Archive for pain

Pretty Pathetic, huh?

Posted in life story, Ramblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 2016/02/24 by R L Burns

It is still so very weird to me that I actually believed all the things he said to me.  And even weirder that it sill bothers me so much nearly seven years later.  I feel utterly stupid that I didn’t get it that it was all a lie – but, you should know that it’s not ALL my fault; he was really good at the lie.  There’s a song by the band Seether in which the singer states:

You keep living in your own lie
                                                 Ever deceitful and ever unfaithful
                                                 Keep me guessing, keep me terrified
                                                 Take everything from my world

That pretty much sums up how I feel/felt/whatever.  Ridiculously, in retrospect, I thought I was much smarter than that; that no one could fool me so completely.  Well, now I know that I was wrong on that count, too.

You know, I guess it’s okay that it bothered – and bothers – me.  I mean, I believed he was the love of my life since I was a teenager.  In a way I only got involved with people who were, in a sense, disposable.  Not too flattering – for them or me.  I judged my feelings with everyone by my feelings for him, and their feelings for me by the way he had felt about me.  Comparing is never a good practice, I know, but I didn’t know I was doing it.  Well, I knew it, but I didn’t understand how MUCH I was doing it, nor how negatively it was impacting every romantic relationship of my entire life.  I can see it now, of course; I mean, don’t they say that hindsight is 20/20?  Yepper.  Definitely 20/20.

Even knowing all that now, though, I still don’t understand how I could be so taken in. Where were the signs that it was a lie?  Maybe…well, could’ve been the small amount of time he was able to carve out for me after I drove over one thousand miles to spend time with him.  Yeah, I guess that was a clue.  I’d be there a week and spend 80% of my time alone.  I guess that was a big sign, yes?  But when he was with me, he was WITH me.  Loving me, crying, begging…and when I was away from him, there were hundreds of phone calls, thousands of texts.  I mean, why would he do all of that if he was lying?  That’s what I couldn’t figure out.  Unless, maybe, he WAS just trying to be kind to me – in a weird-wrong-twisted kind of way.  He said later that he did it because he felt guilty that I had loved him so long.  I had loved him.  Hmmmm….and that he had not been in love with me since nearly fifteen years earlier when he wanted to be with me but I said no — he had a child and one on the way.  How could I break that up? I couldn’t, so I sent him back to her and the children, knowing that was the right thing to do – and knowing that he would, in the end, hate me if he left his family and then wasn’t close to them.  For a while I tried to believe that he was just saying all that about lying, that really he was a coward and just couldn’t pull the trigger.  But I suppose I was wrong, and he really didn’t love me any longer.  That is a horrible thing to accept…I kept others at arm’s length and never allowed myself to be happy because I was in love with him.  When I believed we finally had a real chance at the happily ever after we both claimed to have always wanted…well, I was deliriously happy.  And then I wasn’t.

And I am still not.

I still stand by my belief, though, that if he KNEW, the first time we saw each other again, that he didn’t feel the same about me, it would have been much kinder and much, much less disillusioning if he had thrown a pity fuck or two my way and then a tearful farewell. That, I would have held close to my heart with a tear and a smile.

Instead I am left with…nothing.

 

 

I’m Not Sure It Ever Ends…

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , , , , on 2015/06/01 by R L Burns

“Four years”, she said.  “Things will not be settled between you two for at thee – no, four – years.  Sorry.” She followed her words with a sad smile that tried to look hopeful. Well, it has been six years now and it is still unsettled.  For me, anyway.

It has been a long time since the Magician came to me.  And then, it was mostly in dreams.

The first time I saw him, I was twelve.  I dreamed of him as an angel.  Little did I know then that he was really a demon, a minion of Satan, who would eventually swallow me whole.  Destroy me.  Murder me….

It began innocently enough, like I said, with a dream.  He claimed to be an angel sent to protect me.

— This is a work in progress.  It will take some time.

