I have suffered a lot, lately. The dysautonomia has worsened again. The best way I can describe my experience of a haywire autonomic nervous system is that it feels like there is another body directly under my skin, and it screams and retches and squirms the whole time. It wants nothing more than to burst through my skin and run outside and in front of a truck.
So a living hell, basically. And I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been getting through hour by hour; or during my worst times, minute by minute. I keep suffocating in my sleep and the sensations of nervous system dysfunction follow me even there.
That said, there have been a couple of positive developments:
I became more conscious of the damaging part that parrots at me ignorant opinions received from certain doctors over the years. This part was sensed as a very young part, down the bottom of a well. Scared. Diffident in the face of authority — especially male authority.
Makes sense, right. But the other day when I was home alone & really feeling sick – an older, wiser, female presence came to me and calmly stated everything I know to be true (but have repressed/denied). She laid out the facts of my illness, based on lived experience – not the imperious conjecture of some doctors I’ve encountered – and described my recovery plan in a really straight-forward and confident way. I really needed that.
Since then, the girl down the well has been silent. I like to think she ‘grew up’ into the wise woman I met the other day… and of course, I understand these are all aspects of my own psyche we’re dealing with here. So maybe I’m growing up. It had to happen sometime, right.
This evening my mother-in-law phoned. I was able to talk with her for a little while. Things have been going better between us – better between everybody on my husband’s side of the family, actually. For this I am grateful. Anyway, we were discussing a family matter and I found myself expressing how ceasing contact with my mother had been so healing (not just for me, but also for the people who had to put up with my crap when I was not doing well emotionally) and it was only once I got off the phone that my mother-in-laws tight lipped ‘Mmmm-hmmmm’ response to what I said, fully registered.
Ah. So she doesn’t approve. Not surprising though, considering D has ceased contact with her for a couple of relatively short periods in the past. But the beautiful thing was when I realised that in no way was I seeking her approval of my choices when I talked about ceasing contact with my mother. In the past I would have been painfully and acutely aware of my mother-in-law’s disapproval in the moment. The shame cascade would have covered me head to toe… (damn that shame cascade!!)
It was a beautiful thing to register that disapproval, feel zero shame about it, consciously let my mother-in-law own her ‘stuff’, whilst claiming my own.
You know, I could go into details with her one day. I have fantastic justifications for cutting my mother from my life; and how things have improved in my life since, is vindication in and of itself. But why bother? I don’t need to spill blood in front of people to prove my worth any more. I cut my mother from my life. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, for me. I get to define what’s best for me. My perception matters. It has validity.
So there’s the update. My physical health certainly sucks right now, but isn’t it an amazing thing that I can be healing in other ways whilst my body suffers. In fact this really pleases the ‘do-er’ in me. Probably a bit too much 😉 I’ve got my eye on her.