As I have wrote in my previous posts I have had numerous health issues over the years. I was tested for various nerve issues, MS, lupus, and numerous stomach ailments. Each time the tests would show up negative, prove there was “nothing” wrong and doctors would tell me it was likely stress causing all of this. And I couldn’t comprehend that, I couldn’t accept that. I had a life that many outsiders would be jealous of. Nice home, good job and a healthy family. They would ask my about my home life, my stress and I would deny and cover it all up. No… that just couldn’t be it.
My symptoms were awful, I was miserable and I hated life. Some days it was all I could do to handle the pain. Not much seemed to help or give me relief. My hands would ache and I would be unable to grab things. I often would drop things, it was like I had no strength left. My feet would spasm, so would my legs and my back. Sometimes the spasms would be so intense that I would go and get a shot for pain from the hospital. My head hurt all the time, but not like a regular headache. I felt like I was confused and living with a constant brain fog and had a hard time understanding even the most basic things. My stomach was awful, I was told I had IBS and allergic to all sorts of things. I had this weird feeling sometimes where I just couldn’t swallow and would end up throwing up whatever I ate. The worst was the way my skin hurt. Sometimes it hurt to be touched, I couldn’t sleep because it hurt to lay down. Hugs hurt, everything hurt so fucking bad.
I think during this time I became distant from my family. I was in survival mode, trying to just not hurt and get through my daily life. I began to accept that this was how my life was going to be, just in pain with no diagnosis- it was all just in my head. Finally, in early 2019 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Which at the time it gave me some hope that since I had a diagnosis that I would finally get some relief. In reality, I was super confused. Basically, they have no idea why you are in pain so label it that and throw some pills at you- maybe not in all cases but this is how I felt. The pills helped relieve the skin pain, but it gave me a multitude of other side effects. It wasn’t long until I decided they weren’t for me.
Around the same time I really began to notice how my now ex enjoyed my sickness. It seemed to please him, me in constant pain appeared to satisfy him. It satisfied his insecurities and made him comfortable. Knowing how much he loved seeing me sick infuriated me. One day I had enough of seeing how it please him, I knew that I was fighting back. I would get my life back somehow.
I began to change eating habits and work out. This helped some, but the relief was minimal. I began to try naturopaths and home remedies, I became obsessed with getting better. Along the way I would learn things that made me feel better in some ways but overall still felt awful and I was losing hope that I would ever do things that I loved again.
By the fall of 2019 I immersed myself into self growth and care. I jumped into intensive therapies to uncover my feelings as I felt just so confused and overwhelmed on a daily basis. Here is where I began to see how toxic the relationship was with my ex was, and how living with a narcissist was killing me and likely causing a lot of my physical pains. It wasn’t long until I left that relationship. I physically moved hours away from him mid 2020.
Now the other day I was asked how my fibro was, and honestly I had forgotten I had it. Yes I have the odd mild symptom that is kindly annoying but I am 100% pain free. I do not have the brain fog, the stomach issues the spasms and my skin does not hurt. I do believe a lot of my physical pain was due to years of feeling unloved, unworthy and unwanted. I tried to make myself small to confirm to what he needed- not what I needed. I tried to be someone I wasn’t, and out of fear for his retaliation I would do what I thought would please him and make him happy all in effort to make the house a peaceful place for the kids. My life became a series of me trying to predict what he needed that day to be pleased with me. I so badly wanted to be loved as I was, not being the closed off version of me that made him comfortable. I missed the me who had dreams larger than life. I no longer gave a fuck that I was too much and I wanted better. I was so sick of not be accepted and appreciated. I was miserable, and hid it fro everyone. It was actually embarrassing for me to admit I was I am abusive relationship. If you met me you would see a tough exterior and unwilling to put up with shit. The truth was that I was on the verge or breaking, I needed to be tough to survive. I couldn’t handle one more ounce of shit from anyone and the tough shell was a guard. I would go out of my way to avoid any function, i was so close to breaking down for years. Hiding my pain was getting harder and harder.
As awful as the pain was, I do think it was the wake up call I so badly needed to open my eyes and get my shit together. I am thankful I looked for help, and I am so thankful I decided to stand up for me.
I am in no way saying that all fibromyalgia is due to toxic relationships. But there maybe times that you may need to take a look closer to home. Days after moving hours away from him I was able to sleep soundly and comfortably in my bed, and my skin didn’t hurt to touch. I could hug my loved ones without wincing, it was one of the first signs I needed to validate my choice was the best one for me.