Chronic illness can take its toll on relationships.
Trauma impacts our lives in ways that we, the directly-impacted individuals, often don’t understand, so imagine how hard it is to explain it to loved ones or those we care about.
When in the midst of our trials, when we are on our hand and knees begging for mercy and praying for answers on how to keep moving, recover, and find relief and sanctuary, we can feel unlovable. Sometimes, that unearned notion can feel validated when the people we love leave because they can’t handle supporting us through the murky waters we’re trying to wade our way through. Or, they can’t handle that they don’t know how to help us, so they leave.
Sometimes, it might seem like we are all alone that we will never be loved again.
When, in reality, we are not alone in our pain and murky waters. Many have waded in them before us, and many surely will after us… and many are right there in the murky waters with us; though you might not see them … yet. And when you do finally see them, you will see you were never really alone. There are people who care about you, even if it doesn’t feel like or you can’t see them around you. You, like the others in the murky waters with you, were just looking for support in all the wrong places likely as a result of the patterns you learned early on in your childhood. I’m right there with you.
As we recover and begin to understand our patterns, we have the opportunity to create new patterns and form new partnerships full of love and healthy connection. Partnerships that will see us through the rough times, celebrate with us in the good times, and support us ALL of the time.
Wherever you are in your recovery, flare-up, or remission, you are free to be who you are and in no way should you ever apologize for who you are or for what you have or had to do to keep moving and survive as result of childhood trauma and chronic illness. And if people in your life must leave you when you’re down, then let them leave. Chances are you will look back one day and be clear that it was for the best.
I wrote the following poem one day as I was in the midst of heartache and my own C-PTSD and CFS flare … and I was also witnessing the heartache of others around me. Maybe I wrote it for myself as much as I did for others, knowing that one day, I would have the relationships in my life that would reflect these words back to me. It was fun to write, and it still makes me smile to read it.
Originally posted online on August 10, 2017
I Love You Because I Love You
You need not be a superhero or one who walks the stage
You need not buy me flowers every single day
You need not be perfect without a flaw in sight
I love you because I love you, even if you fight
You need not be flawless or drive the best in town
You need not only smile; it’s OK if you frown
You need not say you love me at all if you don’t want to
I love you because I love you, and there’s nothing you can do
My love for you will never cease, your gentle eyes, your smile, your touch
Even when it’s long forgotten, I will never forget my love
We throw the word around — I “love” this and that and the other…
Yet how often we forget to show love for our sisters and our brothers
Love might have its levels, though the truest form of all
It has no conditions, and it’s there at your call
Love is all around us, and love is what heals
I love you because I love you, it’s honest and it’s real
Even if you choose not to play this hand,
I love you because I love you, and there is no hidden plan
No matter what you do, the good or bad or sideways,
My love will not cease through the roughest of the days
I might like your poised body and the times I feel your touch
I might like the hugs that are real and the midnight talks til dusk
And still, my love is not the result of any of these things
It’s a result of human connection and the reflection of me I see
I see into your heart and know the love it desires to bring
Even if the heart has a wall and closed off is its king
Nothing you could ever do could take away my love
I love you because I love you, without a single pause
I might choose to love you from a distance
Sometimes that’s the truest form of love when faced with our addictions
I love you because I love you
I hope that brings you peace
For friends from far and wide, this love, it will not cease
It is simple. It is true.
I love you because I love you