Endometriosis Ruined My Relationships By Turning Me Into A Burden
Most of my friends are coupled up rather happily. Lately, because of all of the restrictions around social life, I have ended up being the third wheel with one particular couple. And while I have loved every moment spent with them, I've also developed some mixed emotions. When I see them lean on each other for hugs, emotional support, and private jokes, it almost seems alien to me. Because of endometriosis, I feel like a romantic relationship is out of my reach.
In all honesty, I really don’t see myself as "dateable". Most of the time, it is hard to separate the chronic illness I live with from my daily existence. Endometriosis has defined my career, my ability to earn money, and ultimately, it has turned me into a burden to anyone who cares about me.
This is not an exercise in self-pity. The truth is that this disease makes my love life uniquely complicated.
Endometriosis makes any intimate relationship tricky
My pain levels are often so intolerable I am reduced to tears, especially on really bad days when even my skin hurts. This makes me flinch whenever anyone tries to touch me, which is no fun when being intimate with someone. Additionally, my PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) gives me intense mood-swings I have no control over. My severe low mood can be very tough to endure.
The unpredictable nature of flare-ups means I cancel plans quite suddenly. This has upset a lot of people I like. Additionally, my severely compromised fertility adds a cruel and unfair type of pressure to any relationship I embark on.
One of my most frustrating traits is because of my horrible symptoms, I dread being away from home. This turns any holiday planning into an endless exercise in negotiation, one in which I show little interest in traveling far. This can exhaust others.
Due to my chronic pain, I am unable to hold down a job
I have seen the stress my illness produces in the eyes of others. A “need" to take care of me that overtime transforms into a heavy responsibility I never asked for. Watching me struggle continuously, results in frustration and eventually, exhaustion. The moment I became a burden to the person I loved above everyone else, broke me more than I will ever be able to explain.
Why do I feel like a burden?
I am aware that as I live through multiple painful experiences, my brain creates its own storyline to process my emotions. The easy thing is to believe that I am impossible to love, a burden to anyone that dares get close. Thinking otherwise becomes a mammoth effort.
I am seeing a new therapist to help me manage my negative thoughts
Just because someone wasn’t able to love me the way I deserve does not automatically make me a burden. Just because others let their frustrations get in the way, and fail to understand me, does not make me unloveable.
When someone reacts negatively to the circumstances dictated by my disease, it’s not personal. It’s never about me. It’s about their own limitations, their own failures. While the sad story that forms in my brain comes from my deepest insecurities, it doesn't mean it's a true story.
My illness does not make me a burden, it does not make me unlovable. Endometriosis has given me resilience and empathy. It has given me a deep understanding of myself, and the suffering of others. I love hard, and I deserve the biggest form of love in return. And so do you.
Do you know someone that has made a difference with endometriosis advocacy?