Endometriosis and the Fear of Becoming a Burden

Endometriosis and the Fear of Becoming a Burden
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I am temporarily flatsharing with two wonderful human beings. They make me cocktails, cuddle my dog, and include me in any Netflix party.

Seeing them lean on each other for cuddles, emotional support, or the most random of conversations reminds me how fun it is to have a special someone. Yet I feel light years away from being thought of as special. I feel like I’m more in the “burden” category, and no one wants to deal with that.

I believe my endometriosis makes being with me a challenge.

This is no one-woman pity party. It’s just how life is. Endometriosis complicates things. Bear with me as I, very rationally, make my case as to why I am truly undateable:

My unruly health means I cancel plans last minute. This superpower of mine magically transforms people’s faces from mild annoyance to frustration in seconds.

My disruptive flare-ups make my skin hurt and cause me to flinch whenever I’m touched. Squirming like a worm when someone attempts a hug is an effective turn-off.

Because of my premenstrual dysphoric disorder, I suffer from unexplained low moods, while my chronic pain makes me prone to teary outbursts. All of this is quite unsexy.

More outfit changes than Kylie. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

Because I can’t work a regular job, a partner may feel responsible for paying any bills I can’t handle. This is incredibly stressful and, once again, unsexy.

I don’t plan anything fun because I anticipate struggling through it. Holidays and long-distance travel make me panic. I am definitively not a carefree, cool girlfriend.

Yet my friends would disagree with all this.

They would tell me I am a wonderful person. And to that, I would say I am a well-rehearsed machine that hides all of her messy imperfections. My friends get a heavily curated version of me with swift outfit changes and masterfully applied makeup.

My friends would then retort that “the right person” is out there. And I’d concede that some people may be able to stomach my true self. Some people are saints. They will be supportive and caring because it’s the decent thing to do. I had one such wonderful human being in my life, and my heart broke the day the penny dropped.

When I realized I had become a burden, I felt sick to my stomach.

I nearly threw up. I proceeded to cry for hours, only stopping when I decided I had to “free” this person from me.

Being looked at by the most wonderful person in the world and seeing their eyes fill with exhaustion is soul-destroying. Tired, surrendering eyelids that say: “I care for you, but I can’t go through this anymore.”

When I remove myself from a person’s life, their existence improves. No more witnessing my distorted face or my inability to enjoy life because every inch of my body feels like it’s being ripped apart. No more being dragged down by my illness.

Still, I want to get past this unsavory feeling.

I have yet to find a therapist that understands this aspect of living with a chronic disease. I do all sorts of things to boost my self-esteem. I run, go on long walks, do something new and scary as often as possible … yet my brain keeps at it.

Because no one is telling me I’m a burden, my brain is.

I know this is my ego speaking. I live through experiences and my ego creates its own story. Our ego is the part of our psyche that can hold on to negative behaviors or beliefs. It’s what a yoga teacher means when they tell us to “let go.” They are referring to the thoughts circling our brain: our negative beliefs.

The undateables: a Scottish/Irish/Spanish lass with dodgy ovaries and her hound. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

Just because someone stopped loving me the way I deserve does not mean I am a burden. The fact that others become exasperated by my limitations does not turn me into a ball and chain.

I must learn to manage these negative thoughts.

I have to remind myself that when someone reacts to any of my symptoms, it’s not personal. And if it is, it is not about me: it’s about their own limitations, their personal conflicts.

It’s a great thing I have a dog. I look at little Jarvis, his wide eyes looking back at me. I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m a superhero. He doesn’t mind my flaws, nor does he see me as a problem he has to solve. I’m the provider of every ounce of happiness he needs.

Now, if only there was a cute human out there, ready to look at me in the same way … Harry Styles, are you listening?

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Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.

Jessie is a writer living in the South of England. She was diagnosed with complex endometriosis in 2016 after two decades of chronic pain, PMDD, and suffering from other health issues since the age of 12. She is a lifestyle and science writer, but has also produced several screenplays and short stories. She is also a lip-synch assassin, a coffee snob, and Madonna’s biggest fan. In 2019 she ran The London Marathon, although her favorite pastime is curling up under a duvet with her two sausage dogs nearby. She writes about periods and endometriosis because she wants to help improve the lives of anyone diagnosed with this disease
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Jessie is a writer living in the South of England. She was diagnosed with complex endometriosis in 2016 after two decades of chronic pain, PMDD, and suffering from other health issues since the age of 12. She is a lifestyle and science writer, but has also produced several screenplays and short stories. She is also a lip-synch assassin, a coffee snob, and Madonna’s biggest fan. In 2019 she ran The London Marathon, although her favorite pastime is curling up under a duvet with her two sausage dogs nearby. She writes about periods and endometriosis because she wants to help improve the lives of anyone diagnosed with this disease

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