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Exhibiting the symptoms you worry about

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by dabatross, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Part of the most frustrating part of having chronic pain/symptoms is that you pay so much money and time of treatments that do nothing. I once valued being pain free at around $400,000 (of course I did, I'm an economist). When we spend all of this money and do a ton of treatments that do nothing, it is very easy to think that we will never get better.

    I see a lot of parallels between CVS and RSI. I also used all of the aids and "good posture devices" that were supposeldly going to reduce my symptoms and keep me pain free. Of course, the only thing these devices did was make me feel like I was damaged and disabled. I totally agree with Jan, and Dr. Sarno, that we have to give up our crutches and fully believe in the TMS diagnosis. We need to understand that TMS treatment is completely different then every other failed approach we have tried previously, and that is why it works. I was able to break my belief that I was damaged and disabled by understanding the nature of TMS and its treatment.

    Do this and see what comes up. It may provide a lot of useful insights about what areas you need to address and what is holding you back.
  2. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    jan and forest thanks for your comments. jan thats interesting to hear about the glasses you were prescribed in high school senior year. ive heard that from many doctors that glasses can make the eyes lazy (thats not entirely true because they dont actually alter the eye) but when you stopped wearing them there wasn't any eyestrain anyway so it must have been from the stress. interestingly enough i never wore glasses before i was 21 and started this job and i worked on computers and did near work for hours on end with no problems. ive read through monte's book, listened to his audio programs, and i have been thinking psychological and not physical more so than ever before. i dont know if its the question of "whats it going to take" to make that leap or if i just dont know what im missing here.

    like you said intellectually i get all of this.. i understand it and i process it pretty much on a daily basis on how i tried all treatments, did everything that was recommended, didn't work, started correlating events with increased anxiety and symptom levels, started thinking about what is going on right now when im in pain. i dont do physical treatments for my eyes anymore i stopped that months ago.

    im sure most of us have thought this though "i can't think of anything emotionally right now that could be causing my pain" and like monte says its not something 10 years ago thats causing it, its something right now. i've made some strides already psychologically. i've really curbed my negative thinking dramatically, trying to think positive more about things, ive been trying to reduce stress, but im missing something. there is some resistance to me doing some of this stuff like yoga or meditation. when i was doing vision therapy i did it every day and really didn't have problems keeping up with it but with psychological work i can't seem to get the motivation its like something is holding me back.

    so ive read and listened to a lot of the resources you suggested jan and i still feel stuck. i dont know what is going on emotionally with me that could be causing this or what my brain is distracting me from emotionally. theres 3 main things in my life right now that i think are causing this:

    1. obsessing about the pain (either monitoring it or just can't get it off my mind)
    2. fear
    3. attention

    Those are the 3 main things that i can think of but as far as emotions go im not sure. monte said its something going on with your present life, the way you live it, thats causing the pain not a past event. and ive tried journaling and looking for what that could be.

    like jan said i intellectually get all of this. i understand it and i believe it can cause the pain. the question i think most of us have asked though is "what emotions am i having that are causing this pain" or "other people might have the pain caused by emotions but i dont have anything that could be". intellectually understanding the cause and the treatment isn't enough i dont think. there is something im not doing emotionally and psychologically that is keeping this going.

    This is what i think pushed me into the realm of having symptoms all day long instead of just when using the computer. during vision therapy i was spending $1500 bucks every 3 months for it and i wasn't getting results. put a lot of stress and pressure on me to get it done fast before i had to pay again and after the 6 months was up, $3000 bucks later, i didn't get any relief from it. i did a total of 11 months of vision therapy (5 months of home vision therapy and then 6 months of in office vision therapy) and at the end of it i was the same as when i went in.

    i could really use your guys advice on what to do because i get it intellectually but im missing something here and i dont know what it is. forest you were able to overcome your fear by reading success stories and fully accepting the diagnosis. jan are you pain free now as well? its just theres many things going on that dont make sense of why i would have pain doing this or that, having eyestrain for a week when i didn't touch the computer, etc. like many of you the pain has consumed my life where i can't go a day without thinking about it. this is also part of the problem
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dabatross, I hear that you're really frustrated, and I'm sorry!

