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How to deal with my illness
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September 25, 2001, 02:02:21 PM
­ Dear MaryAnne:

I have been ill for about 10 years. I thought when I got sick like everyone else, how could this happen to me? I wasn't really worried at that point I just figured I would go to the doctor he would tell me what was wrong and give me something that would make it go away. It wasn't cancer so I didn't worry about dying.
Then time went by and I did not get better and no doctor could tell me what was wrong. Then it was "why did this happen to me?"
I went into a depression and I was also angry. All this hype in this country about "Doctors" like they are gods and no one could help me. I have lost myself and have become consumed with my illness and fighting for help. I live in a surreal world as I just can't believe nobody cares about anybody and no one cares what is wrong with me nor do they even care to help me. I feel lost because I didn't know any of these bad feelings before I got sick. Now I am not even myself. I don't know who I am.
So, my questions are how do I find out what is wrong with me and how do I get my innocence back and how do I make it ok what has and is happening to me as far as no one caring about helping me.
I hope you will care,
T

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October 07, 2001, 12:16:58 AM
#1
­ Dear T:

I am so sorry for what has happened to you and is happening to you. It is a great shock to wake up and find out what you “thought” was reality is not really reality at all. It is sorta like what happened to the whole United States on September 11th.
We are all brought up to believe that there are just “certain” things that can not happen to us because of our definition of what reality is and what the limits to that reality are. Then some people unfortunately you are one of them has something happen to them the goes outside the bounds of their reality and they loose their whole sense of what is real and what is safe. They start to question everything because now how do you learn what the boundaries are to your life anymore? You are left very vulnerable because you just don’t know anymore what can and can not happen. This is what Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is. PTS can happen to anyone under any circumstances. It is all based on “your” personal definition of what the limits of your reality are, no one else’s. Now this is where the real problems come in. You have had this happen and for you this has gone way past the limits of your acceptable reality. Then you meet up with people in the medical profession who either don’t even accept your sense of reality, or feel you are making too much of what has happened because their sense of reality is different or they can’t let in your reality because if it were true they do not know how to deal with it and that is too frightening for them. So, you are shut out and what is making you so angry is that no one is validating what has happened to you and that it is way past your sense of what could happen to you. Think about it, you go running to someone after you just witnessed some horrible act say someone savagely killing another person in small town USA where things like that just don’t happen. No one else witnessed this act and anyone you told about it either didn’t believe you because it just doesn’t happen in small town USA so they just reject your reaction. Or you tell the next person and it is so threatening to them that this could ever happen that they can not let it in so they also just reject what you are saying. Now you are starting to feel alone and even doubting yourself that maybe it really didn’t happen or that maybe you are making too big of a deal out of it because you are not getting the validation that meets the same amount of emotion that you are feeling from what you saw. This is the most important thing for us as persons. When something horrific happens to us we immediately and repeatedly need people especially our loved ones to validate us by saying in so many words, “YES THIS WAS INSANE AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED.” Until you as the traumatized person get that validation you can not move out of the trauma into validating it in yourself, so that you can move on to mourning the event, making some sense of the event, finding the support to change your sense of reality so you can place this event and incorporate it into your new sense of reality and move on to resolution.
This is of paramount importance for everyone to understand this because it will happen in everyone’s life at some time or other. If you do not understand and work through this whole process of Post Traumatic Stress you will stay stuck in the trauma and event stage of PTS. You will continuously talk about the event over and over. Your emotions will fluctuate from fear, to tears, to anger, to bewilderment, to irrational thoughts. But you will never move out of the need to keep discussing it. This is what happens a lot of times with these illness support groups. They become places for people who are stuck in PTS to go and just keep talking and talking about their illnesses, their doctors, their medications, their troubles around being ill. But they never “do” anything on their own to move past this point of PTS. Everyone who is chronically ill is in PTS, I believe until they get the validation they need and then work through the steps of PTS. Not working through one’s PTS is staying in the “victim” stage where again you just keep talking and talking about what is happening and never moving past that stage to resolution. Once you get the validation of the “insanity” of the situation for you, then you become “empowered” and are no longer a victim. From there you can work through the stages of PTS and then you can work through how to change your life and make your illness just a part of your life instead of as a victim does making the illness their life.
I tell you this because most of the time the questions we ask that we think are the root of our problems have nothing to do with our true problem. As in your case, you need to get the validation for your insanity. I am going to be the first to give you that validation. It IS insane what happened to you. Others don’t know that we have been writing privately since you asked me your question. It IS insane the way the medical profession has been treating you. As developed as our country is there is absolutely no excuse for the way you and millions of people are being treated by the medical profession. It is a travesty what people continue to go through when trying to receive care from the medical profession. If it had not been for the world change on September 11th there might have been hope for some kind of law to help change this insanity that millions of people are having to endure from a country that is called the last super power country in the world. Yet, our ill, our old and our poor are being abused, neglected and even left to die because of the neglect that is being put above the care of the person all for the sake of being “cost affective” meaning if treating you costs more than not treating you well you won’t be treated. But that is a whole different issue that I would like to tackle one day soon.
OK, now you are not getting the respect or the treatment you should be receiving from the medical profession not even what I would call minimal care. You are being talked down to, sent away without help, told to go get Psychiatric care, told you are doing it to yourself and even laughed at. This is insanity, it should not be happening. You are right they are sick, they are heartless and self serving capitalists who care not doctors for the right reasons.
Now, where do we go from here. You also need validation from someone you are close to that you trust. You need to talk to someone who you trust and tell them what has been happening and let them support you and validate you. When this happens you will feel your “power” come back and your feeling that you have no control over your life and what is happening to you will fade.
When you are able to change your perception, you will change all the circumstances that are going on around you. It is hard to believe until you do it and then you will think it is a miracle but remember in life miracles are just happenings that we have yet to be able to explain. So, I want you to work through this teaching I have presented to you because it is way more than an “advice” email. Work through all the steps either with your “support” person or with a counselor who can give you the guidance and support and as you work through the PTS steps you will actually witness your perception start to change and when you have worked through this validation and become empowered and are no longer a victim you will find that you will act differently, attract different doctors and you will get better treatment because you will demand better treatment. Because you will not turn your power over to the “doctor” as if he were God, he is really works for you, performing a service that you are buying. Once you get all this in perspective and are no longer intimidated by “the doctor” you will then ask for what you want and not leave until you get it or you will walk out before he works you over with terrible words and demeaning actions and go find a doctor who will treat you with the respect all patients deserve. It will work I promise. We just all have to take back our power and when we take back our power instead of giving it over to the medical profession and become a victim of that system believe me the medical profession will change. It can only get away with this way of treating people because we let them. Knowledge is Power remember and never give away your power to anyone it is your life you know what is best in how your should be treated and you know when you are being given the time and information and treatment you deserve. You don’t have to know medicine to know those things.
God bless you and let me know what happens,
MaryAnne

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Where you know you can come for Professional, personal, right on target advice, life skills, crisis intervention,ask questions, confide in guaranteed help. With all the traps, scams, perverts and sites out there that are very unsafe, this site is your safe place. I have been doing this for 10 years.