Writing what I can’t say


I’ve been a nervous wreck the past two weeks, teetering between barely making it through the day or an all out emotional breakdown.

It’s because after 2 years of seeing a new therapist I finally opened up about my PTSD. The onslaught has been cruel and relentless. I’ve been wracked with feelings of abject fear and helplessness. I feel the control being ripped away from me.

And I’ve been blocking these feelings, burying them as deeply as possible as I lived through a new hellscape.

Years ago I would have said when I was triggered the loom of pain terrified me. Now? Now I feel resignation and resentment over the loss of control of both mind and body. And I just don’t see it ever changing.

How does a person put into words that their greatest enemy is their own body?

My therapist told me to write to the doctors that harmed me and say everything I could ever want to say to them to get my emotions out. Otherwise my emotions would just expand, heighten, and eventually burst. But how do I write just about that? When all my feelings are a complex warren, burrowed tunnels that cross cross one another until I lose myself in their maze?

How do I say that the anger I harbor for those doctors isn’t nearly the same rage I feel towards myself?

The medical procedures I endured were barbaric. But I knowingly subjected myself to them. If I wanted pain relief from the nerves in my face I had to get IM injections.

Pain was expected.

Physically going into shock from the pain was expected.

Temporary blistering pain was the price I payed to help my chronic pain. When you have an ailment known as “the suicide disease” because the nerves in your face never stop misfiring you’re willing to do ANYTHING to make that pain lessen.

Roughly 5 IM injections in my face every session. Roughly 5-10 shots for nerve blocks each session.

Each session repeated almost every 3 months for 3 years.

I literally signed up for pain. I signed up for my trauma.

But no one prepared me for the fall out.

No one told me any time someone reached for me I would flinch expecting pain.

No one told me that one intramuscular shot would make any adult shout in pain. No one told me that at the age of 17 I would have to agree to these treatments in my face.

No one f*cking told me.

They told me I HAD to stay still.

That IF I MOVED it would only make the pain worse.

So I layed as still as possible in that medical chair. They’d recline me and I would stare at those ceiling tiles.

And then burning mind numbing pain would explode my eyes. Shaking, trembling, but holding my face still, I’d grip the arm rests. Tears pouring and rolling down my face.

But I couldn’t cry out. I couldn’t move my face, crying out wasn’t allowed. I found out the hard way that moving really did make it worse. Then the needle was out, I would breathe, have a few minutes to calm myself, and we would do it all over again roughly 5 times each session. The nerve blocks were negligible at that point compared to the IMs.

And then when the joints in my jaw gave way I needed to add a new shot. I needed a shot directly into the joints of my jaw. The needle would cut through flesh, muscle, and go directly into the joint. But this time I HAD to move.

Keep your jaw shut. Slicing pain as it goes in.

Now open your jaw with the needle still embedded in your flesh.

And I force my shaking jaw open.

Another push, another cm closer to the joint.

Now close your jaw a little again. Another cm gained.

Over and over until the needle is in my joint.

Now stay still. And I can feel that metal in between my bones and cartilage.

I can feel that viscous fluid injected into my joint. I can’t move, I have to just take it.

And then slowly cm by cm I feel it pulled out of my jaw.

No one told me how cold I would be afterwards. How sweaty and weak I’d feel.

Roughly 3 years of physical pain. Roughly 3 years of mentally fortifying myself to just lay there and take it but making sure to only move when I was told.

Until I couldn’t take it anymore. Until I told my specialist I couldn’t handle the shots anymore.

And there sure as f*cking hell was never a point in which I was told I had the option to BE SEDATED.

I WAS NEVER given meds to relax me, no laughing gas, no numbing agents. NEVER was I given the option to be sedated until I was a wreck. Terror stricken by the thought of more pain to help with my ever present chronic pain.

3 years of torment and torture could have been entirely avoided.

And I’m so angry. I want to rip my hair out with frustration. My heart screams and bleeds out at the injustice of it all. Who would subject a CHILD to that kind of pain if there was another option?

But then my head tells me I’m not allowed to be angry.

I signed the dotted line. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

And the specialist was always so NICE. Always so comforting before and after the procedure.

I agreed to this torture.

And ultimately he’s the one that reconstructed my jaw at age 21 when it truly and finally became nonfunctional. Everyone else wanted to give me a bionic jaw with metal implants. He was the only one willing to even try to save it and ultimately he did save it. No metal implants,

So what right do I have to be angry at this specialist? This jolly man who saved me from a future of jaw surgeries every decade or so to fix and update hardware?

