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TMS and the victim personality

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Miriam G. Bongiovanni, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Miriam G. Bongiovanni

    Miriam G. Bongiovanni Peer Supporter

    In case this may be of interest to someone ;-)

    Just wanted to raise some awareness about a personality-type which maybe Sarno didn't quite address - that of feeling and acting like a victim. I've noticed this trait both in myself and in other people I've coached so far, but especially in people suffering from Fibromyalgia and other severe chronic pain symptoms.

    I think the victim personality is developed in childhood, when we may indeed have no control over a number of things. We cannot decide which school to go to, whether or not our parents get a divorce, etc. Unfortunately, by the time we're adults, we may have extended this belief (that we are victims) to various other circumstances, and fail to recognize that we can indeed change our lives for the better. So many of us stay stuck in jobs or relationships they don't like because they believe there's nothing they can do, and blame anything that goes wrong on 'bad luck'. We start to feel sorry for ourselves. And this mindset, I believe, is a TMSers worst enemy.

    Of course, most of us also grew up believing that we have no control over our health. As kids we just 'got sick', and we learnt that people just get ill and 'die'. There is little education on how we can improve our health, especially via a mindbody perspective. And therefore, when we're hit with chronic symptoms in our adulthood, we feel helpless, and look to others for a solution (when in reality the solution is to be found inside of ourselves).

    Thankfully, the TMS approach empowers people to ditch the victim personality and feel more in control and less fearful of their pain. This was key to my own healing. To get rid of my pain, I had to stop feeling like I was the unluckiest person in the world, and change my perspective on pain. I had to start believing that there is something I could do. And I felt empowered and confident even before the pain went away.

    So next time you end up thinking just how unlucky you are to be in such pain and how it's ruining your life, why don't you try and flip that believe over? You are lucky because you discovered that you've got TMS. You have embarked on a journey of self-discovery, one that gives you back some degree of control over your own health.

    You can learn more about this topic and get some more tips on my recent blog post (https://www.painoutsidethebox.com/tms-blog/tms-pain-victim-personality (TMS and the Victim Personality — PainOutsideTheBox)). I do hope this helps someone unlock a piece of the puzzle, and would love to hear others' thoughts on the subject.

    All the best,

    map76, JanAtheCPA, grapefruit and 3 others like this.
  2. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Great website I love the 7 steps you posted it sounds like you really have a handle on Tms
  3. Kozas

    Kozas Well known member

    It's amazing because earlier today I was thinking just about that! How always my parents(mainly mother) always decided everything for me, and everything I tried to do(having a girlfriend, curing my acne etc) was a failure. I developed this sense of victim mentality, especially with my stomach and jaw/teeth pain. I'm sure it's TMS but I still think so often that I'm a victim, it's because of my bad lack, and how I don't have control over anything significant in my life. The only part of my life that I'm successfull is education/job/money as I don't have any problem in that but I struggle with relationships/health/appearence/mental health. Personally I decided that easiest way is just... change it. Instead of sit and mop around how life is unfair and I'm victim, I'm gonna exercise more, lift more weights and be in much better shape. It's a way to show myself that I have ability to impact my life, and deal with chronic pain too.
    This post really helps and I'm gonna read your blog, cause I still struggle but I don't expect fast results - I just want to know that after so many years I finally gonna take a good approach to not only TMS but life itself.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Very well said. I am happy for you Miriam. The sense of being a victim ----even a "victim of TMS" itself goes very deep in we tender humans!
  5. EricFeelsThisWay

    EricFeelsThisWay Peer Supporter

    Great post. Thank you.
  6. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    I resonated with this statement in your blog post,"We may not like to admit that you we have got ourselves into a bad situation in the first place, and/or we may not be ready to take responsibility to help ourselves and change things." As a perfectionist, it's hard to accept that a lot of my decisions have been far less than perfect. It's easier to blame my mother or my husband than to look at myself in the mirror and take responsibility. This is one of the reasons that it's vital to have discussions with our children and grandchildren early on about taking responsibility for decisions, but equally important - learning to practice grace and self love. If I hadn't always been so hard on myself for screwing up, then I wouldn't have felt the need to develop a victim mentality.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Brilliant! I've never heard anyone express this connection before.

    There may be a direct connection too between "victimizing myself" (with the the Inner Critic), and the resulting felt sense of being "victimized." Then we look outside for the wrong caused to us. And in this --from the outside-- victim role we take the part of a child, just like our default relationship with the Inner Critic.

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