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Storm of feelings - how to deal

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Xara, Sep 29, 2022.

  1. Xara

    Xara Peer Supporter

    Well, I am writing here, because I feel I will get real help.
    During my efforts for healing I noticed that my symptoms " go around", change, pain to dizziness, dizziness to anxiety, anxiety to bowel - belly pain, hip, leg , neck, back then headache and so on. I have been astonished of the variety of symptoms this body can create. Needless to say, I am having my blood tests once a year and don't visit a doctor. I decided to do it when a
    symptom stays more than a month. It didn't happen so far.
    But all this hunting reveals that I am still suppressing the " dangerous" feelings. Today, I have felt/ discovered feelings that had during my childhood and had felt simultaneously somatic symptoms. I got there, stood with, cried for a while, journaled but soon I tried to distract myself from this. It is not a big stuff, feelings towards my mother, but I still cannot bear it for long...
    Anyway, I feel I avoid it.
    I am aware of the theory that feelings cannot hurt you etc but ... It is more difficult applying the theory. Does the body feel them as dangerous? The unconscious? The little child? All together?
    What can we do about this?
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, @Xara, these are all true, to varying degrees.

    The TMS mechanism is a primitive survival technique of the brain which represses emotions so that you stay alert and worried about danger (sabre-tooth tiger behind a tree) instead of worrying about how your mother treated you. This mechanism doesn't work very well in the modern world, because there are so many things to worry about, and too many interactions that bother us. Those of us with anxiety and sensitive nervous systems become overwhelmed with physical symptoms as our brains scramble to repress multiple emotions.

    I'm struck by this, which means that maybe you should be paying attention and looking at it more closely:
    You say it's not a big deal, but that you still can not bear it for long. Those two things are contradictory!

    My therapist/coach would immediately say that you are discounting (not valuing) the emotional impact that your mother's interactions have on your well-being. How we feel about our relationship with our parents IS big stuff! If you can't stand looking at this for too long, I am going to suggest that this is an important source of your pain, and that you need to find the courage to face it, stand up to it, and accept it.

    Going back to your first question, the negative feelings you have (that many of us have) towards your mother have their roots in the little child that still just wants our mothers to nurture us and love us and keep us safe from the world - which of course our adult selves know is not realistic, so there's that emotional struggle also going on. When our mothers force us to leave the safety of infancy, we resent them just for that. We resent them even more when they criticize us (and aren't mothers always critical of their daughters?). If our mothers are overly critical or controlling beyond what is normal, you will inevitably develop rage combined with guilt - the perfect recipe for TMS symptoms.

    Negative emotions about our parents are an important and very common source of TMS distress. Having them is totally normal, but our fearful brains will repress them due to guilt.

    The best way out of this is to get it all out in the open, and writing techniques are excellent for that. For the second time today I will recommend the Unset Letter technique - this is ideal for parents! Write a letter to you mother and tell her exactly what you think - and do not edit what you write! Get it all out on paper, no matter how awful it is. Use swear words, and call her every name you can think of if those names want to come out of your mouth. And then "send" it by disposing of it. You could even put it in an envelope, address it, and then run it through the shredder, or burn it in the fireplace.

    What you do next is up to you. Do you continue to be fearful of these emotions when they return? Or do you stand up to them? When the same feelings arise again, I say get out the pen and paper. If your mother is still alive and giving you grief, get it all out on paper after every interaction. Start to consider why and how she does these things, so that maybe you can forgive her as a person struggling with her own shit (you do not have to forgive her hurtful actions - but it can help to forgive her for not being a perfect parent).

    It is ultimately your choice whether or not you let your negative emotions continue to have power over you. Openly facing them is the best way to dissolve their power.

    Xara and Cactusflower like this.
  3. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jan has it on the nose!
    That is exactly how I approached my Mum. I love hear dearly but she has her quirks. She can’t help them.. she developed hers as a means to her own childhood survival. Recognizing that just took all the negative power out of everything for me.
    Xara and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. Xara

    Xara Peer Supporter

    Thank you for the answers.
    Instinctively I knew I have to do it, but needed someone to tell, go on, do it, it is not bad to do it. Even therapists cannot guide you at this, they are not ready to hear mother blaming stuff, except there is something like violence etc. They discourage this.
    This procedure makes me feel drained of energy, scarred, dizzy, etc. I write, I speak but I feel it is not a short time process, I need time to mourn for all these I didn't get, the constant judgment, her absence during important periods of my life. All these exploded when I gave birth to my child. Totally absent emotionally, as always. The only help I got was from my father, who died four years ago. I lost my harbour.
    I feel guilty even writing these :p but is a little liberating. I even feel graphic or weird. In my family the most important thing was to survive ( trying to work hard, to get money, very poor family at the beginning), so feelings were expelled as not useful, when we didn't laugh at them...
    It is more liberating writing here than writing unsent letters. It is like I need to know I am not exaggerating ( my mother's typical phrase), I am not " spoiled", that I have the right to do it.

    We always discounted our feelings in my family ( except for my father, who for this reason was considered weak ! )
    Anyway l, I could write for long more, but the fact is that I feel I am near the core of my tms problems. Achiever, pleaser, not wanting to be a burden, sensitive of critic, insecure and so on. I need to forgive myself too for these traits.
    It is like I start now.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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