Eyecatcher For adolescents

14-year-old girl

I’m 14 years old. I had chronic abdominal pain.

The doctors told me repeatedly that I was a child of divorce and therefore I would have to have pain. Also, I was examined for everything. I was in hospital several times. Almost none of the tests had any result.

My family was always very worried about me. Consideration was always given to my pain, which was the focal point. My mother often sat by my bed with me as I could hardly move for the pain. But she was the one who never gave up and kept searching until we had an appointment at the Children’s and Adolescents’ Clinic in Datteln.

The time in Datteln was a wonderful time. I didn’t feel like I was in a hospital. We were like a little family. New kids were always coming and some always had to go. Each one had some sort of pain and so in that sense we were all the same. You met a lot of people. You learned that you had control over your pain. You learn to understand your pain and you learn what you can do about it. You learn various techniques. For example, I learned the safe place, vault, attention exercises, ABC and muscle relaxation. These techniques brought me a long way, because for the first time I had the feeling that I had control over the pain. But I was always supported. My abdominal pain was given no more attention. So, I didn’t concentrate on my pain and in that way the pain diminished, for the more I thought about it the worse the pain became.

My daily life changed somewhat after the time in Datteln. I now have my abdominal pain relatively well under control. Sometimes there are set-backs but afterwards it gets better again. I have learned how I can deal with my abdominal pain. They taught me a lot and through this I managed to break through the “vicious cycle”. I never would have thought it possible that my chronic abdominal pain would ever end, but I definitely wanted to manage it and I have. I have practiced and used all the techniques that were taught to me and with time these techniques become very stable and you can rely on them.

I find I have become another person. I have become me. I was very shy, have always done or acted as others wanted me to and I was often used. Now I’m self confident, give my own opinion, don’t let things like arguments come so close to me. Furthermore, I have also changed outwardly so that I now wear things that make me noticeable, like colorful clothing. I don’t hide myself anymore.

I am still in treatment with a therapist from the ward. Otherwise I wouldn’t have come as far as I have. I have still needed support since the time in hospital, since I would never have managed it on my own. I have achieved a lot with my therapist, and I’m very thankful that he has supported me all this time. Without him I wouldn’t have got my life back on track. I now live like a normal 14-year-old girl – which I always wanted.