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Tuesday February 5th 2019


Chronic Snarkopolist: The Whole Story -Fearing Love

Post Published: 30 September 2011
Category: Chronic Autoimmune Conditions, Chronic Snarkopolist, Column
This post currently has 9 responses. Leave a comment


Hello my loves!

I was inspired by the always beautiful Joanna Isbill’s  Sharing September.  And her dedication to sharing her story. I have encouraged others time and again that “sharing our stories heals us all.”

Yet recently I found myself feeling ashamed of my story. I have wanted to hide my story- my TRUTH, the realness of my ME. When I go out into the world, I do not want people to KNOW who I am. The TRUTH of my life is that I carry illness as an INVISIBLE variable of my life. And another TRUTH is that I carry fear of rejection, love, and fear of how other people will react to me.  We all do. Life is inherently risky.

If I am able to be active that day, I do NOT WANT people to know that I have ever been ill, EVER. I do not want them to know my story. I do not want them to know what you know about me. NOTHING. None of the pain, none of the surgeries, none of the backstory- NOT EVEN THE TRIUMPHS. I just want them to see me as a “normal typical healthy person”… I may be a little more roundy because of the medication – but I LOOK normal. If I mess up, I want to do so spectacularly but the vulnerability lately is notable.

It dawned on me the other day that I cannot unring a bell. I cannot UNDO my story anymore than I can unlive my history. I can walk THROUGH IT. I can heal my emotional scars just as I can heal my physical life. But I cannot unlive. And so my STORY is what it is. I can not UNTELL IT either. It has been told to you. People know me. We heal each other with our shared stories.

So when I walk into the world and don’t tell people – that is my choice. But my FEAR of them ever finding out about me… the fact that I want to get a new e-mail address so they will never FIND my blog or that I have been ill… THAT is still part of the story isn’t it? Fear of people KNOWING me and rejecting me on the back end is my story. That is pretty significant isn’t it? That fact that I needed to rest today after a busy week is my story.

That some days are great and some days are not so great- that is MY STORY.

While I’m still finding how to tell people or even if they need to be told if they are on the periphery is unique to me – but significant to all chronically ill people. It matters.

Sometimes I do not wish to friend people on social media sites because they will see older pictures of me and in seeing them will see how my weight has fluctuated according to treatment. Or they will read my emotional writing. THEY WILL KNOW my story. They will know it out of context.

I told one person the other day, “I want to love people, but I terrified of being loved in return just as I am terrified that I will not be.” And perhaps that is the bigger issue. What happens if people accept me and do not run away? I am not giving them the chance because I am so sure they WILL turn and run. I am feeling vulnerable in a new way.

And moreover, I sat around a very healing dinner with friends the night and realized that all of them got me through a difficult time and all of them KNEW my story and stuck it through. None of them left me. All of them kept me in their lives. ALL OF THEM. What happens when I’m worth loving? What does the Melissa who is WORTH LOVING do? How does she act? Then what will I do? Sometimes I think my fear of my story being known is less about me being rejected and more about me accepting my story and accepting my life and that it hasn’t been what I wanted it to be. And allowing other people to accept me as I am. I seek reciprocity. I accept others. I love others. What happens when I ALLOW it in my life?

I must come to grips with fact that I am afraid of love – not just romantic love – but truly being accepted. And it is time for me to get over it. And it is time for me to heal. Sometimes I will be rejected. And sometimes I will be afraid. And sometimes I will be loved. And I never know when this will happen. And the unknown is my deepest fear. And fear is something to be smiled at as we walk through it triumphantly and heal, is it not? We are some brave people. Fear is everywhere. But it doesn’t rule us. I am afraid because I am beautifully human.

What about you? Do you fear your own vulnerabilities and love too? Have you found yourself hiding your story? Do you sometimes look back over the decades and resent what you have seen? Does your story make you angry even though it wasn’t your fault? Instead of being loving about it do you worry that people will reject you? Does being loved for your story make you more afraid? Am I the only one who is healing from the fear of love? Please tell me! I must know!

I will see you same time next week! Kiss kiss!

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9 Responses to “Chronic Snarkopolist: The Whole Story -Fearing Love”

  1. Jim says:

    You talk to people on Twitter , so why do you fear ?

    • Melissa Travis says:

      Dear Jim,
      Thank you for writing in. Being on stage or in front of an audience doesn’t make people less vulnerable, it makes them more OBSERVABLE.