    Dr. Sarno and others have said that when someone with TMS comes up against a brick wall like this, that it's time to consider serious psychotherapy. I know that many practitioners and coaches say that our symptoms don't have to be from the past, but unfortunately that's just not true for everyone. You have mentioned both anxiety and social phobias, and I think I'm pretty safe in saying that those two conditions do not suddenly occur in adulthood as a result of adult stresses - I'm reasonably sure that they are developed in very early childhood. So if you don't really know, on a deep emotional level, why you have those conditions, that may be the connection you're missing. And I'm talking about a gut-level knowledge that is much deeper and much more emotional than intellectual knowledge. You are really good at the intellectual knowledge, and it's been successful to a certain point - but you need to, and want to, get past that point.

    The problem that I see, or rather feel, when I read your posts, is that I don't actually feel any real emotions from you. I feel a lot of anxiety and fear, but those are just surface emotions. Some practitioners think they are TMS symptoms, but whether that's the case or not, they are certainly hiding (distracting you from) the real emotions, the deep emotions.

    After Alan Gordon's webinar, there was a lot of interest and a certain amount of discussion about ISTDP - Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy. What I'm getting from the discussions is that it's intended to strip away surface emotions and distractions and get to the heart of deep feelings very efficiently. I'm just putting that out there, but I'm not an expert on how to find the right therapist. We do know that anyone with TMS needs to see someone who believes in the mind-body connection - without that, therapy will not be effective.

    Forest likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    And to answer your other question: While I had a certain amount of instant relief from some of my symptoms after I finished my first Sarno book, it wasn't until I worked on the Structured Ed Program for several weeks that I was relieved of the worst symptoms, which were neck pain and dizziness (I call it that for short, it's really vestibular disorientation, fogginess, sensitivity to fluorescent lights, general weirdness). I didn't want to journal, but I did it, and discovered some repressed memories, which were not traumatic, but which did help to explain my anxiety and other emotional issues.

    I think that the key to journaling is being totally honest, and being willing to address the things that your brain tries to tell you aren't important as you're making your lists. If you get that message, it's important to ignore your brain, and to write that "unimportant" item down anyway, and then journal about it. I was surprised at what came up.

    I didn't even finish the Program, and it often took me several days to get through one "Day". So you don't have to do it perfectly - but you have to do it, and you have to do more than just skim the surface. Brutal honesty with self about your personal experiences. That's what it takes.

    I also recently (last week) really resonated with the discussion of abandonment in Chapter 1 of Steve O's book (with credit to Dr. Sopher). I immediately identified an abandonment event in my infancy, causing a huge AHA! moment that I'm still processing. It was an event about which I have always had information, but I had never before connected it with any kind of emotional response, because it wasn't neglectful or abusive - but now it makes sense as the source of my lifelong anxiety, and other TMS symptoms.

    Human beings are so whacky - we have these incredibly strong bodies, and in many ways we also have an incredibly strong spirit/soul/will - but our psyches are so fragile!

    Livvygurl, Forest and veronica73 like this.
  5. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Dabatross,

    Sorry you're feeling stuck. My own experience with journalling/the Structured Program was that it brought up a lot of emotions but that it was almost "too much" to be working through on my own (especially because one of my issues is trying to be totally independent all the time and not asking for help). I ended up deciding to work on the emotions by seeing a TMS therapist. It's been EXTREMELY helpful and I've only been working with her for about 6 weeks. There wasn't a TMS therapist near me that I could easily get to (I am car free) so I found someone out of state who I can work with by phone. Might be worth giving it a shot in addition to all the other good stuff you are doing like participating here.


    Take care,
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    thank you jan and veronica read through your posts and you made some great suggestions. This post is going to be very long thank you for reading through.