What right do I have to hold contempt toward the man who was one of the few to believe me when my health went into a rapid decline at age 23? When everyone said I was depressed or needed to be medically admitted for emotional distress he fought for me. He said something was wrong.

He believed in me.

He validated me.

He tried to figure out what was wrong with me when everyone called me crazy for 3 years. He sent me to different specialists while my health quickly deteriorated.

Turns out I had 4 rare undiagnosed diseases.

I’m constantly churning feelings of complete gratitude or utter distgust. I can’t have one feeling without the other. It’s maddening that they’re such drastic dichotomies. It confuses me. It upsets me. I hate it.

I hate that my future self would have to do exposure therapy with touch. For the longest time I thought I would be incapable of relationships. I would cower away from all touches.

But I forced myself to try. 23 was the first time I ever let anyone touch me. But in all my relationships cuddling would make me feel shaky and stressed because no matter how many times I told myself otherwise ....I still expected pain. Any touch that didn’t illicit pain felt wholly unnatural.

But most of all I hate myself.

It’s a cloying and diseased hate that has slowly but surely infected and rotted me whole.

Because my body is the true culprit and source of all my misery.

I am the cause of my own miseries both physically and mentally.

And I am trapped in this body. In this constant reminder and trigger. I never know when it’ll give out on me, because oh, it will.

I can never make long term plans because I’m always foiled by myself. And when I do make plans I make myself sick with worry if I’m not able to stick to those plans. I hate that I have no control over my health. I hate that no matter what I do I can’t seem to manage long term.

I hate myself.

I’ve never said that to anyone.

But the self loathing I feel supersedes the anger I feel towards the specialist, or any of the other many doctors that mistreated me. Or any of the treatments. Because surely even if I have a failing body my mind should be able to be whole. I should have a better attitude and just work with what I have.

And yet I can’t.

I’m clouded in a miasma of self loathing and self pity. If it’s not my body at war with myself it’s my mind.

And I am so goddamn lonely. Almost half my life now has been spent in solitude which scares me. I don’t want that life. I want joy, love, happiness... but I hate myself so much I talk myself out of dating. I’d never be good enough. Who would want to deal with me? And when I do on the rare occasion date I always settle way below my standards which I know is not healthy. Which ultimately leads me to never having a long term relationship because I could never long term handle that malarkey.

Friendships? I’ve been trying to make new friends but it’s triggering me out. After spending more time with them they’re trying to get to know me. And as soon as they ask me simple questions immediately my mind goes to this clusterf*ck of a tapestry where one string of thoughts jumps to another which inevitably jumps to another.

The sad part is that I’m leaving out a lot. Other procedures. Other doctors. Other feelings of withdrawing from college on 4 separate occasions.

Coming to terms with the fact that I am medically disabled.



I’m just tired and weary of it all. At the ripe age of almost 29 I’m spent. The hopeful light in my eyes has been snuffed out. I’ve tried rekindling that spark in myself so many times now I don’t even want to try anymore.

My body, mind, education, independence have all been taken away from me. I have lost control of myself. I resent it.

I resent myself.

I feel as if all control of myself has been stripped away from me.... because of me. I can run away and avoid doctors, appointments, or procedures but I can’t run away from myself.

The dead look in my eyes and defeated thoughts terrify me more than the threat of pain. I’m “young” and I see myself going down a sad, lonely, and painful path. What hopes and dreams I had have long been shattered and trampled. I don’t make goals to prevent future heart break.

So as much as I’d love to curse out the entirety of the medical field and all the injustices I’ve been forced to endure.... I want to curse myself out far worse.


I am so sorry you went thru all of that. But you did a phenomenal job of writing out what happened and how you feel about it. :hug:


I am so sorry you went thru all of that. But you did a phenomenal job of writing out what happened and how you feel about it. :hug:

Thanks Freida.

It’s honestly only the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a start I guess. I just wish I felt something aside from being hollow.

I wish my anger could fuel me to do some sort of change in my life... but I just feel resignation. That this is it. This is my life.


but I just feel resignation. That this is it. This is my life.
been there! It can be a good place to start therapy without getting into all the details. Why is there resignation instead of anger is one I hear alot in my therapy sessions. Figuring that out now might help in the long run as part of building your coping skills