      Do you have fears? When you do- what methods do you use to work through them? How have they worked for you? I’m recognizing mine, and I’m working through them.


  2. Carmen says:

    Sweet Melissa,

    How poignant. Know that you are worthy of love with all the stories of your life that are yet to unfold. I can’t tell you how much your courage simply inspires. I can be a tough cookie, but I have actually observed your loving Twitter banter as instruction for me to be more compassionate. You have taught me that, Melissa, and I am grateful.

    luv ya,

    • Melissa Travis says:

      Dear Carmen,

      you humble me, inspire me, and move me to be MORE. Thank you so much for your loving comments.

      And yes- yes to compassion – for others AND for myself.


  3. Lolly says:

    Melly Mel I love you for who you are and that you do wear your heart on your sleeve. I wish I could be more like you, instead I hide behind my Bravado and my jovial self to seek exceptence no one really knows the real me and neither am I willing to let them in, not just yet. I am getting there but not quite..we all want to be loved for who we are and not how we look or act..

    I love you for who you are, you are larger than life even if life hasn’t treated you well, you still continue to amaze me..

    Lolly xoxo

  4. Solameya says:

    I can really relate. I have been going through a severe depression lately because I am so tired of being sick and I have lost hope that I will get better again. I want my life back yet I’m afraid to live. I know I have people who care about me, yet I only let them see my happy side. I laugh instead of cry. I hide my true emotions because I don’t want to bring people down. And then I just end up feeling alone when I know I’m not. Thank you for writing.

  5. Ahhhh Snitz!

    You always say just what I don’t want to admit to myself.
    Which is good because I need to see all sides of the square; embrace the light AND the dark.

    For a while now I have been shying away from love and those deeper relationships. Though for me the culprit hovering over me is the fear of rejection. Fear that no one will want to love me and my baggage which comes with illness. It’s almost impossible for me to not mention that I’m sick. I try to keep it in…not look sick, and still the inquires of a job, school, etc come and I am left with this feeling of despair, guilty, and shame.

    Which is silly because illness is not even my fault!
    Here’s hoping I’m able to overcome the fear of rejection and open myself to love once more. For now I am content with the insurmountable love of my close friends and peers….my heart isn’t ready to bare itself for anything of the more committed type just yet.

    Loving you <3

  6. yallolorry says:

    awwwwww, what beautiful post and I can so relate. I realised the other day I share a lot of pretty intimate stuff on here, on my blog and on twitter, I am open about what I’ve been through/ what I’m going through. I believe passionately in sharing my stuff because I know that hearing about other people’s helps me and I hear time and time again from others how my sharing helps them and being able to help others makes me feel like I’m a contribution in the world which makes me feel good and all of it boils down to being connected and feeling less alone as a thyroid patient.

    The truth is indeed a healing force, it sets us free it unlocks the shame and the hurt, it’s good to talk. I know this stuff…Yet I realised I am shy of people in my “real” life seeing some of this stuff. How weird is that! I don’t put my blog on my facebook. I keep a little part of me back. I don’t want to be seen as seeking attention for my misfortunes, I compare myself to others with terminal cancer etc and feel shame that I am letting myself be affected by what most will regard as a minor illness (hypothyroidism) and really, of course, because I’m so blooming brainwashed by this bizarre sick culture we are all caught up with in the western world (and increasingly globally) I wish I was just this perfect shiny person who didn’t have any health issues and could look like I just stepped out of a salon all the time and was just full stop happy and successful and carving out an enviable life for myself that all my friends would admire and we could all just waft about congratulating each other on how clever we are…. Yes I’m that shallow. That’s what I wish for. I like to have fun. I don’t like being unwell and I don’t like the limitations it puts on me and I don’t want to be seen to using it as an excuse, basically I have this horror of being weak. Even though I’ve got past that a lot and I accept my vulnerabilities up to a point these days….

    Anyway, I”m rambling. the point us, your wonderful post struck a chord for me and of course it’s all about love. Yearning for love, being afraid of love, because love hurts, feeling unworthy of love because we feel chronically unworthy – more so than most because our illness adds to the basic common human condition and feelings of inadequacy that actually everybody has (so we are not entirely alone in having these feelings, it helps me to remember this sometimes)

    Thank you. It’s so nice to be read your posts and everyone’s comments and to be able to let out some of those difficult thoughts in the wonderful safe environment of @dearthyroid. I’m so grateful for everyone on here.

    love and light

    (connect with me on twitter @lojinks)

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