Are Imposters Preying On Unsuspecting Patients In Our Pain Community Again?


Hello Luvs

Once again I’m so sorry to be giving the news regarding the possibility of imposters (or at the very least, these are persons who don’t have the best interest of our pain community in their hearts) infiltrating our pain community. Last I wrote about this subject, was a month ago, inside of several groups, to warn them! It was regarding the notorious “Kate Ashworth” aka “fake RSD/CRPS guru”(see article link below). She was back again; hurting unknowing chronic pain patients! Those affected, just happened to be persons who also live with the unbearable pain of RSD/CRPS. (To find out more about RSD/CRPS, please visit: For Real Facts & Information About RSD/CRPS, follow this link to RSDSA Home Page (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association)

*(To Read the article about the imposter,“Kate Ashworth”,who recently came back a second time & infiltrated the RSD/CRPS community; visit this link: This is the Link to the article about Kate Ashworth, an Imposter to the Chronic Pain Community) “Strangers Among Us”

On Tuesday night 3-6-29; I saw a message from a long time RSD/CRPS friend on Facebook. I saw the message very late in middle of the night and it was written by Mary Mattio, in a “closed & secret” Facebook support Group for RSD/CRPS. Posting with permission, this is what I read at approximately 11:30 pm:

I’ll show you everything that was written underneath. But first I want to say “thank you” to Mary Mattio for posting about this to the Facebook group, . When digging deeper, I’d like to say “thank you” also to Tracey Tipton-Morales & Marisa Gravett for their “detective work”, involvement and postings. But we need to all give a special thanks to Sarah Lesley, for being the first to figure out all of this mess which I’m going to try to explain. So thank you to everyone who’s been involved in getting the word out, sharing, reporting and blocking these alleged fakes.(I have to say “alleged” but I believe it is true, with my whole heart!)

This was the full post shared from Sarah Lesley & Marisa Gravett:

⚠️ ATTENTION CHRONIC PAIN COMMUNITY⚠️

* Shared from Sarah Lesley & Marisa Gravett *

Okay CRPS Community: If you are in the group “RSD/CRPS and Neuropathic Pain Syndrome” beware… This was brought to my attention this morning. One of the admins actually works for a treatment center that focuses on getting pain patients to stop talking about their pain, basically making it seem like it’s all in our heads. I just saw a YouTube video shared in a post on that page this morning of him doing a presentation about his research and recovery centers and how it focuses on getting pain patients to stop focusing on their pain and to be able to return to be active members of society again. Basically making it sound like we don’t really need medical care, treatment etc…

I am infuriated at some of the things that I have seen and found out. We believe that many of the admins are either fake or using fake names and or involved in depth with Dr. Rand and his treatment centers as one of his treatment centers is referred to as the Bay Area and the last name of many of the admins is Bay…

Think of this as a conspiracy theory if you wish but I have just seen with my own eyes a YouTube video by Dr. Rand speaking about these treatment centers and it is very clear that this group and possibly other groups that we may all be involved in with similar admins, maybe using the information that we give against us as research, or to turn it in to help with their research or so-called research.

It is clear that this group is not created to help others. Many of the members I am sure do their best to help many people in this group to share information to ask questions and I do not blame or think any of the members are involved except for the ones that are listed as admins.

If you are in this group you are advised to check it out for yourself and if you feel the same way to delete the posts that you have in that page as well as get out of it. Also I would advise all of us to take a better look at who the admins are in many of our groups if we do not know or have never checked it out. We need to do all we can to look out for ourselves and our fellow CRPS Warriors and if there is any chance that this group is not on the up-and-up or could be using our information for any purpose other than to help each other live a life with this horrendous evil monster of a disease, I want no part of it and I do not want any of you to as well.

I was originally going to tag everybody in the post within the group that I’m friends with but there are so many of you I ran out of room on a piece of paper writing your names. I’ll be tagging as many as it will allow. Please if you are a CRPS Warrior check out this group check out the information for yourself and be careful out there.

I urge you all to please report all the fake profiles & all the groups that the fake profiles created & are Admins of, it’s the only way we can get them shut down. This post is now public, please feel free to share. Marisa Gravett has additional information on this as well.

Look up Jerrod Rand on YouTube if you want to see for yourself. Be careful out their Warriors. We are finding way too many wolves in sheeps clothing within our community.

