I’m not going to lie – a part of writing these posts is for me. What happened to both Scott and me in Emerald was awful. We suffered more than most people will ever know, and more than you can imagine, and far more than will ever be written.
The effects kept going, because of two things: People who pretended were our friends were also telling everyone I had Munchhausen’s, and the more people believed it, the worse things got – especially in regards to my health.
I don’t want an apology, if that’s where you think this is going. I can’t imagine any of them ever apologising and truly meaning it: They would have to come to terms with the consequences of their actions, which, as a result, has meant that I literally haven’t been well in over four years.
I’ve had good days, yes, but I haven’t been well in over four years.
Except on the few times where I’ve been heavily medicated (like when my head recently went through a wall), I have been sick and in pain every day for over four years. I honestly can’t remember what it’s like to feel well anymore – and I mean properly well, I don’t mean “well enough to do shit”.
There are so many failing parts of my body that I don’t even know where the doctors want to start.
I do know the report that I never received – thanks to all my great friends, like my bridesmaid, who was so damn insistent on remaining neutral and getting pissed off when I turned to her for help – the one about the adhesions relating to my endometriosis, changes things.
I can’t take the pill.
I can’t take the depo.
I can’t have the Mirena inserted unless I’m partially sedated, and because of the allergic reaction I had to the depo, I’m not entirely keen on having the rod inserted into my arm.
That’s kind of reducing the choices someone has, especially when that someone has endometriosis, and their life is kind of dependent on them not having periods, just because someone thought it would be somehow okay to challenge the fact that I couldn’t possibly be telling the truth.
(Also, if my in-laws come back ever again about the whole children thing, despite both Scott and I telling them repeatedly I wouldn’t be able to carry a baby to term without risking both my life and its, I’m gonna sick them on your asses, because I’m sick to fucking death of hearing how I’m defective because you decided to tell everyone I had Munchhausen’s, and therefore forever changing the course of what information I should have received at the time. Maybe they’ll start calling you defective for a change.)
Like fuck anyone’s going to apologise for that. No one from our past wants to put their hands up and take accountability and responsibility and go, ‘Yeah, actually. You have every right to be angry. I’m so sorry I played such a major part in it. Everything seemed believable at the time, and while that doesn’t excuse my part, I had no idea something like this could happen. I’m so sorry I was a part of it.’
I’m not foolish. They’re never going to say it, even if they ever think it – even if it’s just for a microsecond – because words are easy. They’d need to back up their actions, and as their actions mean that everyone’s still cozy with each other, that’s never going to happen.
I also want to make something extremely clear: I don’t hold any of those people responsible for my failing health. That isn’t on them. I just want people to understand the disastrous consequences something like this can have on a person. That’s it. They weren’t responsible for me getting sick, and they sure aren’t responsible for me still being sick.
And that’s cool.
I don’t want them to.
Because none of this has been for them.
If they read it, any of it, the only thing I hope is that they realise it was never just ‘cruel gossip’, that it went much further than that, that my health has suffered as a result, that I can’t get better, that it’s taken a toll on both Scott on me, that Scott contracted encephalitis because my doctor didn’t want to hear me say I was soooo tired and sooo sick and my head just wouldn’t stop hurting, and they’d have to consider how many of Scott’s relationships were broken because of what they did, including with his family.
That would be the only thing I’d want, assuming they would ever read it, is for them to just understand the magnitude of the consequences of their actions – whether or not they could have predicted what would happen. Not for me, and not even for Scott, but so they don’t do it again, so no one else ever has to suffer like we have.
However, as these are the type of people who can’t offer an apology, or accept accountability, I doubt that’s ever going to happen, whether I’m aware of it or not.
What I am aware of, however, is that every chronically ill friend I’ve ever had has had something similar happen to them.
What I am aware of is how many people line in my comment section (I’ll link this post so you can see here what I mean) about the exact same things: Friends didn’t believe them. They were abandoned.
More often than not, they were like me and had some great friends who told everyone they had Munchhausen’s.
So when I write about what happened, about what these people did, it’s not for them, and it’s not even for me.
It’s for everyone else.
It’s for the chronically ill, who I can give a voice to, who are alone, abandoned, forgotten, betrayed.
Who don’t understand, because they’re still trying to come to terms with the fact that a doctor is telling them they don’t have the answers, or it’s a long process, or even you can’t get better, and until that moment, you didn’t think a doctor wouldn’t be able to give you answers, because you’ve seen House and Grey’s Anatomy, and that’s not the way the world works, but your loved ones are asking questions you can’t answer.
And then, like with most invisible illnesses, there’s a chance the doctors will get it wrong.
It’s happened to me.
I’ve been soooo deliriously excited when a doctor has “worked out” what’s wrong, and I’ve clutched that diagnosis like a life raft in the middle of the freezing ocean, only to find out no, despite the test results, it was a false negative, or false positive, or I didn’t have X before, but since I developed Y, I now have developed X.
Your loved ones want answers, and you want to give them to them, especially because you can start seeing it in their faces, and hearing it in their voices, that they’re no longer just quite sure you’re telling the truth.
They just don’t quite believe that the tests aren’t showing anything, or the doctors don’t know, or that in real life, it can take so fucking long to get answers.
And sometimes, there can be no answers.
People who aren’t chronically ill don’t realise how much time and money goes into these tests.
I’m Australian, and we have Medicare.
Since Liberal came into power (kind of like Republicans for Americans; don’t ask, it doesn’t make any fucking sense to me either, because Liberals are anything but liberal), tests have gotten more expensive.
As I’m writing this post – on Australia Day – Scott and I would have already spent a grand on tests and appointments, probably more.
I’ve also been in the ER once already this year.
I’ve already had a CT scan and an MRI scan (only head, so far, because we don’t have the money to go further), and I’ll need more.
I had a serious allergic reaction to the MRI contrast dye, and almost won an all-expenses-paid trip to the ER for the second time (yay me).
Liberal has worked hard at abolishing a lot of Medicare benefits (cause they thought it’d be cool to be more like America, because that shit never went wrong for anyone in the US), and tests we once didn’t have to pay for, we now do.
Instead of scheduling doctors appointments, knowing bulk-billing would be something we could sometimes fall back on, we have to be more frugal, and I end up waiting, because we don’t always have other choices.
It’s an exhausting, continuous process – for everyone.
So as nice as it would be to get the people from my past, the people who were responsible for so much confusion, so much of everything that happened, to understand the gravity of what they’ve done, it’s not something I seek, nor something I want, or ever hope to achieve.
At best, if they ever do read this, I’d hope they’d take the lesson with them, and not repeat it the next time someone close to them falls ill and is desperate for answers and doesn’t understand anything that is happening to them.
But it’s not for them.
It’s never been for them.
It’s not even really about me.
It’s about reaching everyone who is currently going through it, who doesn’t understand, who is afraid, who has loved ones abandoning them.
And it’s about reaching everyone else, reminding them that even if you can’t see something, doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong.
All it means is that you can’t see it.