In January of 1994, my life ended. I was thirty-two years old.
Up until then, I was healthy, physically active, and had no physical or mental diseases.
This all changed when I suddenly came down with a long list of frightening physical problems, and psychological issues. I also developed a terrible case of shingles, which is a virus of the nervous system, and can be quite serious.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome)
After a year of endless physical suffering and so much fear that I used to lay awake at night shaking in my bed, three different doctors diagnosed me with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, which is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.
Why did it take a year? I don’t know, but I saw some of the best medical doctors in Los Angeles California, at Cedar Sinai and UCLA.
During that year, I endured seemingly endless intrusive and frightening medical tests, which included having instruments inserted into my ears to look for tumors, tubes inserted in my urethra to see if I had a tumor in my bladder, and an MRI to rule out multiple sclerosis or cancer.
Doctors gave me numerous EKGs, heart stress tests, blood tests, chest X-rays, ultrasounds on my bladder and heart, neurological exams, and was tested with pharmaceutical drugs to see which medication might rid me of the suffering. On one occasion, I went to an emergency room in the middle of the night with chest pains… I was only thirty-three years old.
The diagnosis of cfids, was made by two cfids experts and an expert in the field of otolaryngology. The expense of finding a diagnosis amounted to more than $30,000.
In order to confirm what the doctors told me, I read a number of books on the subject, and reviewed material distributed by the CDC and the CFIDS Association of America.
The experts in the field of medicine told me cfids is untreatable and incurable.
I have proven them wrong.
The life-altering, debilitating, and excruciatingly painful physical problems I lived with every day for over fifteen years, have been completely removed through hypno-analysis therapy.
My body was keeping secrets from me.
When I became sick with cfids, my body was a walking memory of child rape, betrayal, lies, emotional pain, emotional trauma, shame, guilt, and extreme FEAR.
Each virtually unbearable cfids symptom -as well as years of depression, nightmares, PTSD, panic attacks, anger and rage issues, sexual problems, and issues with food- was directly linked to the incest I suffered at the hands of both parents -including rape by my POLICE-OFFICER father, as well as having been hit over the head with blunt objects, having knives held to my throat, guns to my face, and locked in closets.
Those secrets were being held in my subconscious mind because, as a child, I was threatened with death several times to keep the family secret. I was choked when I tried to call someone outside the home, and even hit on the head and knocked out for trying to reveal the abuse.
My father, who was an L.A.P.D. officer for 25 years, used his police weapons to silence me. Even though he died when I was twelve, he succeeded in terrorizing me for three decades. His threats were kept alive by the power of my subconscious mind.
My mother, also used threats against me to silence me.
And so, I kept the secrets…even from myself.
I was unable to speak or even acknowledge the incest for more than thirty years. The cfids, and all of the other physical and psychological symptoms, became a substitute language.
The physical disease, and psychological anguish, was rooted in my emotional reaction to being sexually abused, threatened with death, terrorized, and abandoned by a mother who willfully facilitated the incest with my father, and sexually abused me herself.
Who wouldn’t feel like this woman in the photo if their mother had betrayed, abandoned, helped rape, or sexually abused her own child? Look at this woman’s face. She is literally saying, “What’s the use? If my own mother didn’t want to help me, and didn’t love me, then what is my life worth?”
Examine the word disease for a moment. The body is literally in a state of “dis-ease” because the mind is not at ease. The vast majority of doctors, who only practice conventional medicine, refuse to recognize the undeniable link between the mind and physical disease.
Although a number of western medical doctors are beginning to acknowledge that the mind has the ability to create illness in the body, most physicians still prefer to prescribe dangerous drugs or perform surgery to cure every ailment.
Scientists are now proving the power the mind has -especially, and most importantly- the power of the subconscious mind and it’s ability to cause mental and physical illness.
I sought out a multitude of medical experts before finding my therapist, and I was in a desperate state when I did find her because no medical doctor could help me with my suffering.
I also found no relief from herbs, vitamins, eating healthy, or from yoga.