** BELOW ARE SCREENSHOTS OF THE ADMINS & A FEW OF THE GROUPS & PAGES THAT ARE LINKED TO THEM **

**BEFORE I REPORTED & BLOCKED THIS “JERROLD RAND” facebook account (whether someone is using his name, or it is truly this person; we don’t know yet?)- I FOUND THIS POST VERY INTERESTING & TELLING OF PROBLEMS ON/WITH THAT PAGE:

I wanted to add that we all need to be vigilant, but we cannot allow ourselves to overreact or get too upset over this. Though it is very upsetting, our main goal is to stay calm and get the “word out” to the RSD/CRPS & Pain Communities. If everyone who reads this can go and report each of these groups and the 5 accounts that appear to be for the sole purpose of “pushing” these 30 or so “support groups” on unknowing people in pain! If we all can do that, Facebook will be able to shut them down!

Please understand that I’m in no way condemning those who have joined these groups. It’s not their fault. It’s the admins (whoever they truly are??) of those groups who are to blame. They are violating our community and others. Once again, people had recently been asked to send in photos of their Rsd/CRPS affected limbs. People, please don’t send your photos to anyone who asks. If you’re friends with someone who you know & feel comfortable with; and you want to share a photo; go for it! But please, just a bit of advice from my heart: “please don’t send your personal medical photos to anyone who requests them from you”. Also, PLEASE don’t take any medical advice from anyone online. They could be impersonating anyone! Only take therapeutic, medical advice from your own personal medical professionals. The ones who know you and your personal mecical history.

Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask: Sarah Lesley, Mary Mattio, Marisa Gravett, Tracey Tipton-Morales or you can ask me & I’ll do my best to get the right answers for you.

Please share this public blog post everywhere that you can. We need to look out form& take care of each other! Thank you for your time!

Lastly, here’s a link to a video by Jerrold Rand who seems to be the ringleader:

1: “Dr” J. Rand on Opiate use” at his Youtube channel called “Bay Recovery”

2: “Dr” J. Rand talks about Methadone on his Youtube channel

3: THIS ONE MAY UPSET YOU- if you’re fighting for your life-saving pain medication right now (just forewarning you): “Dr.” J. Rand’s patient talking about chronic pain etc. (On Youtube)

I hope that you will all just take this information and do what’s in your heart. I cannot honestly write here, that I know anything “for sure” about this quack! I’m writing an opinion piece (because we are all allowed to have our own personal feelings and opinions). But my opinion is that this guy and his 30+ Facebook groups, fake admins (possibly?) and several fake accounts, are frauds! I’m just sayin’—–check the one photo screenshot above especially!! The one that shows that his license was revoked in 2012!! Then look at the News story underneath that one! About him self-prescribing sleeping pills etc! Also, it appears from that News piece, that he somehow may have been responsible for a women’s death??

Sorry for the bad news! But I love you all with my whole heart & soul. I feel an inner tug at my heart to protect you in any way possible.

Don’t be afraid of opioids


There is a gene called “addiction” that some people are born with and others are not. This gene can cause a human being to become an opioid addict. It is not the medication that causes addiction. The medication is just a tool, that if used improperly can become deadly. But again, the medication is an inanimate object or a tool! Similarly a gun is an inaminate object; but when people use it in the wrong way, it can kill!!  Therefore, people should not be afraid of Opioids any more than they should fear Insulin if they are Diabetic. When used responsibly and properly, as the high majority of chronic pain patients do; opioids can give back lives and save families. Just the same way as a gun can save lives and families, when used properly and for specific reasons. The idea that those opposed to opioids for chronic pain need to understand is that

  1. No one will force them to take opioids, so they should stop trying to force a ban on opioids for chronic pain patients.
  2. Opioids don’t “kill people”. They are only a cause of death if they are taken incorrectly (as with most medications) or if they are used inappropriately.
  3. Chronic pain patients are not addicted to their opioid pain medications. They may be dependent or tolerant but again, there is no “high” involved. There is no scrambling for a “fix”

I found more interesting information about the confusion surrounding opioids and addiction. If you try to GOOGLE “how many people have died from PRESCRIPTION drug overdose in 2018 or 2017?”, it doesn’t give you a straight answer! But if you go to this article written by Josh Bloom Who Is Telling The Truth About Prescription Opioid Deaths? DEA? CDC? Neither?  It becomes much more clear what is happening, sort of?

