Amanda grew up experiencing constant trauma. Her mother was deeply abusive, to the point that Amanda’s father was given custody at 6 years old. He moved the family to California and joined a religious cult, where Amanda would continue to suffer abuse with nowhere to turn. Having lived through emotional, physical and sexual trauma throughout her young life, Amanda was desperate to escape a never-ending cycle of terror. She fell in love and got pregnant at 16, starting a new life with a supportive partner who remains at her side decades later. While working to ensure she would not pass on her trauma to her children, she also had to reckon with emerging chronic pain and other horrific symptoms that would eventually be diagnosed as endometriosis.
In this episode of the Major Pain podcast Amanda shares her story of surviving trauma, and the connection between childhood abuse and endometriosis. This is a disease of the reproductive organs, in which tissue that normally grows inside the uterus starts to grow outside, causing intense pelvic pain and a variety of other symptoms and potential damage. Amanda’s first sign of endometriosis was a ruptured ovarian cyst at just 19 years old, but it took another 10 years of intense pain to actually get diagnosed. Many doctors brushed off her complaints as drug seeking behavior, or assumed she was experiencing normal menstrual pain. After finally being diagnosed with endometriosis she underwent a partial hysterectomy, being falsely told this procedure was a cure. When symptoms persisted it took another 10 years to find appropriate care. Now, after more than 20 years living with this disease, she has discovered mounting research that childhood trauma can trigger endometriosis symptoms. She is sharing her story in the hopes that others can break through cycles of abuse to find the care they deserve from doctors who are willing to listen.
This episode contains disturbing content and discussion of abuse that may be upsetting or triggering to some listeners.
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