Posted in Chronic Pain, Stigma Talks

Silent torture

Her test results had just come in
this time they all were sure
There wasn’t much to do for her
Except hurt and endure.

She looked the same
despite the news
the doctor diagnosed.

They haven’t found a cure just yet”
Said he, “but there’s still hope”
she thought perhaps with research
…she just will try to cope.

She looked the same
despite the news
the doctor diagnosed.

She grabbed her purse
he tailed not far
she wished he could disperse
and not get in her car.

She named him her tormentor
he stalked her every day;
Everywhere she went
he always had his way.

He leaned up close where
he could hurt her
she cried out of despair
rubbing her throbbing knee.

When she got home
he trailed behind
and struck out at her knees
she cried in pain
And fell down hard
she’d dropped her purse and keys.

The school bus came
she had his treats
he squealed with joy
and hugged her tight
She beamed at her ‘lil boy.

That night she ran a bath
to help relieve her pain
She wondered if her prayers
for cures would only be in vain.

She looked the same
despite the news
the doctor diagnosed.

That night she called her sister
to talk about her day…
the verdict was sinister
the fact she had RA.

And yet she looked the same
despite she had RA.
No one could really see
she suffered so much pain
with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

She looked the same
despite the news
the doctor diagnosed.

Let’s hope and pray
that research may
find a cure some day
so those who are in pain
their prayers won’t be in vain.


After reading an article on the invisible pain of mental illness, it reminded me that there are many other conditions that cause pain that are not visible or obvious to people.  A person living with chronic pain does not necessarily walk with a cane, have their arm in a sling nor get around in a wheelchair.

This past week my pain has increased and I had to pick up several items at the drug store late one night.  It’s a 24 hour pharmacy I pass by after my late shifts.  I set my recycled bag at the end of the counter and for the first time, the cashier just left all my purchases on the counter and proceeded to serve the next person in line.  She never asked me if I could fill my bag either. I found that curious as they are supposed to fill it for you.  I guess it was passed midnight and she was trying to keep her energy for her night shift…but still.  The items were heavy and I was in pain.  Of course I didn’t say anything to slow things up for the other patrons waiting in line.  We were ALL tired. But it bothered me because if I had my arm in a sling or had a cane, the cashier may have been more accommodating.

By the time I got in the car I was in a lot of pain, tired and pretty agitated.  But stress does NOT help either…just upsets you and actually increases the pain.

The next time you see someone who seems to be opening a door at a mall or store, a bit too slow for you, try not to sigh with impatience but rather offer to help or open the door.  You have no clue by just looking with the naked eye what a person is feeling.

© Cheryl Roberts, Stigmahurtseveryone, August 30, 2013

Related articles:

The invisible becomes visible
Types of Arthritis

Living with chronic pain




A little bit about moi: I am a mom, a nana, a sister, a woman, a friend, a human being…a youth counsellor, Family Life Educator. I have been working in the helping profession for over 25 years and volunteered in various capacities from youths to seniors. Tournesol is my nom de plume for haiku and other Japanese form poetry here at Tournesoldansunjardin I hope you enjoy reading through my daily waka. I also have another blog "Stop the Stigma" where I may stand on my soapbox now and then and hope it will become a place to drop in and share or comment on issues important to you. In that vein this could be a great way to learn from each other. Namaste!

7 thoughts on “Silent torture

  1. Your words give voice to living with chronic pain. I have my physical pains, and my mental health issues I call my brain pain.
    I agree about invisibility in chronic conditions. The only time doors were opened and assistance offered was when I had fractured my wrist in July 2009 and had a cast . Cast off, arm out of sling — not as many doors held open!


    1. Yep, I hear you …most people do NOT understand this pain. I used to tell myself, “Well, at least I can feel something, that means I’m alive.” But the agony drains energy and even has the nerve to wake me at night! Since it ends with an “a” I assume it is a female, Fibromyalgia sounds like a jilted lover…filled with scorn and spite…what a bitch.


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