Let me explain in a bit more detail. You see, Andrew Kolodny, the “king of detox houses”  has become very rich.  He appears to be greedy for more. This man just cannot tell you enough about how chronic pain patients and drug addics are in the same category. Yes, it’s true and he says those words directly on this video at time spot:  1:37 to 1:54 Washington Post Video: “Dr Andrew Kolodny; opioid crisis “not and abuse crisis, it’s an addiction epidemic” ….therefore, I have surmised (along with many other advocates, that this man is just trying to prey on those who are lost to addiction and those who have lost someone to addiction overdose. But do you realize (I’m guessing he does not or he’s covering it up?) that the opioid deaths are not from prescription opioids! They are from illicit Fentanyl/Carafentanyl from Mexico and China mostly. These are deaths that are from mixing illicit drugs possibly with some opioids and the PROP and CDC etc. are then calling them all “opioid deaths”.

In Josh Bloom’s article above he shows the lies, the outright blatent lies that people are being told by the DEA and others. Read this quote from his article above, dated 11-5-18, “Controlled Prescription Drugs (CPDs)…are still responsible for the most drug-involved overdose deaths and are the second most commonly abused substance in the United States.”  (from the  2018 National Drug Threat Assessment,Drug Enforcement Administration, October 2018) ….but it’s not true…it’s deceiving. Josh Bloom adds that “there was a newly released 164-page report by the DEA manintaing that controlled prescription drugs are killing more Americans than any other drug”.   He concludes that this is either deceiving or just confusing.

You see, other drugs are included in these “death tolls” from Opioids. It’s not just prescription opioids but there are depressants,  stimulants and other drugs responsible as well. They are all being “lumped together”. There is even a CDC chart in his article that shows how they seemingly intentionally misled all of the readers. The chart shows “drug poisoning deaths” and in very very small print it states “The CDC drug poisoning death category medications” was formerly “prescription drugs” but was changed for two reasons: 1) the category includes Over the Counter Drugs…..” So now OTC drugs are added too this mess as well. He also included that “annual deaths from NSAIDS vary widely they are significant:  3,000-16,000 deaths per year.”

Medications for chronic pain illnesses are not “bad” and should not be causing so much turmoil in peoples lives. The PROP and people like Kolodny and his minions, have decided that they are “evil” and so now they are spreading it like wildfire. There are his drug treatment centers and the creators of Suboxone/(Buprenorphrine-Reckitt Benckiser and others who want to “get rich” by hurting the innocent people who are chronically ill. The RBI corp. even went to far as to pull off a shocking scheme to profit off of heroin addicts in 2016. You can read about that in my other article called “About Suboxone, Buprenorphrine and Naloxone” . Andrew Kolodny even made a statement to the effect of how this generation of chronically ill/disabled persons living with chronic pain need to die off, so that the next generation won’t be addicted to opioids for chronic pain. Can you even believe that train of thought? The next generation won’t even have the option to have opioids for chronic pain (*or experience pain relief). This in an attempt to stop addiction and overdoses from occurring. In other words,  let’s just knock off  the elderly, the disabled and the chronically ill; so they won’t be a burden to anyone, is that it? Get rid of all of us so that we won’t suck the system? So our kids won’t know anything about pain control? They will be brainwashed into thinking that mindfulness, acupuncture and grounding can “cure” chronic pain illnesses? Do people really believe that? I do believe that some of the complimentary therapies may alleviate a minimal amount of pain for the short term. But they’re not a long term answer for chronic pain.  I know of one U.S.A. Pain organization that really “pushes” the complimentary therapies. Consequently they have actually abandoned a large number of the pain community who rely (*or did rely) on opioid medication therapy for pain control. Where are the human rights groups and other organizations who have the power to affect a positive change for the pain community? Why hasn’t anyone physically helped to change the misdirected concocted fear of opioids?  I’d truly like to have an answer for these questions? It’s hard to believe that those who blindly play “Follow the Leader” to the likes of Andrew Kolodny, just want chronic pain patients to “go away”? But as I write this article, there are more states petitioning to become “right to die” or assisted suicide states.  It is already legal in:  Washington DC, California, Oregon, Colorado, Vermont, Hawaii & Washington (still being disputed in Montana). Are we really 100% useless and disposable, like garbage to be thrown away?

