Fibromyalgia and Caregiving Strain

” It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character that we play”, Pema Chodron

What is it that prevents many of us to change our thoughts, emotions, ways of being in the world even when we know that what we do, think or act upon is deleterious to our health? I have been a caregiver for most of my life and it has taken a toll on me in many ways. How do I learn to set boundaries and stick to them? What makes me think that I can mother the world? Isn’t that arrogance and self sacrificing? These are my thoughts on this humid summer day as I reflect upon what new crisis I will face with my parents in the coming days, particularly with an emotionally abusive father.

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On Being Parented and Parenting: Overcoming Past Experiences Through Understanding Pain of Fibromyalgia

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people”, Thich Nhat Hanhbookcover-1

Since I am convinced that fibromyalgia is the result of a hyper-aroused nervous system, I wish I knew for certain if it is caused by early inadequate parenting by our parents and/or difficult childhood experiences in highly sensitive persons, or if we are born with highly sensitive nervous systems. I have my hunches, built upon numerous interviews and talks with many people (mostly women) over many years. In particular, my view is built upon my own experiences. Therefore, I will go out on a limb and suggest that we are not born with an easily aroused nervous system, but rather it slowly develops over many years as a result of our early socialization . Yet, even saying such a thing brings up the issue of children with fibromyalgia. Maybe, just maybe, they were born with the pre-disposition to this condition. What a dilemma! More questions than answers once again. Maybe it can be both nature and nurture. Parent blaming has become something of a modern day occupation. That is certainly not my intent. Who among us had perfect parents or are ourselves perfect parents?

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