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Body (Emotional) Pain & Dissociation


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7 replies to this topic

#1
Lens

Lens

  • 40 posts

Hello everyone,


I have been reading the board for sometimes and a year of listening to Stefan podcasts which saved me a lot of time in my long and painful journey.


Thanks to many books and my therapy I came in touch with many strong feelings and some very early memories about my childhood physical, emotional and sexual abuse.


Originally I am from north africa, arabic and muslim background though I decided to be atheist 4 years ago. I live in Québec, Canada now and have no communications with my family of origin anymore. I have been journaling since the age of 13 and I think that saved my sanity and wanted to suicide since I was 11 years old. The only person who really understood me is my borther who died some time ago and felt the world just emptied I decided to immigrate to Canada months after his death.


I have been seriously and horribly abused by my mother in every way. My father was extremly violent with my mom and I had to watch her being beaten by him many times. Although my father didn't beat me much but his look was sufficient to me to earase myself from existance. He is an alcoholic and my mom partices Islam.


During the last year much of my childhood pain surfaced with a lot of body pain and anxiety even panic attacks. I medicated myself throughout dysfunctional relationships. Usually with emotionally abusive and unavailable men. I am more gay than bisexual. my last relationship lasted about 7 years. I am what I consider to be extremly codependent. 


Thanks to a lot of reading. Alice Miller's books helped me a lot in my pursuit of self knowledge and authors like John Bradshaw, Louise Wisechild, Pete Walker also helped me to connect to my inner child through feeling the body pain and understand the reasons of this emotional pain.


What I find challenging is the dissociation after which I feel numb, no reason to live and also difficult to align myself back to my feelings. My therapist is on vacation right now and I profit of this occasion to feel on my own and to have more courage to face my emotions.


Between yesterday and today it was really horrible. I became so much out of my body and thinking about my ex which I see from time to time. I was screening him in my mind as him being happy with another guy and he is independent from me etc..that I am no use anymore etc.. It is a state of a horrible amount of suffering and self-neglect. I takes me hours and hours to come back to my feelings and I am tired, so much tired of this state. Self-attack flourish in a state of dissociation.


I am curious if anyone among you faced deeply his/her childhood injuries through the body dialogue. Like facing the mortal fear such memories bring when they arise to the surface. And how to manage them and get the memories that explain the compulsion repetition of now.


I found sometime ago this letter sent to Alice Miller which was very much inspiring and important to me. Here is the link: http://www.alice-miller.com/readersmail_en.php?lang=en&nid=1346&grp=0707


I really want to heal I don't want to depend on people who are deeply dysfunctional. I find myself idealizing really crap people who hurt me so much when I am good to them.


I would appreciate a lot your insights about my entry on the board.


I also found Stefan podcasts very very very helpful and they resonnate in me so much I feel the truth in what he says.


Thank you for reading.


Lens


 


 


  • 1

 "If you want to please, and to feel what you think that others expect you to feel, you are never with yourself, and you don't know yourself. We are not born to please; we are born to BE who we are. We are entitled to have our own feelings and thoughts. If parents refused us this right in our childhood, we must learn to reclaim it later as adults, otherwise we would never know who we are. Because we are our feelings." Alice Miller


#2
TDB

TDB

  • 114 posts

.

I am curious if anyone among you faced deeply his/her childhood injuries through the body dialogue. Like facing the mortal fear such memories bring when they arise to the surface. And how to manage them and get the memories that explain the compulsion repetition of now.

Thank you for sharing your difficult history so honestly. I hope you get empathy and encouragement from the responses. I imagine it must be hard to live with the unpleasant memories and struggle to process them. I wish I was wise enough to give you good advice, beyond something trivial, redundant and obvious like "brush after every meal and exercise daily."

I am not really sure I know what you mean in your question about body dialogue. Maybe you could elaborate a bit? My childhood was not as full of danger as yours was, but sometimes I am captured by a vivid memory of some mistake I made and I sink into guilt. But it all seems to be in my head, not in my body (well maybe a feeling like fear in my stomach).

TDB


  • 0

#3
Lens

Lens

  • 40 posts

Thank you TBD for your warm reply.


I meant by body language is to decipher the body symptoms like, fear, anger, sadness and how to know the reason of that body feeling.


I can relate to your feelings in the stomach myself I have tightened stomach at times and it feels really very incomfrortable. What if I dig into it ? That is the kind of advice I am looking for. I guess there is a reason to that feeling to be there. 


Thank you again


Lens


  • 0

 "If you want to please, and to feel what you think that others expect you to feel, you are never with yourself, and you don't know yourself. We are not born to please; we are born to BE who we are. We are entitled to have our own feelings and thoughts. If parents refused us this right in our childhood, we must learn to reclaim it later as adults, otherwise we would never know who we are. Because we are our feelings." Alice Miller


#4
TDB

TDB

  • 114 posts

Thank you TBD for your warm reply.


I meant by body language is to decipher the body symptoms like, fear, anger, sadness and how to know the reason of that body feeling.


I can relate to your feelings in the stomach myself I have tightened stomach at times and it feels really very incomfrortable. What if I dig into it ? That is the kind of advice I am looking for. I guess there is a reason to that feeling to be there. 


Thank you again


Lens

I still have a long way to go on my journey to self-knowledge and self-compassion.

good luck!

TDB


  • 0

#5
Pepin

Pepin

  • 540 posts

I am quite sorry for what you had to go through. I have had issues in the past where I would have psychogenic seizures rather often, to a severity where it cut me off from the rest of the world for a year. I have also had many issues with dissociating from emotions. I have mostly overcome the issue of anxiety and stress coming out through the body. I've also made a lot of progress in connecting with my emotion. This is just to say that I've had experience in combating these types of issue.

