Yes, please :p
Sorry, you're not actually offering to make a cup of tea... <_<
Slightly lame joking aside, you're welcome, 80s chick. I was a bit worried about
upsetting or offending you and am glad to see that you didn't take it in that spirit. From the further info that you've given, it's beginning to sound like this guy is the one with the majority of the issues. You sound like a person who's aware of her friends and their feelings. In which case, my advice would be to not
let this guy upset you too much. (Easier said than done, I know.) I can't really say much more than that because I don't know him. He may be a basically decent guy who lets his emotions get the better of him or he may be utterly selfish at heart and only ever thinking about
himself. The fact that everybody else thinks he is selfish isn't a great sign to be honest, but he still may have worthwhile qualities as a person. However, if he habitually puts you down, then he is destructive and you should kick him to the kerb.
I know what you mean, though, about people not being able to deal with too much depressing talk. I've totally realized that throughout the years. People are willing to come to your aid once, when one sucky thing happens, but with each subsequent hospitalization/surgery/failed medication/etc, you get less support, I find. It just becomes commonplace for those around you... "oh, Stephanie's sick again..." but what they don't understand is that the more times I'm sick/have surgery/whatever, the more devastating this becomes because I feel like it really is neverending. I feel more and more alone each time, because people just start to expect you to deal with it.
I do know what you mean. People can quite often be superb in a crisis, but simply are not geared up nearly so well for coping with day-in, day-out chronic illness. And if there are any
unresolved tensions, resentments, etc., that just makes illness even harder to deal with. You have to have a lot of love and patience for dealing with an ill person, but love is incompatible with feelings such as fear, resentment, guilt, and so on. The more negative or conflicting emotions you feel, the harder it is to summon up the necessary reserves of love, patience and kindness for dealing with a chronically ill person.
I'm afraid I've learnt this from personal experience. I wish I could feel undiluted love, but I don't...
On top of that, I just think illness is difficult to face anyway. There's the awkward not knowing what to say or do to make things better ("fixing" the problem, in other words), the fear of saying the "wrong thing" and making the ill person feel even worse or snap at you, and even the fear of disease and mortality. Going back to kazbern's post, people just seem very very reluctant to accept that the simple act of listening
helps. I've lost count of the number of times my mum has told me "I don't know what to do" and I've told her "you don't have to do anything, just listen". But she has never taken it on board. And I have learnt to keep how I feel to myself :-/