Chronic Pain and Chronic Frustration

In my support group yesterday, I said, “Chronic frustration is as bad as chronic pain.” I was told I should blog about it. So I am.

Chronic pain wears you down. It’s relentless, appearing day after day after day. Sometimes it’s a little weaker, sometimes a little stronger, but it is always there. You go to bed with it, you wake up with it.

Chances are you have tried lots of things to alleviate the pain. Many have not worked, or have worked for only a short time. Some dampen the pain but don’t eliminate it. Some work fine but have really bad side effects. Some are addictive. You did the very best you could, and you deserve the utmost respect

Nobody can see another’s pain. Crutches, wheelchairs, or slings may suggest that a person is – or recently was – in pain. But often the only outward sign of pain is a drawn expression – half-closed eyes, a pinched mouth, few facial movements. Another hint is slow body movements. Nobody with a bad back is going to walk briskly, let alone run.

All too often people dismiss another’s pain, figuring it can’t be all that bad. They assume the hurting person is lazy and is exaggerating the pain to use it as as excuse for not doing something they don’t want to. Or they are sissies, whiners, ingrates. Suck it up and get on with your life.

It would help if pain wasn’t invisible. Imagine having a green discoloration on your upper arms. Pale green from a little pain, forest green from excruciating pain. Perhaps it could appear as dots, one dot forming every week. The density of the dots would show how long you have been suffering. (I chose upper arms because they are easily concealed and easily shown if desired.)

Words like “malingering,” and “secondary gain”are used to shame the person with chronic pain. Don’t get me wrong, some people are malingering. They are faking pain to get worker’s compensation or lots of attention. It’s easier to fake whiplash, which doesn’t show up on an Xray than to fake a broken leg. However, if you spend a good deal time with such a person, you will see their act slip. It’s hard to be in pain, but it is hard to consistently  fake it, too.

I don’t remember constant pain as a child, but I may have dissociated it. As an adult though, I’ve had many a long year of relentless pain. First was what felt like aching in the bones of my arms and legs. It was so bad that I could neither write nor type for more than a few minutes. I couldn’t open doors and I had to get rid of my car, which was a stick shift, and get an automatic. The closest I came to a diagnosis was, “Sometimes middle aged women get that.” Thanks, doc.

I still don’t know what it was, although I suspect fibromyalgia. If I am right, I am one of the very few lucky ones that has achieved permanent remission. The flares got further apart and, over time, the pain lessened. I had a handful of pain-free years and then, bingo! osteoarthritis. And that is a life-long condition. I just have to manage it as best I can and live with it as gracefully as possible.

Interesting – I had meant to write about chronic frustration and I have gone on and on about chronic pain. It’s because I have been in a flare for about five days now and it was on my mind. Now that it put into words, I can turn my mind to frustration.


I have recently been trying to learn some new applications. I haven’t been very successful. As a matter of fact, I have had zero success all week. I try very hard – I also try to stop before I burst into tears.

Computers think in mysterious ways – even more so than cats. They cause a lot more melt-downs than cats, too. They don’t snuggle very well, although they do purr if you ask them nicely. I’m not kidding, go see for yourself:

I have been in a state of chronic frustration for an entire week. It’s not quite reached the point of becoming my baseline emotion 24/7, but it’s getting there. It’s not in my awareness when I sleep, except for the occasional dream. During the day, it’s constantly there, although I am often not aware of what is actually frustrating me. Little mannerisms of people I love seem to serve as triggers. and I find myself holding my breath and clenching my teeth. Trying to open jars serves as a trigger, as does mislaying my glasses, along with a zillion other little things. I figured out they were triggers when I remembered that normally I either don’t notice them or I shrug them off

My attention span has shrunk and my anger control skills are fraying at the edges. Plus which I have been EVEN more forgetful than usual. I worry that I have a resting bitch face, although I can’t tell because I manage a nice fake smile whenever I look in the mirror.

Pretty soon I shall either master one of those damn apps or give up. No guilt – if at first I don’t succeed, try, try again, and then delegate. This round of frustration is controllable.

There have been periods in my adult life when it hasn’t been so easy to end frustration. There were some things I simply would not allow myself to walk away from.

Take parenting. When my placid, smiley babies learned to walk and discovered independence, I ran around after them shrieking,” No! Don’t! Doooon’t!!!!!!” for what seemed like all day, every day, for ten years. Exhausting. Then things calmed down until the return of the terrible twos in their low teens. I understood that these were healthy reactions to emotional growth spurts, but it didn’t stop my frustration.

There were also long periods of frustration with important relationships and with things at work that drove me up the wall, like pressure to do something against my morals, discrimination against myself and others, or being taken for granted.

Long-term frustrations were like chronic pain, short-term ones like flare-ups. Now that I have figured this out, I will be more gentle with myself. I’ll also try some of my self-soothing techniques for pain and see what they do for frustration.


