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Day 37 Personality Trait Clash and Self-Care

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Aimee88, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Aimee88

    Aimee88 Well known member

    Before sitting down to do the day's exercises, I was grabbing the journal. I had the clash of the personality traits today, and a clear example of how I tie myself in knots with these conflicting drives.

    I made a mistake today. It felt very significant. I felt the physical response in my body as I realised what I had said and quickly began to imagine the repercussions. The one I was speaking to (a friend) offered to "cover for me" and not reveal to my other friend what I had said. That felt good and bad! Good, that my mistake could be hidden. Bad, that my mistake would be hidden from the other friend, and I would essentially be lying to her and hiding this from her when we would talk about the situation. I couldn't stand it. After hours of symptoms and mental chatter, I decided to confess. And that was not an easy decision. The legalist and the perfectionist did not want to admit a mistake! And certainly not to more people than necessary! And the goodist was just beside herself, trying to figure out how to keep everyone happy. But, I did it. Knowing that they could both be upset with me and each other, which would feel like I was in the middle, and the cause of conflict. Which I detest!! After confessing to the one who was not there, I told the first friend, "there is no need to pretend with the other. I've told her."

    In responding and as it unfolded, I found myself in tears, and texting to this friend, "I care about all of you." That felt very true. And yet, I felt these real drives to protect my own image. (and this isn't the first time for this awareness) And I felt these personality traits conflicting and pulling me in different directions.

    I also resonated with today's exercises and the blog about self-care. I can see that I haven't truly cared for myself for a long time (maybe ever, except in really extreme symptom time), and I never seem to be able to do that in a relationship (without some severe dis-ease and symptoms). I've ended another significant relationship to do this work, just like it said in the blog. The relationship was triggering old pain in me and just about the time that it was getting unbearable (the actual interactions and the realisation that I've created just the same situation yet again), I found Dr. Sarno's work and really could see what was happening with me. So, in a way I took that step towards self-care, but I still struggle to really just relax and do something I want to, and to say no in order to give myself my own time. For years (my adult working life) I have said I'm lucky in that there aren't clear lines between my work and play. Some of what I do is enjoyable and feeds into my work life. Maybe that was just the TMS me convincing myself that I'm having enough fun. I laughed at the example that going to the gym might not be enough fun. So, for me, driving an hour to go to a late two hour rehearsal, and then drive back might not be fun enough. (haha...I'm actually laughing!) I also always put in a disclaimer ("I don't really watch much television") before talking about anything I might have seen on the television. As though I have to have a really good excuse to "just" watch television (oh boy, got that from my dad....upbringing??)

    Yes, upbringing....pretty focused on work and discipline. Fun was frowned upon. We didn't go to the movies or theme parks or just days out doing kid stuff. We watched a bit of television, but as a family, as this was a long time ago and we only had one television in the house. (and one attached-to-the-wall phone) Speaking of phones, because of where we lived (rural area), the people I went to school with were a long distance phone call away, so I didn't even spend time talking to friends on the phone. And at school, I was focused on doing my work, or not being noticed, and so there wasn't a lot of fun time there, either. I lived away from others, and couldn't walk or cycle anywhere to just hang out with friends. No wonder I don't know how to do that!!

    Wow, this is more enlightening that I realised it would be.

    Oh, sorry, got to go....I'm going to watch more of The Crown. And try not to feel guilty and like I'm indulging and wasting time (that I could be doing something for someone else!! haha!)

    I get this, and I'm relieved to be laughing. I'm also going to be looking for more fun things I can do....
    Tennis Tom and Hayley like this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Aimee88,

    What a wonderful set of insights and revelations!

    To know that we're a bundle of conflicts inside, and this causes symptoms is priceless. To find oneself caught in a place like you were with your friends, and then untangle it and let your precious self-images burn up is truly the core of our work.

    I am happy for all your learning during the SEP.

    Aimee88 likes this.
  3. Aimee88

    Aimee88 Well known member

    Thanks, Andy. It's a conflict rollercoaster at times! Thank you for reflecting the positive in all this back to me.

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