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I just got diagnosed with a serious disease. It’s in the early stages because I caught it myself, and I pushed for tests.

This is the second autoimmune disease I’ve been diagnosed with in the last four years. This one is much more serious.

My autoimmunity started after I suffered from acute PTSD for a year after rape and abuse by a man I dated.

I’ve also been in a really unhappy relationship for the past two years that did a number on my self-esteem. It took until last night to realize it wasn’t just being on the spectrum that made my ex-boyfriend spectacularly hurtful, seemingly without meaning to be, but his active resentment of women, after being deeply hurt by his ex-wife. He also has huge difficulty articulating his emotions, so he didn’t know how to say he was scared or unsure what he wanted, or felt we were moving fast; or anything else. He never knows how to articulate his feelings of confusion; instead, he takes it out on me. He’s also very sweet and loves me, but frankly, the way he hurt me when we dated, after a very sweet friendship in which he was very kind and also romantic- something he later denied- the particular way he made me feel bad, about my looks, was really inexcusable, knowing what I’d just been through, and what a tremendous risk I was taking, trusting him. And he knew.

Now, in a cruel coincidence, part of this disease is affecting my looks, specifically my face. It can even cause brain lesions, though that’s unusual. The systemic kind- which I do have the symptoms of, and is why I’ve been sick, when my Hashimoto’s seems to be getting better- can make you really, really sick, and even be fatal. Or it could be minor, and it will be fine.

I may have to take immunosuppressants. I am worried about that, what with the side effects and also the pandemic.

I am worried about how much hard work I have to do soon to survive. What if I’m not feeling well?

I’m very angry with the rapist. He has also raped or otherwise abused or assaulted many other women. Nothing has been done about him. He’s still walking around a free man, like most of his brethren.

Meanwhile, now PTSD is understood as a brain/body disease. It raises cytokines considerably, causing inflammation in the body, predisposing the sufferer to all sorts of diseases, particularly autoimmune diseases and cancer.

I’m pretty angry, and more than a little discouraged.

I could some support, advice, encouragement, commiseration, or anything positive or uplifting, really.

I am looking forward to the future. I am moving, and making some big changes in my life right now. I want to try to be positive.

I am also staying on top of my tests and healthcare, and doing everything I can to reverse this disease.

Please help me be positive! I want to recover from this with no harm done.

I just got diagnosed with a serious disease. It’s in the early stages because I caught it myself, and I pushed for tests. This is the second autoimmune disease I’ve been diagnosed with in the last four years. This one is much more serious. My autoimmunity started after I suffered from acute PTSD for a year after rape and abuse by a man I dated. I’ve also been in a really unhappy relationship for the past two years that did a number on my self-esteem. It took until last night to realize it wasn’t just being on the spectrum that made my ex-boyfriend spectacularly hurtful, seemingly without meaning to be, but his active resentment of women, after being deeply hurt by his ex-wife. He also has huge difficulty articulating his emotions, so he didn’t know how to say he was scared or unsure what he wanted, or felt we were moving fast; or anything else. He never knows how to articulate his feelings of confusion; instead, he takes it out on me. He’s also very sweet and loves me, but frankly, the way he hurt me when we dated, after a very sweet friendship in which he was very kind and also romantic- something he later denied- the particular way he made me feel bad, about my looks, was really inexcusable, knowing what I’d just been through, and what a tremendous risk I was taking, trusting him. And he knew. Now, in a cruel coincidence, part of this disease is affecting my looks, specifically my face. It can even cause brain lesions, though that’s unusual. The systemic kind- which I do have the symptoms of, and is why I’ve been sick, when my Hashimoto’s seems to be getting better- can make you really, really sick, and even be fatal. Or it could be minor, and it will be fine. I may have to take immunosuppressants. I am worried about that, what with the side effects and also the pandemic. I am worried about how much hard work I have to do soon to survive. What if I’m not feeling well? I’m very angry with the rapist. He has also raped or otherwise abused or assaulted many other women. Nothing has been done about him. He’s still walking around a free man, like most of his brethren. Meanwhile, now PTSD is understood as a brain/body disease. It raises cytokines considerably, causing inflammation in the body, predisposing the sufferer to all sorts of diseases, particularly autoimmune diseases and cancer. I’m pretty angry, and more than a little discouraged. I could some support, advice, encouragement, commiseration, or anything positive or uplifting, really. I am looking forward to the future. I am moving, and making some big changes in my life right now. I want to try to be positive. I am also staying on top of my tests and healthcare, and doing everything I can to reverse this disease. Please help me be positive! I want to recover from this with no harm done.