    You're absolutely right this didn't start right away when I began getting pain. I first started getting anxiety problems in 1994 and then they came to a head in 1998 where I went 6 months without talking, smiling, and got extremely socially phobic and had separation anxiety. I graduated from 5th grade and moved into middle school and around the start of that I sat next to a kid that had warts on his hands. Something about this freaked me out and I went into a downward plunge. First I had to be moved away from him, then I couldn't be in the same room with him, kept getting worse. Soon after that I stopped talking.

    I spent 6 months not talking and seeing various psychologists and psychiatrists. I got prescribed medication for the problem but it wasn't working. It wasn't until around the 6 month mark that I was lying on the couch and my dad asked me a question. (I would only whisper to my family members) He got really pissed because he wanted me to break out of this cycle I was in (dont worry hes not a bad dad he wanted me to get better) and after this event I slowly began talking again. I have no idea why but him getting really mad at me broke me out of the cycle and like 2 days after that was the first time in 6 months somebody at school heard me speak. It was something about him not taking it anymore that broke me out of it.

    As far as psychotherapists are concerned, I tried 2 or 3 of them so far and had no luck with them. Im not giving up but its hard to find somebody that believes in the mind body connection that is actually helpful. The last two psychotherapists I saw either didn't do anything for me or didn't really care because he took vacations every 2 weeks and I could only see him on Fridays.

    I wanted to bring up something interesting that I believe may have started this pain. In 1998 I had a lot of that anxiety "dropped heart" feeling where you feel really scared and don't know why kind of like a panic attack. I didn't have another episode like that until I began working at Fedex in 2005. (this is when my foot pain started). I was in the back of a truck unloading boxes and I started getting this panic type feeling again and got scared. I think it has to do with a feeling of isolation because you're in a dark truck by yourself in a warehouse. I can't remember if that is exactly when my pain started or not but that could have been a trigger for it to begin to get me out of working there. My theory is that my brain didn't want to experience that anxiety again so it created a pain syndrome in my feet to get me to quit that job. It took about a year but eventually I did quit because the pain was too much to handle I began crying.

    What is really interesting is that this wasn't the first standing up job I did. I worked at a home improvement store before this, around 20 to 32 hours a week standing on my feet, and dont remember ever having pain in my feet. I quit that job, went to Fedex working only 12 hours a week, and developed chronic pain in both feet in the same spot. I was working less hours but developed the pain syndrome seemingly out of nowhere.

    You both brought up the structured program Im going to have to check this out as well. Im working on a lot of stuff already right now which I want to finish including The Great Pain Deception, trying to motivate myself to meditate, reading a good book about anxiety disorders, and trying to get back into exercising to rid myself of extra stress.

    Ive heard this from various mind body people and they say if that event is over with it shouldn't be causing pain anymore. However I think there are events (like you said) in my past that could have contributed to this beginning. Either I repressed something of these emotions or I have a cold heart but right around 2000 my dad got cancer and my mom pretty much cheated on him during this. Couple months later my parents got divorced and I witnessed tons of fights and anger during this period. I got stuck in the middle of it and this is when I began getting my negative personality that I have only recently tried to change. I said at the time I didn't care if I saw my mom or not but I wonder if I really did.

    Anyhow my mom kept seeing this dude and they eventually got married but I held a grudge against my stepdad for almost 10 years. I hated him and I felt guilty. I didn't want to conversate at all with him because i was worried what my dad would think about it and how it would hurt him. So for 10 years i had to see my mom on the side going to subway or whatever to meet up for lunch and talk. Our relationship collapsed especially when she moved in with him because I 100% refused to ever meet him. I didn't meet him until December 2009 almost 10 years after they first met because of feelings of guilt and anger. Holding a grudge for 10 years becomes really difficult.

