Loss of identity.....sorry, I wrote a novella here.....

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Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 12/1/2010 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
A long time ago I described my pain as a thief that stole my life away bit by bit. So now I encounter an obvious problem or set back of chronic pain, the loss of my identity as a woman. I feel ugly, not just physcially but emotionally. Every time I snap at my kids or dogs because I am having a bad day, I feel ugly. The days I can't walk because of the pain, I see all the weight I gain and then lose and the rollercoaster that weight management has become because of pain. The days that I feel good and think of going back to a prescribed aquatics program, I see my body differently than before and talk myself out of being in front of all those people in a swim suit. I was never a skinny woman, and truly dont want to be one now, but would like to have my body back. It would be nice to feel attractive and pretty again.
It would be so nice to be able to walk around at a fair, school trip, grocery store, clothes shopping, and come home with a smile on my face and the energy to actually put my things away! CP has taken away my freedom, my body, my identity and twisted them into a mockery of what I was before. I want to get the point where I no longer mourn for that woman that I was and come to terms with the fact that I have no physical control over my own body. How do I get there when the pain has flared up so badly that even the slightest activity causes such misery and at a time when my fiance has a good job, but is gone 11 hours a day and can no longer help with the house work the way he used to? I want to do the housework, and we bought "adaptive equipment" to help like a portable dishwasher, very lightweight broom vacuum, and platforms for the laundry so there is no bending or twisting. So I pace myself, and by the end of the day when dinner is done and he comes home I have nothing left for anyone, or I spend the day resting and still have nothing for anyone else.
I thought I had gotten to acceptance of this life-long change. I felt so good for so long that I was handling this well and inspired that I could make it through anything with God's help. This change crept up on me and has pulled me so low that I don't recognize myself any longer. My body, my attitude, my life seems like it is no longer mine. So I get up everyday and brush my hair, wash my face, and if I can use my hands well, dab on a little eyeshadow or mascara to try to feel better. What a joke! I might as well save the money that costs and stop wasting it on being at home where no one notices. I dont even look at myself in our mirrors, so what difference does it make?
I am sure there is someone out there with these issues. I hope I didnt offend someone with my pity party. I live in a house full of males, and have no woman to talk to who would understand. All my girlfriends are young and struggle with thinking about what my life must be like. I get tired of being "one of the guys" in this house and just want to feel pretty and feminine again. My fiance loves me and could care less if I am made up or not, but I would so love to hear him admire my hair or like my perfume and my make up again. We have gotten in a rut of life and no longer see each other as we did at the beginning of our relationship. It just so happened to occur along with my loss of identity as a woman from my many surgeries. It also doesn't help that being 30 with my first full year after hysterectomy 2 of my very close girlfriends are pregnant, which has brought back all the feelings of being less than a woman now. Stupid to feel that way over something that was so necessary.

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 12/1/2010 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh Mindy,

You really are having a tough time lately. I do understand!!! I feel the same way so many times and then something little gives me back a feeling of love again. Not to be insulting, but have you had a hormone pannel done recently? If so, have they also checked your pituatary gland? I know that these things affected me so much and you are really struggling right now. I actually thought I was in pre-mature menopause (as did the dr's) until the tests showed different. My menstrual cycle stopped for over two years, then came back when I had been on human growth hormone for a few months. Now it's gone again because I had to stop taking it for a while. I'm back on the shots and I've already noticed amazing changes in the way I feel. I still don't get up and dress up very often at all (perhaps once/twice a week at most), but it's made some serious changes in my thinking pattern.

I wish you all the best and hope you will find answers soon!
Retired Mom

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 12/1/2010 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
You took the words right out of my mouth! I feel the same way too. I have had to give up things that I love doing- musicals and singing- because of my pain and fatigue. I used to sing in my church choir too, but with Sjogren's it is hard to sing now because my mouth gets so dry and I end up really thirsty, even if I take a water bottle with me and swig on it the whole time. I have ended up isolating myself from activities and friends because of my fibro and rheumatoid arthritis. I used to have my kids enrolled in a local Co-Op Preschool- which means that the parents are very involved and everything is paid for by fundraisers and volunteering. It just got to be too much work for me, so I have my son at a different preschool, and I don't see much of the other preschool moms anymore.
I never know from day to day what my body is going to feel like, how much pain I will be in, and I have had to bail on invites before because of my pain or whatever. Plus, knowing that I can't go out and run some errands and then come home, cook diner, and clean my house anymore. I have to plan what to do because I know that I will have to rest afterwards. My house is a pigsty because I barely have the energy to do daily things like dishes and laundry let alone things like dusting and vacuuming. I have piles of papers and stuff all over the place and I can't have anyone over because I am so embarrassed!
I was telling my husband recently that I feel like coming to terms with these chronic conditions has changed me and the way that I view life, and he didn't get it. He said that I don't have to let it change how I react to things and that a lot of times I use RA as an excuse not to follow through with something. I still don't think he gets how debilitated I feel sometimes, he thinks I am lazy or something. Last winter when we had all the snow, we lost power to our house and had no heat, and I was physically in pain because of how cold I was. I got the feeling that he thought I was being a big baby. We spent one night in the house with no heat, hunkered down under a pile of blankets, and I was still freezing. We finally ended up going to stay with friends until our electricity was fixed. I have never had an experience like that, where I was in pain because of the cold, and it really scared me. I am not looking forward to this winter!
Anyway, just know that you are not alone in your feelings. I think a lot of what we are feeling is just a normal part of learning to accept having a chronic condition. I hope in some small way I have helped!

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 12/1/2010 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Retired Mom,

I have had a hormone panel, but had a hysterectomy and oophorectomy last year and was put into surgical menopause at 29! My doctor's do not feel that hormones will help me at this point, and I have taken a break from fighting for this treatment to take up the cause of finding a psychiatrist to prescribe antidepressants before addressing the hormone issue. I know I need them! I can't wait to feel the difference that I know from others they can make in the way I feel about my body. Also, part of me understands that this is occurring because of the menopause. I am jealous of my friends who can have babies while I am a withered and dried up old crone!+

moggy, Thank you for letting me know I am not alone! I don't think I have met you before, and it is nice to meet you! I know exactly where you are and feel isolated also. I however, am lucky to have a more understanding fiance who does at times feel as yours may, but sees that I physically can not do many things and loves me still. I understand his anger with me at times though, but I truly can't help it as I know you cant either. I too am not looking forward to this winter with an RA flare and doctor's who have been fighting over treatments. I live in a part of the US that has cold winters and was bombarded today with rain and feel it when the weather changes. Cold has affected me for years and I am not looking forward to the hermit like existence that winter brings.

Thank you both for your responses. I think part of acceptance may be knowing you are not alone and crazy!
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, 7 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions, and a kidney stone! Wait, future medial transcriptionist I must say ureteral calculus!
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