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Newbie Here

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Streamflash, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Streamflash

    Streamflash New Member

    Hello everyone, I’m relatively new to TMS and I’m looking for a bit of insight and support. And first off, I'm so sorry for how long this is. I wasn't sure how much info to give...

    My name is Jewell, and to start things off, I’ve already experienced some success with TMS! I had terrible nerve pain in my hands – burning pain that came back negative for CTS but that wouldn’t go away. After discovering TMS, I realized that I meet the personality types to a T and, honestly? I was desperate for an explanation. So I started to use the skills in TMS and now when my hands start to burn, I immediately stop and start to reflect, try to find the buried feelings, and often times it gets better.

    My story is… complicated. When I was very young I had a ‘mystery illness’. It would hit every few months, last for a month, and then vanish. I went through test after test, was misdiagnosed multiple times, told I was crazy (I had awful doctors) and generally told time and time again that it was all in my head. I developed severe anxiety, depression, and PTSD over this illness. Because it would always come. It would give me warning signs and no matter how hard I tried to fight it, it would flare and I’d be taken over and I’d suffer for a month or more, and no doctors believed me. This lasted for 18 years.

    I was almost killed with a misdiagnosis, which gave me a severe mistrust and fear of doctors. And I overheard a doctor when I was 12 tell her colleague “she won’t live to see 25”. So from the age of 12-25 I was preparing to die. I fully believed I’d die. I didn’t tell anyone. And that was my life. I’ve experienced death after death in the family, and I was brought up in a very religious household that was crippling and co-dependent. Despite this, I love my parents more than anything. They’ve since realized how toxic the behavior was and they’ve escaped that mindset.

    When I was 18, I grew out of the illness – which now has been found out to be a very rare strain of basilar artery migraine caused by a fall I took wherein my neck was permanently kinked. But all of this left its toll on me. I had crippling anxiety but didn’t tell anyone because I figured everyone lived like that. I had PTSD but didn’t know. I felt like it was my job to keep my family together. I raised my little sister when my mom was too busy with God. I didn’t know I was hurting myself.

    Well… 3 years ago, after working a job that I loathed (they had me doing the work of 3 people in a part time basis) I left my work and slipped on a patch of black ice, dislocating my knee. Long story short, it required surgery and I needed to go on disability. I had my first surgery. It didn’t help. I was in a wheelchair for 8 months and eventually on crutches for 2 years.

    And then my sister died. My little sister, whom I was in a fight with, who had moved across the country and gotten into a car wreck and died instantly. My world shattered. I shut down. My PTSD finally reared enough for me to see it.

    I had my second surgery a few months later and it didn’t help, but I was found to have stage 3 arthritis under my kneecap. Still, the pain level shouldn’t have been that high, and on top of that, I was having severe hand and arm pain, to the point that I lost the ability to type. I was in daily pain, frustrated, and while I finally started going to therapy, my insurance company was hounding me for results.

    Eventually I was given Long Term Disability. My psychologist has been a god send. I adore her, and she’s helped me find so many problems. But the pain hadn’t left. She diagnosed me with severe PTSD, GAD, MDD, Panic Disorder, and Phobias. A lot of my panic revolves around my health. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia not too long after.

    Well… I found TMS not long after that and, using the methods, I’ve been able to regulate some of my hand pain. My problem is my arms. I’ve been finding trigger points all over my shoulderblades. I’ve had a deep, aching pain in the back of my right forearm for over 5 years that has been treated again and again as tennis elbow even though it isn’t. I’m 95% sure it’s TMS. It isn’t there constantly. Only when I type or use a mouse, or when I get anxious.

    I was an artist before this. I was a writer before this. I KNOW TMS would attack my hands and my arms like this. When I switch hands to use my mouse, my other arm gets the same pain within a day or so.

    I’m aware that the answer is likely TMS, and I’m not sure what I’m asking for except for maybe an agreement that this is TMS, and reassurance that this can get better with work. My setback is my PTSD. I never notice when I’m feeling negative emotions lately. I don’t feel emotions the way I did before. I’ve been anxious for so long in my life that I don’t notice when that anxiety spikes. My hands hurt and THEN I notice.

    I guess I’m asking for some well wishes, or some support. You’re all so kind. You’ve changed my life by giving me a possibility, and for being so supportive of each other. I was holding back posting here because I didn’t think I could type this much. My fingers are going numb and heavy now, but I know it’s just TMS. Unfortunately I’m not sure how to use that knowledge. I’ve been working through the pain for months now (I was using dictation software for a year and then just started typing again) and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. But then… I haven’t been working at TMS more than on the surface because I’m not sure how to start. The whole journey seems so daunting.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  2. Toby2015

    Toby2015 Peer Supporter

    Hi streamflash
    I am sorry to hear your story and about your sister. You've been through some tough times and your body has tried to find its own way to help you, even though it doesnt seem it. It's great that you already believe that TMS is the culprit. Now it's time to work on getting rid of it completely.
    I am fairly new to TMS but I've been doing the SEP program and it's helping a lot. Yes it's hard at times, especially bringing up past traumas during journaling but I assure it's worth it.
    I am also reading Dr Sarno's divided mind, this is having some benefit too.
    You sound like a determinded and strong person, so now it time to concentrate those strengths on getting yourself well.
    Good luck x
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Streamflash,
    Thanks for sharing your story, and Welcome to the Forum!!