20 comments

I want to respond to this post so badly, right now, even though I'm a few beers in, because I don't want to forget to do it later, and I can totally relate to you.

“I am also staying on top of my tests and healthcare, and doing everything I can to reverse this disease.”

THAT is everything. You will get through this, you have the right attitude, and you have the space to reach out when you need words of encouragement. We are here for you!!! But most of all, you are there for yourself, too!! And YOU WILL OVERCOME THIS!!!

As for commiserating, I don't even want to go too far into it, because when I think about it too much, even now, years later, I get so angry all over again. I have someone from my past, who put me through so much emotional stress and pain, I swear he singlehandedly gave me PCOS. Lol But then again, fuck that dude, I hate to even give him that much power. On the other hand, I know why he behaved the way he did, he had his own trauma, and I know he loved me, blah blah blah and the mental cycle continues. I hate that cycle. lol

I hate it so much because it makes me think, like... why am I trying to make excuses for this person who is causing me/has caused me so much turmoil?? And is my body deteriorating because I keep giving my mental energy to this toxic person/situation? I also go through the same process when thinking about the trans cult lol.

So, I don't know how to fix the negative feelings and stress that come along with trauma caused by someone once trusted, in general…. I can only tell you the kinda fucked up way I break this psychological, mentally stressful cycle for myself whenever I'm going through it (because it in turn causes terrible PCOS symptoms for me, like depression, crazy hormonal imbalances etc. if I don’t keep my stress in check)

Ok, so first of all, no matter what, if I'm going to be spiraling, I'm going to make sure I enjoy it and it's cathartic for me. Lol So, I guess I either choose: is there something else that needs doing and is too important for me to spend time focusing on this - or can I just take some time to completely lean into this for the rest of the night or week…?? Lol. If I have time to "go through it" then the best I can do for myself is not feel guilty "giving energy" to it, and just be honest with myself: I still need to think through my past trauma in order to resolve it and become "bigger than it." Like for me to not feel real pain from this traumatizing thing in the past, I have to absorb it into me and feel like acknowledging it is just acknowledging a very dark, but authentic, part of myself. And I’m not just going to acknowledge it, I’m going to confront it and consume it and bleed all of the energy out of it… Muahaha.

And then, I know this all may sound super weird lol, but I just imagine I'm sucking all of the "life" out of the entire situation and saying to myself like, if a situation had a soul, then I am here to collect! lol Like, if someone wants to cause me THAT much pain, then I am making that ENTIRE process about me. I'm going to analyze it and dissect it, and make it ALL about me and "my personal growth" for as long as I need to, until I finally find some peace of mind and move on.

