This response kind of ticked me off...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by srobins, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. srobins

    srobins New Member

    but it didn't at first. I guess the more I think about it the more it makes me realize how insensitive people can be. I sent an email to a friend who I have not spoken with in a while to let her know the reason I haven't been in touch is because I haven't been feeling well. Her response to me was this:

    I really hope you get to feeling better soon! Im gonna say something, and I really hope it doesnt tick you off because I know that you have several different medical issues. But dont let this illness overcome you! Tell
    yourself each day that you are strong and healthy and do things like you are strong and healthy. There just seems to be something about knowing you are sick that makes you sicker.

    The last sentence is what got to me. Am I just being overly sensitive tonight or does this last sentence bother any of you?

  2. caperkat

    caperkat New Member

    I agree with you. Up until that last sentence, it sounded a little like "don't worry be happy" positive thinking, which is nice but may be coming from a lack of true understanding on your friend's part. The last sentence, however, was cold & insensitive. Put her on your "acquaintance" list, and keep your "friends" list reserved for those who can listen open-mindedly wwith love and support, even when they can't feel what you're feeling.

    (((gentle hugs))) to you.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/03/2006]
  3. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    This came from some one who obviously does not understand our illnesses. However, it does seem to me that she means well and since she really doesn't understand, perhaps I would give her the benefit of the doubt.
    Is there any way that you could educate her a bit about these diseases? I guess you have to decide if you still want to be friends with her.

    Kathy.
  4. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    from a total lack of understanding. The only people allowed to say stuff like that are people who are in it with you. And they won't say stuff like that.

    It's just from ignorance. She wouldn't even benefit from a response since she just can't understand.

    Sofi
  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Well, I think she was just trying to give you a positive pep talk, but just missed the boat a little!!

    No, the last sentence didn't come out right, but give her the benefit of the doubt and respond to her. Like someone said, just mention to her that her last comment (and repeat it to her) just upset you some and you just want to clear the air, or something ...

    My oldest daughter told me the other day when I wasn't feeling well that I was letting me pain rule me ... or something to that effect ... that I am in so much pain that is all I think about. I can't remember exactly what she said but I remember telling her that when you are in constant pain daily that it is hard to erase it from your mind!!

    Hugs,
    Janet
  6. jennypee

    jennypee New Member

    Ha-- I once had a doctor say something similar to me regarding my brain-shattering headaches. A real live MD with years of experience with sick people!

    I'd been his patient for awhile and he hadn't been much help-- finally I knew why. He wanted me to "visualize" my illness away.

    oh geez louise
  7. srobins

    srobins New Member

    I am usually a very positive person and I have tried to turn my being sick into something positive by trying to help and motivate others, so I guess it just really bothered me that someone who knows how I am would write this. I too feel that she probably had good intentions and was trying to make me feel better. It just irritates me that people cannot understand what we are going through. I don't wish the diseases on them, just more understanding I guess.
  8. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    I don't think she was intentionally being insulting or hurtful. You know this person and you know whether it would help to explain that you cannot do things like you are strong and healthy because you are not strong and healthy.

    I know someone who keeps telling me not to identify with my illness. I know he means well. People just don't realize that when you are really sick it is hard to think positive and it's hard to think of yourself as a healthy person.

    A family member once asked me to go shopping and I was having a difficult day and had already pushed myself. I told her that at the rate I was going I would probably end up in bed in a little while. She told me that I should think positive and "expect" that I will be well enough to go shopping. I told her that I no longer push myself and that I have finally learned to read my body signals and resting is the only thing that helps when I'm having a bad day. I don't think she "got it".

    It sometimes doesn't help to explain. Some people only understand when they "walk a mile in your shoes".

    Good luck, Lolalee

    I think it would help to not give people so much power in our lives.
  9. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    Some more I have gotten from people I had thought of as good friends were:

    1. "I miss the old you..you know, the one who use to be fun?"

    2. "But you can't feel as bad as you are saying, you *look* fine to me."

    3. "Why weren't you at church this morning? I saw you with your husband at the grocery yesterday."

    4. "Why can't you meet me in town for lunch? All you have to do is show up and just sit there."

    I have to believe that this is the result of people meaning well, but just can't grasp chronic pain because they do not live with it. I told my husband the other night that with chronic pain or illness, it is not about living one day at a time. It is more like one hour at a time, because you can feel fairly well at...say 3 p.m. and by 4 p.m., you either have to lie down or fall down. That really, really seemed like a light bulb moment for him because he had never realized that things can change so quickly. And he LIVES with me.

