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the source of my TMS...COMMUNICATION.. whoah! please read

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by savasana, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. savasana

    savasana Peer Supporter

    Hi again,

    I think I've made an astonishing realization about my TMS symptoms (both psychological and physical)... I think, some of them at least, are due to my extremely poor communication skills. I get severe, crippling premenstrual syndrome some months (not all, though), where I find myself, very literally, unable to stop crying. I can be anywhere, at home, at work. It's incredibly embarassing and effects my work, because it's so hard to concentrate when I'm in an emotional storm. My coworkers and boss have expressed concern over it in the past, and I don't like being "that girl" in the office.

    I realized today that it's my body fighting back at me for not expressing myself or communicating effectively when I desperately, desperately want or need to. I run from confrontation, Im terribly afraid of it, and my idea of "communication" is passive aggressiveness. My body is holding on to the sadness and anger, and I know I can release it if I learn how to communicate effectively. But how? I get so down on myself when I don't communicate skillfully, which just makes things worse. In those moments when i want to speak up for myself, it's like someone is holding my lips closed and I can't get the words out!

    Can anyone else relate?

  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi savasana,

    I think you've found an important key for yourself, a deep realization. The next step, as you suggest, is what to do about it, including speaking your truth in situations.

    An important part of what you're moving toward is to be more real with yourself. This can be done with journaling, expressing your feelings about something which brought up issues for you in the present or past. You can write directly to this person: "Dad, one thing I want you to know is______. I feel_____ when you _____." And so on. Sense into your body while doing this and feel the emotions. Own your emotions and opinions about things, without having to justify or defend your position. Things inside "want to be felt."

    We have all learned from an early age that it wasn't OK to feel and express certain feelings and experiences. This is much of the root of TMS: the conflict between what we feel down deep and what we think it is OK to feel. Part of this conflict gets born out in actually not knowing what we feel, or being only partially aware. In other words, it is often not OK to show even ourselves our truth! Or feel our true experiences.

    So your realization that you don't want to reveal your truth is huge. Expressing it outside yourself is best supported by practicing alone, revealing you to you first. Things clarify. What we thought was all about our boss turns out to be similar to our mother, etc! Or get help with a therapist or life coach. Of course, just complaining to a friend does not have this power, because we're hoping someone else will help regulate or soothe our feelings instead of us just feeling them.

    Dr. Schubiner's book Unlearn Your Pain has great prompts for journaling, and there are articles at the Wiki. I hope this helps support you to be more of who you are in the world. We're trained to hold back, and then our beauty doesn't get to shine through!

    Andy B.
    TrustIt, Rainstorm B and Coffeeplease like this.
  3. savasana

    savasana Peer Supporter

    You are right. Thanks for this super supportive and instructional post.

    It's funny because it's not like I haven't been aware of the fact that my communication skills are bad, actually I've been really aware of it for a long, long time. I was just operating on auto pilot, not truly addressing it, and I have suffered greatly for it, and I have made my interpersonal relationships suffer for it. It makes me hate myself, that I've put others through pain because of it, especially those I am closest with and who I love the most. I feel like a monster because of it, though in reality I know I am not. Self-compassion and self-forgiveness I would wager is also really important in this whole road to recovery, but it's extremely difficult.

    My mom's father was an alcoholic. When I was growing up, my mother loved me, but was extremely perfectionistic and critical to an abusive degree (that's hard to even say), and I believe it is due to her lack of control of events during her upbringing. She meant well, but she was just working with the set of tools she had, and it harmed me. So in the back of my mind, I am always hearing I'll never be good enough and that I'm essentially just a bad little girl. That if I don't do everything perfectly, that there will be major consequences, because "it's just wrong" to not do things perfectly. If i had a nickel for every time I heard from her "that's just WRONG" in her tone... oy vey. We have a good relationship today. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has just finished her treatment thankfully and seems to be doing very well, which further complicates my difficult feelings.

    I must remember that everything will not reveal itself all at once and that this is a learning process, but it's so hard, and I want to be good so badly. I want to please everyone in my life and to think that I've hurt anyone causes me immense pain. Ultimately, the deep fear there is rejection and abandonment.

