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Starting to despise my unconscious mind

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by James59, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Now that I'm learning about how the unconscious mind creates my pain, in the past few days I've really started to hate this part of me. After all, I now realize it is responsible for ruining the last 6 years of my life, just when a lot of things were finally coming together for me. Now everything is a mess, all because of the pain. I really despise my subconscious now, and I feel like a kingdom divided against itself (and we all know how that proverb turns out). I don't know if this attitude is helpful or hurtful to TMS recovery. Should I go with it, or try to find a way not to hate my subconscious?
    Stella likes this.
  2. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter

    Hi James.

    Upon initial consideration of TMS diagnosis I, much like you,
    held negative feelings about my subconscious & spoke with
    it in angry terms especially in the midst of a strong pain.
    It all seemed like a cruel joke. I imagine smashing it with
    a baseball bat. I was v.angry & confused. I too was unsure
    of my actions on my TMS recovery but was assured by
    other forum participants that you should take it as it comes.
    If you need to get mad, then get mad. If you need to say
    sorry, then say sorry. The main thing to impart is that you
    are now in a state of expanded awareness & the relationship
    will be forever different.

    You might even welcome a vital exchange.

    My experience has taken me into some remarkable new
    learnings of all parts of myself. And the work of others.
    I have recently read a wonderful book called 'Theaters of
    the Body: A Psychoanalytical Approach to Psychosomatic Illness '
    by Joyce McDougall that explores the complex role of the unconscious
    in physical illness. She believes the body is a play-thing of the mind,
    a primitive pre-neurotic pathology that has failed to achieve psychic
    representation. Perhaps even pre-language. I am still trying to intellectually
    unravel it all.

    Whatever your response, engage it & make it feel.


    Rinkey, James59, Stella and 1 other person like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    james59, please do yourself a big favor and don't hate your subconscious.
    I felt that way before I really began to follow Dr. Sarno and TMS healing.
    I was angry at my subconscious for causing me such back pain.
    I never really understood why it was doing that.

    Reading Sarno more carefully and Steve Ozanich's THE GREAT PAIN
    DECEPTION and Dr. Scott Brady's PAIN FREE FOR LIFE
    I finally came to realize that my subconscious was actually my friend,
    doing me a favor by giving me pain so I would give a lot of thought
    to my life, past and present.

    Sarno says, in Healing Back Pain (page 77): "I suggest to patients that
    when they find themselves being aware of the pain they must
    consciously and forcefully shift their attention to something psychological,
    like something they are worried about, a chronic family or financial problem,
    a recurrent source of irritation, anything in the psychological realm,
    for that sends a message to the brain that they're no longer deceived by
    the pain. When that message reaches the depths of the mind, the
    subconscious, the pain ceases."

    It did for me, but not until I finally accepted it in my head that 100
    percent of my pain was because of TMS, repressed emotions dealing
    with anger and guilt. Then I no longer had any back pain.

    I now thank my subconscious for caring so much about me.

    That may sound like Mary Poppins, but it worked for me and
    I believe it will work for you. Your subconscious is your friend.

    I hope this helps. If not, laugh at me. Laughing is a pain healer
    in itself.
    driffy, tarala, Rinkey and 2 others like this.
  4. Stock Trader

    Stock Trader Peer Supporter

    Talk to your subconscious. Tell your inner-child(id) and your inner parent ( super-ego): "Relax, is OK. I understand. I will take care of things from here on! Please let go of my pain. Thank you for the message." Treat it like your own child who needs love, compassion, protection, soothe, and attend to him when needed.
    tarala, Gigi, James59 and 1 other person like this.
  5. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter


    Great advice.

    'I now thank my subconscious for caring so much about me.'

    'Relax, it's OK. I understand. I will take care of things from here on! Please let go of my pain. Thank you for the message.'

    Absolutely priceless!!
    Rinkey likes this.
  6. James59

    James59 Well known member

    I haven't replied to this thread for day because I'm having trouble processing the seeming contradictions between Peter and Walt's responses. Peter's initial reply seems to ring truer for me, but Walt seems to offer some sensible advice.

    However, this left me cold...

    That strikes me as sort of a "We had to destroy the village in order to save it" viewpoint. Or perhaps it's like these pills they push on TV, which have side effects that are far worse than the problem they're trying to cure. Destroying my life to "protect" me from something else is not something friends do.
  7. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Yeah, I have trouble with that too.

    You will read a lot of conflicting ideas in these forums. Ultimately you have to go with what feels true to you. Go with your gut.

