Thursday, September 22, 2011

Solitary Confinement

I get weird about being stuck in the house.  This is a kickback to when I was a kid.  I grew up in a violent alcoholic household.  There was lots of verbal abuse and occasionally physical abuse.  This occurred back before restraining orders existed or it was the law to report abuse of a minor. I felt trapped since I had to live there and couldn't drive and didn't earn enough money to move out on my own.  I escaped by going off to college, making sure that I got a degree and then a good job so that I never had to depend upon anyone ever again.  Up till last year that was true.  I was independent.  I had chosen to marry and chosen to stay with my husband for 20 years.  However, I was still capable of living on my own if I wanted to.

Since I have become sick and gave up driving I'm dependent upon others.  I need rides.  I need someone to push me in the wheelchair.  Sometimes I almost have to beg to get to go someplace I want which is infuriating.  I can't go visit people I want to see.  I can't go to the stores I want to go to.  I can't go grocery shopping where I want to.  I can't get to the farms to purchase raw dairy.  I am absolutely dependent upon the whims of my son and husband as to when I get to go out and where I get to go to.

This drives me absolutely loopy.  Sometimes, like last week, it starts to feel more like I'm in jail.  With hubby working most of the week it often felt like I was in solitary.

Now I've said before that I'm a hardcore introvert so normally I have no trouble being by myself.  I do start to have trouble with it when it isn't my own choice.  That slight variation in intention sends me off the deep end.  I fall into despair and get really wonky.  I avoid people and contact even more and get all mopey, grumpy and ill tempered.  I start to think the worst of my family.  I start to feel trapped.  Caged.  Of course with CFS this makes my physical symptoms worse so this is the start of a downward spiral.  I watch myself circling the proverbial drain getting worse and worse each day.

I haven't figured out how to stop this yet.  I've only just figured out that this is happening, what the triggers are and why it is such an intense experience for me (reminds me of being trapped at home when I was a kid).  It is an intense visceral reaction.  But just the recognition and acknowledgement of it is good.  It is the start of understanding and the start of unraveling the puzzle.  Once the puzzle is solved then healing and reconciliation can begin.  Maybe next time my husband is off in the wide world being busy I won't get quite so wound up.


  1. First, thank you for sharing so honestly. I admire that you see this in yourself. it isn't easy admitting when we feel weak or helpless. For me, I turn into a raving.... ahem.. witch. I hate it, I don't want to accept it. Therefore, I have to edit how I perceive it. I look at it as when I get out with my hubs, it is time together I may not otherwise have. When I go out myself, I do three things on a list and no more. This way I feel independent but I limit to avoid flares.

    I hear you loud and clear. My father shot and killed my mother when I was 8 years young and standing not 12 feet from him. He was a raging alcoholic. Most of my family are active alcoholics. I am 24 years and this moment into recovery. I HEAR YOU.

    Thank you for your honesty and allowing me the privlage of getting to know you a bit more. Hugs. Tammy

  2. footnote: Last week my GP dx'ed me with Fibro on top of everything else.

    I can't tell if it matter or not as yet. I have so many things what the darn difference anymore. :)

  3. Tammy I'm so sorry. That sucks. I have to say I didn't start recovering until my mid twenties. I'm now almost 50 and between seeing a great therapist for several years, being married to a great (most of the time) husband and taking up Buddhism I must say life is much better now than when I was a kid. Before contracting CFS I was quite happy with my life. I am still fighting things since the CFS but that is a process. People say that acceptance will happen but again because of my past that simply isn't in my nature.

    Thing is, an icky past sews some really interesting trigger buttons onto your person and the oddest stuff can cause very out of proportion reactions. For me, those triggers tend to be around my stuff, my finances, my independence and food. I'm still renegotiating my positions on all of the above since my illness onset last year.

    On another note I don't think silence helps anyone. Bad things happen to all sorts of people. Norman Rockwell families are few and far between. I feel I need to tell my whole story warts and all. It often isn't pretty or upbeat but it is real. Like a Phoneix we shall rise from the ashes stronger and more beautiful for the fire.