I had my first fibro fight today with my partner Terry. Today he is out and about on his own because there’s a heat advisory this afternoon, I melt in the sun, and I wanted to get in the garden this morning while I could. He said that was fine with him. But when I said to tell the people he would be seeing (outside in the heat and sun) I would see them next time, he very blithely said, “It’s okay I just blame it on your fibro.”
We were in the kitchen and I bought a new knife set yesterday. Just by way of background.
My response was, “No. You never do that. You never blame anything on my fibro. If I’m having a fibro related problem, it is up to me to communicate that. You never blame anything on my fibro ever.” He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Well–” At which point I said, “No, you never do that. You don’t understand, and don’t look at me like I’m crazy because you don’t understand.” He knew better at that point than to say “Well” again, because he knew he wouldn’t get farther than that.
And that was the fight. No knives involved. Yet. The thing is, when he says something like that, I learn a couple things. First, that he talks to people about my fibromyalgia. This indicates to me that he is frustrated by the effects I experience (less energy, lower sex drive, crankiness). It also indicates to me that he is more affected by my fibro than I think he is. It also indicates that he has no boundaries, which I already knew, but that’s not a fibro issue, but he doesn’t understand that fibro is personal. People don’t know I have fibro unless I release that information to them. Secondly, and more importantly, a statement like that indicates a huge lack of understanding about how I want to and generally do deal with my fibro.
Fibro is an underlying, non-lethal, non-curable, relentless, permanent pain. Okay, cool. I can let it run my life. I can make excuses not to do things because of my fibro. I can sit around and feel sorry for myself. I hope to God I don’t do that. I don’t want to do that. I want to be mindful of how I live my life. I choose. I chose to work in the garden this morning, knowing it would wipe me out (sweating for a few hours in the sun and heat will wipe a lot of people without fibro out too), and knowing I would not be comfortable with going out this afternoon if I work in the garden. I chose the garden. I chose the garden over people. My choice. Not the fibro’s choice. Fibro does not have that power over me. I’ve worked for years to understand my own power over fibromyalgia. I’m not relinquishing that power, even to an offhand unthinking remark.