I thought I’d share my experience as to why I waited so long to get answers for my chronic pain that ended up being #AnkylosingSpondylitis
My grandmother (my mom’s mother) is a narcissist, abuser, and just so happens to be chronically ill on top of that. Long story short, for my mom’s entire life my grandmother has used her various illnesses as a means to control those around her and guilt them into submission. It warped my mom’s perspective on those with chronic pain or illness, so for many years she would be easily triggered by any mention of pain that you couldn’t see with the naked eye. Basically, if you weren’t bleeding or something like that, it was surely a manipulation tactic and not an actual problem.
Fast forward to when I was ten. I started having horrid back pain. I tell mom, she says it’s growing pains. I keep telling her it still hurts. She gets triggered, I get shut down. This goes on for many years, into adulthood. I hesitated to tell her for so long that getting up in the mornings was excruciating, that I would randomly get so tired that I couldn’t function, and that everyday was a random draw of the cards - will I be on too much pain to even stand, or will I have enough energy to run three miles during gym?
Two years ago, my mother and I finally stepped away from the family, specifically my grandmother. And we’ve been having very intense honest talks - a lot being about how I couldn’t tell her about my pain, and her realizing how much I’ve been struggling since I was 10 (my older brother with nonverbal #Autism being diagnosed with AS also contributed to the conversation really opening up).
Ever since we’ve stepped away, I’ve felt more accepting of the fact that something is wrong and that it’s not all “in my head.” I recently got a diagnosis after all these years of not knowing, and started physical therapy and will be seeing a rheumatologist for the first time later this month. I have to catch myself from crying every time a doctor says things like “YOUR ankylosing…” or “YOUR chronic pain.” It’s so nice to be heard 😭❤️
I do have to mention that I’m pretty lucky to have a mom that is willing to work on these things and to apologize for not handling it well. We are working together to make sure the generational trauma and cycle of abuse ends with us. But we still trip up on occasion. Now that I have gotten some acknowledgement of my pain, I’m having a hard time not making it my entire personality 😂 I’m finding the balance with time. And she sometimes will get triggered and might knee-jerk into old habits, but she’s working on that as well.
Thanks for reading my rambling 🙈
#Diagnosis #ChronicIlless #ChronicPain #Narcisist #generationaltrauma #Abuse #manipulation