Thats a scary thought to ponder! There are people such as Andrew Kolodny and Organizations such as the CDC, DEA and PROP, who would rather that I die than stay here with my husband, children and grandchildren for as long as humanly possible? All I need to be able to do is to take a pill a few times a day or wear a patch and I can live some semblance of a life outside of my bed or the recliner that I now live in for the best part of most days now. The Opioids do not make us “high”. I’ve never been “high” and all they did was take the edge off of a whole lot of pain; due to a long list of high pain chronic illnesses. Most of us, who are living with chronic pain, just want to live some kind of life. Don’t we have that right, just as others without pain do? Many of us were victims of accidents or crimes or just plain unlucky. Why do they want to make our life unbearable? Or even worse yet, why do they want us dead? Is this Eugenics coming back from the early 1900’s?

 

International Stakeholder Community of Pain Experts and Leaders Call for an Urgent Action on Forced Opioid Tapering | Pain Medicine |Oxford Academic


The aforementioned article proves that there may be hope for the chronic pain community.

In 2016, Andrew Kolodny, (who is co-Director of Opioids policy Research at Brandeis University), along with a group of Addiction specialists & others, went behind closed doors to “invent” & then Implement the 2016 CDC Guidelines regarding the use of Opioids. These were Supposed to be just guidelines for primary care doctors. But they rapidly became “the law” in the eyes of the CDC, DEA, National News Media outlets, Pharmacies & our government officials. Today we even have legitimate, licensed pain management Physicians, heading for the hills! They’re Not following the Hippocratic oath. These physicians are abandoning patients & putting many at high risk, myself included. The way that the chronic pain community has been treated, has been outrageous.

Please feel free to share this article on social media. Print it out and take it with you to your Dr. appointments. Let’s also share it far & wide through the news media channels as well. They’ve been getting it wrong & now need to help change the hysteria & damage that’s been created.

“We, the under signed, stand as a unified community of stakeholders and key opinion leaders deeply concerned about forced opioid tapering in patients receiving lolong-term prescription opioid therapy for chronic pain. This is a large-scale humanitarian issue. Our specific concerns involve:
— Read on academic.oup.com/painmedicine/advance-article/doi/10.1093/pm/pny228/5218985

Protected: What Really Happened Between NPR, USPF and Me?


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Untreated: The Healthcare Crisis-A Documentary


There are several people and organizations making Documentaries about pain patients getting “left behind” in all of the opioid hysteria right now.  A few that I’ve personally taken an interest in, are awesome. I feel that some Organizations, are trying to sway the chronic pain community into thinking that the physicians who are afraid to treat them now with any opioid therapy are correct in doing so.  There are those who promote techniques such as “grounding”, massage therapy, acupuncture and mindfulness as relief for life long chronic & painful illnesses.  There is a place for some of those things. If it is the patients choice, they could be added to other type of medicinal therapies, such as CBD oil, Medical cannabis, Kratom and/or Opioids.  But alone, these “alternative pain control therapies ” don’t help to control chronic &/or intractable pain permanently.  They also won’t help much when someone is living with high amounts of chronic pain from several illnesses on a daily basis. In my opinion, they won’t help someone who had been doing well on other medication therapies for many years and who suddenly got force tapered or stopped from something that gave them some semblance of a life, for over a decade in many cases.

But there is a new documentary coming out soon and it appears to be one of the best that I’ve seen. It looks very professional and it is in no way a “home video” or a “YouTube” video. It appears to be very well done and I really thought the message was and is clear.  Get the government out of the Doctor and patient exam rooms and relationships. Give the physicians back the power to decide along WITH their patients, what method is best suited for the control of their pain. Keep Hollywood, Andrew Kolodny and Dr. Phil out of our personal medical histories and give the chronic pain community back their lives. We are not expendable just because many are unable to work. Most of us worked for many years and paid into the Social Security program and had to have enough “points” from working, in order to receive the SSDI. So we are not “leaches” nor are we taking from our Government.  Most have been very dedicated to helping in society and being a part of every day life. Many chronic pain patients are former chefs, Interpreters, Secretaries and even teachers. Give us the benefit of the doubt and stop treating us like we are unworthy or expendable.