So, if I have the time, I just let myself feel… everything… and then I remind myself that the pain, for me, is caused by so many other things like shame, inability to trust, feeling caught between wanting to feel nothing but also vowing to never become completely “closed off” emotionally… all of these differing, kind of mutually exclusive (or cognitively dissonant) aspects of myself that I’m trying to reconcile… I just try to work through that. Like questioning why I should feel ashamed I was exploited? I mean, maybe (probably) the person who did it was so self loathing, no wonder they need to exploit others in order to feel even remotely powerful. Their exploitation of me says far more about them than it does about me. Everyone suffers in certain ways in life, so my suffering is MINE and its nothing to feel ashamed of, etc… things like that. I think so often when we’re taken advantage of, as women, society’s reaction is typically one of “well, you should have been more discerning…” “maybe you shouldn’t be so needy” “why are you so crazy?” etc. It’s always about blaming us for being exploited. Meanwhile men are groomed from an early age to exploit women and to feel pride in that - think about how men basically cheer one another on to sleep with women using any means necessary, including “buying us drinks” and outright lying to us in order to “score.” Its no wonder so many men feel a sense of helplessness or maybe even a subconscious feeling of shame when they feel they’re growing emotionally attached to a woman they’re sleeping with, given how much society breeds boys to believe they’ll be so much more awesome if they can sleep with as many women as possible, making as few commitments as possible. So depressing, when you really think about it all. So… most of the time, I just don’t.

The single best thing I have ever done for myself was try to cultivate desires, hopes and dreams that would bring me happiness and satisfaction if I were to remain completely alone the rest of my life. Something that males are encouraged to do since their childhood, and basically the opposite of what most girls are encouraged to do. And after going through that sort of psychological transformation, I finally realized a little bit more about male privilege: Male privilege, more than anything else, is the feeling of entitlement you have to be alone, for as long as you need to be, without worrying about anyone thinking you’re “less of a man” because you want to be alone… possibly forever. Anyway, nowadays I’m in a relationship with a very sweet man, but I’m not afraid of being alone again, and I was single throughout virtually all of my 20s because I was both terrified of getting sucked into another toxic relationship, and also because it allowed me to just think about who I myself, wanted myself to be, rather than trying to figure out who I would have to be to make some other person love me/keep them from starting random arguments with me/keep them from raging at me/keep them from sleeping with my friends/ keep them from threatening to kill themselves… you know, all of that fun stuff. I could not worry about it anymore, because the only person I was truly beholden to, I realized at that point, was myself.

That all said… If I don’t have enough time to really “just go through it,” because I have work or something to do, then I think very clearly and say an intention (and repeat it to myself when I catch myself slipping) of what I want in place of thinking about that negative stuff. Like, I say, “I’m going to use up every ounce of energy generated from thinking about (the situation) and use it to get this (other thing) done.” And I basically just imagine myself sucking the life out of the person/situation I “hate” with each little bit of work I get done. lol I know that sounds kinda grotesque, but I’m gonna humble myself and just put it out there lol. To me, I feel like someone who has harmed me in such a way, they knew they were truly “blowing up my life” - both with regard to my psychological health and my interpersonal relationships, including my relationship with myself, someone who tries to break you down mentally and physically so that they can feel powerful… I shall be “getting over it” however I damn well please! Haha

I guess the way I look at it is, the sooner I can move on, the sooner I can forgive. So while the tactic can seem like it’s a little mentally toxic, to me, it gives me just enough “magical thinking” to make me feel empowered, without having to interact with that psychological black hole of a person again in any direct way. I mean, isn’t that what having a spiritual belief is about, anyway? Giving adults the freedom to engage in “magical thinking” or making us believe we can have some impact on material reality through some otherworldly intervention? Anyway, that’s what helps me many times when I find myself on a spiral that makes me feel traumatized all over again, which is of course what makes me get angry and then depressed, and then I feel like, that in turn causes my worser PCOS symptoms to flare up again. There are definitely incredibly strong links between these autoimmune diseases and mental stress. But thinking about that too much also… stresses me out lol

Also, definitely agree with the other poster about journaling. I record voice memos for myself when I do get angry and just basically rage and play it back for myself. Surprising how comforting that is (does that make me a narcissist? Lol). It’s almost like listening to a podcast or a radio show where the person speaking of course agrees with everything you’re feeling hahaha But for me it truly helps!!! Especially months or years later when I’m feeling down again, sometimes just listening to me talk myself through it from the past is really helpful in the present.

Anyway, I am sending you “healing vibrations” haha (but seriously) and I am wishing you well from afar. You will get through this and you will get stronger with each thing you overcome!!!