Yoga actually made me worse many years ago because yoga triggered the sexual abuse by the woman who abused me.
The hypno-analysis therapy provided the only liberation for my physical and mental anguish.
Link Between chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome and child sexual abuse
I am not proclaiming that everyone with cfids was sexually abused as a child or has repressed memories of sexual abuse; but research has discovered a link between childhood abuse and cfids.
I have personally found a high percentage of cfids sufferers who experienced physical or sexual abuse in childhood.
Cfids expert, Dr. Jay Goldstein, told me the majority of his patients had a history of either physical or sexual abuse.
Dr. James Grisolia, a neurologist at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego California, found that people with cfids have suffered child abuse more commonly than those without the disease. Although, Dr. Grisolia says that because child abuse alters hormones and resets the brain, a person who has been abused is more susceptible to disease.
Fred Friedberg, an assistant professor of psychiatry at State University of New York at Stony Brook, also found a link between child abuse and cfids.
Given the fact that I healed from cfids by healing the previously repressed memories of trauma and incest, it is possible that the true percentage of people with cfids, who also had an abusive childhood, is much higher than what is reported in sufferers of the disease.
A person cannot report a history of child sexual abuse to a doctor if they are consciously unaware of any childhood abuse.
At the time I was diagnosed with cfids I had not yet started psychotherapy, so I was unable to tell anyone in the medical profession that I had been a victim of incest because, at the time, I had no conscious knowledge of the incest.
One study found, not only a link between childhood sexual abuse and chronic fatigue, but a connection between those with chronic fatigue and having been threatened with death along with sexual abuse.
If a victim is given a threat to keep silent and they obey it to the point of mentally blocking out the threats, and the abuse, then one day the victim’s body will do the talking. Their soul, through the use of the body, will scream out for justice and to be heard.
People who have suffered extreme trauma and sexual abuse, especially incest, cannot repress the emotional pain and trauma forever. Their pain either has to come out consciously or physically. For most people, it comes out in both ways, and usually when a person hits the ages of twenty to forty.
In the United States, most cases of cfids are diagnosed in females ages twenty-five to forty-five. and cfids is three times more common in women than men.
Child sexual abuse is three times more common in women than men.
The Disease from Hell
Cfids (ME) is a highly complicated disease with a multitude of physical manifestations. Any sufferer of cfids knows the symptoms don’t stop with fatigue, nor is it just a matter of being tired. The person with cfids can, and most often does, develop a debilitating exhaustion that causes them to become bed ridden, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. They feel lethargic in every fiber of their body and even the mind feels extreme fatigue.
One woman with cfids told me that she used to have to crawl from her bed to the toilet on her hands and knees in order to relieve herself. (Notably, the woman has always remembered being sexually abused by her father as a child, and her mother did nothing to stop it)
Incapacitating fatigue is only a portion of what a person with cfids goes through.
One of the hallmarks of this disease, is that people with cfids can look just fine on the outside, and try to show a positive attitude in public, but they may be suffering from multiple uncomfortable symptoms simultaneously.
This was a routine for me that lasted fifteen years. After the first two years of having cfids, I trained myself to bear with the pain and fatigue in order to get through a few errands or attend a social function. People with cfids learn to suffer in silence in order to go on with life, but their quality of living is more like a walking death.
Many of my friends and neighbors had NO idea what I was going through while I was sick.
Cfids is often only identified after extensive tests, countless doctor visits, and after much time and money is consumed. The symptoms can be extremely difficult to diagnose because cfids affects much of the mind and body, and the sufferer experiences many symptoms at one time.
When I began hypno-therapy, I was on the verge of death. The cfids affected my immune system and vital organs, my heart, bladder, respiratory system, my bowels, and my neurological system. My psychological and emotional state was on the edge of collapsing and I thought about suicide three times.
For four months I could barely urinate. I went to the bathroom twenty to forty times a day in a futile attempt to expel my urine. Each agonizing time, only a trickle came out. Gynecologists and a top urologist found nothing physiologically wrong.