    I got into a lot of fights with my dad during this time too because he was obviously under a ton of stress. He just got out of cancer/chemo treatments but he had other issues as well including chronic pain in his back that he had since 1993. A lot of that anger/stress came out in the way he dealt with me and we got into a ton of fights during this 10 year period because we are very alike in a lot of ways but also unalike in some ways. Probably 3-4 times I almost moved out of the house even though I had nowhere to go and the other fights was just buried rage to the point where I was throwing chairs through the wall.

    I was tired of feeling guilty and being angry all the time and when I finally graduated college, which was only like 3 days before I finally met my stepdad, a couple months later I moved out on my own and now my relationship with my dad is great. Really weird as soon as I moved out of there we get along fine now I think we were around eachother way too much.

    So thats a brief summary of the last 10 or so years there were other things that happened but those are the major ones. So my hypothesis of what started TMS for me:

    1. My dad has had chronic pain since 1993 so I grew up with somebody in chronic pain for pretty much my whole life.

    2. Possible repressed emotions from the events that happened in that 10 year period

    3. Anger/guilt/OCD/anxiety

    4. Obsessing about the pain and monitoring it

    5. The anxiety feeling in the truck

    6. One more thing I forgot to mention. I had this fear of working at night because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to see my girlfriend (now wife) because she worked in the day. This was a huge thing for me during the 2005-2007 years because I thought something really bad would happen if I couldn't see her ( I had no clue what it was) but if I had to work an alternate schedule than hers we wouldn't be able to see eachother very much and this freaked me out. If she told me she couldn't see me I didn't feel too bad about it but if I was the one that had to initiate not seeing her I got anxiety and almost panicky feelings and guilt about it.
    Sorry this post is long as hell just trying to get some things on the table.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dabatross, thank you for taking the time to write this down and opening yourself here in the forum. I have a much better sense of who you are, which makes it easier to make a connection. Childhood phobias? Oh yeah, I had those. Still have some!

    Unfortunately, along with inappropriate physical therapies and devices, many people with TMs have reported that years of inappropriate psychotherapy did nothing for their symptoms. It's not just believing the mind-body connection, but knowing how to access the repressed emotions. That's what ISTDP is supposed to do, but even a qualified ISTDP therapist needs the TMS knowledge to be effective for us.

    You've obviously experienced a lot of dysfunction in the core relationships that are supposed to prepare you and support you in this life. I've often been reminded of MorComm when I've read your prior posts, and now that I know a little of your story, I think there are a lot of similarities to his. Morcomm's posts are also pretty dense (I don't think he'll mind me saying that ;)) and he also has a very strong intellect. I'm pretty sure he's posted on some of your threads, so you have an idea of his family story. You can use the Search box to find posts by a particular member. He's one of the top posters, so it will take a while to go through them all. Read Morcomm so that you can see how much he's overcome and the techniques he uses on a day-to-day basis to push through the symptoms.

    But here's something you can do right now. You've got Steve O's book, which is great. Go back to Page 3, and read it again. Just Page 3. If any kind of feeling, emotional or physical, comes up, stop reading and feel the feeling. If memories or thoughts come up, write them down briefly so you can examine them later by journaling.

    I don't care how small the feeling or thought might be, go with it. If you have a memory but you think "oh, that's not really important" ignore that message, and concentrate even harder on getting that memory down on paper, because that's your brain trying to protect you from something that IS important, even if you don't know what it is in that moment.

    Anything that you've written down, you will want to go back and journal about it. Free-flow writing, just whatever comes up. Pen or keyboard, it doesn't matter (but don't edit if you're keyboarding!). Concentrate on your emotions about the event.

    I experienced the effectiveness of this technique when I was working on the SEP - it was those small things that I didn't want to write down that held the gems of hidden emotions. And I had that success last year, months before Steve's book was published and before I'd listened to Dr. Z on the four core issues of existential psychotherapy. I'm choosing Page 3 in Steve's book for you because that page hit me emotionally like a ton of bricks, he SO nailed the core issue of abandonment/isolation on the head, in just one page. I'm hoping it will have the same effect for you.

    To me, Page 3 was worth the price of the whole book. I'm almost done with Chapter 5, but I still go back to Page 3.