    I think of my subconscious as trying desperately to send me a message. Sarno believed it was trying to "distract" you from some worse, emotional pain. Maybe that's true, maybe not. But I do believe there's a message there. It's up to us to try and figure out what it is.

    However, don't make the mistake of thinking you must figure out the message in order to heal. All you need to do to heal is not pay so much mind to your pain. However, that's much more easily said than done.
    Solange, Rinkey and James59 like this.
  8. PeterO

    PeterO Peer Supporter

    Hi Everyone.

    I believe that conflict & the subconscious are highly
    subjective and complex entanglements & I am not
    surprised that we all have some difference here.

    We each experience the subconscious as we experience
    it & whether we rage against it or come to it with compassion
    is kinda irrelevant. In my opinion, I think it important that
    whatever approach we take that we do it with precision &
    consistent intent. What the subconscious feeds upon is indecision
    & the conjecture of the rational brain.

    It is not to be out-thought, or negotiated with, but rather delivered
    a clear message, thanks or no thanks, I am now in control.

    Or maybe sublimate it from the inner conversation completely
    with an experimental dialogue of the sensible, emotive self,
    thus creating an aligned & healing relationship with the body.
    My opinion (again!) is that a focus on an awakened sense is
    a real key to overcoming any psychologically defended state.

    The journey then moves from recovery toward a more authentic
    & enlightened state.

    Aint that a wonderful thing!!

  9. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think we're like layers of an onion! I go through phases of feeling compassion and kindness to myself, then disappointed in myself for being sooo stupid as to do this to myself! Ultimately tho' we must take care of ourselves - our 'inner child' our subconscious, our conscious 'rational' mind, our bodies, and it seems most important of all - our emotions. Whilst learning the best way to do this I think we might all peel through layers that make us react in positive ways and sometimes in negative ways. Tis all grist for the mill...
  10. D. R. Martin

    D. R. Martin Peer Supporter

    I have a very hard time thinking that this entity has my best interests in mind. Tons of miserable pain. Messed up social life. Stress imposed on my wife. Productivity cut in half, therefore financial pressure. Fear-fear-fear. Limited mobility. Wasted year. I have thought psychological up the ying-yang and still it keeps attacking. I have done two self-help courses to no effect. I have seen a psychologist. I have reasoned with the TMS incessantly, and it still keeps attacking. Playing nice with it has not helped.

    This thing is not my friend. It is a defect in the self; a kind of auto-immune disease of the mind and nerve pathways. I will beat it by reducing its place in my life to triviality. But as someone commented elsewhere here, that is a hard thing to do. But I have no choice. I will not let it take me down. I have beaten it twice before. I will beat it again.
    James59 and gailnyc like this.
  11. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think it is in dealing with the emotional 'reservoir' (as Sarno put it - but 'cesspool' might be a better description!) and getting those emotions out, that seems to be the most important component of this 'work'. It is really hard to deal with the everyday stresses that are put on us, never mind the huge backlog from childhood to now. But it is in dealing with this that sets us free from the pain. Once the 'reservoir' is emptied - or at least drained to a manageable depth, there is no reason left for the unconscious body to cause us pain - because there is nothing to distract us from...
    James59 likes this.
  12. KathyBee

    KathyBee Peer Supporter

    I think that learning to forgive yourself is part of the process.
    You might need to get mad at yourself first. You might not.
    I think of those parts like a person who means well but is just misguided. A person who thought they were doing good. A person who thought they were doing what is best for you.
    That is easier to forgive than someone who has hurt you out of neglect, selfishness, not caring what happened to you, etc.
    It also comes down to the fact that you have to learn how to live with this person. If it was an outside person who hurt you, you could decide not to have anything to do with them anymore, but you have to live with yourself.
    I think personality factors are an issue as well. If you are already feeling unreasonable levels of guilt, it is not necessarily good to add more guilt by yelling. This might be a sign to be compassionate with yourself.
    Also think of how you feel when someone yells at you. I hate it. Probably most of you do as well. I tend to get defensive and not want to do what they tell me to, even if they have a valid point because they are acting like a big meanie.
    Reading SteveO’s book the super ego seems like the big bag gal who is always preventing you from doing fun things. But it is also doing helpful things like keeping you from stabbing someone just because they are really annoying.
    So like a good boss giving a performance review, we need to start by complementing SUE (super ego) on all the good things she has done for us. Tell her we appreciate her hard work and dedication. Then tell her that there are a few things she needs to work on. Tell her gently and be patient during the retraining phase.
    You could even tell her that the company has passed new rules and some of the old rules are obsolete. The standards of how a proper lady should dress have been updated.
    Another tactic could be to negotiate with her as an equal partner. Make agreements with her. You allow me to eat unhealthy food a couple times a week and I will refrain from squirting the can of whipped topping directly into my mouth.
    Rose, Rinkey and hecate105 like this.
  13. leonardo999

    leonardo999 Well known member

    What a great couple of lines :*)
    Rinkey and Stock Trader like this.
  14. James59