A typical day for me was being bed-ridden with a fatigue that is indescribable, while also having chronic diarrhea, stomach aches, ringing in my ears, short-term memory loss, pain in my heart, unable to breathe normally, vice-grip headaches, inflamed lymph nodes, inability to urinate, and dizziness.
Severe insomnia plagued me for years, and if I did manage to fall asleep, I was soon awakened by a feeling of forgetting how to breathe.
When I managed to crawl out of bed during the day, meals caused me to want to vomit or I shoveled food in my mouth at alarming rates, and there were numerous days at a time when I could barely eat at all because food made me so nauseous and dizzy that I became afraid to eat.
During the years with cfids, I continually suffered shingles outbreaks.
The shingles attacked my head and ears with severe pain, and an ugly, bubbly lesion always formed down the left side of my neck. It was embarrassing and painful.
Through deep-introspective, hypnoanalysis therapy, I was able to find the root cause of the shingles outbreaks and I no longer suffer from them. The shingles were a direct link to having been threatened with death with a knife to my throat if I told anyone outside the home about the incest. This is what death threats can do to a child!
The majority of sufferers have varying symptoms that are usually not witnessed or noticed by others. Therefore, people frequently consider the person with cfids as “faking it,” or may feel their friend with cfids is perfectly healthy but just “a little down.”
Many people with the disease will only go out in public on good days, and are bed-ridden or too sick to leave their home on bad days. A large amount of sufferers are so ill they can no longer work. Others stop attending social functions and cease activities they used to enjoy.
During the years when the disease was most brutal, my days were filled with seclusion and deep anguish. There were seemingly endless days when I could not function or even go to the grocery store.
I find it interestingly ‘coincidental’ that children being sexually abused, often show little or no sign of the abuse, and can look just fine on the outside, and behave normally in public.
Some people consider the disease a death sentence
“This illness is a nightmare that is extraordinary.” ~Cfids specialist, Dr. David Bell
Cfids is known by its sufferers as a walking death. I can testify to this being absolutely true. Many people with cfids long for death.
One woman was suffering so much from cfids that she had Dr. Kevorkian help her take her own life, and according to The CFIDS Association of America, people with this disease have a high risk of committing suicide
Although there are few studies about recovery from cfids, experts say that recovery is uncommon and those who report a recovery still suffer from some of the symptoms, and one-third of those who claimed recovery had a relapse six months later.
An expert at John’s Hopkins reveals that scores of doctors are unwilling to take patients with the disease because he says that doing so is “such a downer.”
Many survivors of child sexual abuse consider the abuse a death sentence, and think they will never recover, or I often hear them say, “you never get over it.”
This is false information.
Prevalence and Diagnosing cfids
More than four million Americans have Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. Many physicians are unwilling to take patients with CFIDS because of the low recovery rate and the untreatable incapacitating symptoms.
Unfortunately, by emphasizing the words “chronic fatigue” experts gave the disease a name that causes the general population to assume that cfids only causes a person to be tired.
It is probably very helpful that the disease is now known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.
This is a highly complicated disease with a multitude of physical manifestations. Any sufferer of cfids knows the symptoms don’t stop with fatigue, nor is it just a matter of being “tired.”
Herpes, shingles, and chicken pox are common in people with cfids, and doctors report that patients frequently have mitral valve prolapse. MVP is a heart valve malfunction, which I was also diagnosed with.
Below is a list of symptoms associated with the disease. With the exception of fainting, I experienced each of these symptoms, on and off, over a period of fifteen years.
