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Stuck in new symptom

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Lizzy, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Hi all,
    I have journaled and talked psychological to myself till I'm blue in the face. So I am sharing this long post.

    Last December I started having a cramp, occasionally, in my big toe. I wasn't worried. I treated it as TMS, but to no avail. It didn't get better, nor worse.

    "Coincidentally", in December, I found out, from a friend, that my estranged father has congestive heart failure. A few weeks ago I learned more details about how he's doing (not well). He and my mother aren't telling anyone in the family, so I am not able to learn a prognosis. That caused my toe to hurt 24/7 and to be more painful than it had been. Aha! After realizing what the conflict was, I thought it would get better. Unfortunately, it hasn't. I had been talking to my husband about my feelings about my dad and mom, but not the toe. When I shared with him the TMS causing toe pain, it finally lessened. Yea!

    So, I decided to share with you about this latest round with tmsing, as well as my feelings.

    I have been sad that I needed to be estranged from my dad, but not sad to be estranged, as it was a relief. My brother is also estranged from him. As a result, we are also estranged from our mom. That was harder, as my mom is a people pleaser, so she was enjoyable to be around. She most wants to please my dad, so she supported his verbal and emotional abuse. As an adult I chose to stay in a relationship with my dad because I was extremely close to my Grandma, his mother. A year after she died I severed the relationship with my dad. We've been estranged for five years.

    I find I am very angry with my mom because she passively allowed the abuse. I'm also angry because she wrote me a letter saying I was kicked out of the family. Thankfully both sides of my family have been supportive. She has written some nasty emails to her sister saying she should cut off relations with myself and my brother because of the estrangement, as well as calling us names and saying we're liars and that we are the abusers. I know she is a victim, but my inner child wanted her to protect me. Also, she has always been passive, and it's very hard to have her be mean. My dad has always been mean, but not my mom.

    I have always been afraid of my dad. He scared me when I was little, and the feeling stayed as an adult. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress in my early 20's. Usually nothing would happen when I saw him, but he knew how to blindside. I was always trying to be ready, but wasn't. Now I feel afraid of what my mom might say. It doesn't matter if words shouldn't hurt. They can.

    I suspect my mom can't afford to live alone and will ask to live with her sister. I see my aunt 2 or 3 times a week. This has me freaked out. My aunt and I talk openly about all of this. She will let my mom move in, but understands I don't want to see her. How this will work out remains to be seen.

    There's alot of thinking about the past and the future. It's hard to be in the present. Grrr!!! It's very messy and I can see why our brains try to opt out.

    I have written mostly about the circumstances, but maybe can get started on feelings from here. I'm not sure what else to do.
    Thanks to all who can get to the end of this!
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sweet Lizzy,

    Maybe the very best thing to do is nothing. There is such a lot playing out in your life right now that it is enough to simply be with it and with the emotions it generates. Play softly with your vulnerabilities, be strong with your boundaries. Be immensely self-compassionate.

    This is definitely a time to shore up your self care and dig deep into the self-soothing practices that serve you best. Sometimes we forget how powerful our shadow is, how self-doubt and judgement can derail us, when in truth they are guardians to our beauty and redemption.

    I have a family situation of my own that is very unsettling and triggering so I am mindful of how thorny these situations can be. :(

    It's a shame that such horrid circumstance blight our days especially given how gorgeous and brimming with hope Nature is right now. I find I feel a million times better when I tune into that delicious energy and leave the discombobulating energy of human nonsense behind.

    I have a yen to walk barefoot in Nature. Aside from feeling lovely on the feet, I cherish the grounding reconnection with Mother Earth. It feels good to have something sure and nurturing beneath us, holding us safe in difficult times. I think our inner child derives much joy from this too.

    So from one soul entering the fray to another I send you much love and fighting spirit. Remember we are here for you. Happy to simply listen and lend support from afar.

    Plum x
    MWsunin12, Time2be, Durga and 2 others like this.
  3. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Aww dearest Plum,

    Your words melted me....

    And melting revealed the hard shell I was oblivious to. Being soft doesn't make me vulnerable. Perhaps my subconscious thinks it will, so I was wrapped in this hardness. It makes sense that I made little progress. How can we hope to feel our feelings from such a place?

    I think it is what Claire Weekes was teaching, strength doesn't come from strength, but from passing through to the other side of weakness. I can't protect myself by being hard, although I wasn't aware of the hardness until I felt it drain away.

    I will be with this. I feel present.

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate your kindness, you opened up my heart, when I was so in my head.
    Feeling loved,
    Durga, plum and Ellen like this.
  4. Durga

    Durga Peer Supporter

    I love bare foot walking in nature too! Maybe you can take your toe with you on a little bare foot walking? Remember to draw some eyes and a smile on it first! Just kidding. All the best to you
    Lizzy, Ellen and plum like this.
  5. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    I'm barefoot in the house now and looking forward to soon being barefoot outside! Plum is right about my inner child and the joy of the bare ground beneath my feet. I love the idea of a smiley face, or maybe I will do a flower. I enjoy looking at painted nails. Just the thought makes me smile. Thanks for the encouragement ☺️
    plum and Durga like this.
  6. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    I fully agree with Plum, you need to soothe youself. I have myself some issues with my father, he was physically violent against my sister and me. To slap a child on the back or in the face seemed normal when I grew up - unfortunately not only for me but also for many other kids I knew. It's a punishing culture that was socially accepted. I was very afraid of my father when I was a child. And I can still feel the anxiety when we have a conflict. It's in the body.
    Now he is old, he is fragile. I have not forgiven him for what he did, but I take the good things I can get from the relationship. However, I don't want to see him that often and not for a longer period. If I'd stayed at my parents place for a week I would go nuts - and would be in pain. Even shorter visits can have this effect. So, I now protect myself. I don't blame them, they are what they are and this is bad enough for them. But I need to do for me what is good for me. That's my duty, so speak. My parents have a toxic relationship, struggling all the time. They call me to complain about the other part. Also here, I need to distance myself. Either I stop them or - if this is not possible - I just keep on listening, saying the words they want to hear (like: yes, it is difficult, you know how he/she is ..). And I do my best to immediately forget about the telephone conversation.
    And going barefoot outside is wonderful! I love to go barefoot in the sand. To go barefoot in the grass is not so easy for me - I can be afraid of walking on something stingy ... Painted nails also cheer me up!
    plum and Lizzy like this.
  7. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    Your post really resonates with me. I haven't seen my father since he's been failing, but he is now fragile and unsteady on his feet. I struggle to imagine him this way. He has always been scary to me. I also can still feel the anxiety. When we still saw him, my husband often had to "prop me up" to get out the door to a family gathering.

    About 20 years ago I did a visualization exercise with a therapist. I imagined a narrow wall that was made of bricks that went up into the clouds. My dad was behind the wall blustering away. I used a bulldozer to knock the wall down. I pictured my dad exposed as Yosemite Sam. Little and blustering. I then pushed the pile of bricks off the edge of the horizon. The idea being to permanently expose him.
    I've been thinking about that image a lot lately.

    Maybe an exercise like that would help you too. Dealing with a problem parent(s) is so difficult. I wish you all the best.

    Thank you for your post, Lizzy
    plum and Durga like this.

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