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The Shame

Post Published: 16 June 2008
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
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Dear Thyroid;

Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.

I have written you so many hate letters in the past 6 years. The first three years, I was writing to something that was physically and psychologically overtaking my mind and body. Once I knew you were the culprit, all bets were off, and I hated your fucking guts and wanted you dead. I had fantasies of chopping you into a million little pieces. Burning you into charred nothingness and crushing you with a meat pounder. Dramatic and extreme, yes. You kinda fucked me over, girlie. Okay, you fucked me royally without lube. You betrayed me and your actions are unforgivable. I was just entering my thirties and hitting my stride when you waged war on me. (That’s another yarn) I digress…

This yarn is about the shame you have caused me.

I recently joined MedHelp.org. Originally, I joined in the hopes of recruiting other women who have walked the thyroid mile, so that we could share our Dear Thyroid yarns and heal. I was banned. Furious as a mother fucker, of course, I wrote them about it. God forbid, I hold my tongue for five-minutes. Though my original post was deleted, which they had every right to do (I was unahppy about that), they did reinstate my membership (I was glad about that). One member who we’ll call “S”, encouraged me to post. She also shared her story with me. I can’t believe what her thyreena did to her. I don’t know how “S” stays as strong and positive as she does. I am in awe of her for many reasons, which you’ll understand in a minute. Keep reading.

You see my biggest issue has been my inability to actually SPEAK UP and OUT about my thyroid. On my personal blog All the Way from Oy to Vey, I recently started writing about my thybacle. Previously, I only spoke about my thyroid issues to those closest to me. When I was in Chicago for the Pilcrow Lit Fest, I had the privilege of sitting on the Re-Routing Recovery and the Creative Process Panel with some astoundingly brave writerly women who gave me a lot of hope and courage. I was amazed by their ability to be so honest about their process and how it impacted them personally and professionally.

After “S” pushed (in a good way), to read other posts and to post something, I did (I’ll get to the posting part in a minute). Off I went to read as many thyroid yarns as I could. Each made me more nauseous than the next. I compared my situation to theirs, of course. That’s human nature, isn’t it? My jaw dropped in shock by what some of these men and women, mostly women, had endured and are still enduring. From what I read, and again, I haven’t read everything yet, nobody felt ashamed. Why did I feel so much shame and guilt and they didn’t? What was wrong with me?

Story after story led me to feel — numb, terrified and deeply sad. Tears-welling-up-lump-in-throat-womb-aching sad. Ya feel me?

My shame for acquiring Graves disease and Graves eye disease, and how severely it ravaged my mind and body is endless. My psychiatrist has been instrumental in working with me regarding this issue. However, it’s complicated. Few things are black and white, aren’t they?

I hate you, dear thyroid, for dousing me with pools of shame that I can’t seem to swim through. I hate you for changing how I look, and how I feel about myself, and my life. I hate you for taking so much of me away from me. I hate you for making me unrecognizable to myself. I hate you for making me afraid to talk about you and for what you’ve done to me. You are an evil, vile cunt and I hate your mother fuckin’ guts. Are you feeling my venomous hate yet, you thybitch!

In my book, I wrote a lot about my thyroid in a few of my essays.

In reading all of the posts I’ve read so far in MedHelp, I realized why I haven’t been able to SPEAK UP and OUT the way I need me to– unrelenting, cringe-worthy shame. I blame myself for what happened. Intellectually, I sort-of-kind-of believe it’s not my fault. I can grasp the concept to some degree. Emotionally, I cannot. My mind and heart are worlds apart on this. I’m trying to get right with it, I really am. I’ve been writing something new in the hopes of achieving this. I’m hoping that I can plough through the shame and say everything. I need to, for my own catharsis and ultimately, to tell an accurate story.

Back to my MedHelp post. Last night, I wrote about my Graves Ophthalmology and some of the issues I’m having with my lady balls and my upcoming doctor’s appointment because my eyes are getting worse. After my thyeye specialist called me last night, saying that I was to call the office Monday morning for an apt on Monday, Tuesday, at the very latest, to say I was frozen would be an understatement. He’s booked through August. I don’t like feeling as if I’m in an emergency situation. Who does? It dredges up a lot. Things I’m not yet ready to share, but will someday soon.

Regarding my post, I got many responses. Each made me feel nauseous, grateful and shocked. The nausea is rooted in fear of the reality of my situation. Grateful because I’m not alone. Shocked because these women are not afraid to give voice to their disease. I admire the hell out of them for that (Love letter to “S” forthcoming).

So, Dearie, here’s to hoping you don’t keep a bitch down much longer. I still hate your guts. I don’t feel better after sending you this hate letter, either. Tomorrow is a new day and perhaps I will.

Love,

Katie Schwartz

PS: Thanks for your time.

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