Always the strong one(vent)

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 6/21/2008 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I don't post here much at all, but I'm reading all the time. Just being here sometimes makes me feel a little better, and I do learn a lot.
Now my little vent.  My sister has CD, as well as myself, and recently diagnosed was my 23 year old son.  My son being diag. with it just broke my heart.  Anyway, I'm always the one my sister calls when she is having a really bad day, especially CD related.  I talk her through it and usually make her feel a little better.  My son calls me everyday to give me his update on how he is feeling.  I really do love being able to help them, and give my best advise.  But there are some days that I really need someone to lean on. Someone I can tell how much I feel like crap, and how bad I really hurt.  I have a hard time talking to my sister or son, cause I don't want them to feel bad for me. Crazy me.  but I can't take any ofthe Crohn's meds, and since being diagnosed 10 years ago have tried EVERYTHING, had 2 resections,  have never had a remission, not even sure what that really is.  My sister never had it as bad a me, and now she does, and doesn't know how to deal with it, so I am there for her. Meds do  work for her, she just needs to find the right one now, she just moved and has a new DR. so there is that process.  My son on the other hand is just learning what my life has been like for the past ten years, and i feel bad for him.  I really hope they find something to work for him.  He is in the military and  they are discharging him for the CD. 
I am in unbelievable pain and feel sick all the time, and really wish all this would just go away.  I know we all hate this DD.  But lately it is just really getting to me.
Thanks for letting me get all that off my chest!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 6/21/2008 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dory:

Maybe your weakness right now is your strength. Sometimes we are so busy living the "role" that we write for ourselves that we don't know how to step out of character. I too have always been the strong one. When I lost my six month old daughter, I was the one consoling my family. I thought that any weakness I showed would only hurt them more. My mother was grieving not only the loss of her precious grand-child but also her daughter's loss. I didn't want to make it worse so I internalized and rationalized and intellectualized my grief. For years after I was diagnosed with crohn's, I hid the extent of the pain and suffering from everyone -- even my husband had no idea that when I would go quiet and disappear during my episodes, it was so he wouldn't see me puking my guts out and writhing in pain.

All the while I held this concept of being the one who could take it. The strong one. I'm lucky. I had some good health care providers and friends who finally sort of did an intervention. It has been a process over the last five years to rewire the circuits and allow myself to be weak/sick. Amazing things have happened as a result. I have discovered so much strength in my husband -- strength I had never allowed him to exhibit, and so much compassion in my children, and so much support from my friends. My weakness has allowed all of them to grow within our relationship and I've come to realize that in my strength I was actually very selfish. Everyone needs to be needed.

I don't know if any of this resonates with you, but is it possible that your sister and your son might become a source of strength for you. That if you had the faith to lean on them, that you might find that they would support you and protect you as you have them for all these years? Maybe they don't think you need them. To find out that they are needed might be just the thing they need. To feel needed can be a powerful medicine.

With hugs from the heart ...

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 6/21/2008 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank You, you brought tears to my eyes. Which is very hard to do.  Everything you said makes so much sense.  I'm sure you are right.  Especially my son.  He would love to know that he helps me.  We are very close.

I've always been the strong one.  The one everyone comes to for help or advise.  The one (everyone thinks) that can handle it all.  And I do put up a good front.

As you know its hard to be the weak/sick one.  I've always been the care taker.  But it would feel really good, i'm sure to let someone take care of me.  My husband does try, but I also hide most of how I'm feeling, physically, from him.  Sometimes he can tell anyway.  But it's still hard to let myself go. Let my guard down. 

But I will give it my best shot.

Thanks again, your response meant the world to me.  I can really relate.


It must have been awful losing your daughter and being the one to console your family.  I would have done the same.  I understand where you are coming from. 
I am very sorry about your daughter...
Thanks for the hugs......very needed!
Take care of yourself!!

Crohn's 4 ever
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 6/21/2008 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow Dory, you need a big long hug, and I can empathize with you. You have to be the strong one and you need  help too! I too have crohns and so does my sister, we were in contact a few years back, but not anymore. We used to swap ideas, but I had pain and she bled. I was helping her out, by sending her some of my stuff that she was on ,and then I got a wakeup call, she was using me as she did before when we were young.  Stress can play a major role, you are taking on too much, I know you care about your sister and maybe she needs to find solace and help with therapy or a doctor or join a ccfc, or ccfa group.  You are not going to get better yourself if you keep it all in.  I understand  your son, he is new at this and he is your child, and you feel guilty and in pain. I too am like you, the nurturer.  I have my husband for support when he is home.  I am going through alot too, had crohns 30 years, and Humira isnt working now prednisone (started today) need my 3rd surgery, I am terrified but I have to be strong and just do it.  At least  you  have us, I am not a major fan of therapy, but it could do wonders for you.  Hang in there, take one day at a time and YOU look after YOU.  The obviously need you too, and you cant if you are all in the same boat.  My heart goes out to you. Good luck.
Tough times don't last long, tough people do!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 6/21/2008 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the response.  My sister gets nothing from me but my caring.  I wish i could do more.  I'm in Florida and she is in NC.  She gets whatever help she can there, she just needs me to talk to, and I understand that, I'm the older one.  My son, yes, I feel terrible about him, i can't even express it.  I know first hand what he's going through, and as a mother it is horrible.
Stress does get the better of me, and it is all stress I bring on myself, worrying about everyone and everything.  Its who I am.  I know I have to work on that.
I'm glad I have everyone here, I do need that. Just having somewhere to go and see how everyone else deals with all this helps.
Thanks again, I'll do my best to take care of ME.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/21/2008 10:34 PM (GMT -7)   


I agree with what each of these wonderful members have said to you.  It is ok for you to admit that you are tired and your are firghtened expecially for your son.  To watch your child suffer no matter what age is unbearable but I sense that you will be there for him always.  Do let him know how you feel and your sister too.  Let them know that the 3 of you will have to be there for each other.

Remember you have this wonderful group of members who are always here and willing to listen and talk to you.  Another source is the national CCFA, and here is the link to their site:

Bless you and post to us, let us take some of the brunt of you feelings and give you some positive feedback.

Gentle Hugs



Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

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