Moms and Migraines

I’m going to see my nurse practitioner in a couple hours of hours about migraines. I feel like knowledge has made the experience worse cause I’m more aware now of every symptom. And also I now realize that I’ve been having regular migraines since I was as young as seven, if not younger. That’s 27 years of quiet suffering, not wanting to make a fuss, all while secretly fearing that I’m a hypochondriac. 
I have never been examined for any condition I do not have a positive diagnosis for, but simply having so many diagnoses makes me feel like surely I must be a faker. Never mind that they are all conditions which are commonly comorbid with one another, that anxiety, depression, and PTSD are usual playmates. I feel lie a fraud. I have imposter syndrome for invisible disabilities. 
It’s to be expected, really. I wasn’t allowed to be sick as a child. It was literally a sin or a sign of demonic possession. Exorcisms are no fun and while confessions bring a cathartic relief, they eat away at the self in a kind of spiritual anorexia. My hyper religious, fanciful grandmother liked to imagine she waged war with invisible forces more mystical than germs and viruses. But it was my mother who convinced me I’m a liar. 
I can only remember two acknowledged illnesses in all my childhood: the chicken pox I was encouraged to contract from my brother, and a weeklong flu that nearly killed me the first winter we lived without my grandmother. Literally every other instance was chalked up to me “faking it”, to use my mother’s words. She was a single mother in a male dominated job: taking off early to pick up a sick kid was frowned on. I was a chronically ill, suicidally depressed, bullied child with an eating disorder and daily migraines who got a guilt trip about the sexism at her job. 
It has been impossible for me to pursue diagnosis and treatment for all that ails me, because I was desperately trying to have my mother’s love, still. Always. I made a decision last week to stop trying, to let her try to make things right with me, or to let things between us be wrong. I can’t mend what I didn’t tear. I did the absolute best I could to parent myself as a child and even tried to involve her in the process but she was very much checked out. She couldn’t even be bothered to ever once tell me I wasn’t allowed to smoke cigarettes when I picked up the habit as a minor living in her home. I was my own teen mom, with a migraine the whole time. 

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