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Til Death Do Us Part: Married to my Chronic Illness

I was a child bride.

I had no say because this was an arranged marriage. I didn’t ask for this. 

At that young age I stood there in my wedding gown; you may know the kind. It ties in the back and is not very modest. I wore this gown and a hospital bracelet was slid around my wrist to seal the deal. 

A circle, this hospital band – a symbol of eternity. 

It has no beginning and it has no end. Round and round in circles… this marriage will last forever.

The ceremony went on: “Do you Sara take disease to be your…”

Disease? DISEASE?!!

Illustration of young blonde haired girl in a hospital gown with tears falling from face

No! I don’t take disease… but I had no choice. There was nothing I could do in this arranged marriage that I had no say in. 

“I do?”

 What else could I say? 

In sickness and in health
til death do us part

We’ve been married awhile now and I cannot take the physical abuse much longer. I’ve been cut, I’ve bled, and I have the scars to prove it. I have been forced to poison myself because of disease and disease has nearly killed me. The physical abuse is one thing but it’s the mental abuse that has really changed me. Over the years I have been cut off from the world; slowly isolated from my friends, my family, and my job so that I lost my identity. It’s a form of control and disease loves to control me. There have been times when the abuse stops and disease is nice for awhile. I am allowed to go back to work and I am allowed to do the things that I love to do but once I start to gain some independence back the abuse starts again. I have learned that it is just best to turn off emotion, to not get my hopes up, and to not expect much. It’s easier that way. 

A circle, this hospital band, a symbol of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end.  Round and round in circles... this marriage will last forever.

And so this is my life. I do not work anymore because disease doesn’t let me. I hardly see my friends or my family because of disease. I am here in this house all alone just the way disease likes it. I am isolated and left to the voices in my head that are no longer nice after years of the abuse. 

And just like the hospital band I wear on my wrist, the symbol of our unity, round and round we go in this marriage.


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