I am writing a ton publically about my life. I am writing, email after email. Blog post after blog post. And when that is not happening? I am journaling. I really am taking this healing process seriously. I also am grateful to document this publically on block chain. This protocol is important for others to learn about.
I am sure many are confused why I choose to write so much about myself and my life? It is because I am going through an unwinding process described by Dr. John Sarnos in his books, and I wanted to document this process publicly. I want to show my healing progress in steps: good and bad. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for a long time. And writing as I am is apart of his treatment protocol for healing.
Mental Dis-ease (I hate using the term mental illness -- it is very separating and permanent) is bio-psycho-social model. And there was a part of unweaving my mind that was not being corrected by all the fruits and vegetables I was eating (the bio part of the model). There was something to me (psycho-social element) that was separate from the biology of my flesh that I needed to heal as well. Dr. Sarno's describes in detail how the mind impacts the body with various dis-eases. He focused on how the mind could completely influence debilitating back pain.
I first got introduced to this due to the effects on the body. Most people who use John Sarnos's protocol, use it to heal physical pain. How pain showed up for me -- was mentally. He describes that you can use the same process for mental dis-ease as well. The trauma I have suffered needs to be unwound by my words. It reorganizes thoughts and belief. The pain allows us to slow down in order for us to do this... showing that pain is a natural process of future progress.
It's a beautiful model, I share some basic info about the late doctor who developed this method. I am happy you all are on the journey with me. I will later write more about my process and how its working. But that's for much later. Thank you for reading.
Sarno's most notable achievement is the development, diagnosis, and treatment of tension myoneural syndrome (TMS), which is currently not accepted by mainstream medicine. According to Sarno, TMS is a psychosomatic illness causing chronic back, neck, and limb pain which is not relieved by standard medical treatments. He includes other ailments, such as gastrointestinal problems, dermatological disorders and repetitive-strain injuries as TMS related. Sarno states that he has successfully treated over ten thousand patients at the Rusk Institute by educating them on his beliefs of a psychological and emotional basis to their pain and symptoms. Sarno's theory is, in part, that the pain or GI symptoms are an unconscious "distraction" to aid in the repression of deep unconscious emotional issues. Sarno believes that when patients think about what may be upsetting them in their unconscious, they can defeat their minds' strategy to repress these powerful emotions; when the symptoms are seen for what they are, the symptoms then serve no purpose, and they go away. Supporters of Sarno's work hypothesize an inherent difficulty in performing the clinical trials needed to prove or disprove the diagnosis, since it is difficult to use clinical trials with psychosomatic illnesses.
Sarno wrote about his experience in this area in his first book on TMS, Mind Over Back Pain. His second book, Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, has sold over 150,000 copies. Sarno's most recent book, The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders,features chapters by six other physicians and addresses the entire spectrum of psychosomatic disorders and the history of psychosomatic medicine.
Maybe we are more alike than you think. I was never the problem, neither were you -- neither was Townes. There was something inside us needed to heal. You were not a bad mother, neither am I.
It's not about bad or good. This isn't a black and white issue. There is something that happened that traumatized you, and there is something that happened to me, yes.
The problem that I’ve had with our conversations is that it has been placed on a right or wrong scale. It has taken me a long time to not blame myself for your problems, not to blame my own father, not to blame you. It took me a long time to realize that the reasons you were reacting in the way in which you have towards me --- is the same reason that I have overreacted. I understand that you believe you are very sensitive, and that I am hard on your delicate spots. Yet, I must have you hear: there were some spots I touched that I did not know triggered you. I was caught up in a seemingly normal conversation about relationships and life; things families talk about --- and I am sternly told, as a child would be, that I have crossed your boundaries. The tone in which you would correct me hurt, deeply. Your reaction towards some of my innocent questions hurt deeply. I did not wish to share your secrets -- a sentiment that I have carried around since I was young (this isn’t new). Over the years you have found more and more reasons to add to the fact, “I am not safe.” Do you know how hard that was for me to hear over the years? Do you know how much that hurt my own relationship with myself? Do you know how much I felt like I needed to believe and OWN that --- in order to have a relationship with you. I had to live with a superficial connection with you, all while believing that I could not connect any deeper -- because I was bad, I wasn’t safe, I didn’t earn your story. There is no one I ever wanted to know more, than you.
The way you treat me is the same way you have treated me since I was ten. You have been hyper aware of your “boundaries”, yet the ways in which you reacted to a boundary being touched -- makes me realize they were indeed walls. Walls are blazing fire, they are meant to protect. Boundaries are chain-linked fences that you can see through, but cannot pass. I would hit on a wall and I would be verbally lashed. I only wanted to connect to you in order to understand and process my own wounds and hurts. I learned to process without you.
What I am talking about goes way above this scale of right or wrong. Even though a right or wrong scale can seem like the basis of what I am discussing.
