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Newbie w/ miserable pelvic pain and (?) repressed childhood trauma

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Boy2Man, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Boy2Man

    Boy2Man New Member

    These past 7 months have been the most trying by far of my adult life. After a couple of vigorous workouts on the treadmill and bicycle earlier this year, I developed painful urinary spasms. I medical work up was negative, but the spasms persisted and generalized to the point where I was experiencing burning and numbness on my penis and perineum each day. These pains were much worse when I sat down. I underwent countless pelvic PT treatments, nerve blocks, etc to no avail. Eventually, the pain got so bad that I had no choice but to spend a hellish three weeks not sitting at all. After that I believe the (pudendal) nerve irritation due to my biking/exercising injury improved, but the pains did not go away. I fell into an anxious depression (the first of my adult life) and was started on multiple antidepressants, but these did no good at all.

    An odd fact about these past 7 months is that I have had an almost constant sense of dread and profound vulnerability which I brings me back to how I felt as a young child when my parents were divorcing. It's as if I am a 9 year old child walking around in a fifty plus year old man's body. I am quite convinced that my pelvic pain symptoms are TMS but that intellectual realization as not really changed my pain. I have read about the idea of repressed traumatic memories being held in the body. These memories can manifest in somatic symptoms if an injury to a body part stirs up the long repressed traumatic experience.

    Anyway, after spending most of my life as a highly capable, happy, vigorous man, I feel like I've been turned into a puddle. My wife and kids have been enormously understanding and supportive, but they don't know what to do w/ me. Meanwhile, my business has gone downhill as I'm barely able to muster the energy or focus to give my clients the service they are accustomed to.

    My question is this: is it possible to heal from trauma if one is not even sure what that is? How do I go about becoming once the again the competent, confident man I was for most of my life. I've been in a pretty bad space lately and would appreciate any suggestions any of you wonderful people could provide
  2. CGP

    CGP Peer Supporter

    Hi there,

    I have been there - sorry you’re going through this! You’ve come to the right place - there are many people here who have healed from pelvic pain.

    Here is my success story: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/100-healed-from-ic-for-1-5-years.17365/#post-91887 (100% Healed from IC for 1.5 Years)

    If you think far back, were there any times prior to this you may have had twinges of similar pain, like when you were younger? There may have been hints in the past that you haven’t thought of yet. I recently realized a skin issue I was having began in grade school when I was being bullied - it just took me a while to make the connection.

    If not, I wouldn’t worry too much about the particular trauma causing this - try to just listen carefully to what your needs are, emotionally. A lot of times it comes down to emotions related to separation.

    I hope this helps!
    plum likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello BP: I join Claire in welcoming you to what is probably the best place for you to be on the internet right now.

    I'm going to PM you about changing your username, because we have found that members who choose a negative name regret it later. It's easy to change when you only have one post. We can't do it for someone who has a lot of posts and responses, because too many people have referred to the old name in their posts. My recommendation: pick something generic that doesn't contain any emotional content, and that makes it easy for others to refer to you by name.

    Can you tell us how much TMS knowledge you have at this point? Have you read one of Dr. Sarno's books? That's the first step. Have you seen a therapist? Have you worked on any of our free resources?

    I'm asking these questions because almost invariably, the people who end up asking for help here need to do more than obtain some knowledge about TMS. We need to do the emotional work. This doesn't necessarily mean expensive psychotherapy, although for some people it does (Dr. Sarno discusses this in his books).

    We have two self-help programs. The one that most people start with is the Structured Educational Program, (SEP) on the main wiki, designed by Forest and other early volunteers. The other is the Pain Recovery Program, generously donated by the awesome Alan Gordon, MCSW. He also runs a practice with TMS therapists who work with clients long-distance.

    You should absolutely read Claire's success story - I love her list of requirements for recovery. Another story posted recently is really long (the member compared it to War & Peace, LOL) but it's well-worth reading, because it illustrates the incredible depth of pain and despair that someone can recover from with TMS knowledge, mindfulness, and self-awareness - and by doing the emotional work.

