tromblyandi

@tromblyandi
Community Voices

Advice needed

Ok everyone... I've got a riddle for you. You've got an underage girl, living in the same house as her sexual abuser. A mom who insists on keeping it on the down low. And an abuser who manipulates the girl into thinking he really loves her. How do you keep the girl from losing her mind? Without outside help. Please help me because I'm lost
#SexualAbuse #PTSD #abused #Depression

66 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Advice needed

Ok everyone... I've got a riddle for you. You've got an underage girl, living in the same house as her sexual abuser. A mom who insists on keeping it on the down low. And an abuser who manipulates the girl into thinking he really loves her. How do you keep the girl from losing her mind? Without outside help. Please help me because I'm lost
#SexualAbuse #PTSD #abused #Depression

66 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Advice needed

Ok everyone... I've got a riddle for you. You've got an underage girl, living in the same house as her sexual abuser. A mom who insists on keeping it on the down low. And an abuser who manipulates the girl into thinking he really loves her. How do you keep the girl from losing her mind? Without outside help. Please help me because I'm lost
#SexualAbuse #PTSD #abused #Depression

66 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Does anyone need a hug?

<p>Does anyone need a hug?</p>
238 people are talking about this
Erika Page

What It’s Like to Lose 100% of Your Skin Color

Standing in front of the mirror today, I hardly recognize the girl I was as a child. The long, blonde hair and tan skin are gone, replaced by white strands of hair and ghostly white skin. At least, that’s what I really look like today. But the world only sees my dark brown hair dye and tanner — because that’s all I let them see. Vitiligo has taken 100% of my skin color and now part of my hair. I don’t expect you to understand how that feels, because the chances of this happening are less than .01%. In other words, it’s unimaginable. And yet, it happened to me. And after 20 years, I’m still trying to mentally grasp that change. Here’s what it’s like to lose 100% of your skin color — and then some. 1. You’re invisible again — and thankful for it. No stares. No comments. No questions. The first time I put on full tanner and walked down the street, I was shocked — and thrilled — to find that I was invisible. When you live with vitiligo, you are constantly stared at sometimes with comments and pointing fingers to go with it. It’s exhausting and intimidating to live this way. Inside, you’re going through a mental tug of war; telling yourself you’re beautiful, while being constantly reminded that you look “weird” by every set of staring eyes. To be invisible is a welcomed relief that can’t even be put into words. 2. You still feel like you have spots — at first. After living with spots for 20 years, the feeling of having spots doesn’t go away…at least at first. No one else could see the spots, but I still felt like I had them. I still looked at my skin like they were there. I still panicked at the thought of wearing shorts. To me, I was one big canvas of spots all patched together. They had just been there, and I knew they could come back. It took another few years for this constant anxiety about someone seeing my skin to go away. Today, I still get anxious about it from time to time, but I know it’s only psychological and do my best to let it go. 3. You carry an invisible burden. For most people with vitiligo, your spots tell a story. They let people know that you’re dealing with a skin condition. Today I’m still struggling to accept this condition, and wrap my head around the fact that my skin has completely changed colors. Yet coworkers and friends that I’ve met within the past few years are surprised to find this out. They wouldn’t know — and couldn’t know —unless I told them. On the one hand, having this level of privacy is a beautiful gift. On the other hand, it’s interesting to hear people make assumptions about my life that are laughable to me because they can’t know the 20-year history I carry under my tanner and hair dye. 4. You don’t recognize the girl in the mirror. The girl in the mirror isn’t me — it’s the result of what an incurable disease has done to me. And that’s hard to accept. I’m often asked why I wear tanner if my spots are gone; why don’t I just let myself be pale? First, I’m quick to explain that “being pale” and having no pigment can look quite different. Yet, I see their point. To them, it probably seems like an easy decision. But it’s one thing to be born with pale skin and just know that that’s who you are. It’s another to wake up every day for 20 years and watch a disease take over your skin color, one little patch at a time. I understand this is a new me, logically. And yet emotionally, some small part of me is holding on to the old me.

Community Voices

🤣😂

<p>🤣😂</p>
22 people are talking about this
Jae Cobb
Jae Cobb @jaecobb
contributor