Upcoming Holidays

4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Partial solar eclipse visible in west South America and Antarctica.
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

5/1 Beltane
5/8 Mothers’ Day
5/15 Full Moon
5/15 – 5/16 Total lunar eclipse visible in south and west Europe, south and west Asia, Africa, much North America, South America, and Antarctica.
5/21 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/26 (?) Ascension Day
5/30 Memorial Day

6/5 Pentecost
6/6 (?) Whit Monday
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day



7/4 Independence Day

7/13 Full Moon

7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

7/27 Grand Climax

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

4/15-4/23 Passover/Pesach (Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark andlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.


You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Candlemas –
Valentine’s Day –
Spring Equinox –
Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox) –
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve –
Beltane –
Mothers’ Day –
Fathers’ Day –
Summer Solstice (corrected text) –
Lammas –
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 –
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 –
Fall Equinox –
Halloween (personal) – 
Halloween (background) –
Thanksgiving –
Yule/Winter Solstice – 

I Have Low Energy

Upcoming Holidays

11/3 Full Moon
11/3 Satanic Revels
11/23 Thanksgiving
12/3 Full Moon
12/21 St. Thomas’ Day/Fire Festival
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/24  Christmas Eve/Satanic and demon revels/Da Meur/Grand High Climax
12/15  Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve


I Have Low Energy

I’m sorry I picked the 10th, 20th, and 30th of the month to post. I used to do the 5th, 15th, and 25th but I got behind and changed the dates, pretending to catch up. I like the old way better. There is just too much going on around the end of the month and I am distracted and don’t feel like writing. By the time I get five days into a month it is a bit better. It’s easier to write about ritual abuse, and easier, I bet, to read about it.

I still feel I have nothing to say about Halloween. If the whole country is putting up Christmas decorations, like they are here, maybe it will fade from national consciousness. Would that be a blessing, or not? Mixed bag, I bet.

I have very little energy these days. It’s better in the morning. I set the timer for ten to fifteen minutes and work on the computer and then set it for five minutes for housework. Dishes, cats, plants, laundry, tidying up. On the days when I have no appointments, I notice I run out of steam around four in the afternoon. When I come back from an appointment, it is generally around four or five and all I feel like doing is flopping down. I would gladly spend the rest of the day in bed reading junk and eating chocolates.

I am sure part of it is normal slowing down because of aging. Thirty years ago I was working full-time, keeping my house clean, and jogging! Plus I had a social life. Now most of that is impossible. The chronic pain of arthritis severely limits my ability to walk, and jogging or dancing and other such fun things are totally out of the question for the rest of my life. So I can’t blame not jogging three times a week on low energy.

I certainly couldn’t work full-time because so much time goes into taking care of my decrepit body. Doctors and dentists and physical therapy and exercise is equivalent to a half-time job, at least. And I tell myself that email and the blog and such are also another good twenty hours a week. Someday I should log it to see if I am kidding myself.

Chronic pain is also a ferocious consumer of energy. It wears you down. It takes energy to buck the pain and move the body or even to be civil. Pain also interferes with sleep, and poor sleep leads to low energy, which leads to more awareness of the level of pain I am feeling because it is hard to get lost in something interesting.

And then there is the question of sleeping with cats. It’s a terrible idea if you want to sleep through the night. They want to play, they want to have their chins rubbed, they get hungry, they want the other one’s favorite spot. Their meows are piercing. This is the one thing I have control of but so far I have not been willing give up the comfort of contented purring and warm furry bodies against mine. I’ve half-heartedly tried to exile them, but if I dare to go to the bathroom they shoot into my room and hide under the bed until I am asleep.

My state of low energy has been going on long enough that I can’t blame it on October. My best guess is that it is part of normal aging. Here I am, having wanted to be normal for years and years, and now that I am normal, at least in one respect, I hate it. Just hate it! No pleasing me, no siree.

Hmm. I think I am a lot more affected by Halloween than I realized. Felt sort of weepy all day, and forgetful, too. I forgot to post this on the day before Halloween and I have been unable to reply to comments because of some not yet understood glitch in either me or the software. I bet it is me. In a day or so I should be back to normal (haha)

Oh, well, it’s all uphill for now . . . until Thanksgiving.

Chronic Pain – My Constant Companion


Upcoming Satanic and Nazi holidays  
Please note that Satanic sects build the year around pagan holidays, adding Christian holidays and major secular holidays. It is the Neo-Nazi groups that defile Jewish holidays.
9/1 (Nazi) Start of WW2:  9/5 (Satanic) Labor Day (US and Canada):  9/5 – 9/7 (Satanic) Marriage to the Beast:  9/7 (Satanic) Feast of the Beast:  9/16 (Satanic) Full Moon:  9/17 (Nazi) Hitler’s alternate half-birthday:  9/20 – 9/21 (Satanic) Midnight Host:  9/22 (Satanic and Nazi) Fall Equinox
Fall Equinox
Labor Day

The last post was about the probable connection of brain and body through inflammation. I was enraged, if you didn’t guess. I’ve calmed down quite a bit since then, at least on the surface. This post is about my feelings about stuff I have had to contend with throughout most of my adult life.