This documentary “Untreated: The Healthcare Crisis” is directed and produced by Time Thread Studios & their production crew, alongside Lauren DeLuca and Jayne Flanders. Lauren & Jayne are the original founders of CIAAG or “Chronic Illness Advocacy and Awareness Group”. They have a support group online and run a Nonprofit for chronically ill and disabled persons living with pain.  I have donated a small amount of $25.00 to this documentary because I believe in it. If you can contribute in any way, even $5.00 would help. If many people could donate even that amount, it would really help in getting this documentary out to the public.  What is stated in this documentary is true; “What we have is an epidemic of ignorance and fear and its ruining healthcare “.  The epidemic is not an “Opioid Epidemic” but one of instilling fear and panic to the non-pain community so they won’t truly understand.  Not until they or someone that they love is living with daily chronic pain and suffering due to the under treatment of pain today in the USA and Canada.

You’ll see in the movie’s trailer, that even the CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, Rakesh Kapoor has stated that “every major deal we’ve done actually, has created good value for share holders”. They are the makers of Suboxone, Bupenorphrine etc.  If you read a couple of my other articles (About Suboxone, Bupenorphrine & Naloxone and another Regarding Bupenorphrine- Suboxone and also Pain, Politics, Suboxone & Bupenorphrine ) regarding these drugs made for addiction, not pain; I believe that you will see a trail of money leading directly from them to this fake and manufactured Opioid “crisis”. “The goal is profits”, it says in the documentary’s trailer. It is without regard to the millions of chronic pain patients.  This movie will show how the Government is trying to control this “crisis” by limiting the supply of opioids for the pain community. It is stated that 319 medications have “no competition”.  The question arises “Is the FDA dragging their feet?” Also you will see that physicians are afraid to prescribe pain medications and we all know that is true. Then there is this statement, that “the intentional removal of effective pain medications”…. from people who live with daily chronic and high pain illnesses, “that is the definition of torture”.

The link to “Kickstarter.com” and the movie trailer is listed below. You’ll notice on the Kickstarter website that they have goals and various gifts for supporting this film.

Please check out this documentary and lets truly try to get this movie out to the public via Netflix and other venues. This documentary has our hearts and our souls in it. It is, in my opinion, a really effective trailer and the documentary, I believe, will even exceed our expectations.  “The pendulum has swung much too far in the wrong direction”, is another quote from “Untreated: The Pain Crisis” movie trailer. Please help by any donation that you can spare and/or by sharing the link below and/or this article to people in your own pain communities.

Click below, to see the trailer:

Untreated: The Healthcare Crisis Movie Trailer

Letter To Leaders of Oregon Forced Taper


Below I’ve copied the letter that I wrote to the leaders of the state of Oregon, regarding their new proposal for forced taper off of all opioids in their state:

To Leaders of the state of Oregon,

I am writing to you with a plea for all of your constituents, as well the entire chronic pain population in the USA. What you are proposing to do, by eliminating opioids, is considered torture by the World Health Organization. You are also setting a precedent for other states, if this action against all opioids goes through!

When I’m proposing a big change, even just in my own household; I try to put myself in the place of other family members that my change will affect. Please put yourself in the “shoes (so to speak)”, of the thousands & later on, millions of chronic pain patients that you’ll be affecting and in reality, torturing. If you remove all opioids from your state, the suicide rate will increase dramatically and many intractable pain patients and their families will suffer.

Please think about what you are doing to trauma victims, burn victims and people with horrible chronic pain illnesses and cancer. Would you want to suffer with daily horrible pain, or would you want to take something that has been working for possibly even a decade (or more); to give you some semblance of a life with your children, grandchildren and/or your family. 

Please reconsider this act of cruelty and torture on those living with chronic pain in your state (& then future areas as well).

Thank you for reading my letter and I truly hope that your conscience will help you make the right decision for people who live with pain 365/24/7. Also remember that it could be you or your child, wife or parent at any time. We never know from day to say, what might happen. One minute I was sipping lemonade at an art fair; the next moment, I was hit by a car when the driver ran through a red light. This started my life of pain and I never could have imagined what this new life would be like.

