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Does my dysfunctional family make my pain worse?
10 Replies
iliveinpain - February 9

I think the stress of it just creates more tension, depression and therefore contributes to more pain than most anything else I can think of. My mother in particular never has a kind word for me, ever. I grew up hearing her telling me that she LOVES me but does not LIKE me. Most recently was last weekend. I was visiting my mom, and my husband was making me laugh. He's pretty much the only person who does. My mom turned to me and asked me "where did you learn to laugh like that, you're so loud, it's annoying", nice huh? I said to her that I LOVE to hear my children laugh, it means they're happy. So I just put it down to me being a nurturing and loving mother and she is not. Plus my brother hasn't spoken to me since the holidays because I said that because of my illness this is going to be the last year I put out a big party for everyone. Once again, really really nice loving supportive family huh?


FibroGal - February 9

Hi, ilive. I am so sorry for what you are going through and I empathize. I think it most certainly can have an effect on things. For me, my fatigue and depression are most effected. I am 48, and in a house of 7 of us. Im trying to take care of my elderly parents as well as my husband, 2 teenagers, and my 11 yr old. My dad is diabetic so his situation is the most complicated. I think most people would wonder why Id complain but Im so depressed all the time. Life is flat out no fun at all. Just drudgery. Day in and day out. Husband doesn't seem to understand. It's cook, clean, dishes constantly, laundry, cook more. My dad doesn't do a damn thing to help himself. Sorry if I sound ungrateful but right now I resent this situation. My husband and I have no privacy nor romance any more. How can we? We can't have an argument without everyone in the house thinking so negatively about, like must mean divorce. And that really bothers me because I have a mood disorder and lately I feel pretty fragile. I do see a psychologist so that helps somewhat. But I am sick of the snow, snow, snow. OMG it's enough already! I shoveled the driveway today and I know I will pay for it tomorrow. Which is also my 15th anniversary. Keep laughing, ilive, bring the whole house down. You have the right and you deserve it. I feel sorry for you and your mom, too, in a way. Maybe she has some kind of mood disorder, too. But she still shouldn't speak to you with such disrespect. Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to kindness and compassion. But then I look at myself. My mood disorder effects everything. It colors every would-be positive emotion in me a nasty "I just want to give up" gray.


Canada17 - February 10


You are likely spot on that the dysfunction of your family makes your pain worse. I know how you feel. My parents were not so blunt about what they said but they certainly weren't supportive. I have never been allowed my own opinion the response was always, "I don't want to hear it!" or "Deal with it yourself". My dad has always talked down to me and has a way of making everything I say wrong.

For example, on New Year's Eve my mom called to wish us a happy new year. She put my dad on the phone who asked where my daughter was (we were out). I told him, "(My husband's) dad is in town and he's watching the monitor." She was asleep, since it was after midnight I thought that was a given (she's only 3). So he says, "Well who's watching Kyndra(my daughter)". I repeated myself and he asked, "So who's watching the monitor." so I repeated myself again and he says to me, all mad and frustrated, "Why didn't you say 'He's at home with the baby?'!"

I wanted to throw the phone. Like what I had said was so inaccurate that it was beyond his comprehension!

Now, I know it sounds petty but when every simple comment you make is twisted to sound like you said it wrong just because someone is trying to be difficult it gets very stressful.

My point is that stressful situations can make our symptoms worse. I now avoid my parents as much as possible because it's just too much for me to deal with. The more time between visits the happier I am. Which makes me feel guilty and that's when my husband reminds me it's harder on me to try to please them.


Rosscow - February 10

I believe stress of any kind is a real major curser to fibro. I have been researching a hormone called cortisol. The only reason is because mine is elevated. very interesting.. Stress and chronic pain causes a increase in cortisol. Cortisol increase just in itself if for a very long time can cause all the symptoms of fibro. Adrenal gland exaustion . Bing... fibro and all the weird immune system issues.
In my first marriage there was massive stress for a very long time...An old injury which caused pain and bing...fibro.
It would be interesting to find out if abnormally high or low cortisol readings are a real common thing with fibro. Same as ANA positive as that is very common here also.


iliveinpain - February 10

Thank you all for replying so quickly. It helps to know that I am not alone in this.


axxie - February 10

I can empathize with you all. I had great parents and never had a bad word to say to us. When my parents separated apart from a few bad words from each of the parents I never had my mother or father talked to each other like that, not even to the kids. I have to say that my older sister was unkind and very moody, even has a child, was she born like that or is it that some receptors are not there.

