Hello, I am new here and have never posted. I have been in the background reading the forum. I realized this week that my situation has taken a mental toll, and I need help. I wasn't sure where to start posting, but I am concerned about my current relationship, so I thought I would start here.
I have read through the forums, and I have to admit that I feel shame frequently that even though I have not yet been diagnosed with cancer, I feel the need to spill my guts. It's hard to find support, mainly because people don't know how to give it. Some tell you stay positive and go on their merry way while other offer unsolicited advice. I know that none of that comes from a place of not caring, but I can't do this alone anymore. I feel alone.
I am 31 years old. I married my first real boyfriend in 2011 (22 at the time) and things didn't turn out well. I gave up on our marriage in 2017 when we were going through a financial hardship and I realized that apart from other interpersonal issues between us, my spouse was never going to try to work at meeting me in the middle and wanted to go into his own cave and let me or others financially support us. He was working a part time at a restaurant and I had started teaching. I asked him to meet me in the middle by asking for more hours and maintaining 30 a week, this was too much. We couldn't live where we were anymore and I paniced. I had been struggling in the marriage for a long time and my respect for him had a slow death, and with it went attraction. I just saw years of hardship and loneliness ahead of me, living seperate lives (that was already happening) and no future plans or goals. After a year and a half I realized that my absence had not instituted any kind of change, he was just waiting for me to come back and as he said "get it out of my sytem." I told him I wanted a divorce. The divorce only became final this summer.
I met some one new after we agreed to the divorce. I knew I wasn't ready for a relationship, and I didn't think he was serious about it. Even so, we started spending more time together, and becase of the initmate nature of things, we agreed to be exclusive. We talked about what that meant, virtual, physical, etc. He told me how much he loved me and how much he wanted to be with me. I started to realize that I had feelings for him, and we became more serious. Three months in I had a pap smear. My doctor told me that it was abnormal but not to worry. She said I had HPV, strands 16 and 18. She said not to worry. She did a biopsy. She said not to worry. I worried from the beginning. She said she would do a LEEP (LLETZ?) because there was CIN 2. I opened up to the boyfriend. I told him. I told him that I felt very vulnurable, we redifined our relationship again. He said he was behind me and had my back. I had to postpone by LEEP twice because of trips to the ER due to I.C. flair ups and my mom having a heart surgery and my sister getting married. By the time I had the procedure, it had been six months since my initial smear. She said they found CIN 3, and they couldn't tell if it was successful at removing the cells because the margins were unclear and results were inconclusive. She told me to go live my life, avoid stress, come back for biopsy in 6 months.Then stress found me. A month later, I found out my boyfriend had been cheating on me our entire relastionship. I had been telling myself that the strange feelings I was having was just guilt over failing my marriage and that I needed to allow myself to love and be happy. I was shocked . Then came more revelation, that it had been with more people than I can count even to this day (online) and several in person, one of which I have known for over a decade. There was no disscretion in who or how, ages, looks, lifestyle. He was not selective, he effectively told me it was about variety and the taboo of it. This hurt so bad, that it didn't matter who, it just had to be an availble orafice, as long as it wasn't me. My mental health and self-esteem crashed. I knew that in the time I needed him most, he was stabbing me in the back. Instead of processing it and waiting, I took him back quickly, admittedly because I thought if I didn't I would lose him forever. This is where all of the unhealthy thoughts startd growing, and they have spread out of my control. I didn't want to lose him. I didn't sign up for meaningless flings to get in the way of us. But then the other side of it, they didn't, he did. He made the choice to pursue these people and carry on relationships with them and lie to my face on a daily basis. But he swore he was done with it, cut everyone off, and started seeing a therapist. I thought if he was willing to be honest and repair the damage, it was worth a shot, because I love him. Now I am finding out that he never actually conversed with any one, that he blocked them on social media. I told him that it would have meant something to me if he had bothered to tell them never to contact him again, that it was a mistake, and he chose me. He didn't understand this.
My friends all knew about it, one person he was involved with was one of their sisters. I was ashamed. We both were on board with keeping our relationship out of the public until we could become stronger and healthier.