    So how to get the point across to someone who does not see you hurting or so fatigued that you are practically beyond comprehension is the real trick. And I surely wish I had the answer for you. I think that the hurt and the realization that we are always being questioned and, at times, simply not believed is every bit as painful as the physical pain itself.

    This is why we must push on, write letters, ask our local newspapers to print something or submit something ourselves, regarding awareness day (BTW-FMS Awareness Day is coming up but right now, I can't recall if it is March 12 or May 12th.)

    We can't just give up, but what we can do is allow ourselves the luxury of avoiding people who we feel have purpously hurt us, or who are being toxic to our serenity. So if being around this person right now is stressing you, then back away for a bit. If she notices and asks you why, maybe then would be a good time to let her know that she has, indeed, "ticked you off."

    Oh and one good tip here...anytime someone says "I don't want to tick you off," or "I don't mean to be rude but"...more times than not, they know what they are doing.
  10. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Invite her for lunch, then put an empty plate in front of her. tell her to close her eyes and imagine there to be a sandwish. Tell her; If you imagine it to be there, it will be there!" have a big happy "new age-y" smile on your face when you say it,,,,,LOL! Sorry, i just couldn't resist, it made me so mad what she said!
  11. cozykitten

    cozykitten New Member

    Your friend has no clue what you deal with every single day. I don't think she was trying to be insensitive or cruel, she just doesnt understand. I think she meant dont become your disease. You know...."that's the girl with the cancer".... or "she's that Lupus lady".

    My husband live with me and will still make comments sometimes that are just unbelievable. It's like he just has this big "brain fart" or something. I think that is what your friend had.....a Big Brain Fart.

    Forgive her ignorance, talk to her, explain as best as you can. Then if she still makes dippy comments, excuse yourself from the table. Ya know?
  12. sarahann61

    sarahann61 New Member

    And, I have had to deal with that kind of attitude. It has always irritated me, when people blame me, for my DD's

    But, I did work as a nurse, for 20 yrs..... And, I always believed ,the more you dwelled on pain, the worse it gets. I still believe it..................

    But, It is very hard to get your mind off of it, when it gets ,bad enough................

    I think, your friend was trying to be a friend.. In her mind ,she was trying to be helpful ... She prob., misses her old friend.....

    I had an Aunt, that was going fishing with her DH, she had a cough, for some time... She had a lung X-ray, and learned that she had cancer of the lungs.... She never was the same, after that.. I imagine, she was just pushing herself before, and she stopped, when she learned, she was really sick.........We loved her, and wanted her to live, but she didn't... Glad,I didn't tell her, what your friend told you......

    When ,we have to push ourself ,to even get out of bed, and then make it through the day, trying to accomplish something..... It really hurts, when no one understands... I guess, I would like to be bragged on, once in awhile... But, I have figured it out, It won't happen, in my lifetime

  13. acheallover

    acheallover New Member

    I believe that your friend is trying to be upbeat, and really did not do anything intentionally to upset you. I would also suggest that you contact her right away and let her know how this e-mail made you feel. If you both truly have a friendship, I am sure that she will "hear" how you felt and give her an opportunity to respond to your "feelings". Sometimes we all say things that are taken the wrong way. Life is to short to be upset over this, blessings to you and your friend, Phyllis
  14. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    i like that lol

    i also like the flu and the sandwich suggestions. as shes been a friend for such a long time maybe it was just a mo when she tried to be nice and totaly messed up.

    i once told a good friend "i knew you didnt feel well your house was always messy"!! she had just been dx as fm and has had lupus since forever :)

    i didnt mean anything harsh and i feel terrible about it but quite simply it was my brain fart.
  15. ldbgcoleman

    ldbgcoleman New Member

    I would give her the benifit of the doubt the email sounds like she was trying to be helpful but she missed the boat. There is no way someone who doesn't have this can understand. My friend lost her husband and I can feel bad for her but I cannot truly understand what she is going through because.

    If this has been a good friend in the past cut her some slack. Also know that what you mean does not always come across in emails. There is no facial expression or tone of voice. I wouldn't fret over the email it's not worth the stress! Take Care and feel comforted in the fact that those here do understand. Lynn
  16. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    you're friend is telling you it's all in your head.

    She really hopes it doesnt tick you off, how generous of her.

    Sorry, I've had my fair share of friends like that and they're not worth the thought.

    love
    Rosie
  17. eeyoreblue02

    eeyoreblue02 Member

    If this person is important to you, don't let the remark spoil your friendship. It is so hard for people who have never walked in your shoes to understand. I know my daddy tells me sometimes that maybe I should think about something else. I know he doesn't understand and I have never been mad at my daddy in my whole life. I know he loves me.