Peace & Hope,

Suzanne Stewart

**Below is a photo screenshot that I took Of the reply that I received back from them:

Walking Through The Day With a Pain Warrior


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This is not just a story about me, but a story that many pain warriors live through on a daily basis. I know because I talk to many of them often.  Much of this is “our story”. …..I awaken each day; the first thing that I do is cry inside of my head. My body lay still too long.  Four hours is too long! I feel pain and don’t want to get up, or move because I know it will hurt. I’m so tired of the pain. I lay there and contemplate rising to my feet.  I hear my husband call my name.  He always says “Hello my Love, Good Morning! Time to rise and shine!”  He tells our Kitty, Luna, to come and get me. She always listens to him and she enters our bedroom and meows for me to get on my feet. Still lying there, I think about the day ahead and wonder if it will be a busy day?  Will it be one in which I have to do a few things? Or will it be a day that I can be a bit quiet?

After 40 minutes has passed from the time I took my medication, I attempt to get up.  First I sit up and I feel the pain in my back. The Degenerative disc disease, Scoliosis, Spondylitis and multiple herniated and bulging discs, make it almost an impossible feat. The medication does help. It takes the pain down from a 9 to about a 5; and I finally get up.  But then there’s the stairs to tackle. I hold onto the rail and then I lean on the wall. I fumble my way down the stairs, as my cat scampers past me, ready for her cuddles on my way to the kitchen. First, I sit on the ottoman and pet her for a few moments and then it’s time for breakfast. My husband has already made the tea and has my toast ready to go.

He goes to work and I go to my chair, my recliner. In my spot, there is a pillow and a blanket and a settle in for a look on the computer.  What fantastic things have happened overnight on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? I answer a few questions, maybe I help a few people in my support groups? People always volunteer to help me with my groups because they are becoming large for one person to handle on a daily basis. People mean well, but they are also in pain and have much going on in their lives.  Eventually they stop helping and I’m alone again.  I don’t want to give up, because some people just need someone to listen, anyone.  I like being that person. I want to help and do something of value with my life.

Maybe after awhile at the computer, I will either write a blog post, an article for the National Pain Report; or maybe I’ll sign a song that day.  I love the beauty of ASL and the way the emotions come out of my body, hands and face. I can feel something other than pain. Until I’m finished; and then the pain is worse.  I have to rest and take more medications. My husband comes home for lunch because he says that he likes to check in on me.  We’ve been married for 20 years and he always comes home for lunch. I am one lucky lady to have such a knight in shining armor at my side. He never complains about doing so much. He cleans, cooks and does the laundry; after mowing the lawn and fixing whatever needs repaired in the house. Still, he never complains.

In the afternoon, I may visit my granddaughters and my daughter who live only a few blocks away. I’m still able to drive for “personal errands” and for about 10 minutes at a time. If I visit them, I get lots of hugs and kisses and more love and life than you can even imagine. They are rays of sunshine in a world of pain.  They don’t understand that I am in pain and that’s a good thing for now.  I like to light up their faces and give them love and receive that same love in return. My daughter and I may do a couple of errands or have a coffee and chat. It seems like a nice day, right? It’s true, it’s the nicest day you could imagine. Then I come home and I sink into my recliner and sometimes my cat will come and sit with me.  Her love is unconditional and she seems to know when I’m in more pain than usual. She gives me comfort and love, unconditional love.  By that time it is 3:30 in the afternoon.  It’s been a full day and my pain has risen from the activities.  I can’t do anything else.  I don’t have the energy to make dinner anymore. The fatigue is deep and lasts for long periods of time.  I rest and sometimes I nod off in my chair. The cat jumps off of the chair and the back door opens.  My hero is home! The love of my life and my forever soul-mate comes home from another day at his job as a teacher. We muster up something to eat for dinner. Mostly, for him; because eating has become something difficult now. It’s not fun or anything I look forward to anymore. I have IBS, S.I.B.O., and Gastroparesis. There’s so much I’m incapable of eating now.  If I just throw caution to the wind, and eat to be social or “fun”; I suffer more.  There’s the nausea, constant nausea and burning whether it is high or low in my stomach; it’s awful either way.  Then if I eat just a tiny bit too much, I will be sick for hours afterwards. This is something that others don’t see or understand.  My husband sees and watches it from the other side. Then there are the others who I “talk to” on the other side of this computer. Many of them truly do understand.