He needed me to get over it too fast. After about a month, it was time for to stop crying about it or bothering him with questions. Then my closest friend went into the hospital and died in two weeks. This was last christmas. I felt like my heart was broken, and I felt more attached to my boyfriend than ever. But I didn't trust him. I still don't. I try to reason wih him and get him to understand where I am coming from. We ran into some one he cheated with at a music gig of his, and he didn't acknowledge it. I went into the bathroom and felt like I went out of my body. I had no idea how bad I would feel when I saw this person again. I called a LIFT just to get out of that place because he hadn't asked me if I was ok. We fought about that. He said he was going to talk to me about it later and "didn't realize" that was her. I had pointed it out, and he had said nothing. I didn't feel supported. I still don't. And yet I am stil here. That scares me.
I had my six month biopsy this spring, she said it showed CIN 1, and that the HPV infection was still present in my pap smear. She said to go live my life and come back in six months.
After the biopsy this fall, it showed CIN 2 in the endorvervical tissue. She recommended a cone biopsy (cold knife conization) ASAP. I had it on Thursday after almost calling it off several times. I had to fight myself to even go to the hospital. My mom asked me while I was waiting for surgery again why she wouldn't wait. I finally broke down crying and told her she wasn't helping me be strong and understanding I had already made the decision. I needed her to support me. Friday my doctor called and said they found CIN 3, the margins were unclear, and there is not enough cervix left to perform ay more prevention. She is referring me to a cancer doctor.
I am beside myself. I don't feel like I have any one to talk to who understands this. My body is not fighting this virus, and I feel like at this point with how aggressive the changes have been, there's only one step left unless it spontaneously regresses. I can't fathom how much it has made me feel broken and ruined, although my brain knows that my worth is not measured in my ability to have children or to even have all of my sexual organs in tact, I continue to feel like I am losing it all little by little. I feel so out of control of my own emotions. I go to work and I feel numb, I go home and I cry. I feel like I left a marriage and have faced hardship ever since. There are nights when I am just ugly crying and I literally feel like there is no hope for my future. I feel the need to pick up the phone and call my friend, and then I remember she is dead. I doubt my ability to make decisions about my treatment because of how unstable I feel. My boyfriend has gotten more angry and defensive over time, and I can't stop needing reassurance. I see him send an emoji to a coworker, remember that he was pursuing some one he was working with and introduced me to, my thoughts spiral. We go to see his family, and I remember that he messed around with his brother's wife's sister, my thoughts spiral. A woman from the church he used to work at that he had been sexting with sends him a message about his absence, my thoughts spiral. Doubt crept in, and ever since, I cannot tell the difference between my own intuition and paranoia. I'm scared of his capabilities for betrayal and I'm scared to be alone. I don't know how trust him, and know that if I don't, inevitably the relationship will end any way. He tells me I can and need to start trusting him. I want to feel safe, but I do not, and I feel like if he cheated before when I was whole, why would he not while I'm losing my mind. When I ask for reassurance he tells me I am fishing for compliments. He looked me right in the eye and told me " I am here with you and for you" when I told him my results. I couldn't stop pulling that apart in my head. My thoughts spiral again, because I remember he said that to me and then had sex with some one else. I want to feel safe and loved by him, and I don't know that I ever will. I want to believe him that he's not doing it anymore, but I know that deep down that even if he isn't now, he might later, and that I need more than just his "good behavior." I need him to let me know that my forgiveness is important to him, more than just my worry an inconvenience. I want to believe that if we are on the same page we can make it, and that I don't have to lose his presence in my life. With him I found affection, companionship and passion. He is adorable, nerdy and quirky, and now as I type this he has been buying me food and taking care of my needs as I recover. So i try to talk it out and smooth it over. He reminds me that he won't live under the shadow of his mistakes and that since I made the decision to stay with him I have to start trusting. I don't know how to move forward in my relationship. I don't know how to feel ok with my prognosis. I don't know who I can count on. I don't know how to feel ok with where I am at in my life. I don't know how to trust. Help?
I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read this.