feel the naturalness, ease, and power of love reading your posts.
  11. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    I am on Day 17 and one thing the lesson told me to do today was talk to that child within and say, "I know you don't believe it yet, but it's really OK ". Suddenly, out of nowhere I felt this incredible sadness. I have no idea why, but I just let myself have a good cry. Every time I said that to myself, I felt the sadness well up inside and I just kept comforting that scared little girl. The one thing I can't figure out is at what point does one move beyond that? I could do that all day every day for the next 10 years and I think that little girl would still feel sad. Still trying to figure out what to do with the emotions like that.
    Rainbowdash likes this.
  12. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    What I noticed is that if I rationalise or justify or think while feeling the emotion, the feeling disappears and only thinking remains. If I simply feel it and have a good cry, I can imagine that situation again and again and I will be ok. It has something to do with switching off the brain and just feeling it. Sometimes when I'm feeling crying hard, I can sense my mind thinking... "this doesn't make any sense, I'm not feeling anything, why am I crying so badly". It is strange, but I have associated feeling with my "brain" for so long, that actual feeling with body feels weird.
    jml19 likes this.
  13. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Yep, yep, and yep. I know what you are saying, so the next time it happens, I'll try that. I didn't think I was analyzing the emotion, but I'm pretty sure now that I was. Big sigh! So so SO hard to turn off thoughts. That's one of the things I really appreciate about the breathing exercises. It was difficult to do at first (just focusing on the now), but I'm getting a lot better at just focusing on the breathing and nothing else. For those of us who think a million times a day, this is a big help.
    Rainbowdash likes this.
  14. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I'm on Day 12 today and what I noticed is that Dr. Sarno says therapy is not needed to cure TMS. The only thing we are doing in these exercises is finding these horrible feelings and feeling them. Most of the time, the feelings were horrible at the time, but now, with the new understanding of perfectionism, goodism etc, the feelings are mostly valid. They were apt reactions to the stresses of life at that time. Most people feel that way and cry and crib and blame others and then move on. We, on the other hand, beat ourselves up for feeling that way and that's where the problem lies.

    Beating ourselves up for feeling ==> repression of feelings ==> pain.

    I find telling myself, of course you felt that way. You had every right to feel that way. No need to beat yourself up for this, it was a bad situations, how else would you feel. That lets me have a good cry and the feeling subsides.

    Poor feelings, all they want is to be felt. I kind of feel sorry for them. Once you feel them, they go away.
    JBG1963 and jml19 like this.
  15. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    To me, this is a profound experience you're having. Sadness tends to feel bottomless, and intolerable. There is so much love inside our tears of sadness. Yes, it is bottomless, and it is also so tender, and intimate, so vulnerable.

    My tears and sadness often carry me all the way to love, in their tenderness.

    This, to me is a deep practice of self compassion.

    I don't think I'll ever get over the need to return very closely to my emotional experiences. As you say, all they want to do is be felt!
  16. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    For Day 15, I was asked to do a dialogue with someone or something that takes up a lot of my time. I hit a block and couldn't think of anything. I almost skipped the exercise yesterday. But today, I thought that the thing that takes up most of my time is my PAIN. So I started a dialogue. I didn't expect it go the way it did. But I feel that I should share this. The reason behind the pain is so profound. It is as if my mind really needs the pain as a shield. I've replaced the names with relationships in italics. This exercise was cathartic. I cried so much when I fought back and argued with the pain. I can finally tell myself that I don't need this pain to protect me. To me, that's a huge realisation.

    Pain: But with pain, you don’t have to do all the work in the house and you don’t have to look after your child anymore. You have an excuse to be miserable. No one will point a finger at you that you are not enough because you are in pain. No one can say you are a bad housekeeper, bad wife, bad mother. You are sick, so you are excused. Isn’t it better? There is no way you can stay on top of everything. Your mom will never agree that you are a good house keeper. They will always find faults in everything and you can never measure up. With pain, you have an excuse to be less than perfect. You can be imperfect because pain is there. I’m your only saviour. That’s why I’m not leaving you. Without me, you will be fed to the wolves. You will be naked in the rain and everyone can see how imperfect your are. How worthless you are. How much of a failure you are. Without me, how can you excuse that you were the class topper, but failed to have a good career and everyone else is a manager or something and you are still a measly developer. How can you justify all that without pain? I’m the reason you can show your face around. Without me, you will die of shame.