    Don't be surprised if the result of doing the above is that your symptoms get worse or new ones surface (Steve O, Chapter 5). Both of those reactions are proof that you have TMS. That's the good news. The brain's goal is to fight against revealing "dangerous" emotions. YOUR goal is to keep the dangerous emotions out in the open until there is no need for them to be repressed anymore, and thus no need for distracting symptoms. The bad news, especially for those of us with anxiety, is that it's pretty much a constant struggle - BUT it's still good news: you can have a totally different relationship with your symptoms, and you'll be able to dismiss them or ignore them much more easily as time passes (Claire Weekes).

    Don't forget to love yourself and forgive yourself as you're doing this. We talk a lot about that here on the forum, but it can't be repeated too often. Part of our personality type is how easily we beat up on ourselves for having failed somehow. As Dr. Z said in his podcast on failure and adversity - that's part of the human condition, so you must always forgive yourself and move on. And I think that loving yourself is much harder for men than it is for women.

    Finally: >>> The text box at the bottom of page 3 confirms that you don't have to resolve past issues or events in order to overcome your TMS, but you do have to understand how your EMOTIONS about them has affected you. That may be what you're missing.

    Stop and really feel (experience) what comes up.
    Briefly write down everything that comes up (but feel first)
    Journal about the things you've written down.
    Rejoice if your symptoms get worse while you do this.
    Forgive yourself and love yourself.
    Repeat as needed.

    We are here for you!

    Livvygurl, Forest and veronica73 like this.
  8. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    thank you very much jan for reading through that and posting such a thoughful response. im going to reread page 3 again (i have the kindle version so page 3 might not be exactly the same, do you have the starting paragraph text for page 3 so I know where to start)? I've seen morcomm's posts before I'll have to go back and read through them to see. I fully agree not many people believe fully in TMS or mind body disorder so finding a good psychotherapist for something like this is very difficult. I spent days on the internet the first time looking for somebody who might fit the bill and when I finally went and saw them they weren't the type of therapist I needed at all. I'm thinking I need a talk therapist more or less that believes in mind body disorder rather than a hypnotist or CBT. I tried CBT therapy and her idea was for me to sit with the thought of "Think about being in pain for the rest of your life and what that would feel like, now just sit with it until the anxiety starts fading". She tried to treat my pain problem like an issue of anxiety with washing hands or something so I dont think she was the right therapist for me.

    Jan do you think fear and attention/compulsive thinking play a significant role in TMS as well as emotions? Not only do I believe emotions play a large role but also fear and attention because the more you fear or attend to the pain the worse it gets. Steve's book has been helping me because it shows that TMS isn't an overnight thing you cure like it seems when you first learn about it. You look on the back of Sarno's books and Howard Stern says "I cured my pain just by reading this book" (paraphrased of course) and thats just not true for everybody. A lot of people it takes a long time to get through it and Steve's dedication shows that even though you have a lot of downs and some ups, you can get through it and be pain free so hes been a big source of inspiration ever since I started reading it. I dont know if you feel this way or not as well.

    What really struck me in the chapter where he talks about how he got rid of the pain is that it was his motivation to succeed that pushed him through to the end. He had so many days of pain and suffering that he went through and just kept listening to Sarno's voice and CDs, reading the books, sitting through the pain. That was particularly motivational for me when he said he wanted to be able to sit any way he wanted to so he sat in the chair and it hurt like hell but after I dont remember how long he began to sit and experienced no pain. He also mentioned the classic doubt of "well the xrays show herniations or disk bulges right where my pain is" that is very difficult for some of us to get over (including me with my optometrist diagnosing convergence insufficiency) so it helped to see him overcome that as well.

