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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 10/19/2008 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   

How did you get past the anger, frustration etc...surrounding not having the support from family etc.... I am the youngest of 8 kids and my entire life I always considered my family to be close, loving, etc....until this illness hit me. I have now realized that the my once "loving" family now only thinks I'm a giant head case that likes to travel around the country spending large amounts of $$$$$ to see doctors for the fun of it. Don't get me wrong, I still love them and they all still have great qualities but.....I am very alone in this battle and I just don't understand how they don't care about how I'm doing and are never concerned about the struggles that I face. My own mother always says to me "well, you're always what's so different about now?" This hurts and it is very hard for me to get past. My father was always in my court and was very empathetic of my situation but he died suddenly last year of an undiagnosed brain tumor. Anyway, I was just wondering how you were able to deal with your emotional issues...especially when they involve family. They will always be my family, it's not like I can get a new one.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 4457
   Posted 10/19/2008 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Runningirl,
It took me years to learn to deal with my family.  It wasn't only lyme disease, but also during the years that I was a drinking alcoholic.   So I always had problems with my family including brothers and a sister, aunts and uncles.   I was always the "black sheep" in my family at a very young age, perhaps because I was the rebellious type and didn't buy into their views.
I learned to "accept" my family for what and who they are.  That was very difficult for me to do.  Just to accept and not to "expect" anything from them.   When I used to expect support or understanding, I would set myself up for disapointment and feeling so very hurt.  
I looked at all my family members (especially my parents) and looked beyond..  I looked at how my mother was brought up and saw that she never had any love, affection, or understanding from her own parents thus I became to understand why my mother is the way she is.   My Dad was nicer to me and even though he didn't understand lyme, he was more compassionate compared to my mother.  
I didn't feel so much anger, I think I felt more hurt.   I wanted my family to understand sooooo much and I would talk to them but it didn't help.   All my mom kept saying to me was work harder, snap out of it, or she would just criticize me.  I remember a time when I deliberately distanced myself from family for many months and just focused on myself.    Those months were very difficult for me and I think that's when I learned that I just had to accept people as they were including friends that also "didn't get it".
We can not change others, we can only change ourselves.   We can't force people to understand or show compassion, but we can learn to accept them for who they are.
I feel for you and like you, my family also thought I was a "head case" until I got better.   Guess what?  To this day, they still don't have a clue about lyme disease.  And I don't even bring it up because I know they just don't get it unless they contracted lyme themselves, then they would ask me a zillion questions... 
I believe your family really does love you but they just don't know how to handle your illness.   Many people don't know how to handle it.  Why that is, I have no idea.  I have been there for my family no matter what illness they have had or have.   Yes, it's sad that they weren't there for me but once again, I can't change my family and their views. 
I guess it all boils down to "choices"..  I had the choice to be bitter and angry or the choice to just "accept"...   Accepting was and still is more positive for my frame of mind.  Better than feeling hurt, right?   
Well, you have us and this forum to vent whenever you feel like.   I used to vent like crazy about my family in a different forum I belonged to when I was sick.
I hope this helps and know that I do understand where you are coming from and yes, the fact remains is when we don't have people to support us, it just plain hurts.
Hugs to you,
It's all about the Immune System mixed with a large dose of Positive Thinking...
This song is about my years with chronic lyme and being in remission for over 2 years:

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 283
   Posted 10/20/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Runningirl and Denise...I feel your pain when it comes to family. I have always been there when my family needed me, my brother was in a motorcycle accident in 1990 and was in a coma for two weeks, from there he stayed in the hospital for another three months and then moved to a rehab facility. While there he needed to have someone there, so my mom thought. After learning how to talk, feed himself, walk and everything all over again at age 19 he was able to become an outpatient. And me being the helpful person to anyone was asked if I would drive him and pick him up from rehab everyday, that lasted two years. Then of course docotr visits. After dealing with my moms baby for all these years he was in another accident (car) and needed at home care, which he got from a nurse that would come twice a week to change his bandage, and show me how to do it on the days she couldnt come.

Anyway after being there for them you would think they would at least try and be there for me when I got sick. NO WAY DID THAT HAPPEN! ! ! Talk about being hurt, boy did that top it all. They dont understand what I am going thru...for years before I found out I had Lyme I was critisized for being lazy and they would say oh you cant go you'll be TIRED! Made me so mad and at the same time made me want to through up just knowing in my heart how I helped them for so many years with my baby brother and got no sympathy for what I was going threw.

I really dont understand how people can just be so darn self centered they dont even call or stop by. Hell, I only live across town (5miles). The same part of the town where they have to drive to get to the store.

Before being diagnosed with Lyme I was taking my brother to one of his many doctors appts, mind you he has mental issues from the motorcycle accident. He got mad at me for turning on the radio and jumped out of the car at the stop sign. Finally after talking him back into the vehicle I was having a panic attack which I was unfamiliar with. Got a speeding ticket that day and my frustration was so high. After all that I brought him home and told my parents that I loved them and was unable to do anything for my brother again, I could not handle the stress. Few months after is when I found out I had Lyme....

But needless to say I do not have my parents or my brother to help me....But very lucky after all I went thru in trying to find out what was wrong with me, I have my husband and his family who will take my kids and help in anyway they can...all I have to do is ask...

Thank for your stories...Now I know I am not the only one who has people in there life that dont understand.

Hope someday they will open their eyes and hearts.


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