Posted 7/6/2007 11:01 AM (GMT -6)
My sister is the same way, and remember that what people feel about others is only true about themselves. We all see others through the lens of our own personhood and perhaps these issues she has with you are really issues she has with herself. I'm not meaning to get complex or play games, it's just a fact. I can only "know" you by making a lot of assumptions (conscious or unconscious) about you based on my own experiences and personality, unless you tell me otherwise. The issue of not listening to you and them not wanting to really know you for you is the real issue, and the issue that you can effectively confront. In my sister's case, she can't accept my illness, she was aloof and snobby and hateful to me for so long--which I didn't return, and now she can't accept this because it adds to her guilt. My children and I had serious friction, so bad I nearly had to call police, and they said the same things and I know they love me and it was physically and mentally very hurtful to me, but finally they exploded out with "but you're always sick" and I said, "yes, I am, and that is something you have to learn to accept." They got quiet and things changed. I expect the same sort of thing will crop up again as they constantly "forget" I'm ill, but now I know the magic words. The real issue is that people are afraid to get to know sick people because :
--they are afraid they will somehow get sick themselves, even just through "karma"
--they are afraid to love and care for someone that tears at their heartstrings, they are afraid of being hurt if the person gets sick or dies
--they are to selfish to care about anyone but themselves and must always be the greatest victim, in which case, they need to seek counselling
I have problems with short-term memory and my family has no patience with me at times, I can't imagine what it would be like for other people. I used to just get treated like I was crazy or had dementia and put in the mental hospital. I actually learned some coping things there so it wasn't a waste. I think confronting them on what their problems are is the best way to keep your sanity, for it is their problem. If it wasn't your illness they weren't accepting, it would be something else. They just aren't listening to you.
On that negative crap, I get that from my ex-husband and sister and father and mother and when I need them most, am most down, they won't speak to me, and for a while they would cart me to the mental hosptial. They didn't believe there was anything wrong with me because it would make them look like scumbags, which they were. Now, since diagnosis and treatment, they see me getting better.
I'm sure your sister, deep down, is so afraid and doesn't know what to say. She probably doesn't like to hear about you being sick because it makes her sad--which means she cares, so she acts like a b****. I was told I had a year to live, had a 4 year old boy living with me to support and went through interferon therapy without my family paying me one visit. It was too negative a situation, I was too depressed, not myself. I have a hard time forgiving them for that, I have to make a real effort and I confronted them angrily about it and some of my family apologized, and the part that didn't, I don't care.
My son has epilepsy in the parietal lobe and it makes his thought processes and decision making crazy sometimes and moods and the medicines don't help. I feel so much for you because I see what my son goes through on the medication. It is so hard, and now the side effects are so bad that he may have to change meds and then the doc wants to take away his license during that time for at least six months, so my son doesn't want to switch. It's just terrible and unfair, in a way, the way the whole thing is handled. And getting him social security is nearly impossible.
I hope this helps some and remember it is THEIR problem, and the problem is not that you are sick, but that they are not listening to you and are afraid to care about you. You might ask if you being sick scares your sister. Help her to realize. Let her know you being sick isn't negative, isn't positive, it just is what it is and she just has to accept it, you have. If you talk about it, its like talking abuot the sky is blue or its raining. It shouldn't make her feel guilty or bad. Perhaps she can't visit, reassure her that that's not a problem. Be reassuring so it feels safe for her to care. And don't put too much on her at once. And if that doesn't get through, then you can only speak to her about trivial things, and if that's not enough, then not at all. You pick your friends, not your family. Just know people here do care and do listen, they are so great, really great.
The worst part of being sick is taking care of the well people.