Posted 6/7/2009 10:45 AM (GMT -6)
I am sorry, CG. I believe the expectation of yourself 'letting it go' is a little too much for you right now. Still, you will need to find a way to not allow it to eat at you like it is. There are soooo many people who just don't know how to handle those w/ chronic illnesses. Even tho it's completely irrational, I think they may feel that your disease has become more important than them in YOUR life.
I have lost a lot of friends along the way in my life and it has always been my fault. A lot of it is depression and I'm sorry about it.
On one hand, they get angry w/ me because I do not call them, or go out to hang out and drink anymore or (at the place I used to work), etc. On the other hand, I could get angry myself, because they don't want to do things like have a normal visit or meet for lunch, but I don't feel like getting angry. They act as if I have deserted them because I'm not going out to meet them at a bar or drink w/ them. Yet no one's asked to visit me, and my invitations to walk w/ me in the woods at the dog park, are declined.
I have (had) one good friend who called me not long ago, just to say hey and to 'catch up'. She told me how wonderful her life is: She is married, he spends all his money on her, she has a great job, she makes a lot of $$, she shops a lot and was looking to buy some fancy expensive car. I don't resent any of that, I swear to God. These things mean nothing to me. I do find it a little shallow, esp knowing what an A hole the guy she married is. But if he provides her money, hey, that's good enough for her.
Anyway, so when she asked how I was, sorry, it was a bad day. I tried to state this matter of fact, not pitiful or of any expectation of pity or sympathy. I stated it because I have been out of touch w/ everyone. I just told her I was ill and going thru a tough time w/ depression and pain and that I was sorry to be out of touch.
Well, 'Great talking to you again, gotta go! By the way, could you ask your daughter (the bank manager) what kind of deal she can get me on a car loan?' Great friend, huh? Yet we went thru so much together, back when we were single moms, supporting our kids alone, waiting tables. I was her hero because I taught her how to make more money by leaving personal problems at home, ignorning physical pain, hustling, and carrying nothing but positive energy.
As WhiteRoses said, others do not understand how sick you are. They don't have any idea of what all this means. I am nowhere as sick as you, yet I feel ill and am in pain all day every day. I have to work, and so I do what I can with it. I do all that I can to not let all my negativity show while I am working, because the ladies I work w/ are, frankly, B's, constantly stabbing people in the back, judging everyone else, even constantly b'ing at me and each other. I refuse to be negative like that at work. Yet how do I get them to understand how horrible I am feeling?
I know in my heart that I do not care what they think of me. (I DO care about the lies they tell our boss about me!). Yet, because I am ill and because of depression, I often go home in tears because of the hateful way one has treated me, or a lie one has told me about myself to my face. Still, I certainly do not want their pity!
I mostly feel that I want people to know what I am going thru, not to get pity or attention or sympathy, because I do not want those things. But, you know, when you are sick, and fighting your way thru it in spite of it all, it would be nice if someone understood and maybe at least cut you a little slack or gave you a little credit, or at least act like they cared and respected you for carrying on.
I don't know what to do -- maybe you guys can tell me what you do around your family and friends? I do not want my kids feeling sorry for me. But I want them to understand that I am ill, so that their expectations of me aren't quite so high, and maybe they could cut me a little slack when I'm being negative.
Think about it: If someone in your life constantly complained and ran it into the ground, 'I am so sick. Do you understand I am sick. I could become disabled. I could die.' I don't want to be that person. It's gotten bad enough w/ my daughter, who honestly believes me and takes this very seriously (she is taking me to my first LLMD appt), but she doesn't WANT to hear about it all the time.
Don't all of us just want to be taken seriously?
Still, CG, try to imagine your friend(s) if you had something like terminal cancer -- no more serious than Lyme, but something she could better understand. What do you think she would do?
People are people -- we are all so imperfect, as is your 'friend' (ex?). I think you should try to let as much negativity and anger go, but not your friend, in your heart. If she was a true friend, hold onto her in your heart, and try waiting for her. Maybe she will ask for your forgiveness someday, or maybe you will learn she was not worth the pain of waiting for.
Keep remembering that you do NOT want her to come back and be your friend because of pity, do you? I don't think this is what we want or need from our friends. Maybe sometime you could try calling her and telling her that you just need someone to talk to and that you always felt like you could talk to her. Something like that. Maybe tell her a little of what you are feeling, without being angry.
Or maybe you could write her a letter? In a letter, you can say what you want/need to say without being interrupted and without your words or actions being twisted in any way. Don't be angry -- showing jealousy of a new friend will only cause more friction. Just tell her how you feel and that you care very much for her and feel abandoned and you feel like it is your disease that has caused this.
In one list of Lyme symptoms I read 'loss of friends' because of depression and losing interest or ability in all the old activities.