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Reflections: Day 6. Family history.

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by riv44, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    You know, it's up and down, day to day, even from day 4 to day 6. An epiphany would be awfully nice: something that comes on me suddenly.

    I am overly acquainted with my demons. I believe very much that trauma resonates from generation to generation. When I write (I hate using the word journal as a verb!) I find I write more often about my mother's traumas, and feelings that were buried within her--and with her.

    I believe that trauma and TMS are transmitted generationally and that both my parents suffered. My father had chronic pain for the last 15 years of his life, and was over-medicated by his physician. I believe this is what killed him at 77. He had RA, but also I remember it being not specific in location. I also remember feeling very impatient with his complaints. That is the hardheartedness of the young. My mother had a debilitating neck arthritis that required hiring a nurse. I was 3. I remember that nurse, and how scared I was. Then my mom had Bell's Palsy. More arthritis. Sciatica (this was the lexicon I heard from a young age.) Then some kind of vertigo. There were chiropractors. Migraines. Then cancer. The cancer struck in an era when the c-word was not mentioned aloud.

    The beginning New Age mantras in the 1970s told people that their cancers were caused by repressed emotions. We here are thinking about this idea, but I will say that to a woman --my mom--who was given a radical mastectomy at the surgeon's decision, and without her prior knowledge-at the age of 45, --to be "blamed" for bringing about the cancer because of repressed emotions was highly offensive, even cruel. It put me off the mind-body people for a long time. No one should feel blamed for their illness, or be told to meditate their tumors away (which happened!.)

    I guess this is my day 6 writing: some of my anger and sadness I don't believe that unconscious feelings are repressed necessarily; they are embodied. I feel the cruelty of simplistic notions that attribute all illness to psychological process. There are plenty of angry and repressed people who don't get sick. They run for political office--or do more despicable things with their rage.

    I thought reading Sarno that he is very wise, but did not know a lot about psychology in a nuanced way. He acknowledged that. There are many ways of getting to the unconscious, and one way is to explore the generations of my own family, try to understand what they endured, and what messages I absorbed.

    I think these were messages I imbibed was that pain is inevitable, to dwell on my own suffering is selfish, and that not being kind to my parents when I was young would come back to haunt me. Which it kind of has. Not a day goes by that I think of them without remorse and sorrow.

    On another note,

    I asked my physical therapist if she knew TMS to be a "rea"l diagnosis. There I was in my own trap. I know from my own work that diagnoses are social constructs, and are "real" if they feel true. There are objective non-psychological factors in some illnesses- a toxic environment, our diets and so forth. I am trying to hold both realities: that I have TMS, or that TMS describes my experience, and that there also IS something wrong in my back. I do have scoliosis.

    Forgive me if I am rambling or being too academic. My first draft of anything is always rambling, and I might lose my readers, but this is also my day 6 writing--so thanks for listening.

    I hold two realities: that I "have" TMS, or that TMS describes my experience, and that there also IS something wrong in my back. I do have scoliosis.
  2. orffgirl

    orffgirl New Member

    Hi riv44. I really enjoyed reading your post. I just spent 2 weeks with my 92-hr-old mother and got her to talk about some things from our family's past. I think you are right about trauma being passed on generationally and I felt it really helped me to talk with her and hear her words. She talked about her father - my grandfather - and our suspicions that he was an alcoholic. She was never sure and this was never discussed back then. It explained a lot.

    It is my understanding that many people with scoliosis do not have pain. So I would strongly suggest that you keep the faith in your TMS diagnosis.
    riv44 likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    H, Riv/44. You are making progresss. The SEP is helping you. You had a childhood that left you with unhappy emotions, as mine did.

    It would be great if you could get your grandmother to give you a video interview, or at least record her on a tape cassette. I did a 1.5 hour video interview with my mother when she was 90 and learned a lot about her and my father. They both had difficult childhoods and adult years and I believe I inherited their anxieties.

    I hope you can increase you belief to 100 percent that your symptoms are caused by TMS and are not structural. I don't get into the psychology of pain or TMS. I just keep it simple and believe in it.
  4. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    Too late for grandparents, though I have some writings. All the older relatives are gone. I have done a lot of art based on family archives. www.rivkahlapidus.com. I don't mind not being anonymous-- We taped my dad 24 years ago and we need to get it on a flash drive. I was surprised and pleased that day 7 is a rest day. I have virtually no pain.

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