Paradox

Posted in Poetry, Ramblings with tags , , , , on 2012/05/24 by R L Burns

                                                                             Savior

Tender, protective

Benevolent, redeeming, defending

Angel, Guardian, Demon, Ghoul

Shattering, demolishing, failing

Deceiver, hypocrite

                                                                                                 Destroyer

The Little Girl’s Screams

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 2012/03/20 by R L Burns

she stumbles through her day,

somehow obeying

the common courtesies on which

she so heavily relies –

she thanks God that the replies

are automatic…

 

she watches their mouths move,

knows they are telling

their problems and secrets to her,

wanting her help, her care , her advice –

she struggles to hear them

and in vain decipher

what need they have of her –

she flinches when touched

and jumps when she’s called,

they’ve not yet realized

that she is hopelessly walled

up in her mind

curled up in a ball

screaming and screaming

and screaming again –

just endlessly screaming

o’er the loss of her friend, her

lover,  her soul mate, a lifetime

of dreams….

til nothing is left

but the little girl’s screams.

Image

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pain

Posted in life story, Sharing with tags , , , , , on 2011/09/26 by R L Burns

When one of my many doctors looked me in the eye and said, “Well, given all your symptoms, history and my examination, I feel confident diagnosing you with Fibromyalgia”, I admit it, I laughed at him; loudly, and perhaps not a bit impolitely.

“Fibromyalgia?” I snorted, unable to stop myself.  “You’re kidding, right?”  I did my best Dr. Spock imitation, raising my left eyebrow and looking at him quizzically.

“Um, no, I am not kidding.  You see, Fibromyalgia –“he began, but I cut him off.

“Fibromyalgia.  Right.  Isn’t that what you tell people – especially women you consider to be hypochondriacs – when you can’t figure out what is really wrong with them?  Or when you don’t think there really IS anything wrong with them?  C’mon.  If you can’t figure out the true cause of my chronic pain, just admit it.  I won’t mind, won’t be angry.  In fact, I may even respect you all the more for being honest with me.  So what’s the real deal-io Doc?”

I’m sure you can guess by now that this particular doctor was not best pleased with this particular patient, and his patience (that’s a pun, get it?) was running thin – obviously not true since I am quite plump, actually.  Never mind, as usually happens when I tell a story, I digress.  Back to the now red-faced, displeased doctor.

“I don’t understand you, Ms. Cardew, not at all.  Fibromyalgia is not just something I say when I don’t know what is really wrong.  Nor do I consider any of my patients hypochondriacs.  I totally disagree with all you just said and am, I must admit, offended by it.  If you do not value my medical opinion I am sure I can refer you to another doctor.”

I was surprised at how hard he took my joking – and to be honest, I was waiting (praying, actually) that he would look at me and utter the line from Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest that was the only saving grace of having my name:  I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go too far.  Although in fairness, my favorite mutation of that line is the one my mother and I always said when someone went beyond the pale:  This time, Miss Cardew, you have gone too far! Heavy British accent and lots of emphasis on the “too”, drawing it out.  (That made us split our sides with laughter – we are easily entertained, I am sure you must think…and you are correct.)  Sadly, he didn’t utter those magic words; sadder still, hardly anyone ever does anymore, what with the state of public education these days.  No one reads the classics anymore – and if they do, they don’t understand them.  C’est la vie.  Again, I am off track.

I smiled slightly at poor Dr. Ferris.  “I’m sorry, doctor.  Truly I am.  And please believe me, I in no way meant to impugn your…medical…standing or opinion.  I just thought it was funny, in an odd – I see now – way.  Um, you know, you see all those commercials on television, and all the symptoms are so vague.  And then the medicines they advertise cause worse side effects than the pain itself…I don’t know, Sir.  I think Fibromyalgia has somehow just come across to me as a “catch-all” when no one can figure out what else to say.  Sort of a palliative, I mean.  So that the person in pain actually feels like they are not crazy and there really is something wrong with them.  It’s television, Sir, not you.  I am just a victim of advertising.  I’m sorry.  Can you forgive my rudeness?”  Big smile now.

Puffed up again to look like a real doctor, Dr. Ferris smiled benignly at me and patted my hand.  “Dear, there is nothing to forgive.  I understand how confusing all the misinformation out there can be.”

Now that we were friends again, he began explaining Fibromyalgia to me in all earnestness.  I wish he hadn’t.

Fibromyalgia is a bitch.  No one knows what causes it, though some hypothesize that potential causes and/or triggers include a physical or emotional trauma, sleep disturbances (exacerbated by the disease), an abnormal pain response in the brain, or even an infection, although no particular infection has been identified as a definite correlation.

