I originally put this post up on my social media, where I could just delete it right away if I changed my mind. But I was so moved by all of your comments, I decided to put it up here, too. I hope it resonates with you.
I’m having a strange moment where, for the first time in over 10 years, I feel like I’m at peace with my body.
Not just with my SI joints, but with my overall hypermobility condition as well. Because even after I stabilized my SI joints in 2016, I always had this nagging feeling of wondering if something else was wrong with me.
And so, yes- it took me so long- but now I know I have a genetic hypermobility condition (also known as a connective tissue disorder).
It explains so much- why I never seemed to bounce back after my first major running injury, why I’ve always seemed to be more fragile than other people.
And oh, the gaslighting. So much gaslighting. So, so many times I’ve been told I’m crazy.
Usually it was by well-meaning people who just didn’t understand what the cause of my pain could be.
But something I’m realizing now is how much the idea there was something wrong with me, that I couldn’t quite pin down, has really left me vulnerable to poor treatment and even abuse by other people.
Times when I didn’t necessarily get myself out of the situation right away, or stand up for myself, because I didn’t realize that it wasn’t normal.
When you know something’s “wrong” with you, and you don’t know what it is… it eats away at you.
I have been learning so much, and growing so much, in the past few years. Now that I have the explanation for what the root cause of my issues was — it’s a real thing, that happens to other people too, I’m honestly pissed at the treatment I received, and that I accepted.
Truthfully, when I look at the picture above, all I really see is that my lips are chapped (it’s a chronic thing for me in the winter!). But maybe there’s more to me than that. Maybe it’s okay to post it anyway.
Now I’m channeling that anger into raising awareness, sharing my story, and helping to empower both myself and others as we move forward into 2021.
I’m lucky to have some amazing friends who’ve really helped me along the way, but this post in particular goes out to my friend J– you helped me to believe in myself more than you know. Thank you for helping me to see it.