    Definitely going to try that exercise on page 3 though thanks for mentioning it. I wanted to bring up a book I've been reading also that you might be interested in called The Chemistry of Calm which Ive been reading. Its a really good book that goves over anxiety, natural supplements to try, and other techniques as well as information about the brain and how one develops an anxious mind. I thought it might be beneficial to us TMS sufferers who also have big anxiety issues.
  9. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi D: The topic on Page 3 is sub-titled "Setting The Stage For Pain". Stop when you get to the next subheading ("What is the psychopathology of TMS"). Maybe two pages on the Kindle. I wish there was a Nook version :^) I'm carrying around this giant book, and I like to read in bed, but the book is too big for that. I'm addicted to my Nook. I could get the Kindle version on my phone, but that's a lot of page "turning". I might anyway, nice to have it as a reference everywhere I go!

    They certainly do a good job of maintaining the symptoms, but they are merely another mechanism by which the brain exerts its mandate to keep your emotions repressed.

    I often tell new forum members that we don't see the "book cure" folks here. Not until the book cure is no longer effective, that is, and then we DO see them and welcome them. There is NO one path on this journey, bless our imperfect human souls - we are all different.

    I'm really glad that Steve's journey resonates for you, I kind of thought it might. Notice how he keeps reading and listening to the same things over and over and over. He said on Saturday that this is really important for the concepts to sink in.

  10. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    thanks jan for letting me know that. yeah i think this forum like most pain forums out there are for the cases that didn't work right away. this book is really long but full of tons of good information. by far this is the best TMS book ive read because for me it really resonates. Sarno's books are good but are written kind of doctor like so its easier to read a book in lamen's terms. Ive learned a lot of stuff I didn't know about the mind already and Im only halfway through the book. yeah i did notice that repetition seems to be part of the treatment plan that Steve was using and Im going to use as well.

    wanted to bring up another thing that i didn't understand that happened today. why do TMS symptoms happen seemingly for no reason at all sometimes? like today I was on the computer for probably 30 minutes total and the rest of the day I was working outside. I had eyestrain/tension issues in my eyes pretty much the whole time and wasn't doing any nearwork at all. this always baffles me and is a struggling point that im finding difficult to get over. have you experienced stuff like this where pain just happens and you dont know why? its like im doing physical labor that doesn't involve intense eye use at all (this also happens if I do physical exercise too) and i get the same sensations. ive had days where i'll run the elliptical for 20 minutes and teh same thing will happen.
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    IF you believe that you have TMS and its equivalents, you will eventually (sooner rather than later, hopefully!) understand know that this is simply more proof that your brain is messing with you. It's distracting you from experiencing your repressed emotions by producing your current favorite symptom - ie, the one you're currently obsessing about.

    As long as you keep asking these questions, you are still thinking physical instead of psychological, and you will not fnd relief.

    What chapter are you on in Steve's book? Your question is answered big time in Chapter 5.
  12. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    i'll have to reread chapter 5 again. i've hightlighted so much stuff in this books is ridiculous because theres a lot of good info so its possible i forgot what he was talking about in that chapter. yeah i know i have to get off of that thinking of "how come its worse on vacation, how come when i dont even do computer work i get symptoms, etc." but its one thing at a time i guess. over the past month or two ive made some drastic changes already such as trying to rid myself of negative thinking which was a huge part of my life, thinking more psychological, etc.

    for me the hard one to beat is that it doesn't make sense physically which is why i still ask those questions. you all know its hard to shake that fear when you have mainstream media telling you this or that is harming you and you should be aware, get checked up by your doctor, etc. its really not a surprise that i have thoughts like this because our society breeds on fear mongering. i try to remember what monte said where symptoms change from day to day.. you coudl have a bad day and then have a few good days or the reverse. its all part of TMS and when you overanalyze it you're causing more stress on yourself.

    jan as you've probably seen i do overanalyze the hell out of things, especially things im worried about or obsessed with, so i think too intellectually about it rather than feeling it. i try to rationalize instead of feeling it as well.