 

What I would recommend is to regularly practice progressive body relaxation. There are many guided relaxation sessions on youtube that are good to get started. Learning to relax helps in so many ways.

 

I would also combine this with starting a meditation practice to help clear your mind and to slow your thoughts down. The basic idea is to spend 5-15 minutes a day not doing anything, clearing your mind when you become distracted. I recommend this because you will likely become more aware of your thoughts, introspection will be easier, and you will gain more control over what you think about.

 

Accepting the current state of how your brain is structured and the reality of your situation is paramount. Realize what you are working against Realize what has been ingrained into your neural structure repetitively. Identify scar tissue where you see it, and never fault yourself for it. What you are doing is very difficult, and the progress you have made already is quite impressive.


  • 0

#6
Lens

Lens

  • 40 posts

Accepting the current state of how your brain is structured and the reality of your situation is paramount. Realize what you are working against Realize what has been ingrained into your neural structure repetitively. Identify scar tissue where you see it, and never fault yourself for it. What you are doing is very difficult, and the progress you have made already is quite impressive.

 

Thank you Pepin and TDB

 

TDB: It is life long process I think, but in the beginning it seems almost impossible to overcome and with time and self-compassion it eases through time and the fear decreases.

 

Pepin: Actually it is much less painful now since I am learning to relax my body at least to not to fear the fear itself when it presents itself and calm down my inner critic. I learnt how to get myself out of the guilt for feeling that way generally it takes me about one hour to get myself out of the crippling guilt and the self-attack compared to days, some months ago. I try to make my environment the most safe possible by removing bad people around me and only surrounding myself with helpful and safe persons. And also started something new called Focusing technics which is to relax the body and focus on certain areas without judgement when the body try to draw attention to itself, I often get asleep in the middle of it which I think it is a mind trick to avoid the pain.

 

Something I gained from all this work is sleeping which was an issue. I sleep very well despite all the problems.

 

I think I came a long way from where I was before months ago which I felt helpless about my future. Kinda seeing my future with my past. Now I try to not to and name my feelings and try to see if they are linked to the present, the past or to both.

 

I hope you don't mind me asking you few questions.

 

What did help you the most to get yourself out of the fear of your feelings ?

What was the tool you used to decrease your anxiety when feelings arose in public or even at home?

Is there a practical self-help book that helped more than others and speeded up your recovery ?

 

Thank you again for your message full of support and hope for a better future. Because I believe I am not the only one doing this self-knowledge work I hope it will help others here on the board

 

Lens


  • 0

 "If you want to please, and to feel what you think that others expect you to feel, you are never with yourself, and you don't know yourself. We are not born to please; we are born to BE who we are. We are entitled to have our own feelings and thoughts. If parents refused us this right in our childhood, we must learn to reclaim it later as adults, otherwise we would never know who we are. Because we are our feelings." Alice Miller


#7
Pepin

Pepin

  • 540 posts

What did help you the most to get yourself out of the fear of your feelings ?

 

Learning that they were there to help me, especially the "negative" ones, and that I could not get better by continuing to repress them. It might sound odd, but being aware that I was repressing emotions and the mechanisms behind it really helped me to want to stop. 

 

What was the tool you used to decrease your anxiety when feelings arose in public or even at home?

 

Mostly relaxation techniques, deep breathing, and doing self talk before hand if I a going to be in a rough situation. Also being aware that there is no danger, and that the sense of danger I am experiencing is the result of repetitious behavior, or past trauma. I find that doing some self talk in these situations, where you try to figure out what your body or part of your mind is telling you, and you talk it out.

 

 Is there a practical self-help book that helped more than others and speeded up your recovery ?

 

This might be me own personality bias, but information about the psychology and psycho-neurology helped quite a lot. This I got mostly from browsing the web.


  • 0

#8
Lens

Lens

  • 40 posts

Pepin: Thank you so much for your answer I read it and reread it again to process emotionally the content of your message.

 

I makes a lot of sens that when one represses these emotions he continues to endure the suffering. Through time I learnt that when we feel we do not suffer but we feel the suffering of the child we once were. The suffering is only when we try to repress or suppress the emotions arising to the surface which creates a lot of anxiety.

 

I remember asking my therapist not long ago if my emotions will kill me and empathically he said no. I knew the answer but needed reassurance.

 

I think my deficiency in feeling comes from being afraid of being overwhelmed by my emotions. As if my emotions want to kill me somehow which is totally not true and I experienced deep feelings in the past and it actually brought some relief. 

 

The self talk part how I see it is the empathy that someone can give to himself (inner child) in order to go into the feeling and understand its origins so we may understand why do we feel that way in the present moment and the pain, fear and the symptoms may leave after that feeling has been accepted, fully felt and integrated.

 

The main obstacle is the fear or maybe the fear of the fear feeling. The mind is saying the fear is present each time it arises from the sub conscience the work then is talk to the mind with love and patience that this fear is not real but the danger from the parent was real in the past, so the repression and suppression both may stop to let the information pass through.

 

I hope what I said made sense to you.

 

Thank you again for your advice and sharing your experience.


  • 0

 "If you want to please, and to feel what you think that others expect you to feel, you are never with yourself, and you don't know yourself. We are not born to please; we are born to BE who we are. We are entitled to have our own feelings and thoughts. If parents refused us this right in our childhood, we must learn to reclaim it later as adults, otherwise we would never know who we are. Because we are our feelings." Alice Miller





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