Hi there, everyone. I'm doing really well with my TMS. I finally found what I considered the "key" to my healing, which was just to accept that everything I am feeling is totally okay, and that I don't need to beat myself up for being imperfect, or being in pain, or saying the wrong thing, or not being exactly the way I wish I was. I had been dealing with severe back and hip pain for three straight months, but with this revelation, I was about 95% pain free in a matter of days, and have been that way and improving steadily for the past week. I feel alive once again, and like I am no longer crazed with pain and frustration. But here's the problem: I now FEEL my emotions. All of them. I was away with cousins when I finally began to recover, and I realized that part of it was because one of my cousins is pretty much my best friend, and I felt very validated and listened to. Recently, I've been living near my father and brother, after having come back "home" longterm for the first time in about 13 years, when I left to go to college. Of course, my ONLY experiences with my severe TMS have been while I was visiting (or would soon be visiting) my brother and father. What a coincidence? My anxiety around my brother and father is EXTREME. My father wants things between us to be good, and so he is a lot more receptive to what's been coming up for me, though he still doesn't seem to really grasp who I am or what I'm saying. My brother, on the other hand, has years and years of repressed anger, so much so that he cannot help but smile ear-to-ear when he is clearly ENRAGED and wants to strangle me. Why does he want to strange me? Because I'm talking about how I feel in our relationship, and that I feel like he's been angry with me for years, and he's treated me very badly. His response? "YOU NEED TO START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN LIFE! I'M NOT ANGRY!" Clearly, there's no judgment, and no anger. TMS has taught me that my body literally will not tolerate the ways I've been taught to betray myself, in that I had internalized a lifetime of criticism, anger, and belittlement from my brother, whom I've only just realized while working with a TMS therapist was physically abusive to me as a child (I just thought it was normal?). I'm so used to explaining away his behavior because it was "hard for all of us" after our mother died, but that feels like such a lie now, such a betrayal: I'M ANGRY. And I don't really know how to get beyond the anger, how to move through it. It's just there. In the meantime, I've had to cut him off. My lower back/hip muscles spasm hardcore when he is around, and I feel at a loss for words. So, as I am leaving soon for a year of traveling, I have vowed not to see him before I go. To see him feels like it would be so wrong, even though it hurts so much inside to walk away. I've been trying for 20 years to work things out with him, but it never gets any better. I have been the scapegoat for his problems. So many pieces of my personality have fallen into place from these revelations, from my feelings about men and dating to my body image and relationship with food. I learned to silence myself with food, because no one wanted to hear what I had to say; I literally learned to force down what I was feeling. I've also always had a hard time being myself around men, because I'm so accustomed to the pain that comes with being vulnerable to my family. I also never really felt great in my body, and now, labeling my childhood experiences as "abuse" really makes sense to me--my body did not feel like a safe place to be. So much is coming to the surface, but it's scary, and I feel helpless at times when I imagine my future--will I always feel this way? I'm about to leave for a year or more to Australia (from the US), and I'm hoping that I will end up loving it so much that I stay there longterm. But I feel so much GUILT. Guilt for leaving my dad (again), but now he's 80. Guilt for "hurting" my brother, who finishes every one of his rants about all that's wrong with who I am by saying, "But you're my sister, and I love you unconditionally." (I'm not sure if he knows what "unconditionally" means.) Guilt for not being able to say goodbye to my 5-year-old nephew, whom I love and adore, but whom I can't bring myself to visit because it would mean seeing my brother again. Guilt for finally screaming and cursing at my brother when he started verbally abusing me today on the phone. I just couldn't take it anymore, and I am tired of burying my rage. But then there's the guilt. As a woman, as a sister, as the youngest, shouldn't I be the one to make it all better? Aren't I letting them all down? As much as I know that staying here and having relationships with them would mean intense suffering and pain, I still feel so much loss and sadness for cutting off my brother, for leaving my father, for not saying goodbye to my nephew. On top of this, all of these emotional revelations have me asking myself, "Am I crazy? Is it me? Are they right?" I have great friends who have assured me that, no, I am not crazy, and that my feelings are real and justified and valid. But I'm watching so many of my hopes for these relationships totally crumble, and I'm wondering, "What did I do to deserve this?" It feels like everything that was once sacred to me is now just dead. Or blown apart. I don't know that it will never work out in the future, but right now, there's nothing. And it hurts. Is this kind of emotional hell all par for the course? Does it get any better? Anyone else out there with sibling issues? Is this just all part of being human, or do some people not have to deal with this crap? TMS is so intense! First, it takes away our the freedom in our bodies, and then when we get it back, we have to pay for it with serious soul-searching. I know this is a gift in the long run; I know that this is freeing me from what does not help me in my life. But right now, it's so hard, and it hurts.