    one thing that struck me in steve's book was that of separation which you've talked about is well. i can think of when my parents got divorced that conciously i felt like i didn't care if i saw my mom or not. and really i didn't feel much.when i was having panic attacks in 6th grade and my mom didn't want to come to the psychologist sessions with me after she got off work (she said that she couldn't go to them but my dad had scheduled them purposefully after she got off work so she could). at the time i didn't care but i think any normal person would. my dad even asked me that before about that whole situation where i just kind of went stone cold towards the whole situation and i think thats what repression is.

    to switch gears when i think back to when i first started getting chronic pain symptoms, first in my feet, it was when i was having a mild panic attack in that truck at fedex. it was around that time that my feet started hurting. i was really scared to ever feel those things i did back in 98 ever again and when i got a sense of that, a sense of isolation in that truck because its dark, you're alone in a warehouse, i got scared and i think my body created symptoms in my feet to get me out of there. eventually it did a year later and i quit because i couldn't take the pain anymore. the thing i dont understand is why would it still be going on today even after that event is long gone? i got the symptom imperative when i switched jobs and now the symptoms are in my eyes.
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Whew - I'm no psychologist, but I think you're getting somewhere with this. This is some pretty deep sh*t, and really scary sh*t as well.

    It seems to me that a good psychotherapist would get you to a place where you could finally fully experience the abandonment of your mother, and bring the full extent of your emotions out into the light of day. Once you do that, could then truly feel that it's okay to have these emotions, and that you can survive them.

    Your problem right now is that even though you are intellectually aware that the emotions are there, you still haven't fully experienced them, ever - because you totally stuffed them as a kid. Remember - the inner child is what TMS is all about. So until your inner child finally experiences what you never fully felt, you will be stuck.

    In other words, you need to relive the experience in the back of that truck, letting it unfold all the way instead of stuffing it again. It sounds pretty intense, and I'm reluctant to suggest that you try this on your own. You definitely need to be in a safe place and you might need an experienced professional as well.

    I've heard good stuff about ISTDP - we've mentioned it before on this thread and I think it's what Alan Gordon practices. Listening to the webinar again will give you a sense of how it works. If you go in knowing what you're avoiding, I imagine it might be as "Short-Term" as the name implies. There's a really good description on this site of the conditions it's effective for, including chronic physical symptoms.

    I know you've had frustrations with therapists in the past. There's a lot more on the web in just the last year or so, and I was surprised at the information and referrals I found just by googling "find ISTDP therapist" and even just "ISTDP (my city)".

    I would be surprised if you didn't have some kind of reaction from having written your post today. It could go either way - depending on how hard your brain is fighting against reliving what is being repressed.

    Keep us posted.

  14. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    thanks jan for all the tips. after talking with Alan on Saturday and he did ISTDP with that one guy I became interested in it as well. Im currently looking for a therapist in my area (in fact I have to call him back today) so hopefully hes good. I think you're right I get that the emotions are there intellectually but I don't have any feelings towards them. Its like a switch turned on to shut me off from them because I seriously dont remember caring that my mom wasn't there for those sessions. I always thought of myself as just being tough or not caring what other people thought but after doing TMS work for the past couple months Ive realized Im a really self conscious person. Im always thinking about what others are thinking of me and worrying about it so Im not as tough as I thought.

    One other thing that I realized Ive been doing is reading wayyy too much on TMS and mind body disorder. When I quit reading about eye problems and stuff it seemed to just shift me into reading about TMS and obsessing with learning about it. According to Steve's book this is part of TMS and common in a TMS personality where you constantly seek information which is what Ive been doing. I bought tons of books and read them front to back. Theres lot of advice in these books but I dont end up following them. Instead of doing meditation, journaling, exercising, I just keep reading information, sometimes the same old information over and over. Thats what I was talking about when I said I felt resistance to doing the exercises to treat this issue.. I'll look for information about it but I continue to procrastinate actually doing any of the exercises.