    Ellen, Time2be, plum and 1 other person like this.
  4. Boy2Man

    Boy2Man New Member

    Jan and Claire,

    Thank you both for your thoughtful responses to my posts. I'm still trying to figure out how to post responses on this forum, so please bear with me. To answer Jan's question, I have read Dr. Sarno's Healing Back Pain book and have read a lot of secondary sources about his work (including this wonderful wiki), so I feel like I have a decent intellectual understanding of the TMS concept. I think your suggestion to change my username is an excellent idea and would appreciate it if you would please do that for me. "Boy2Man" just popped into my mind as a suitable name, as I think one of the big issues I'm struggling with is how to help the scared (and possibly traumatized) little boy inside me feel safe and protected by my adult self. I did read Claire's inspiring success story and came away with a number of take home messages. Specifically, I must learn to channel my anger/strength into healing. Although I feel weak and scared much of the time now, I realize that there's no way I could have survived my childhood and gone onto live a very happy successful life as a husband, father, friend and provider unless I had a lot of inner strength. This current struggle seems overwhelming right now, but with the support of my family, good professional help, and the kind people on this site, I believe I will beat this m#$%f#%^ng thing once and for all.
    Time2be, plum, CGP and 1 other person like this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like it, and Done!
  6. CGP

    CGP Peer Supporter

    @Boy2Man, it does take a lot of emotional work, but please also try to schedule fun into your days, if you can! It can get very heavy and serious, focusing so hard on emotions and pain. I found myself being so hyper-vigilant about reading into things, analyzing my every sensation, etc., that it definitely set me back in my recovery. I realized it had been months since I'd had a casual, relaxed day. Try to see a movie, pet a dog, have a glass of wine...it may help you unwind.

    Good luck to you!
    Time2be and plum like this.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Simply to welcome and reassure you that you are in the right place to heal. My seasoned advice is to slow down and relax and even begin to enjoy learning about the wonderful world of mind~body healing. It really is a great adventure into the heart and soul of who you are, and while the going isn't always smooth or linear, it is always homeward bound and deeply healing.

    Plum x
    CGP and Time2be like this.
  8. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Welcome! I just want to chime in with the others: don’t be hard on yourself. All war metaphors like fighting, winning the battle etc. are problematic. They will make you even more tense. As Claire says, try to find relaxing activities and do not procrastinate. To do the emotional work is a focused activity. If you procrastinate you delve even deeper into despair and fear. Not so good.
    My experience with TMS lasts now 20 years. I too have bladder and pelvic pain. And still sometimes flares. That tells me that there is more work and understanding to be done. I can assure you, it is absolutely possible to fully recover!
    CGP and plum like this.
  9. sheltered

    sheltered Peer Supporter

    I've been spending a lot of time lately looking for coincidences in the universe and your post just floated through as something to connect with. I haven't been on this forum in months but am having a very minor relapse today and saw your post. We have very similar stories. I had the world by the tail before getting hit with TMS. Owned a successful business, great wife and son. Captained a rec league soccer team. Life looking good. Stressed out but who isn't, right? Then the wheels fell off a bit. Like you mentioned with your experience, my physical ailments brought upon anxiety and depression. I had never dealt with these emotions before. It was hard to get a diagnosis for Chronic Pelvic Pain and then when you get it, the outlook is not the rosiest and the treatment (PT for pelvic pain sounds freakin' made up in a bad way when they tell you what is involved) would make most men (and women too) anxious and depressed! I initially went the physical route, got a stand up desk to reduce sitting to a minimum, weekly PT, special stretches, gait review, special footwear, no running, no biking, no rollerblading, etc. Of course, in hindsight this was all the wrong things to do. I just felt so defeated. Pelvic Pain is a nasty one in that it's not something you really want to share with folks. Not to discount any pain but back pain is more socially digestible than I have a pain in my arse and weiner area! I felt it really hit me hard on multiple levels. Maybe you are feeling the same. So first suggestion I'd make, understand you don't have Pelvic Pain. Quit any PT and lifestyle changes if you haven't already. You have TMS and it's just manifesting there. Why? I've given up trying to understand that in myself. I spent about 8 months with Pelvic Pain and the last 4 months with TMS. Since I made the switch mentally I've improved dramatically. Like 99%! Just the odd day, like today when I have a little twinge to keep me humble. I haven't completely figured it out yet but I don't get too stressed about that. It will come in time. I don't dwell on trying to figure the subconscious and what did I see/hear/do today to trigger a little relapse. Just roll on. It gets easier. Patience though. It's pretty frustrating this recovery.