What a Lupus Flare Is Like for Me

May is Lupus Awareness Month and recently I experienced perhaps one of the worst flares I have ever had in my life, so much so that it was life-changing. At this point in life, I thought I had gone through all my life-changing moments. I was wrong. I thought I had my lupus under control but over the past few months, I had worn my body down, which caused my lupus to flare completely out of control and have some rare side effects. Several weeks ago, I experienced yet another “life-changing” moment — one I thought I would never experience, but here we are. I was talking to a friend in a normal voice, and then all of a sudden, I couldn’t get my words out. I was stuttering and slurring my words. I thought it was a one-time thing but nope, it wasn’t at all. The next day my symptoms got worse and I couldn’t pronounce certain words, I had numbness and tingling and lots of pain and swelling. I was extremely exhausted as well. I was eventually rushed to the emergency room and was quickly admitted to the hospital. I spent a week in the hospital with them trying to figure out why I had suddenly developed slurring of my words and stuttering, and they couldn’t. They did, however, figure out that my heart was getting weaker and that was causing other issues and complications. I was to follow up with a host of doctors upon my release, as well as start occupational and speech therapy. They also concluded that my lupus played a role in this situation. Days passed and I set up my appointments. Apparently, my loss of speech due to this “neurological event” scared so many people on my medical team that I was on a very short leash. My doctors were stumped and could only theorize about what happened, but it came down to this: months of infections without allowing my body time to recover, plus traveling, plus one of my rare migraines stressed my body and threw me into a lupus flare and affected my speech. The good news was I would recover, but I may have some long-term speech difficulties. Fair enough. I knew this recovery would be hard, but little did I know just how difficult it would be. I soon began speech therapy and occupational therapy, and sweet Jesus, did I learn just how hard this journey would be. I found myself breaking down more times than I cared to because I knew the words or wanted to do the exercises but couldn’t because my hands wouldn’t let me or I couldn’t get the words out. And it hurt me mentally and physically. I found myself reflecting on the hurt I was feeling from the stares from people when they heard my broken speech. Was this my new normal? Whatever the case, I knew I had to feel this pain so that I could keep going. As painful as each step is, I know I need to keep going. But in the process, I have learned a few things: 1. The world is very ableist. Like beyond ableist. I have had to work on getting affairs settled with my job while I am out and the process has not been easy. Using voice prompts when you have a speech disability is not easy. It took me twice as long to get through to the correct departments and get business handled and it was beyond frustrating. And the people weren’t much more forgiving than the phone systems. Having to conduct business and wearing a mask when it is hard to be understood did not make things any easier, either. But somehow I persevered and things got accomplished. 2. I am strong, but I needed to cry. I needed to shed tears to have a physical release to move through this process. I had so many moments where I just cried myself to sleep because this was a lot for me. I need to let out my pain and anger so I could heal in other ways. Losing one piece of myself that I had come to rely on often is hard, and I need to be OK with that. It will take time, but things will be OK. 3. Asking for help has been hard, but it was totally necessary in order for my body to heal the way it needed to. I have lost strength and my body is super fragile right now. I need help… I hated to admit it, but the sooner I did, the easier things got for me. I can’t heal if I am continuously pouring out and not taking time to restore myself. 4. Rest is more than a four-letter word. When my doctor wrote me out of work for a month, initially I felt sadness, anger and frustration. But then I realized just how sick I am and how my body needs extensive time to heal. Imagine a car that ignored its oil changes and other maintenance and the check engine light, and then all of a sudden, it all broke down at once. That is what happened to me. I had been ignoring things for far too long and my body just wore out. 5. Invest in small things to brighten your day. I have ordered things or bought flowers to make my days brighter and better. I have a journey ahead of me, so why not make things pleasant? 6. Grant grace and be patient! I know that this is a whole journey and won’t happen overnight. I need to be patient and accept that I will have good days and bad days, and I may have moments where I am not making as much progress as I want to. And all of that is OK. This is not a sprint, but rather a slow journey. Now that I have been in the thick of this for a while, I have truly realized this doesn’t define me. I am no less of a person and I am who I am. This is just one chapter in my book, and once I make progress, I will have a whole different chapter to write as a follow-up. Some great things can come from this, but I don’t have to push myself through that right now. My focus is healing and returning to my version of normal. For those who are going through something similar, remember you don’t have to be this fabulous super positive kick-ass person. You can take some moments and just be you. Just be a person who takes time to rest and recover and let your body heal. That is just as important.

It's OK If You Struggle to Accept Your Health Condition

You may feel pressure to accept yourself and your health condition every second of every day, especially if you’re open about how it affects you. But no matter how you approach life with your condition, you don’t need to live in a constant state of self-acceptance. It’s OK if you struggle to accept your health condition — and it happens to almost all of us. It’s OK if you need time to grieve the life you lived before your diagnosis. It’s OK if you feel like making different health decisions wouldn’t have landed you with a new label to carry. It’s OK if you can’t seem to believe that you have a diagnosis or feel sad, frustrated or angry that your condition affects you along with many others. The grieving process may take weeks, months or even years, but no matter how long it takes, let yourself process your emotions. You deserve time and space to move through every stage of grief without your own judgment of your feelings. It’s OK if you’re having a hard day and hating life with your health condition. It’s OK if you feel like you took 10 steps backward on the road to self-acceptance and feel stuck in a place of self-hatred. It’s OK if you feel sorry for yourself as your symptoms flare up, and you desperately want a life that doesn’t make you feel like a professional patient. Whether your hard time lasts for just a day or stretches longer, remember that it’s natural and won’t last forever. You will have bad days, but they don’t have to define your journey towards self-acceptance or the ways in which you advocate for others with health conditions. It’s OK if you worry about others’ ability to accept you with your health condition, even if you’re surrounded by people who care.  It’s OK if you have moments when you doubt your ability to find love or friendship or fear that your loved ones will walk away when they learn the intricacies of your condition. It’s OK if you have moments of mistrust and self-hatred as you struggle to cope with changing relationships as your health shifts. You are surrounded by love and support, but those moments when you believe otherwise don’t make your fears any less valid. You won’t feel this way forever, and your health condition may eventually make your relationships feel deeper and more fulfilling than ever before. Self-acceptance matters, but in life with a health condition, it isn’t everything. It’s OK if you struggle to accept your health condition — living with an illness or disability is hard, and acknowledging the struggle is perfectly fine.

Community Voices

We Don’t Need to Prove Our Illness and Health to Anyone

<p>We Don’t Need to Prove Our Illness and Health to Anyone</p>
16 people are talking about this