    Sigh. Thank you again, and thanks for listening.

    TrustIt and Coffeeplease like this.
  4. Coffeeplease

    Coffeeplease Peer Supporter

    I can totally relate to what you're expressing, and great job writing it out here. It's tough to write out feelings when you can't find your "voice". Do you also feel like you are still trying to figure out who you really are? That's what I struggle with and your story rings with the same, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'm learning that I can't please everyone in my life and that's what I've been doing in most of my relationships. To feel loved and accepted, worthy, avoid the rejection, etc. I've used people to make myself feel loved in the same way they used me. So now that I'm alone, I want to figure out what I truly want and need. At first, this was terrifying, but I am slowly learning that I will be perfectly ok alone. I don't need a relationship/friendship/family in my life unless it is a healthy one for myself and the other person as well.

    Ditto on journaling your feelings, this helps tremendously and as you keep expressing on paper it will transition over into being able to communicate your feelings, needs, boundaries to the people you care about.

    Wishing you all the best and keep going!! You can heal....
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think this is really good to see, that the same drives/needs to be loved which keep us from speaking our truth also make us "wrong" when we begin to see more. Very good that you can see it is the same impulse. There is a deep need to be "perfect enough to be loved," and the child in us believes this fantasy. It is a "superego ideal" which cannot be achieved, and yet is a very, very deep driver.

    With every insight into our patterns, the superego will have a huge response, generating self-rejection. This is why in my guidance there is immediate working with the Inner Critic. It is the glue that binds us into the old patterns, even if/especially by rejecting us for those old patterns. In its urge to keep us safe, our expansion and insight is dangerous because more feelings are felt, feelings like anger which weren't OK.

    As you say, defending our right to our experiences/feelings and having loving contact with these inner experiences is very very important. This is not the work for the faint-hearted! And this is how our precious beauty is revealed!
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    To me, this is a fierce self-compassion, a loving boundary around your life which is made of discernment and self-attunement, a guidance to create your own life of love.
    Coffeeplease likes this.
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I want to say to you both savasana and Coffeeplease that your discussion is evidence of the powerful expansion in the lives of many people who undertake TMS work sincerely. It is so exciting for me to read your words. Most take TMS to be huge problem, but it is often a deep calling to clarify our lives, a calling which we would not heed unless there is a crisis like TMS. Dr. Sarno's urging to look inside to treat apparently "physical issues" is a gift which keeps on giving!
    Rainstorm B and Coffeeplease like this.
  8. Coffeeplease

    Coffeeplease Peer Supporter

    Thank you @Andy B! It may sound strange, but I consider my TMS to be a gift and an opportunity to open a new door and chapter to my life, free from physical and psychological pain. I only hope I can help @savasana and others on their journey in any way I can. Everyone approaches this process differently and in their own way to promote healing, but if I can help someone else in their personal journey or just be the compassionate support back to someone that I have received here.

    Even just last night I had twinges of sharp pain. My legs that seemed better all day locking up again. Accepting myself, my life as it is in this very moment, being patient, self love and accepting the pain and my TMS diagnosis most of all. Journaling emotions that I haven't wanted to face, always closing with the things for which I am very grateful.
  9. savasana

    savasana Peer Supporter

    There was a time when I felt I was trying to figure out who I was, around age 25-ish when I really struggled with figuring out what I wanted, right before I met my husband. A lot of people say that a relationship can't fix you, and while I still believe that to be true, a great relationship CAN help you to heal. When my husband came into my life, I was a mess (and in some ways still am, but hey, I'm workin' on it!), and he really became a reason and an inspiration for me to change my ways because he was such a positive figure who I looked up to as a role model. He never asked me to change and he's happy with me the way I am, but I wasn't happy with how I was interacting with him, so I made the change. I think he's the greatest person in the world and I probably wouldn't be as far along in my recovery if not for his influence in my life.

    At this point, now that I have my OCD under control, my biggest issue is learning communication and regulating my emotions. There will always be something.

    Thanks for your input and making me think!

    Coffeeplease likes this.
  10. savasana

    savasana Peer Supporter

    Perfectly said ;)

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