- Substantial and life-altering decrease in ability to exercise
- Impaired speech and/or reasoning
- Visual disturbances
- Psychological problems (depression, irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings)
- Chills and night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Substantial decrease in the ability to exercise
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Alcohol intolerance
- Irregular heartbeat
- Irritable bowels (diarrhea, constipation, intestinal gas)
- Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the face or extremities
- Menstrual problems
- Chest pains
- Pathological hunger
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sensitivity to noise/sound, odors, chemicals or medications
- Feeling of having a virus
- Feeling in a fog
- Muscle twitching
- Pathological (abnormal) or urgent hunger
- Sore throats
- Tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
- Unusual headaches
- Unrefreshed sleep
- Post-exertion malaise
- Abdominal pain
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Chronic sinus problems
- Blacking out
- Sudden Choking
- Abdominal pain
- Unusual or frequent cravings for sugar and breads
- Severe, abnormal fullness after meals
- Pain in
- Excessive anger
- Hypoglycemic symptoms
- Excessive heartburn
- Urinary frequency or burning while urinating
- Tightness in chest
- Mucus in stools or black stools
- Vaginal pain
- Neurological problems
- Seeing spots before eyes
- Tachycardia (rapid heart rate) with minimal or no exertion, which may persist for long periods of the day, coming on at any moment and with no known cause.
- Frequent mood swings
- Caffeine intolerance
These symptoms indicate that it can be extremely difficult to diagnose cfids. The disease is often only identified after extensive tests, countless doctor visits, and after much time and money is consumed.
During the years that I was most sick with the disease, a typical day consisted of ten or twelve symptoms throughout various periods of the day. In one day, I experienced, rapid heart beat, inflamed lower lymph nodes, difficulty urinating, hemorrhoids, stomach aches, a headache, a tooth ache, dizziness, heart flutters, choking for no known reason, pain inside of my throat, and pathological hunger.
The physical manifestations would alternate but the pain and suffering was always the same, and my sanity was constantly challenged.
Reaching a diagnosis of cfids is frightening, painful, and uncomfortable. I had a forty-five minute MRI, invasive tests inside my ears, medical-induced vertigo, and had catheters inserted in my urethra. I had several EKGs, heart stress tests, blood tests, chest X-rays, ultrasounds on my bladder and heart, neurological exams, and testing with pharmaceutical drugs.
The cure is in one’s own mind and soul
My body had been a walking memory which was unable to speak for more than thirty years. The cfids was a substitute language. The voice from my past screamed at me in the form of incapacitating and frightening symptoms. The cause of the disease was unhealed emotional trauma caused by father/daughter incest, maternal incest, death threats, terror (enough to make me wet my bed until I was nine years-old), attempts on my life, physical assaults, mental and physical abandonment by my mother, and total lack of love.
I sought out a multitude of medical experts. Three of them were highly respected physicians at the well-known Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles California, and I saw two cfids experts, one at UCLA.
No medical doctor could help me. Hypno-analysis, which revived the incest memories, was the only thing that provided relief and an eventual cure and liberation from my physical suffering.
It is excruciatingly painful, shameful, and time-consuming to face one’s childhood sexual abuse and trauma, but I would rather have gone through the process of facing and healing the incest, than to take the hell of cfids to my grave.
Psyche means “soul.” Psycho-analysis is the analysis of the human soul.
Twenty years ago, I could no longer ride my bike.
This is me today.
Researchers say no cure for cfids exists, but my experience proves that there is a cure.
Childhood trauma and risk for chronic fatigue syndrome: association with neuroendocrine dysfunction. Heim C, Nater UM, Maloney E, Boneva R, Jones JF, Reeves WC., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Woodruff Memorial Research Bldg, Ste 4311, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Chronic fatigue, abuse-related traumatization, and psychiatric disorders in a community-based sample. Taylor RR, Jason LA. Department of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. Other source: Possible influence of defenses and negative life events on patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: Sundbom E, Henningsson M, Holm U, Soderbergh S, Evengard B. Department of Psychology, Umea University, Sweden.
Early adverse experience and risk for chronic fatigue syndrome: results from a population-based study.Heim C, Wagner D, Maloney E, Papanicolaou DA, Solomon L, Jones JF, Unger ER, Reeves WC
Chronic fatigue, abuse-related traumatization, and psychiatric disorders in a community-based sample. Taylor RR, Jason LA Soc Sci Med 2002 Jul; 55(2):247-56
Physiology of Chronic Fatigue Begins to Take Shape, Judy Foreman, Los Angeles Times; Sep 19, 2005; F.3;
CFIDS Association of America, cfids.org