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Hidden Pain

Posted on 2015.03.09 at 00:14
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It's been over twenty years since this journey started...irregular cycles, pain that became daily, bouts of severe pain, digestive issues, etc. I've posted about the years of being told I was weak, overreacting, needed to just deal with it...the years of doctors, and consequently my parents, dismissing my symptoms until the point it caused permanent damage to other organs.

I learned to hide it and suffer in silence; I learned to smile through the pain; I learned to internalize it all to the point I question myself regularly--is the pain really that bad? Am I just being weak?

Friday I went to an impromptu Happy Hour and when I was venting and commented people talking behind my back saying I needed to get laid, it slipped out that even that is painful. And I realized, I'm tired of hiding; I'm tired of pretending; I'm tired of being alone. And so I explained and I hope I didn't make anyone uncomfortable.

I am not someone who dwells on my problems--I meet them head on. But when I cannot change things, why does society act like we must condemn ourselves to a life of silent suffering? Not saying I'm going to tell the person who talks behind people's backs what is going on because I'm not; she doesn't deserve it. But I'm done pretending to be someone I'm not.

No one is invincible and perhaps if we would stop trying to be we would find our real strength.

And I have one other thing to say...to all those "I didn't know love until I gave birth," "Only parents can understand," "I wasn't a woman until I held my daughter/son." I say this: You are wrong.

You know what real love is the moment you put someone else's health and happiness before your own; the moment you have to stop enabling even if they hate you because you refuse to hurt them further; the moment you set someone free to find themselves and real love. Giving birth does not equate love, nor does it equate with being a mother any more than going to church makes you spiritual. Love, being a mother, being spiritual is a choice and a mindset.

What about the mother battling infertility? What about the mother who chose to adopt? What about the mother who chose to give up her child so s/he could have a better life? What about those until they can financially support one and it never happens? What about those who dedicate their lives to helping other children instead of having their own? What about someone like me who doesn't get a choice?

Not having a child in no way means we are less of a person, incapable of understanding, or love less. Your comments do show how incredibly insensitive, ignorant and unloving you are to assume. I do not look forward to this conversation coming up at school, but it has almost happened so it's only a matter of time.

But I am done hiding. I do not deserve to carry the burden of hiding on top of an incurable disease and undiagnosed conditions. I already must carry the weight of living with them. And perhaps by speaking up someone who is suffering will realize there is no need to do so alone or will seek help that I never had to prevent so much damage. I may not ever be free from pain or illness, but I will be free in spirit and mind; I am more than my disease.


foxy_brown4 at 2015-03-15 13:02 (UTC) (Link)
Its been awhile since I caught up on your writings. I hear alot of acceptance in this one (which has been a theme in my life recently!) and i'm glad for you. You referenced happy hour and making people uncomfortable. Nope. I thought it was completely fine.
I'm glad we are friends. So thats all i wanted to say! Happy Spring Break!
akiko_kalla at 2015-03-18 07:57 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I am glad we are friends too! It was a relief when it came out at happy hour...I don't think I realized how difficult it was to hold in until I said it. It isn't that I want to the whole world to know, but keeping it in and acting like nothing's wrong takes its toll.
akiko_kalla at 2015-03-18 08:00 (UTC) (Link)
And acceptance, yes. I'm not really okay with it, but I am so tired of fighting and pretending. It's just not worth it.
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