    Imagine yourself trying to think of something to say to a friend when you don't understand their situation. I remember trying to express my sympathy to someone whose grandchild had passed away at the age of 2. I simply said, I have no idea how you're feeling, but I want you to know that I am so very sorry for you.

    Her response was, You're right. You don't know how it feels and I appreciate you saying that. She said some people would say, Oh, i know how you're feeling and she knew they didn't because they'd never been through it before.

    I didn't mean to be so long. Perhaps someday the world will be better educated about these diseases. In the meantime, maybe we can try to educate those close to us.

    Hang in there,

    Linda :eek:)
  18. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    We think we've crossed the hurdles, and gotten used to being reclusive, in pain, and all the things that come with this ugly disease. Then someone says something that just hits us the wrong way. You wonder, 'have they felt that all along??' Or, are they trying to tell me that they don't really think I'm as sick as I am??

    I'm sure 50% of it is US reacting to something out of pain, and the other 50% is ignorance on the other person's part. I lost a very close friend after I came down with this-she couldn't handle the 'new and not so improved ME', and I couldn't handle her calling me a drug addict, feeling disappointed in me all the time because I couldn't 'keep up', etc. It's hard, Honey.

    Sit back and evaluate your relationship and go deep inside your heart and ask if it's worth letting go of your friendship. If you have other issues with this person, and you know she's going to be throwing this out at you, and probably never going to 'get it'-now's the time to say 'bye-bye'. And move on. If not, let it go, and give her another chance.

    She's hurting, too. And grasping at the right words to say to try to tell you how much she misses YOU! I feel for you-I can almost feel your hurt and pain as I'm typing. Been there, done that. Some things are better off laid to rest. Sometimes you don't have a choice but to move on-alone. It's really in YOUR court. Good luck, and God bless!!! PG
  19. neen85

    neen85 New Member

    is bleeding profusely,having a heart attack,or is suffering from a broken leg or arm??? Daneen
  20. lilchisler

    lilchisler New Member

    "There just seems to be something about knowing you are sick that makes you sicker."

    I have to tell you that people really don't mean to be so stupid sometimes. They really are trying to be helpful...my mom, the kindest person I know, will say, oh, just try not to think about it and it won't bother you so bad. I try not to get mad because I know that she means well, but to me ...it is like saying to a man who has lost his leg in an accident to "try and not think about it" or "imagine that you are as good as you were before you lost your leg"...Well, he can think that all day long or try not to think about it, but the minute the poor soul gets up to walk...he will have in instant reminder during his fall to the floor.

    All his positive thinking in the world will not change the fact that he has one leg.

    He is doing himself a disservice if does not think about it because he needs to learn new ways to cope and do things...and live his life with what he "has left" not with what he "has lost".

    The hard thing with our sicknesses is that our losses are not as visible as a lost limb or a terrible facial disfigurement. They are losses with scars, just the same though not as easily seen by the naked eye. They are emotional,internal wounds that weigh on the physical and wear us down.

    I know that most of the time that my family and friends have pure motives and are trying to help. In truth, there isn't much that they can do to make me better.

    I really am beyond the point of wanting help. I am at the place, ashamedly so, that I really just want to be left alone.
    My sister in law says that I need to open myself up and let people know more and maybe they could help more.
    She might be right, but I don't know how to explain this crap to myself. It is definitiely a connective tissue disorder with me affecting my mental state. I don't know how to convey that to anyone.

    It's hard to not get frustrated with family and friends.I am constantly in the state of forgiveness...either asking for it or giving it...haha.

    I wish you the very best my friend.

    I do think that we all make mistakes. If you care about this person, forgive them and go on. If you find a way to explain your illness and your hurt in a way that they can understand...godspeed, but sometimes, you have to let it pass because this illness is so deep and vast that it is hard to comprehend unless you are the one dealing with it.

    It is pretty hard to ignore something that is constantly in your face.
    This illness does not CONTROL ME, but I do spend a lot of my time CONTROLING IT through any and all methods that might work.

    ANd that at times does take away from a lot of other areas of my life that I used to enjoy.
    It is just the way that it is. If family and friend (for me) understand, great, if they do not, then I can live with that too, but it takes too much of my energy to keep defending an illness that I live with and tolerte everyday that I hate.

    Better days to you, thanks for letting me vent too,

    "lilchisler"


    [This Message was Edited on 03/04/2006]