Treasured Letters

In that drawer in the bedroom where we put things that are dear to us, we have three stacks of letters. One stack is from our oldest daughter, our second child, written when she was 17 and living in Switzerland for a year. It was so very hard having her so very far away, before Skype, internet, and inexpensive overseas […]

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Transformations

Yes, everything changes and it is sometimes difficult to keep on top when it is really fast change. At other times we don’t get on board because we don’t believe the change is making life better. Neither hubby or I carry a cell phone – me because I don’t like using the phone so I want to be in control […]

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Talking About Pain

During the first year I found that being sick brought up a lot of old, unresolved issues. It makes sense that having a chronic illness that decreases our functioning and increases our need for help from others would bring up issues around dependency, asking for help, and self-esteem. It can also bring up idiosyncratic personal issues, and a huge one for me was understanding, communicating and coping with pain. This was my favorite journal topic during that first year. I struggled to know how and when to communicate pain to others, especially those who were helping me most often – my husband and doctor. I made the decision as a 4 year old that I wasn’t going to tell anyone about my pain, ever, and I would take care of myself. I had been badly hurt by a family member and I learned that if I told anyone about my physical pain they would create even more pain and I couldn’t handle any more. This was reinforced throughout my childhood by being told, “Stop your crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” As a child I couldn’t understand the logic of that statement and I still don’t. As an adult, I remained true to this decision and even when I experienced very intense pain, I didn’t tell anyone until I would end up in the emergency room. I don’t think I developed a voice for pain or learned the social “rules” for pain. Psychotherapy taught […]

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