Recovery Norway is based solely on voluntary work. Your contribution will help us get our message across to more people who need it. Please support us here.
The realisation I got through many years of therapy, through knowledge from the Lightning Process course, from my University studies and from an interest in this area in general, helped me to see quite clearly why I got ME. Right now I‘m reading a book about development trauma by Dag Nordanger, and it confirms my thoughts about my situation.
Threats, violence and violations
I grew up with a mom with psychiatric illness. She never had any accurate diagnosis because she refused help and managed to talk herself out of every situation where we got her to healthcare. I really don’t know what happened the first couple of years of my life, but I have memories from a very early age where my mom threatened to kill herself and me. These threats and violations happened daily, though there were both good and bad periods. Her violence could be material, psychological, latent and sometimes physical. I didn’t get any help to regulate the feelings and anxiety caused by the traumatic events. Me and my family tried to get help but were not heard by the people that should have helped us. I was an adult before I got help and saw a psychologist for the first time.
I really believe that my childhood has affected my nervous system. My central nervous system and my body was overly activated many years, and I did not get help to regulate my feelings. The “fight or flight” response was not possible, and it led to “freeze” and a big degree of dissociation since early childhood. (The word dissociation means to disconnect or fragmentise parts that actually belong together, and may be caused by various experiences of trauma. For example, feelings can be disconnected from physical reactions.)
The body could not withhold the pressure
I’ve had back and stomach problems since primary school. In my teenage years I got cancer, and then the kissing disease. I think my body have had it by then, it could not take any more pressure. Research shows that abused children become unhealthy adults (for example the Norwegian doctor Anna Luise Kirkengen) and I think there is a connection here. My body didn’t recovered after his. Though I felt completely drained, I myself could not feel any signs of depression, anxiety or any psychological problems. My psychologist said the same, my body got worse, though I could feel that I got better and better mentally. Looking at this from another perspective, I think it was a survival strategy that I had as a child to stay positive – otherwise I wouldn’t survive.
Mixed up signals
I think this fear I grew up with, with trauma responses and no outside help to regulate my feelings, impacted how my nervous system and the alarm centre in the brain reacted from a very young age, and that this led to severe ME. I think my body went into shutdown and that my neurobiology got messed up. My brain sent messed up signals to my body, and that’s why I got so many different kinds of diffuse symptoms that again made me worse. Through the LP course, I have learned to reprogram these structures in my brain, which I (based on recognized science) believe were influenced by my childhood traumas. What I learned in the LP course, about training my brain to send the right signals, has really worked and helped me, and I no longer experience the symptoms that were so detrimental to my quality of life for so many years.
The person who has written this story wishes to remain anonymous.