I’ve neglected this site far too long. I’ve been posting frequently on my Facebook page, Convert This! Living With Conversion Disorder, but I think I’ve avoided longer posts because I wasn’t quite ready to put my thoughts into something concrete. Truth is like a balm and a curse. The truth I accept about myself is like an ache reminding me of scars that have faded but will always be present.
I had originally started this site as a way to disseminate information, but I realize that I just need to talk about what it’s like living with this diagnosis and how it’s completely transformed my life. I’m still me, but I’m completely different than I was ten years ago. It’s strange that I used to think I had a fairly normal life. I couldn’t even see the coping mechanisms that were suffocating me. But, as my daughter frequently points out: Normal is just a setting on the washing machine.
My normal life got turned upside down after the birth of my last son. In hindsight, I believe at the time a culmination of stress and specific triggers set things in motion. I had three older children, a newborn, a job, and then one of my child’s teachers turned himself in for child molestation. It was a perfect storm of psychological trauma waiting to drown me in a wake of frustration and confusion.
My first few episodes were second-long blackouts where I would drop the baby or my head would jerk forward. I went through the medical gamut with multiple tests that came up negative. It was a frustrating process not having any answers. I went through a couple neurologists and they suspected seizures. It took three years for diagnosis that would change everything.
It took three therapists and a psychiatrist before I figured out what was truly going on with me. The answers were more painful than the not knowing had been. But the truth in all its ugly glory did set me free. I waded through hell after hell in a spiral that eventually went upward after hitting ground zero. After re-living my trauma for three straight months, I just didn’t want to feel anything anymore. I had locked away the worst parts in my brain and my head kept regurgitating remnants of long-forgotten memories that haunted me in my dreams and my waking thoughts.
It’s hard to think about those times now, because I had almost forgotten how difficult they were. Healing has a way of softening the memories and making them just a pinprick instead of the knife wounds they used to be.
For so long, I was wrapped up in my own living nightmare that I forgot there was a world outside of me. Luckily, I had a support group of amazing people who helped pull me out. It’s time I started talking about what that was like, because so many people think it can’t be done. I am living poof that Conversion Disorder can be overcome.
Hope shines brightest in the darkest of hours. These words were found inscribed into the wall at a concentration camp:
“I believe in the sun when it’s not shining–In love when I am alone–and in God even when He is silent.”
I can be the sun in the darkness