My Scoliosis Story
I was 17 years when the doctor gave the horrifying diagnosis that I had ‘idiopathic scoliosis’ .It meant that my spine was twisted, I was a hunchback. That the only cure was surgery with the possibility of being disabled by it, that was not really a choice. The term ‘idiopathic’ means not knowing the exact cause seems more like the medical community’s laziness in finding the actual cause of this deforming disease. There seems to be hardly any research and studies about what really causes it. Louise Hay in her book ‘You Can Heal Your Body’ lists the metaphysical causes for spinal misalignment which actually make sense when I consider my own abusive childhood.
The Final Straw Broke The Camel’s Back
My trauma history predating my scoliosis development:
1) 11 years my mother died. I can honestly say that up to 11 years I was physically and emotionally healthy.
2) One month later a cousin 10 years older than me came and tried to sexually molest me, my paternal grandmother blamed me, he went on to molest for 4 more years while I was sleep.
3) Post my mother’s death my father became more abusive and violent. I just had to do what he wanted. Plus he would threaten to throw us out of the house. The cousin who began molesting started alienating my brother (2 years older who was very close to me) by bringing porn books for my brother so he would brush me aside, pick on me and make fun of me.
4) An aunt who was my father’s favorite would take me to her house and make do her housework plus I had listen to her marital woes with her husband. In my nightmares I see her ugly face spewing out the venom for her husband, “Anyone in my place would have left Rudy long back”. The irony was that they were the leaders of the Marriage Encounter group of the Catholic church. Even if I did not want to go to that woman’s house my father would get aggressive and force me to go. I just could not express any choice. I was trapped and invalidated.
5) I had to take care of my 2 cousins who were aged 1 and 2 years to help my grandmother because the mother came and dumped them on her mother-in-law claiming that her job was more important. The kids had real attachment issues, they would cling to me, like Harlow’s monkeys. From the ages 11-13 years, it was an on off thing of having to care of these kids. My contribution was neither acknowledged nor rewarded. In fact the kids’ father (my mother’s brother) would make fun of me and disparage me. When he brought something to eat for his kids, this man didn’t have the decency to offer me. It was so insulting to be standing around while he gave his kids to eat the best things money could buy since he was financially well-off.
6) The final straw was when I was around 12 years, when my mother’s sister’s husband began lustfully staring at me. Since she thought she was Mrs Beauty Queen, she got so enraged, she accused me of trying to seduce her husband, my maternal grandmother took her side because she was her favorite daughter who was always bringing her gifts and goodies. The shock was so great that I collapsed and fell down. Soon afterwards my spine began curving. This was literally the final straw that broke my back.
All these events occurred from ages 11-13 years. By age 14 years my spine began showing signs of curvature, my friend commented that one of my shoulders was higher than the other. When my father noticed my curved back he began pushing me forcing me to stand straight. This went on for over 2 years. I was 17 when I was finally taken to the doctor for consultation.
The core reason of scoliosis is:
- loss of parent or a close loved one through death or divorce
- dramatic changes in home environment
- having to cope with dominating caregivers
- not being able to express one’s choices
- having to suppress one’s feelings
Since the last year as my traumatic memories heal, my back is slowly becoming aligned. The sad part is that still scoliosis is being treated physically instead of first being treated psychologically. A Holistic Understanding of Scoliosis – Jon Burras also does partially explain the development scoliosis.
I had to survive in the threatening environment and control distressing emotions from overwhelming me. I used to pray that I would not go mad in my toxic home. As Louise Hay puts it ”I had to stuff and suppress my intense feelings’. This stops the emotional part of the brain from growing so the left brain takes over leading to lopsided growth.
I look forward to hearing of stories which support my theory – Child Abuse/Neglect causes idiopathic scoliosis. Do support my research into healing of scoliosis and mental illness.
I will be writing more on this topic in future