The symptoms (chronic body-wide pain, joint/muscle/tendon tenderness) are vague; they could be caused by any number of things.  What stands out, apparently, is that the pain goes on and on and on.  For some lucky Fibro Sisters, it is only a few months.  Most of us, however, suffer with it for years.  Accompanying the burning, aching, mind numbing, strength-zapping malaise, there are other possible prizes:  depression (you ache all the time, can’t imagine why you would be depressed, can you?); chronic fatigue (you can’t sleep the whole night through because of the pain); constant neck or back pain; an underactive thyroid; other sleep disorders.  You fall asleep in pain, go through the day in pain, and wake up in pain.  Yipee.  And oddly enough, even though it often feels like the pain is emanating from the joints (like Arthritis), it isn’t.  It’s actually in the soft tissues of the body.

Long-term Fibromyalgia party-bonuses can include heart palpitations (I have those in abundance), problems with concentrating and memory (is that why I can’t remember where I parked my car at the mall?), numbness in the hands and feet, and, best of all, migraine headaches.

Fibromyalgia:  the cornucopia of symptoms, the smorgasbord of disorders.  No cause.  No real cure.  Oddly enough, Dr. Ferris told me that what helps most is exercise and sleeping normally.  Ha!  But it hurts to move around too much and I can’t sleep because I have Fibromyalgia.  Hmm.  Kind of a conundrum, wouldn’t you say?  Your body hurts when you move, and you can’t sleep through the night, but if you want to get better, you have to exercise regularly and sleep through the night.  My head hurts just thinking about it.

Treatments include physical therapy and exercise (oh joy, more moving about!) and stress-relief techniques.  Oh, and let’s not forget our pharmaceutical cocktails…Anti-depressants, muscle relaxers, pills that change the way your brain interprets pain.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in “better living through chemistry”, even considered getting it tattooed on my shoulder, but it’s all just too much.

As much as I tried to joke about it, Dr. Ferris was right all those years ago.  I do have Fibromyalgia – at least all the classic symptoms.  Part of the physical exam for the disease is that you must have tenderness in at least eleven of eighteen areas, and it must have lasted for at least three months.  I had tenderness in sixteen of the eighteen, and when I saw Dr. Ferris, it had been going on for at least three years.  The pain travels, in a sense.  Sometimes it is in my elbows and knees, other times in my spine; still other times it is in my shoulders and my ribs.   There’s no predicting where it will hit next or how long it will last.  Six years after diagnosis, I am still fighting it.  And I am tired of it, with no end in sight.  I am, though, much luckier than others I know with this disease.  Wonderful, brilliant women whose pain is so debilitating that it keeps them from doing much at all.  I at least can still work and write.

I suppose the point of this was to say that Fibromyalgia really sucks.  If you do not suffer from it, thank the Lord or whichever Spiritual deity you choose, that you do not.  And next time you hear about it, it’s okay to laugh – a little.  But know that it is real, it hurts and it is never-ending.

So to those of you who are members of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pain, I salute you.  Keep up the good fight.  Somehow we will come out on top!

Still…

Posted in life story, Loss of Hope, Poetry, Ramblings with tags , , , , on 2011/05/25 by R L Burns

it’s wrong and it’s lame

cuz to you it was all just a game –

so how can I feel the same

way I did when I carved your name’s

first initial into my palm?

what is wrong in my brain,

in my heart – why does the pain

loiter and remain

drowning me – a hurricane

that possesses me, obsesses me?

i just keep telling myself those

christina perri lyrics…

I learned to live

half a life…

and who do you think you are,

runnin’ round leaving scars,

collecting your jar of hearts

and tearing love apart?

you’re gonna catch a  cold

from the ice inside your soul…

so don’t come back for me

don’t come back at all.

 

and yet the thought of that

terrifies me more than anything…

and i STILL don’t know what i did wrong…

I Wonder

Posted in Loss of Hope, Poetry with tags , , on 2011/05/25 by R L Burns

i wonder …

where you are

how you are

what you are

hope you’re happy

hope you’re not

wonder if you give a thought

to what once was

and what might have been

a place we will never see again…