Shame around health issues


I have a host of minor to moderate health issues going on at the moment. I moved to Puerto Rico so I am also navigating a new healthcare system and language barrier on top of it. I got a concierge doctor to help with this, but the language barrier is still there and he is terribly disorganized and not looking at my health holistically at all.

As I am trying to navigate this all, I am finding some shame coming up and invalidating myself and my symptoms. I think this is an old pattern from my parents.

I have had achiness and food intolerances for 15 years and it’s had a big impact on my life. My Mom gets frustrated when I discuss my health and tells me to stop complaining. My Dad has also gotten frustrated and yelled at me asking why I have these issues and other people don’t.

I don’t think he was trying to be mean, he was just frustrated for me and expressing it unskillfully, but I felt shamed.

I also had a long-term boyfriend who was frustrated by my food intolerances and digestive issues and would verbalize it as if there was something else I could be doing to control it. As I type this, I think how fucked up and unsupportive their responses were.  It’s hard now that I see I am doing it to myself too.

I want to be kind to myself and honor my physical experience and intuition during this healing process. I actually think that’s part of the healing! But just now, I was texting a friend about my swallowing difficulties which create some panic for me (technically my thoughts do, yes) and I realized I was worried about her judging me for talking about health and I apologized for it before she could complain.

I was anticipating her displeasure and pushing me away as my Mom does. I deserve to be supported. I’m not imagining my symptoms and I deserve to heal. How do I internalize these new thoughts and quit shaming myself or planting the seed that my friends will judge me and not want to be around me?