Trauma, CFS, and the New Year

Don’t ask me about Christmas.  It was horrible.  It was the last chance for my two younger sisters who usually show up at my parents’ for Christmas because I thought, well, it was Christmas, and surely they would try to include me at my parents’.  No, they didn’t.  Even my parents didn’t try, although I don’t want to get into it here. I left knowing, with prayer, that I have completely fulfilled my duty of attempting a relationship and I was free to remove myself from their lives at this point.  It was a relief.

So, now I am free from that, but I look at the New Year with a different outlook than I did last year.  First I’ll tell you about last year.

Entering into 2016 I started a journal and made a list of things I’d like to do every day of the year.  This was inspired by the thought of “In a year I’ll wish I had started this today”, and also for the fact that, with the limitations of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I knew I’d have more done if I maybe had done a little bit a day, every day.  It was less of a resolution than it was an intention.  I was going for a sense of progress and accomplishment in my life, and this, I thought, would be a way of getting more done than I would otherwise.

Well, I was right.  I began to learn Spanish and the violin, and was able to keep my housekeeping at a great level by doing a little every day, including pushing a little home repair/maintenance every day.  I was also to read the Bible and exercise every day, among a few other things.

It all went well until late Spring when I pushed myself too hard doing yardwork (so much for doing ‘a little’ every day) and I came down with a week’s worth of fever.  No other symptoms, just fever.  I was recently tested with West Niles as my doctor suspected, but it was negative.  I think my body was so full of inflammation from overdoing it that it shut down with fever trying to repair itself.

Did I learn my lesson?  Yes, I sure did.  That week of fever caused me to go into a relapse so deep and long that I’m still in it, and it also created increased symptoms to the point that I now have a co-diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.  I went from walking three to five miles a day with intermittent jogging to needing a cane to get up the stairs.  My list of daily ‘dos’ became hit and miss as my capabilities permitted.

Here are my thoughts: I think, for me at least, that CFS may be linked to my childhood trauma of physical abuse and being unloved by a narcissist mother and uncaring family members.  Whatever is the cause of CFS, perhaps I was primed to be more susceptible to it due to my constant physical hypervigilance and extreme anxiety.  It’s like my body has already been pushed too far and had finally given out.

I do tend to push myself too hard, and always had.  This comes from my never having learned to consider physical comfort and setting up boundaries to when something becomes physically painful.  I didn’t think it was ‘right’ to consider how hard something was or how physically or mentally exhausted I was in doing something – the job just needed to be done, and as quickly as possible.  It is so ingrained that even when I’ve told myself I can only do a little a day, my real inclination was to finish a job in one day, no matter how tired I was.  Hence, the fever.

I have yet to make my list for this year as I found myself emotionally recovering from Christmas, and also because I feel hesitant due to not feeling confident anymore as to what I can manage.  It does seem though that most likely I will stick to the same list, but be more wise about it this time.  But I will add one more to this list this year: accept my limitations, every day, whether they be great or small.  Because even on days when I can do very little, even that is the day the Lord has made for me.

I will learn that it’s okay to be in pain, and then say no to doing something for no other hope-1367599reason than that I am in pain.  Maybe this is the year I see myself in this world a little differently.



19 thoughts on “Trauma, CFS, and the New Year

  1. PrairieGirl, I am glad you are being kinder to You. It’s so important. I, too, have great anxiety stemming from childhood. I believe it may be the reason why my body never became pregnant (I always wanted my own family). I wish I could be your friend in the ‘real world’ and give you a big hug. Love and hugs, Faith xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Faith, I will accept your virtual hug as if it were real. 🙂 Yes, i couldn’t have children, either, although I desperately wanted them. It’s nice to find people who understand. I hope this next year is a wonderful one for you and your loved ones!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m excited to have met other ‘Black Sheeps’, I thought I was completely alone in that for a long time. Although, of course, I wouldn’t wish this on someone. I’m still having to be diplomatic among my scheming family for now. And, my romantic relationship, I am unhappily unsure of…But having (my!) boundaries helps enormously. I think you mentioned your childlessness before? I feel for you.
        Thank you… I wish you too, a wonderful year.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I was so glad to have found fellow black sheep on here as well. It changed my life to know that many things that were ‘wrong’ about me weren’t so wrong after all, and also shared by many others who had gone through the same thing as children. I had mentioned the childlessness before, yes, and you are very kind. I do feel for you as well. Please feel free to contact me on my contact tab, I’d love to hear from you.

          I wish you much wisdom in navigating your relationships at this time as I’m sure it all can be trying at times, especially with health issues. Thank you for the wonderful year wishes!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi sweetie, I have fibromyalisa also and have learned not to over do things or I suffer. Which I am tonight, it is not easy to learn how to do in moderation. But I also believe I had anxiety at an early age and was in the fight or flight mode which causes fribro. Of course Drs. wouldn’t confirm that because they just don’t know. Go easy on yourself and don’t push working too much, I am sorry you have this to deal with too. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I’m sorry you have to deal with it. Yes, the constant fight or flight 24/7 for years can do a number on the body. We who suffer from this have much to say to the medical community about it but they don’t care to listen because our experiences mess with their paradigm. A lot of us report among ourselves as having been Type A or high anxiety type people. I used to wake up and immediately jump out of bed, standing there disorientated and with my heart beating, panicking because I guess I had gone off ‘guard duty’. I thank God I don’t do that anymore and that this illness has begun to teach me to not have to control my life so much anymore. It sure is hard going, though, as I’m sure you know.

      Moderation feels like it will get nothing done, but slow and steady still gets us there anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Prarie Girl,

    You know Im without children too. Now that Im older and its too late I regret that but at the same time, when I was younger, I wasnt up to mothering related to my own psychological abuse and disability which is better now. I would say for you, to make your plans and try to keep them while at the same time factoring in ‘how’ you feel each day and more than that, time of day. It sounds like you could have a good morning but be tired by afternoon. You have to have like a control panel on yourself gauging how you feel hour by hour maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s exactly it, Ruby. The key is to constantly gauge the body’s ability to continue or start a task, and then fighting the mind when it wants to finish a job when the body is already tired. That’s when one overdoes it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pushing ourselves too hard it is a key symptom of emotional neglect and our soul or spirit resides in a precious body which is its container and reflector. I have ongoing battles with this and difficulty relaxing. I have up to two panic attacks a day where I can be immobilised for up to 2 hours at a time and it takes me up to an hour to get out of bed in the mornings because I awake in startle mode too. Its sheer panic from the stress of childhood that then manifested in three major accidents. Slowly you will and are learning how to take care of yourself and when you push yourself beyond self caring limits. Its always a work in progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those panic attacks you described sound horrible to go though, I wish you didn’t have them. It IS a work in progress, and it can be frustrating. It’s having to repeat to oneself over and over in several ways that there isn’t an eminent danger, only to be ignored.


  5. Ohhhhh… I needed to read this post this today! As you know, I am not following blogs these days, because I was following so many that they were taking up all of my time. But I was feeling a bit sad and lonely this morning, so I decided to see if you had posted anything since I was last here, and YAY you have!!

    I really like what you wrote here, especially this: “I will add one more to this list this year: accept my limitations, every day, whether they be great or small. Because even on days when I can do very little, even that is the day the Lord has made for me.” Yes, I definitely needed to read this! ((HUG))

    Liked by 1 person

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