    I wish you well and send my support.

    Your long time illness sounds absolutely dreadful. As in Dread. You've had many years of fear related to first this illness, and then with more pain in body parts as you describe. Probably deep in this work, you will build a stronger relationship with fear itself.

    Here is my favorite post on fear, which you may enjoy. The gist of this is that there is no cure, but there is learning a more skilled engagement with fear, and it's a learning experience for everyone. And it is different for everyone.


    You should probably do the Alan Gordon's Recovery Program at the Wiki, and the SEP. Both parts have demonstrated time and time again to be a great support for sufferers.

    As Toby says, you're a strong and determined person. You'll learn a lot in the programs above. If you don't get significant improvement by the time you finish, you might try a TMS therapist, even long distance. Each person finds some things that really work for them personally. I wish you the best success as you deepen your understanding.


    Andy B
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Streamflash. Toby and Andy gave you very good replies and I echo them. The Structured Educational Program is terrific and has helped me and many others to heal. I got rid of severe back pain by journaling about repressed childhood emotions.

    Here are two quotes from Oprah W infrey that could help you. Like her or not, she says some smart things sometimes:

    “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

    “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power.”
    Streamflash likes this.
  5. Streamflash

    Streamflash New Member

    Thank you very much, all of you, and anyone who has read my post and even thought of me. It's warming to know that there are people willing to help a complete stranger, and I can't thank you all enough. Fear is definitely the deciding factor in my life, and while I'm seeing a psychologist and have been for a year, I have a ways to go yet. But I've been through the medical tests, neurologists and all, and nothing comes back. And considering I volunteer at an animal shelter on a regular basis and rarely have pain there unless I'm suddenly stressed, I logically know it's TMS. Sadly 'logic' plays little part when fear rises. But I will definitely try to start the SEP and I'll purchase Dr. Sarno's book. I've been meaning to anyway, and this is a perfect time.

    Again, thank you all for being so kind, and if I have any questions, I'll definitely voice them. Having support is so important.
  6. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Streamflash,

    Welcome to this site. You've been through so much sadness, and are showing great courage in working to reclaim your life.

    One thing you said stands out for me -- "I raised my little sister when my mom was too busy with God." How terribly unfair! You didn't get the attention you needed, and even worse, you had to do your mother's job of raising your sister.

    My family was a little like that -- not with religion, but there was always something more important than giving me the attention that I needed. I always felt that I was left alone to raise myself without meaningful adult help. That creates a lot of rage in a little child, rage that cannot safely be expressed in the family. That's a perfect recipe for TMS.

    I suffered from TMS for many years, but I've gotten better (well, 90 percent better, and I'm working on the last 10 percent). So can you. You're on the right track now. It may take you a while to find the path that works for you. But you will be an artist again, and a writer again, or whatever else you want to be.

    Let us know how you are doing.

    Streamflash likes this.
  7. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Streamflash welcome to this wonderful supportive community. You have already been given great advise on how to use this Forum...there is no one way. Be easy on yourself as you find your way.
    Something interesting caught my attention in your last response....you volunteer at an animal shelter and usually don't feel pain...animals love unconditionally, isn't that such a wonderful feeling? in reading your story I'm not sure you believe as a little girl you had that unconditional love...but you do when you volunteer.
    Do you have a pet of your own? If not is it possible to adopt one of these shelter animals? Perhaps even foster? Having and giving unconditional love on a full time basis may be very healing for you...

    Wishing you well
    Warmly, Susan
    Streamflash likes this.
  8. Streamflash

    Streamflash New Member

    Thank you so much for your responses! It's honestly blowing me away how supportive the community is, and I regret being too shy to come forward sooner.

    David - I know it may sound obvious, but I honestly never connected anger towards my mother. I knew I was livid at her for most of my childhood. I thankfully have a very supportive father but he was very quiet and scared of conflict. But I was very controlled by my mother. She would screen what was and wasn't allowed in the house (ex: anything with magic origins, so the Harry Potter books were banned, as were many TV shows, etc.) and so I wound up sneaking around. It was anxiety driven, and I definitely resented her. A few years ago she got treatment for Co-Dependency and she wrote a huge letter to me, apologizing for what she'd done. I forgave her, of course. But I completely forgot that my anger towards her is still valid. I definitely still feel it when I search, and I wasn't really consciously aware of it until reading what you pointed out. Thank you!

    Susan - Being around the animals at the shelter is one of the best feelings in the world, for me. I do have animals at home! 3 cats, whom I love dearly. They always know when I'm not feeling my best, and they've brought me out of depressive spirals and panic attacks and PTSD attacks before. I don't know what I'd do without them. But being at the shelter, surrounded by the unconditional love and being needed is a wonderful feeling. If I could make my life's work exactly what I'm doing now, I would.

