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Processing Question

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by NCGal, Dec 29, 2021.

  1. NCGal

    NCGal New Member

    I think I recently uncovered a past experience that escalated my symptoms. I even expressed my anger about it in one of my my writing exercises going through Dr Schubiner's workbook several weeks ago. So it's not that I uncovered it really, but it just dawned on me that anger was only a part of it. I wasn't really getting the full impact of the effect the incident had on me: alienation, loss and sadness. What do I do in practice with these realizations? Journaling hasn't been particularly effective for me.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I congratulate you on your work, and your growing understanding. This work takes courage and patience.

    First, you have a likely benefit of symptom relief in the long-run by your knowledge of this event and the impact on you. It may not be instant, but it is part of the picture you're learning about your deeper experiences and your "hidden" feelings. This cannot be understated. When there are symptoms, remember these "unseen" experiences and use them to explain why you have symptoms to yourself.

    Part of your continued explorations might be knowing that the anger is actually a form of defense so that the sadness is not felt. Or that vulnerability is avoided. These more tender qualities might be meditated with, or journaled in a form of a "gestalt" where you are listening to your sadness and letting it speak to you as sadness in your writing: "I have been around for a long time, and no one has noticed me." This kind of conversation. Listening. Attuning.

    This two-way conversation might be done out loud with a couple of pillows, you taking the place of "you" in your normal identity on one pillow, and "sadness" on the other pillow. Switch back and forth and explore talking directly to the other.

    Importantly having compassion for yourself in this situation, this event, and the subsequent feelings is probably key, because it has been separated from your awareness.
  3. NCGal

    NCGal New Member

    Thank you Andy for your very kind words. I like the suggestion of the two way conversation and will try it. I think I may also review some other topics I wrote about through Dr Schubiner's book and see if I recognize any other hidden feelings.
    Thanks again.
  4. SharingSheryl

    SharingSheryl New Member

    I had a similiar situation where I was working through guilt I had surrounding watching my beloved pet die in front of me and not being able to stay there with him while it happened. I did Expressive Writing from Unlearn Your Pain by Dr. Shubiner. I realized the guilt was covering the deep pain of loss of love. I couldn't go near that pain before, so I covered it in guilt to keep myself away from it. The writing process really helped. He refers to it as a 25 min jog.

    Spend 5 min making a nucleus chart, with the issue in the middle bubble then just add bubbles from there.
    Spend 10 min free writing as fast as you can about the topic, but no self pity, blame, or shame...just write about the event. End by writing, 'I am relieved to express these feelings.' 3xs
    Spend 10 min summarizing what you learned or any insights. End by writing, 'Understanding these issues make me feel better.' 3xs

    It was helpful for me. I think I will also do some ISTDP around it for good measure.

    Hope this helps!
    Aimee88 likes this.
  5. NCGal

    NCGal New Member

    Thank you, Sheryl.
    That’s the exercise I did with the anger. Although I recently wrote about the sadness I didn’t do it with that particular exercise. I’ll try it.
    I had so much pain and guilt when my pets died. The guilt was worse for me than the pain because my mind churned with all the “what if I had done...” Thanks for reminding me I probably still need to deal with those feelings more.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you for expressing this revelation. I think you must be doing very brave work to find this. The pain, I think, feels like it is too much, so we cover it with something else. To me that kind of pain does reveal love as we learn to feel it more fully. It is an excruciating passage. At the same time, what a privilege to feel so much depth in our lives. Wishing you good passage.

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