I sure hope I'm allowed to do this? If not, the moderator can remove it..I won't be offended.. I am reading a book called 'Honoring The Self'' this week. I'll put a link up for those who are interested. http://www.amazon.com/Honoring-Self-Self-Esteem-Personal-Tranformation/dp/0553268147 I think the issue of self-esteem has such an important link to TMS. I am now remembering a lot about my childhood as I ask myself these really important questions. The emotion is very strong, so be careful to do this slowly. I know I am digging into 'the pit'... to the place where my body pains began and have continued on and off throughout my whole life. (Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at 21 years old - it was called fibromyositis back then) I hope these questions will help someone today. 1. When you were a child, did your parents’ manner of behaving and of dealing with you give you the impression that you were living in a world that was rational, predictable, intelligible? Or a world that was contradictory, bewildering, unknowable? 2. Were you taught the importance of learning to think and of cultivating your intelligence? Did your parents provide you with intellectual stimulation and convey the idea that the use of your mind can be an exciting adventure? 3. Were you encouraged to think independently, to develop your critical faculty? Or were you encouraged to be obedient rather than mentally active and questioning? Supplementary questions: Did your parents project that it was more important to conform to what other people believed than to discover what is true? When your parents wanted you to do something, did they appeal to your understanding and give you reasons, when possible and appropriate, for their request? Or did they communicate, in effect, “Do it because I say so”?) 4. Did you feel free to express your views openly, without fear of punishment? Did your parents communicate their disapproval of your thoughts, desires, or behavior by means of humor, teasing, or sarcasm? 5. Did your parents communicate their disapproval of your thoughts, desires, or behavior by means of humor, teasing, or sarcasm? 6. Did your parents treat you with respect? (Supplementary questions: Were your thoughts, needs, and feelings given consideration? Was your dignity as a human being acknowledged? When you expressed ideas or opinions, were they taken seriously? Were your likes and dislikes, whether or not they were acceded to, treated with respect? Were your desires responded to thoughtfully and, again, with respect?) 7. Did you feel that you were psychologically visible to your parents, seen and understood? 8. Did you feel loved and valued by your parents, in the sense that you experienced yourself as a source of pleasure to them? Or did you feel unwanted, perhaps a burden? Did you feel hated? Or did you feel that you were simply an object of indifference? 9. Did your parents deal with you fairly and justly? (Supplementary questions: Did your parents resort to threats in order to control your behavior— either threats of immediate punitive action on their part, threats in terms of long-range consequences for your life, or threats of supernatural punishments, such as going to hell? Were you praised when you performed well, or merely criticized when you performed badly? Were your parents willing to admit it when they were wrong? Or was it against their policy to concede that they were wrong?) 10. Was it your parents’ practice to punish you or discipline you by striking or beating you? 11. Did your parents project that they believed in your basic goodness? Or that they saw you as bad or worthless or evil? 12. Did your parents convey the sense that they believed in your intellectual and creative potentialities? Or did they project that they saw you as mediocre or stupid or inadequate? 13. In your parents’ expectations concerning your behavior and performance, did they take cognizance of your knowledge, needs, interests, and circumstances? Or were you confronted with expectations and demands that were overwhelming and beyond your ability to satisfy? 14. Did your parents’ behavior and manner of dealing with you tend to produce guilt in you? 15. Did your parents’ behavior and manner of dealing with you tend to produce fear in you? 16. Did your parents respect your intellectual and physical privacy? 17. Did your parents project that it was desirable for you to think well of yourself— in effect, to have self-esteem? Or were you cautioned against valuing yourself, encouraged to be “humble”? 18. Did your parents convey that what a person made of his or her life, and what you, specifically, made of your life, was important? (Supplementary questions: Did your parents project that great things are possible for human beings, and specifically that great things are possible for you? Did your parents give you the impression that life could be exciting, challenging, a rewarding adventure?) 19. Did your parents instill in you a fear of the world, a fear of other people? Or were you encouraged to face the world with an attitude of relaxed, confident benevolence? 20. Were you urged to be open in the expression of your emotions and desires? Or were your parents’ behavior and manner of treating you such as to make you fear emotional self-assertiveness and openness or to regard it as inappropriate? 21. Were your mistakes accepted as a normal part of the learning process? Or as something you were taught to associate with contempt, ridicule, punishment? 22. Did your parents encourage you in the direction of having a healthy, affirmative attitude toward sex and toward your own body? A negative attitude? Or did they treat the entire subject as nonexistent? 23. Did your parents’ manner of dealing with you tend to develop and strengthen your sense of your masculinity or femininity? Or to frustrate and diminish it? 24. Did your parents encourage you to feel that your life belonged to you? Or were you encouraged to believe that you were merely a family asset and that your achievements were significant only insofar as they brought glory to your parents?