    I know I keep saying it, but thank you all for being so kind, and for being so helpful. I find I miss things when I'm trying to discover what I'm repressing because I've been living it for so long, so your insight and your experiences are so valuable to me. Thank you.

    - Jewell
    David88 likes this.
  9. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Jewell here is an article that was posted by @mike2014 that you may find helpful regarding your parents. I also have used letter writing which I will post hoiw to do next. BTW I have one cat now her step sister passed 1 1/2 years ago and I still miss her everyday.

    Here's a great article article I had book marked from Oprahs site, which I hope you can gain some insight from.

    Forgiving our parents is a core task of adulthood, and one of the most crucial kinds of forgiveness. We see our parents in our mates, in our friends, in our bosses, even in our children. When we've felt rejected by a parent and have remained in that state, we will inevitably feel rejected by these important others as well.

    But letting our parents off the hook, psychologist Robert Karen says, is the first step toward happiness, self-acceptance and maturity. Here are some thoughts to help the healing begin:

    Resolve resentment.
    Nursing resentments toward a parent does more than keep that parent in the doghouse. We get stuck there, too, forever the child, the victim, the have-not in the realm of love. Strange as it may seem, a grudge is a kind of clinging, a way of not separating, and when we hold a grudge against a parent, we are clinging not just to the parent, but more specifically to the bad part of the parent. It's as if we don't want to live our lives until we have this resolved and feel the security of their unconditional love. We do so for good reasons psychologically. But the result is just the opposite: We stay locked into the badness and we don't grow up.

    Develop realistic expectations.
    The sins of parents are among the most difficult to forgive. We expect the world of them, and we do not wish to lower our expectations. Decade after decade, we hold out the hope, often unconsciously, that they will finally do right by us. We want them to own up to all their misdeeds, to apologize, to make heartfelt pleas for our forgiveness. We want our parents to embrace us, to tell us they know we were good children, to undo the favoritism they've shown to a brother or sister, to take back their hurtful criticisms, to give us their praise.

    Hold on to the good.
    Most parents love their children, with surprisingly few exceptions. But no parent is perfect—which means that everyone has childhood wounds. If we're lucky, our parents were good enough for us to be able to hold on to the knowledge of their love for us and our love for them, even in the face of the things they did that hurt us.

    Foster true separation.
    To forgive is not to condone the bad things our parents have done. It's not to deny their selfishness, their rejections, their meanness, their brutality, or any of the other misdeeds, character flaws, or limitations that may attach to them. It is important to separate from our parents—which is to stop seeing ourselves as children who depend on them for our emotional well-being, to stop being their victims, to recognize that we are adults with some capacity to shape our own lives and the responsibility to do so.

    Let your parents back into your heart.
    When we do that, we can begin to understand the circumstances and limitations they labored under, recognize the goodness in them that our pain has pushed aside, feel some compassion perhaps, not only for the hard journey they had but also for the pain we have caused them.

    Commit to the journey.
    Getting to a forgiving place, finding the forgiving self inside us, is a long and complicated journey. We have to be ready to forgive. We have to want to forgive. The deeper the wound, the more difficult the process—which makes forgiving parents especially hard. Along the way, we may have to express our protest, we may have to be angry and resentful, we may even have to punish our parents by holding a grudge. But when we get there, the forgiveness we achieve will be a forgiveness worth having.
  10. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Letters of Forgiveness that don't get sent!

    Letter #1 tell the person everything you're feeling angry as you want to be don't hold back.

    Letter #2'wait 24 hours no more than 48 hours and write a second letter. This time you are still acknowledging the hurt anger injustices you're feeling BUT you acknowledge that what they did is not about you but about who they are. No longer blaming yourself for their bad behavior.

    Letter #3 again wait 24 no longer than 48 hours and understand that everyone including parents are in our life for a reason...lessons we need to learn. So with this philosophy noone has done anything wrong but there are lessons for you to learn.

    I hope some of these ideas help.
    Be compassionate with yourself...
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Streamflash. The others have given you great replies. Stay positive that you are going to heal. I am almost 86 and just spent a while talking to my next-door neighbor's wife who is half my age, and asked how she felt and wow she told me about her shoulder and arm pain and that her husband's work has been taking him out of the city and to Europe for weeks on end, so she has their two young kids and their dog to care for, besides their big house and shoveling snow. And someone bumped into her car causing some damage to it. I was almost sorry I asked, but haven't talked to her or her husband about TMS because he is a VP of a big pharmaceutical conglomerate, so of course he sells people on drugs. I don't even take an Advil if I feel some back pain from snow removal of my front walk and long driveway. I do that while having pleasant thoughts of summer and being with my dog and family and friends.

    I did enjoy visiting with my neighbor's dog. She really loves me, and the feeling is mutual. Back home afterwards I gave extra love to y own darling Annie who is aging but doing well.

    Stick with the SEProgram. It helped heal me and many others.

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