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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.

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[–] KBash [OP] 1 points Edited

Part 1 of long comment

I'm going to write a long comment on here, and say some nice things about myself, because they're true.

I have been through HELL these past five years. And I am ON TOP OF IT.

When I got PTSD after being raped and abused in 2016, I got myself to a psychiatrist, and I nexted several psychiatrists and therapists for being terrible, and did not put up with that shit (I learned my lesson when I was younger, and I was PAYING huge amounts out of pocket then, instead of taking advantage of Medicaid). So many psychiatrists try to give you expensive designer drugs, or they're mean or judgy- of their patients going to them for mental illness!- or the next time you see them, they've fobbed you off on their assistant, who tries to give you an SSRI without a mood stabilizer, or 600 mg of Gabapentin twice a day instead of 1 milligram of clonazepam once a day for anxiety, when you have acute PTSD. One psychiatrist tried to pressure me into reporting for a second time- after nothing had come of the first time- and told me "he'll do it again to someone else." Yes, she tried to guilt trip me into going back to the police, when I was there to be treated for PTSD. Similar to the (male) therapist who shamed me for being a 17-year-old girl with low self-esteem, implying I was at fault for the grooming and sexual abuse and rape I experienced then. Shame on all of these people.

Honestly, I am lucky I am smart, and have learned from this. If I had not learned to advocate for myself, I would probably be dead by now.

I found a great psychiatrist. He gave me the right meds- anti-anxiety, meds for nightmares (low dose blood pressure meds cured them right away), tricyclic antidepressants for sleep, and a mood stabilizer for bipolar 2. The tricyclic antidepressants saved my life back then. They allowed me to quit drinking and sleep.

I don't know how I got through the day then. I was working three jobs. I don't know how I was that functional when I had acute PTSD. It seems like psychiatrists and psychologists and neuropsychologists (I'm thinking of this because I just saw one for psych testing for ADHD- I am getting shit done right now) don't understand PTSD at all. I couldn't believe he was asking me how well I'd done at my previous job when I had PTSD, as if it had to do with my ADHD- did he understand what I was saying? It's a fucking feat to work three jobs and pay your fucking rent and bills- even if sunk in poverty- and manage to do that well enough to survive when you have acute PTSD. When I said "I think I did really really well, considering," he got impatient with me! So did his associate, when giving me the testing. There is no way I am more annoying than average. They screen people for mental illness. Why were they jerks? - My case is complicated due to bipolar 2, PTSD, and more than one autoimmune disorder. It's important to be thorough and talk about my childhood and other people's perceptions (my ex-partner did come, and fill out some questionnaires, to help me). If I can improve my concentration, organization and time management, that will help me tremendously. I have done as well as I have because I care about others- work performance- and in school because I could do a paper the day it was due and get an A. I could really excel if I could get it together.

The stress of the PTSD- I mean the immense horror I felt at what happened; I felt like Colonel Kurtz rubbing his bald head in the jungle- wrecked my body. It was very sad because I was just stating to recover a year later when it felled me like a tree. I don't know how I survived during that time either. My parents wouldn't help me, no one knew. I languished in a basement. I spent a lot of time on Gender Critical. The women there helped me survive, and I helped them, too. This was during the MeToo movement. The revelations about my childhood and recent rapists were ghastly. The whole thing was surreal. I had to give up my classes, when I had been doing so well, my first time teaching writing at the university level (I'd taught ESL before). I developed agoraphobia. I gained sixty pounds. My hair fell out. I pretended I was working to my roommates, but mainly left my basement room at night, to go to the store to get cigarettes, alcohol, and junk food. The plunge in my thyroid had wrecked my mental health again, and caused a relapse of PTSD.

I honestly don't know how I survived during this time. This is not the first time my life has been really fucking weird. This time in my life represented so many failures of modern feminism and trans activism, too (another long story). It's when I realize how fucked up everything was. I moved five times, and met a lot of characters. Somehow I stayed alive.

I met someone and fell in love. That turned out to be unbelievably stressful, because he is really fucked up. We had dinner Sunday night, and he was very sweet, but said one thing in response to me wearing a sexy shirt- one I tried on to see if I wanted to keep, while going through my clothes- which was a revelation. It was tossed off as a joke but designed to mean (if I said what it was, you'd all probably hate him; he said he'd "forgotten to bring cash," and maybe a throwing gesture at my breasts, because my cleavage was showing, and I made a joking remark about it; we've always been casually sexual in conversation at times- since we broke up- and at various times have dressed attractively for each other; clearly he was very upset about this, because he wants to sleep with me, and is resentful that I'm leaving and moving far away). This could have caused the entire dinner to blow up, if I'd taken offense or been in a bad mood, and gotten really upset. He knows I am a radical feminist. We lived together for more than a year, two thirds of that time as a couple, and dated for eight months before that. To make this crude joke about me being a stripper- he'd know how gross I'd find such a joke, not because I'm a SWERF, but because it's misogynistic and contemptuous- and he risked blowing up our whole night, after bringing dinner, because I was wearing a low-cut top.

I told him it was a bad joke. He mumbled something about having regressed to "cave nerd" since moving out, and then mumbled some more stuff (he is Italian, and also a mumbler even in Italian, and never got rid of his thick accent; I honestly think he mumbles unintelligibly sometimes on purpose, in situations exactly like this). "Regressed to cave nerd" mumble mumble mumble. I moved on, and did not let it bother me, because I was in a forgiving mood. He was very sweet the rest of the night.

It struck me then that every single way he's been mean to me has been exactly the same. There's some emotion behind it he can't express- fear of vulnerability, insecurity- causing resentment toward me, and he just gets resentful, and because he's also weird and on the spectrum, whatever asshole thing that crosses his mind, he says out loud. I believe it's not on purpose to hurt- as it is with abusers, who are deliberate. But it doesn't really matter, and he knows it (he even said this to me at one point last fall: "it doesn't matter is someone is meaning to (referring obliquely to my having experienced deliberate abuse), if they're hurting you anyway"). He's right. The effect is the same.

So yeah- there it is. Every single time he's been mean to me. His fucking walls and his fucking insecurity. And he did this to a rape survivor recovering also from an autoimmune disease. He knew this very well, because we were friends for eight months before this, and he was a very sweet friend, never once mean to me, and extremely patient. Not once.

It's honestly kind of unforgivable. I wonder if he knows how selfish that was. I really didn't deserve that. I don't feel all that bad about giving him hell in response, even if I do still care about him, and want him to be okay. He's pulled stunts that have hurt me up until the very end, though- again, without meaning to. He just doesn't think about the consequences of his actions, or the effect he might have on me, after our relationship. I never understood why he was so mean to me, why he didn't love me. I realize now he does, he's just a fucking idiot. It's one of those stupid things where it's "because" he loves me that he's treating me so poorly. It's bullshit, and again- he doesn't mean it to be, but it has been emotionally abusive. He needs to get help so he doesn't treat someone like this again. That he did this to someone in my position is terrible! Although I suppose I came across as very strong to him.

This is getting long, so I'm going to make a part 2 and 3 comment.