A few years ago, I tried to calculate how many years since the age of twenty I had been in chronic pain. I picked twenty because by then I was pretty much free of the cult and I didn’t want to count the childhood years of abuse. I wanted an estimate of how many years some physical condition created my pain, a condition that was not dependent on another human being to cause it or maintain it. In other words, the after-effects of the abuse. Does that make sense?

I recalculated it today and it came to fifty-five, allowing for a few pain-free years when I was in my low fifties. There were twenty-four years of fibromyalgic-type pain, then a break, then arthritis, first in my knees, then my back, and now also my hands and maybe my neck, too.

And all that time, I was either depressed or on antidepressants. So there was a lot of inflammation in my body, and in my brain, too, until I discovered Wellbutrin about ten years ago. I can just see the body and brain passing inflammation back and forth, like children playing hot potato. “It’s yours.” No, it’s yours. It’s your turn.” “You take it, my turn has been longer than yours.” On and on, for year after year.

The unidentified illness started shortly after I had my second child, followed by a bad case of the flu. I thought (hoped?) for many months that it was a late symptom of the flu and it would clear up rapidly. It came and went in waves, so I often thought I was done with it. The waves gradually got less intense and further apart until I realized, after twenty-five years, that they had disappeared. It was during this time that I was either coping with my depression without medications or using antidepressants that took away my suicidal thoughts but had horrible side effects.

The mystery disease caused what felt like aching pain in my arm, leg, and finger bones. Nothing in my torso, thank goodness. The pain in my hands gave me the worst problems. I had to buy an electric can opener. I had to ask people to open store doors for me — they were too heavy. And I could not type or hold a pen. I mean I could, but I would be crying after a few minutes. Made it hard to be a grownup.

It forced me to ask for help, which was mortifying. I felt exposed, vulnerable, incompetent. And afraid that the people I asked for help would mock me before walking away, leaving me in tears.

I had a few years between the end of that episode in my life and being diagnosed with arthritis. But, looking back, it had started five or ten years earlier, overlapping with the mystery disease. I remember being stiff, so stiff that I had to take a hot shower before going downstairs to have coffee. I remember doing back exercises during that period, too. There wasn’t a lot of pain, just the first warnings. I blossomed: started jogging and swimming – and dancing, too! It was a pretty happy period for me.

The arthritis pain stays steady for a while until there is a flare-up. The flare-up eventually dies down but the pain is more intense than before. I did have a knee replacement, which was a miracle until I tripped and fell on my walker. Still, that knee is not at all bad. The real problem is my back: paraphrasing the latest X-ray report: “Her back is a mess and it is going to get worse.” It is all steadily down-hill from here.

I cannot walk a half block without sitting down. I cannot stand more than a couple of minutes. It is painful to lie down, which makes sleep problematic. Thank goodness sitting is still comfortable.  I can sit all day in front of my computer and not feel a bit of pain. I can see sometime in the future having to sleep sitting up; it won’t be fun, but it will be manageable.

So I have lived for all those years with chronic pain. It’s been a constant companion, like depression, my oldest friend. I no longer have to use an electric can opener but there are days when I think of buying one. I can see it coming, as my fingers get bent and my knuckles enlarge so that I can no long wear my favorite rings.

I think many of us were trained to endure pain stoically. If you aren’t allowed to express it externally, you have to bear it internally. Sometimes alters take turns enduring the pain, sometimes there is a further split for the trainer to take advantage of.

For me, there is a “religious” component to living with pain. I was taught that Satan liked pain, and that my pain was a gift to him. If I tried to avoid the pain or complained, it was like a slap in Satan’s face. You absolutely do not ever want to do that.

I am long past believing that, but the habit is deeply ingrained. It is very, very difficult to ask for help and to take care of my body.  Making a doctor’s appointment means I am admitting there is something wrong . . . and asking for help. It took forever to use the walker in public and to allow people to open doors for me and let me to go first. I waited years before I got a handicap placard for my car. I know these behaviors are silly and counterproductive but I am bucking the habits of a lifetime. Each year I am getting a little better at not being so rigidly independent.

There are so many, many losses involved with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. I am very grateful that I have not been deprived of a sense of purpose, of being of use to my community. I think of this every day while writing blog posts, updating my web page, moderating support groups, or laughing and crying with friends. I am grateful, too, for discovering ideas that might be helpful to me personally and for learning of exciting work around the world that others in the field of ritual abuse are doing. I feel blessed that these connections have not been taken away from me.

PS Something else that I am wildly grateful for is that chronic pain still grants me some joy, unlike depression, which sucked all the color, pleasure, and meaning out of life.