    James59 Well known member

    I think I may have figured something out. I was reading recently in one of Dr. Sarno's books that the subconscious has no sense of time. To it, everything is happening at once. It thinks every incidence of sorrow, shame, insult, offense, danger, etc. I've endured and piled up in my memory is happening now. It would, in fact, be devastating if all of those emotions were to happen all at once, so the distraction of physical pain would be the lesser of two evils if that were true.

    But my conscious mind knows it is not true. My conscious mind can sort these difficult emotional events into categories of then and now, and decide which are relevant and which are not. So maybe what I need to do is be more patient with my subconscious and reassure it that my conscious mind has the ability to sort and process these emotions in a way my subconscious mind can't. Does that make sense? If so, how might be the best way to proceed?
    Rinkey and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  15. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think you can talk to it directly - as if it is a small child. Be concise and clear and direct. It seems so silly - but it works! Every time I feel pain come on - I take some deep breaths, look inside and think 'What is bugging me?' is it something or someone now - or is a situation or person triggering a reaction from the past. As soon as I figure it out -or even if I don't - I then address the subconscious 'child' and tell her that I know that it is repressed emotion that is causing my physical body to feel pain, that it is not appropriate, that I will deal with the repression and hurt but I will not accept physical pain now. If you can understand why the pain is there - maybe you are expecting a visit from someone who has hurt you as a child or something, it is much easier to do. It seems that if you can 'solve' why the pain is there - it just goes in minutes. If you cannot solve why - it seems to take longer (at least for me) it is continuously saying to your subconscious 'I know this is psychological and emotional - it is not physical, I will sort it out (conscious mind - as you said) leave me to do this in my own time. We don't want to be bullied by our subconscious anymore than by other people!!
    James59, Ellen and Rinkey like this.
  16. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    I'm going to go with an alternative take. Why not hate your subconscious? It's more or less the same as hating TMS and Dr. Schubiner would be all for that. He'd want you to yell at it and say how you weren't going to let it control you anymore.
    The alternative is making it another entity which you bury your feelings about. You don't have to feel that it's been nice to you.
    (Btw... this also reminds me of the 11th affirmation- -- I intend to be in control - not my subconscious mind)
    Rinkey likes this.
  17. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    The best way I've been able to control that side
    after facing the emotions is soothing.
    I cant express the rage as I began to recover,
    Rage as in more anxiety and a -more tense feeling of being rushed
    then I knew what the rage soothe ratio was for
    to cool yourself down when all that buried
    repression comes on, right.

    See I have practiced soothing all my life, just not in the way sarno teaches us to
    tease the tiger then you have to calm him down ya know,
    I always focused on calming and absolutely not looking for past trauma.
    IF id only understand then that id left out the blackbox ingredient -
    the other end of the same force that made me happy had some
    sad stories for me too face, id put them off long enough.

    This is when I understood that the prayer meditation and faith would pull me through.
    I really did know soothing, it was the facing and floating part that I always ran from,
    that was the repressions in the body creating pain right there.

    While practicing Self discovery and thinking say you get angered
    What happens when we start to experience the repressed emotions?
    Anger which equals pain right.

    Here we will soothe the child part, id part, emotional side- the hurt part,
    tired part that's been fighting and you were completely unaware
    Well now ya are so soothe.
    Your experiencing the rage so now you can
    soothe with meditations and so forth, thanks.
    James59 likes this.
  18. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt this is a good answer period. Thanks
  19. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just don't think it's worth wondering if our unconscious is our friend or not.
    It's better to learn what the repressed emotions are that cause us pain.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  20. James59

    James59 Well known member

    Eric, what you said above makes a lot of sense. My anger towards my subconscious has pretty much subsided since I came to the realization I mentioned in my August 21 post. My subconscious thinks all the crap from my life is happening at once, and doesn't realize that my conscious mind can sort it out. So now I see it needs reassurance, not my animosity.
    gailnyc and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.

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