Hey mclovin! Welcome to the forum. I love your screen name 😁.
If you hadn’t guessed already from the previous line, I am in fact a girl 🤣. But I have experienced a lot of loss. I’ve been bedridden for about
15 years and basically lost what seems generally regarded as the best years of life. It’s been my experience that both men and women are pretty insensitive to the disabled. In school, when I’d keel over and say I feel like I can’t breathe and want to throw up, it seemed like the go to move of guys around me was to turn around and pretend nothing was happening and possibly walk away. I’d estimate maybe 30% of women would try to help me in that situation and about
5% of men. To be fair I was studying in a male dominated field famous for attracting the very socially inept. So it’s also likely many of the guys around me were totally lost as to how to render aid even if they desired to do so.
Overall the motto of people around me then and throughout my illness seemed to be, suck it up and move on. You should be ashamed of being anything less than healthy and competent so always hide it as much as possible and only allude to it in rare situations like you’re confessing some morally debauched habit. Generally I have been happy to find anyone who doesn’t hold to this view irrespective of gender. But yes, on average, there do seem to be more sympathetic women than men.
As always these things really need to be evaluated in a case by case basis. When telling family about
some new health horror or grief over loss, my sister is more likely to roll her eyes and tell me to shut up and move on than my brother, though my brother is likely to be thinking it too. I think in the end you just have to find those rare people who don’t kick you when you’re down, or consider it a privilege that you share your vulnerable side, rather than an opportunity to yell at you.
I suppose this is an unfair oversimplification of people though. I think it’s a sad truth of life that people can genuinely love you and still thoughtlessly/unintentionally crush your soul to the point where you wish you were dead.
As for coping, this year was the first time I became seriously worried I might die. After the first wave of fear subsided some, I started to ask myself, if I knew I had one month to live, what would I want to spend that time doing? Then if I had one more year left, how would I want to spend that time? These questions, they don’t get rid of the fear or grief over loss, but they let me have some chance at not being completely consumed by them and focus on things I can accomplish rather than everything I can’t.
My faith also helps me since I believe this life is like the prologue to some infinitely long series of books. Every story needs to start with a conflict or tragedy and every life ends in tragedy (death). But I believe this life is only the beginning of an amazing story of triumph. I’m not saying this to belittle the loss, because it is truly horrible. But I think of myself right now like a hungry street urchin who just lost their last piece of bread. But it’s ok, because I’m about
to be adopted by the Queen of England.
Post Edited (Bailey) : 11/16/2021 10:45:45 AM (GMT-7)