Truly, at the heart of the situation -- you are not a perfect person. You have not treated me perfectly as a mother; there have been things that you have done wrong. There are things that you have done wonderfully, there are times that I did feel loved by you. If you have done things wrong in my life, that does not cancel out the positive. And it does not cancel out your intention. I don’t think you were intending to “punish me” when sending me away. I think you did believe that you had to arrest a horrible path; and you were only trying to save my life. I sometimes think that with all the horses and limited access to what was happening day to day -- you cannot imagine it was much different then a therapeutic summer camp. Actually, it was traumatizing. There were a lot of girls who have been to jail since and before; Uinta was psychologically torturing and the reasons I have been processing since being released. I really can’t expect you to understand what that was like. I can’t expect you to understand what it was liked to be drugged on a cocktail of medication, against my better judgement and will -- and lose everything, catatonic. It took me years to recover. What I have been trying to explain to you is how your behaviors ---weather you intended to or not, hurt me. I don’t need you to believe that you hurt me any longer. I just needed to tell you.
There have been times that I have felt heard. Yet, when I believe I am inside a seemingly normal conversation topic. And “normal conversation topic” has not just been described as normal --- from my father. I am 28 years old. I may ask deep questions sometimes, but I’ve never bumped into any type of reaction elicited from you. I’ve never wanted to know these things to be your judge and jury; actually, to have empathy, to understand. The way you interpret my questions is very interesting from a clinical standpoint. (No, I am not calling you mentally ill.) Yet the reaction you have, go beyond sensitive -- as like mine. Yes, I am not “innocent” in this conversations. The only reason I am able to realise this about you, is because I am trying to figure out why I am triggered and overreact myself. This isn’t about blaming you. It’s about understanding why you did what you did.
If I can’t cultivate empathy for myself I began, maybe I could have empathy for you. I hated myself for the way I reacted, and I was punished heavily for these reactions. I was called bipolar for years, and these situations were always brought up to doctors on doctors. Yet, I didn’t feel anything wrong at school, or with my friends? Why was this side coming out only at home?
When I was younger, my ultimate self boundaries had been invaded -- my body. When you read my diary, another one of my boundaries was invaded -- my psyche. When I was sixteen the last physical boundary that was closest to me was removed -- my home, my family, I was uprooted from delaware. This was done suddenly and swiftly. You may have thought this was to protect me. Sneaking out was “very” dangerous, and I was drinking, smoking weed. There is danger in everything. Yes, I was being a teenager and increasing the risk. Honestly these behaviors were just reflections of me feeling like I did even own myself. I was easily manipulated, I was easily swayed, I enjoyed substances more than others -- I had no personal boundaries. I felt like I didn’t even deserve them. Like, I should just accept the fact that I was so bad that my diaries should be read during those times.
So, let me ask you -- I have been keeping diaries daily since I was ten. I had been writing about my pre-teen love affair with George Diver in the fifth grade. How I imagined myself making out with him -- and all the things I thought of as a innocent young girl with emotions and heterosexual feelings that were budding. My diaries were read then. My diaries had been read for a long time, its how you all kept “track” of me.
In some ways getting sent away wasn’t the first action taken. I have switched schools every two years since the fourth grade. There was always something “better” to help me. Like pilot, or having to be held back to go to Independence. Why did I go to independence for two years? It was so that people from Archmere didn’t have to know about my past in Pilot. My problems were the focus of the family. And I am beginning to realize that these “problems” were made into worse issues due to your “swift and early treatment” protocols. What was wrong with me wasn’t because I was lacking something from the outside (treatment, pills, ect.); rather, it was because I needed to feel love on the inside. Love for myself, respect for myself, feeling accomplished in who I was and what I have done. I did not feel this.
I instead felt like I had problems. I remember you all testing me for the first time for ADHD at eight. It was devastating to have a diagnosis. I remember finding the paperwork and sobbing. I remember you getting very angry at me (for crossing boundaries and getting into your stuff) by digging for my paperwork. Yet, I must agree with my younger self. It was very hard being put through all these tests and I couldn’t know the results? I was always going in for evaluation after evaluation. It was difficult for me NOT to believe I did indeed have some problems.
I came out of the womb screaming, my sister didn’t. This is another rationale that you used for my “mental illness” and justification of why I was sent to testing after testing after testing. I had been going through the ringer with doctors, therapists, and evaluations since I was eight. There was a hyper focus on all of my flaws, including my hyperactivity. I was prescribed meds for it, adderall. It sent me into a psychosis and messed with my sleep. It was decided I was taken off of that type of stimulant. Instead I was switched to strattera -- which I took up until the time I left. I never wanted to be on these pills. And if I disagreed? I got an entire lecture of “all the things I have ever done wrong” -- and a confirmation from the doctor, therapist. Why would they prescribe you this if you didn’t need it? I had problems, and you had plenty of stories to back this up. And I am sure you do.
Today, I am here to say -- I am done with this narrative. I am done being that person. I am done being that person you believe that I have been, since the day I was born. I am taking control of my own life now. I am leaving you and your beliefs about me behind. This is not who I am. This is who you wanted me to be.
I am beginning to create a new identity -- and I don’t need you or dad’s input.
I am free. I am free from the generational baggage that you tried to place on my back. I will write my own story now.