throbbing gash in your flesh, or shoulder pain. You know the sharp pain of a paper
cut, the burning pain of stomach cramps and tummy upsets. Perhaps you know
the uncomfortable pain of feeling bloated, and the searing pain of trying to move
your bowels when you are constipated. Most of these types of pain are
temporary, and manageable with medications, massage, physical therapy, change
of diet or more careful management when handling equipment in the office and
But Emotional Pain is All Consuming!
Maybe you know the pain of having your sinuses blocked, or the pain of arthritis
when you move your joints. Nerve pain shooting down your leg in sciatica is
enough to debilitate you, but these pains also come and go, and you live in the
knowledge that it will pass, even if it flares up again at sometime in the future.
You have some control over it.
Emotional Pain Affects Your Body, Mind and Soul
Emotional pain is searing. It’s invisible and intangible. You can’t point to a part of
the body that is in pain when you are in emotional pain. You carry it around, and
in your interactions with loved ones, current or long passed, the risk of pain is so
great that you may want to steer clear. When you’ve been burned you don’t want
to jump into the fire again.
But what if relationships have been so stressful right from the beginning that they
have always caused your pain?
That’s what Ian, the character in the book went through. As the product of an
unplanned pregnancy, Fetus Ian carried the pain of not being wanted by his
biological father, having to make do with a depressed and rejected mother. His
nervous system was always on alert, never feeling safe or secure enough to settle
Emotional Pain of Not Being Seen and Attended to as a Baby Makes You A Sick
and Pained Adult
Growing up Ian got his mother’s attention only when he had constipation, eye
problems, and or acne. He competed with her need for attention that she got
when her migraines shut everything else down.
Later in life Ian had long bouts of insomnia, sinus blockages, skin lesions and
erectile dysfunction. All his emotional pain came out in his body, as he discovered
in his intense and deep therapy with Dr. Raymond.
Feeling Unwanted Mixed with Perfectionism Led to Pain in the Body and Mind
Feeling unwanted led him to aim for perfectionism and the failure to be perfect
made Ian feel like a bad father – all these layers were glued together with PAIN.
The pain of not being wanted; the pain of being less than perfect and the pain of
not being the dad he wanted to be. Added to these pains were the pain of his
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, his blocked sinuses and insomnia.
In the following excerpt you’ll see how pained Ian is as he gets ready to give his
girlfriend the keys to his place having agreed to live together.
‘But each time he thought about giving her the key, he experienced massive
anxiety and panic. His abdominal spasms came back with force, cramping him as
if to stop the natural flow of the relationship, just as a bowel spasm interferes with
the natural course of digestion. Something about giving Lauren the key felt
threatening and poisonous.
“I don’t get it,” Ian said in an annoyed tone. “It’s just a key. Why am I getting so
stressed out? I can’t wait for us to be together all the time, so I can wake up with
her every day. We’re moving her stuff over this weekend and you’d think I’d be
ecstatic, but I’ve had stomach cramps and bleeding two nights in a row. I don’t
have the energy to help her move, and it’s really annoying-like the first impression
she gets of us living together is me being sick and useless!”
An image came into my mind that the key was him, and that she would use it to
invade his space, and, in effect, enslave him.
“Sounds like you’re really scared that you’ll lose your special ‘shed’ where you can
be yourself,” I said.
“Yes, that’s exactly how I feel! I didn’t realize it, but that’s it,” he said, surprised.
“Your cramps and bleeding are symbols that you expect to be squeezed and
crushed to the point of having to sacrifice yourself by shedding blood, so this is a
big deal! It’s not just about giving Lauren a key!” pg. 50-51
Ian: From Feeling Unwanted to Wanting to Feel
Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph. D. (Author)
Trapped by the Burden to be Perfect