    I remember last December I went to a psychotherapist who tried hypnosis on me. She tried to make me feel the abandonment or the fact that my mom wasn't there for those sessions by talking to her out loud when she wasn't there and then beating a pillow. I can tell you that I didn't feel anything and the whole experience felt fake to me. It felt like she was trying to pull emotions out of me that didn't exist, trying to make me angry when I wasn't. Thats why Ive been kind of iffy on seeing another psychotherapist.. I want to uncover emotions and feel them but dont want to be forced into an emotion that I dont really feel.

    So im not sure if the anxiety I experienced in the back of that truck relates to 98 at all but I do know that that job scared me every time i went there. There were particular parts of the warehouse that freaked me out too because I felt so isolated. If I was on south dock I had a better day than if I was on north dock.. north dock was darker and made you feel very alone. Now that I remember there was another time that I had anxiety feelings when I was at north dock so there were 2 times now that I remember having anxiety problems in that warehouse.

    Anyhow we'll see if I can get a good therapist because going on this road alone all the time gets hard.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  15. yb44

    yb44 Well known member

    It sounds like you have turned a corner, Dabatross. I hope you find a suitable therapist.
  16. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This sounds really good, D - it seems like the right direction for you. I was online for the webinar on Saturday and I was quite happy for you when I realized who it was with Alan. It shows that you are really committed to this process that you were willing to put yourself out there. Listening to Alan work with someone is personally therapeutic, and I got something from his breathing session with you which I'm finding really helpful in what is currently a very stressful time for me. Actually, I got something new from each session that he had with all three of you - he's pretty incredible, so thank you for doing that, and for sharing your response afterwards.

    Keep us posted!

  17. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    thanks yb and jan

    im glad the session helped you it also helped push me over that cliff to finally go and see a therapist again. after the times in the past i was a bit reluctant but the guy I found seems really nice and is open to trying treatments like mindfulness, talk therapy, progressive relaxation, he just seems to care a hell of a lot more than the last guy did. he asked me if i had tried any other treatments like acupuncture and if i had gotten second opinions from doctors (ive done this a bunch of times). haven't tried acupuncture but i just said i wanted to focus on the emotions and treating that right now. im not completely against acupuncture or anything but i think it will be good to try the other stuff.

    he didn't really know what TMS was so I told him about it a little bit and gave him the link to the introduction on this site which is a good overview. i also told him about how my symptoms make no logical sense, their intensity is elevated by stress, etc. i hope there is some good headway with this therapy to get things moving in the right direction. i think the most important thing is that he was open to all of this stuff and wasn't closed off like the other doctors ive seen who when I said "i think my pain is psychosomatic" the last doctor asked me "have you had any tests done and did anything show up?".. I said yeah one thing did and instantly he's like "oh its not psychosomatic then". interestingly a lot of psychotherapists dont believe emotions can cause pain apparently.
  18. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Dabatross - checking in after a lengthy personal absence, wondering how you're doing? You're right, when we're in our TMS/MBS/PPD world here, it's really hard to believe that there are still so many practitioners who don't get the mind-body connection, because there are so many researchers, scientists, and doctors who DO believe in it, and believing it more every day. While I was gone, I read The Anatomy of Hope by Jerome Groopman, MD (his website http://www.jeromegroopman.com/ includes an archive of his New Yorker articles). The first part of the book was hard for me to read because of the graphic details of his cancer and HIV patients, but the second part was a fascinating study into the many people who are researching the power that our minds have over our physical health. This is an MD who is talking about people who recover from cancer because they believe that they can be cured, even when the odds are against them. His thesis is that it doesn't matter how small the odds are - there is always hope, and hope is very very powerful when combined with strong belief and enhanced by visualization.

    By the way, a short middle part of the book describes his own healing from terrible back problems including bad back surgery. The cure came from a clinic which sounds like it could have been run by Steve O ("exercise through your pain, there is nothing wrong with your back"), although Sarno was never mentioned at the clinic. However, in Groopman's footnotes, he does make a reference to Healing Back Pain.

  19. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    @ dabatross: You are NOT alone! As long as you're a part of this community, you have me. And Peddy. :)
    veronica73 likes this.

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