When I wrote this post: breast-necrosis-photos I mentioned that, as the necrosis was developing, I kept the extent of the damage from my husband and my family as long as I could. There are a few reasons. They may not make much sense but if you’re going through this, I think perhaps you can relate.
1) “I don’t want to be a burden”. No one wants to cause problems for their family. As women we generally put everyone else’s needs before our own. When we’re sick or hurt we usually keep it to ourselves until it’s really bad. Even then, most of us hesitate to ask for what we need for fear of being a burden.
2) “It’s my fault. I’ll handle it myself.”. My big guilt trip for the longest time was that somehow, this was all my fault. Because of that, I was going to deal with it myself. I’m a big advocate for personal responsibility. Since I felt responsible for what happened, I was bound and determined to handle it all on my own.
3) Fear. When I was in my late teens my mother went through something similar to what I have gone through. My father had an extremely hard time dealing with it and it drove them apart. I was stark raving terrified that if my husband saw what was happening to my breasts, he would leave me.
4) Sheltering. My husband led a pretty sheltered life before all of this. I wanted to protect him and shelter him from the trauma so that only one of us really had to deal with it. I put up an extremely good facade too. 99.9% of the time he had NO idea that I was in a mental and emotional Hell.
For those reasons, I kept the necrosis hidden. He was not allowed in the bathroom during my bandage changes. He was also not permitted to see me when I showered. I gave him updates after my check ups with the plastic surgeon but he was never permitted to see. Not until much later when I had absolutely no choice in the matter.
Some people call this bravery. Since it was fear based, I still think of it as self preservation.