    Long answer to your question, my experience is to try to get your mojo back. Put on some AC DC (or music you like with swagger), jump on your treadmill and giv'er! Get back to what you liked to do before you got sucked into this. Have fun. Be a little less responsible (within reason, don't mess up your life or anything). Stop looking for answers in the past. Stop looking for answers! That one in straight from Dr. Sarno. Why you are where you are at. Maybe you're just coming to terms with mortality. That'll mess you up! I'm 42 and thought I was superman. Nope. Not sure that is my issue but sure seems a lot of TMS starts in the 40s and 50s. Maybe a trigger for some. Pile that on to past trauma and a tension filled life...

    You are clearly on the right track. We all are on our own journey and will heal in different timelines. You will feel better. Not a little better, 100% better. You will feel better soon. Just keep experimenting, having fun. There is no escape from this human condition so might as well enjoy it! Good luck to you.
    Paigeee, plum, CGP and 1 other person like this.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    So many things to like about this awesome response from @sheltered !
    Oh yeah, I think this is HUGE. I mean, we all know that we're getting older. Intellectually we know this. But we're told to accept it with grace. In reality, our subconscious is NOT accepting it - and it is NOT accepting it, with RAGE.
    :hilarious: But I swear, guys, it won't be too much longer before back pain is no longer the #1 TMS symptoms - because mainstream medicine is starting to focus more and more on non-interventional treatments for back pain. We're seeing more alternatives all the time, and pelvic pain is the new up-and-comer. You know it's true.
    Dude! :cool:
    plum likes this.
  11. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Truly excellent reply and I've singled this part out because it is the key. Get your mojo back. Healing becomes as easy as falling off a log once we move into that groove.
    CGP likes this.
  12. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Oh Mojo - where are thou? But you are right, the mojo is so important!! 'Sheltered' brought up the topic of socially acceptance of disorders/diseases. He says that back pain is more accepted than pelvic pain which is still something you don't talk about. I never ever tell people that I have pelvic pain/bladder pain. Only very, very good friends and my closest family know. Maybe this changes when there are more and more people with pelvic pain. It seems to be more 'fashionable' now than 10 years ago. But I don't think it will ever be without any stigma to tell people that you have pelvic pain/bladder pain, regardless whether you are a woman or a man. Back pain on the contrary, I have colleagues who take sick leaves because of their backs. And it is totally accepted. Although one also expect that they get better in due time.
    And to tell your boss that you have TMS?? For most people this sounds like you are mentally weak, not robust, having psychological problems etc. I kept it a secret and I still do. The only thing I sometimes say is that I can be stressed and then react with psychosomatic symptoms like tiredness and sleeping difficulties. What I want to communicate is: I am human, but this is nothing serious and under control.
    How do others deal with that?
    plum likes this.
  13. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Like you, I used to defer to general explanations such as I'm stressed or exhausted (which was also true). I have tried to explain in depth but find this is invariably pointless. This is why I am so grateful for the kind souls on this forum. It is a massive relief to know so many kindred spirits. To be heard and understood is a big part of healing I find. But you are quite right about the fashionable acceptability of certain ailments. Misery loves company. Rejoice in being ahead of the curve.
    Time2be likes this.
  14. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    Indeed!! Very much!
    plum likes this.

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