    Me: I know. I don’t have a career. I didn’t make a successful career path. But, now we know the reason, don’t we. We know that my parents didn’t guide me properly. All dad wanted was to marry me off and wash his hands off me. Mom actually told me that. So, its not my imagination. Moving to UK was out of fear of abandonment. Everything I have done in my life has been done out of fear. What else do you expect me to achieve anyway? At this point, I’m just glad that I’m not in a ditch somewhere like a drug addict. In spite of all the odds, all the fears and mistakes, I managed to create a decent life. I have husband and child. They love me. I’m enough for them. My friends see me as a super woman, a survivor. My friends see that I put so much effort into parenting child. Even my father in law commented that I do a good job. The truth is that I have a wounded heart. That’s where the pain is. Please leave my body. I’m trying my best and I’m good enough for husband and child. My life is good enough for me. Please leave my body and go.

    Pain: With out me, nothing is shielding your real wound. You are vulnerable. Everyone can see how broken you are. You can’t hide behind anything with out me.

    Me: I’m broken. I’m tired. I can’t put up this pretence anymore. I don’t want to hold it together anymore. My parents and brother suck. I had a bad life. I was bullied, sexually harassed and molested, completely isolated, dropped by all my friends, exposed to all the fears of uncertainty, deprived of any guidance, forced to join a cult and brainwashed and actively berated and insulted and forced to put up walls against my own husband and made to feel that I’m a bad mother. So, yeah! I’m vulnerable. I’m codependent. I seek approval from outside. I don’t have a sense of self. I have low self-esteem and I have lots of self-doubt. I’m a chameleon and I simply say whatever I need to say to fit in. I’m done hiding it. But, I’m also a survivor. In spite of going through all that, I’m still fighting to have a contented life. I’m not giving up on myself. So, yeah! I don’t need to pretend anymore. I’m a broken soul and I’m slowly piecing myself together. I need love and compassion right now, not pain and harshness. So, please leave and never come back. I don’t care if anyone sees through me. I can see my shame and I don’t mind others seeing my shame. It is not my shame. It was pushed onto me by the failings of my teacher and parents. It is their shame. So, please leave and never come back.
  17. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    @Rainbowdash Thank you for sharing your journal entry. I also dialogued with mu pain during that exercise. It was definitely a cathartic experience, as you said. As I read your entry, I hope you can see how far you've come. All these realizations are surely putting you on the right path to ending the pain. I feel such empowerment for you as I watch you call out the offenders one by one. I find that these days I do that in my head almost daily - it feels like I'm taking the power back that was taken away when I was so very young by parents who weren't demonstrative and a religious upbringing that instilled guilt. I've been in pain for so many years that I feel it may be a slow process. I did just get the Unlearn your pain book and have started working through that.

    I can tell you that I'm about 10 days ahead of you in the SEP and I continue to find the exercises useful. I hope you've congratulated yourself on this journal entry. Difficult, but good stuff.
  18. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Thank you for posting this!
  19. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I'm on Day 18 today and the program is getting more and more difficult for me. I was stuck on Day 17 for 3 days. I knew I had to write about my current stress and I knew what I wanted to write about, but the resistance was too much. It was as if my brain was telling me not to write it down at all. If I write it, it becomes real. Finally, I gathered up the courage to write about it yesterday.

    I notice that I'm able to write about my past easily and come to terms with it after a good cry. My past brings up sadness. My personality brings up anger, why I'm so messed up. My current stress makes me afraid. That's the key factor right there. I can do something about my past because I can tell myself I'm safe now and I'm an adult. But I can't do that with my current stress because it is happening now and I'm not safe from it.

    It was an interesting insight from yesterday. I have no idea how I will deal with it. For now, I'm acutely aware of how afraid I'm of everything. My mother always commented that I was a coward, a scaredy cat. I guess that's true. I'm afraid of being an adult. No point hiding it.
  20. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Rainbowdash...you are a brave woman. You are looking fear in the face and when you do just keep telling it what a liar it is. When we do that, it loses its power. Every single day, several times a day, I quote this Bible verse to myself and put it in the first person with God speaking to me personally: "I have not given you a spirit of fear, but I have given you a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind". This is truth. Another one is this: "You are fearfully and wonderfully made". When I say that, I am telling the bully inside that she is a liar and I am not a bad person or a weak person. I do not lack anything. I was raised Roman Catholic and grew up with a lot of guilt about everything and anything, no matter how small. My shortcomings were ever before me as I was told to go regularly to confession. I have often wondered...when a person goes to confession like that, how long does the forgiveness last....5 minutes, a day, a week? I think that a lot of my fear is rooted in guilt. The Bible teaches, however, that as a believer I am completely forgiven by God of all my misdeeds (past, present, and future) and that forgiveness is eternal. So when I mess up, I just thank God for His forgiveness. That said, I still have a difficult time forgiving myself! As if His forgiveness is not powerful enough. So another verse I tell myself these days is this: "Forgive as I have forgiven you." That's not just about forgiving others....that's about forgiving yourself. His forgiveness then becomes the standard, not my puny efforts at doing it. Still learning to believe what He says about me, but I think that the more we focus on the truth, the sooner we will be convinced of it.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
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