I feel for you fibrogal, having your parents living in your house that must be really stressful. You are allowed to tell your mother that this is your house and that you will not accept your mother being so unkind. It's time you sit down with one at a time and give them the riot act.

Be kind to yourself and love yourself for everything you are. YOu have to be kind to yourself. Stress will undoubtly bring pain, and depression.

Good luck and may you find a voice to speak.


iliveinpain - February 16

I've just found a new website and signed on as "unloved" if you try you can find me. It is called and it's helped to vent about her ill treatment of me.Turns out there are a few other fibro sufferers on there, jeez, what a surprise!!


Jerica - February 19

YES. I have a toxic family of origin and sometimes just talking to them makes me have symptoms. Today my sister was IMing me about some family drama and I started feeling like I couldn't breathe and my chest felt all weird. Look into Dr Sarno's work on tension myositis syndrome and also the book They Can't Find Anything Wrong.


axxie - February 20

Yes, especially if you can't let go of the problems. Get a therapist and let go of what is being said. Remember you can't feel the way you do unless you give them permission to treat you the way they do.

We are the sole responsible person in how we feel, especially at your age, you should be able to either turn a blind eye or better yet, get rid of the problems.

I went through similar and I've had girlfriends of went through the same, we at one point have to seperate from the fail family drama and go our seperate ways. I would say it's time for you to move on. Even if that means your parents will need to be poorer or you will be poorer.


rivermarie - February 21

Dysfunction of anything or anyone doesn't make the pain any better. A healthy body needs nurturing. Not the wind sucked out of it. My family of origin is the epitomy of dysfunction. Mother was in and out of mental wards most of her adult life with shock treatments. Father was successful, ethical and good business man to outside world, but molested me to age 15 when I told him that was the last time. Older sister is in/out therapy with her issues. Brother very dependent on me. Younger sister has many issues and I have given up trying to help her. In fact, I have moved away and am concentrating on myself now. My son is grown and turned out very well, despite losing his dad to cancer when he was just 12 years old. I think because I was the one that kept the secrets, tried to make the family of origin function, sacrificed many years raising my son (which I would gladly do again for him), worked very hard at my career and was successful at one time, I burnt out. After 50 years of trying to do it all and do it well, I just changed my attitude. Seems most of them don't appreciate me. My father will not admit to the abuse and his new wife doesn't like me much. I am slowing letting out and letting go of the secrets and my pain seems to be better some days. But a lifetime of pain, suffering, abuse, neglect and nobody to tell takes a toll. I get into relationships with successful, charming, but weird men who make me crazy - I know they are cheating and when confronted, they lie. I know its a "father" issue, and I have vowed to stop. I've dated many good, nice and decent men but got bored. I'm changing my attitude about what is boring. From now on, weird men are boring. I'm so glad I was a mother, that is the only time I've felt truly loved. Otherwise, I've felt used and abused by most. I'm starting over, again. But this time I won't let my family ruin it for me. Stay strong.


axxie - February 22

I think every family in Amerca has a disfunctional part to it. We are not potraited in the Rockwells, but then who said they weren't disfunctional.

We are five kids, we now all live in the same city, weird, since I have lived in loads of places, anyway, I tried being the nice sister and hold the family together, only to see all fail.

I tried the birthday parties and the Christmas parties at my house, only to see it fail. This past Christmas was my last. I told everyone, funny thing is no one was disapointed. I told them all, they were all capable of taking over, that I could'nt manage and didn't want to manage.

The disapointment, the tantrum, the blames, the fatigue from the effect are all gone now. I walk my own road, I don't make any commitments, because I can never remember what I have the next day, let alone in an hour from here.

Let go, dear it's the best thing that will every happen to you. At one point, we have to forge our own destiny minus the family tramau.

Your family will respect you more for not being the gal who gets to pick up everything. Trust me it all done with each one of us at one point or another.

Let go of the apron string.



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