Then, my friends; it is evening time. The sun goes down and we watch some Television together and maybe read or “play” on the internet for awhile.  All too soon, it is 10:30 pm and my husband goes up to bed. He. has to work in the morning.  He kisses me goodnight and tells me not to stay up too long.  I tell him that I will come to bed as soon as I feel like I’m able to sleep.  Time goes by and it’s one in the morning, then 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM.   I start to nod off as I’m messaging the other “night owls” who are my fellow pain warriors. They are with me at night, because they too cannot sleep either.  We try to give each other support and the strength to persevere.  Finally, the sparks of chatter start to diminish online.  I too, feel like I truly want sleep to come and save me from my body and the pain that is within. Much of the pain is physical, but there is no lack of mental anguish.

***I come from a family that doesn’t know or care that I exist. They are called “M.N.’s” or Malignant Narcissist’s.  I try to stay away, keep my distance. For some reason, I cannot “let go” totally.  Maybe I feel that I owe them something for bringing me into this world. But truly it’s been nothing but pain and abuse as far back as I can remember. Then the failed marriages because I didn’t know how to feel love until I met my soul-mate, Craig. We’ve been married 20+ years now. I thank God for him every day because nobody has ever truly loved me until I met him. Some people ask me why I always go back for more abuse and more pain? I guess he’s still my father and one of my two brothers is still my brother. The other one, I cannot even discuss and won’t.  My oldest brother used to try and protect me, but one day he stopped.  It was the day that I told our family “secrets”. That is when my father took his revenge and turned everyone he could, against me.  I’m not sure why they listen to him? I’ve always been kind hearted, loving and as good a person as I can be. But now the entire family, including dozens of cousins, have shoved me “under the rug”. I am an an outcast.  None of them will talk to me or even look at me if we meet.

I don’t get invited to the very very large family reunions.  Even though I was the only one in my nuclear family that ever attended those functions.  I always took my children to them while they were growing up. I wanted them to have a sense of “family” and belonging. I helped my one cousin, the only one who is the same age as me. She is 6 months older and I always got her “hand-me-downs”. I went for food when she had her big garage sales. I helped her when the family turned against her as her mother was dying. I told her not to let them “punish” her and told her to hold her head up high. They were so mean to her because she couldn’t let her mother come and stay with her when she was very sick and dying. I felt her pain as she told me the stories of her abusive childhood;  we could relate to one another.

But **one day, in 2002, I was in a terrible car accident which started all of the physical pain. No one came for me except my husband. Again, my knight in shining armor there with me and at my side through thick and thin, good and bad.  ***My cousin said she couldn’t come to our house and sit with me for awhile so my husband could do errands. I couldn’t be left alone as I could not even go to the bathroom or dress/undress myself or.    cut my own food. She said that “seeing me in so much pain, made her depressed.  If she was depressed, then her family would suffer.”  Therefore, she could not see me anymore. I’ve not seen her again except at a couple of funerals, but she won’t even look at me. ****I went to my favorite Aunt’s funeral yesterday.  It was in a church and my dad didn’t come because he would have had to have been “nice to me”; and then they might know that we’ve tried to “talk a little bit now and then” again.  Only one cousin spoke to me and only one other even looked my way and smiled.  My Aunts children were welcoming. They knew that their mom and I had a relationship. My cousin, her daughter, told me “mom wouldn’t have had it any other way”; when I thanked her for “letting me come to the funeral”.

**I watched my family all sitting in the same church, singing “Let there Be Peace on Earth”. While the words came out of their mouths, there was no peace in that room.  Only a gathering of many who really don’t know each other anymore, but had one thing in common.  That one thing was the love for a woman who knew how to live and how to love. So you see, there is physical pain and there are other kinds of pain. Some of these exacerbate the others. We just have to surround ourselves with those who want us in their lives.  Those who want to give and receive; or share love with us.

When my head finally hits the pillow at night, I lie down and listen to my husband’s breathing. So glad to hear those sounds of life and know that this person beside me has truly shown me what real love is all about.  I never knew if I would have that, some people never get to know it.  People who are “damaged” like me, have a hard time very often knowing the difference between real love and hurtful kinds of “twisted” love.  I’m fortunate to know this man and lucky to have his love and to have him to love. I try to let the sleep come to me. Relax, sigh and listen to the breath sounds and the sound of the cat purring next to me. This is my real “medicine” in life.  They, along with my children and grandchildren are what makes me happy. I try to remember these thoughts as I fitfully sleep for a few hours, only to wake up to the “fear” of getting up on my feet once more again tomorrow.