Sick or just Selfish?

I hope that you all checked out my post about Chris at First Baptist Denton, because this post will be a little riff on that whole issue.

As I mentioned, Chris often accused my illness as being either faked or “not that bad” and suggested that the real reason I’d ask Hubby to miss work was that I was being selfish. He accused me of “not caring about Hubby’s job” despite the fact that I volunteered my time and talents repeatedly. His questions and accusations all hinted at the question:

“Are you sure she’s sick? Are you sure she’s not just selfish?”

That made me mad. I had sacrificed time and energy, which I don’t always have a lot of, to help him out. But all he saw was laziness.

That was nothing compared to what happened to me this weekend.

Hubby’s sudden job loss gave our calendar a sudden opening, which caused his family to suddenly assume we were suddenly driving out to Oklahoma for the family reunion all of a sudden. SUDDENLY!

So…sure. I mean yeah, I’ve had this flu thing all week and sure, I was looking forward to sleeping in and relaxing over the weekend while I get over the last bit of this illness. But I mean it’s family, and it’s important, and so yeah, we’ll go.

Well, on Friday night I was hit with a fever again, and I had awful body aches. I was nauseous. And I was panicking. Hubby made us a pallet on the floor and we watched TV for hours while I popped different pills and hoped ANYTHING would make me feel better. But even though I felt terrible, I enjoyed being cuddled up with my “dish” and just feeling loved and taken care of.

Thanks for the great image!

But then SUDDENLY everything started sucking.

The next morning I had a very groggy, slow start. I was exhausted and needed sleep. My dish was being very pushy, insisting I get up and eat food PRONTO. I know eating food is important, but I remembered what my pal Tosha from bottledtime told me about how your body does a lot of healing when its sleeping. Listening to my body, I knew it needed sleep more than food. But my dish seemed really, REALLY upset by this.

Eventually I got up, we got packed, and made our way to Oklahoma against all my better judgment. I didn’t really feel up to the trip, but I knew it was important to Hubby. We had just crossed the border when I started feeling not so good, so we pulled off at a McDonalds for me to recover a bit. When I felt ready to go, we hopped in the car and Hubby set his phone on the dash. I glanced at it and my jaw dropped. “What?” said Hubby, snatching the phone away.

“Did you write that?”

He did.

The screen read: “We should be in the car already, but the fucking bitch is “too sick.” I just want you to know it’s all her.”

He had sent that to his mother. I could not think of a bigger betrayal than this. Talking this way to my in-laws, implying that my illness was fake or not that bad, neglecting to account for all the sacrifices I had made to even go on this trip – my Dish, my main support, my everything had just said

“She’s not sick. She’s just selfish.”

Spoonies, I don’t have much advice for you right now. What are you supposed to do when your dish turns against you? Refuses understanding? Does not support you? Invites other loved ones to turn from you as well?

Does ANYBODY believe that I’m sick??

I was considering giving my Doctor an emergency call at home just to talk. Just to say “Tell me I’m sick! Tell me it’s true! I’m sick and no one can see it except YOU, and that’s only because you cut me open and looked around.” Gah, I wish I really did have a zipper on my belly so every now and then I could just SHOW people because otherwise they JUST DON’T GET IT.

Uh oh. My “too much caps lock” alarm is going off. I’m getting in to an emo-y rant aren’t I? Oy. How juvenile.

People say “be careful what you say online.” I agree that one’s personal life does not belong on the internet. But I wrote this for two reasons:

1. If you’re sick, you should know that this will happen. Someone you love a lot will not understand your illness. You need to be ready to deal with that. Don’t make one person your whole support base like I did. No one is perfect. At some point, they will disappoint you.

2. Aside from my Dish, this blog is my support base. I just needed to talk about it with you. I know, this is a blog, it can’t be your go-to support base, but I’m learning from this experience. I’m going to start opening up to other people, and carving out a bigger, more solid support base for myself so that I don’t have to run to the internet like a scorned 13-year-old.

But thanks for being there for me.

10 thoughts on “Sick or just Selfish?

  1. I’m really sorry you had to read those words. They sound horrible to me. I have no particular advice since I’m not married or in a serious relationship. But in general I’ve learned that people don’t want to hear that you are sick. I am part of my church’s prayer group. Which consists primarily of several older people. They can relate to my pains and aches. But even with some of them I cant be completely honest.

    When people aske how I’m doing part of my brain just goes off into the distance, recalling all the pain and additional effort required to get me to that particular point. I know they dont really want to hear all that, so I just say “I’m ok.”

    I have a dear friend that I can share a lot with, but he is such an optimist that he doesnt allow me to dwell on the negative. Some days I just dont feel very positive. Being chronically sick down right sucks.

    One of the things that really urks me is my supervisor at work. She actually said something to the tune of “So you’re high every day?” when I mentioned that I needed to take vicadin everyday…..and laughed. I dont see what’s funny about “needing” vicadin to get through the day. She also made some off comment (which I cant really recall at the moment) when we were discussing my upcoming lung treatments.

    Now I cant blame her completely because I’ve never felt comfortable telling her in detail all that I go through. But part of that discomfort is from her stupid remarks.

    Honestly I dont have the energy to deal with people like that and I do avoid them. If I dont feel like going somewhere I just wont go and you really dont want me to, cuz I am not a nice person when I feel sick.

    I’m sure its harder when it’s the person you’re suppose to share the rest of your life with. I often wish I had someone like that. I have to settle for the peace and quiet of my little apartment and the freedom to do, or not do what I want.

    1. It’s really hard to find people to be really honest with. My group I’m involved with at church is a couples group. So I feel like I can talk about anything with them – except when my husband makes me mad.

      I found a bit of a surprise when I posted this. Before posting, I had tried to reach out to a few people and talk with them, but they just didn’t seem to get it. I had hoped to find a confidant in my sister, but she’s younger than me, and perfectly healthy. It isn’t her fault she doesn’t understand. But I didn’t know where else to look – so I blogged. The result really surprised me.

      Of course, I had an onslaught of words of support from facebook, but not everyone seemed like someone I could run to any old time. It’s nice that they were there for me now, but I’d feel weird calling them up to talk about being sick later, you know? Two friends separated themselves from the crowd. One is a friend I am not close with. We’re involved in a lot of the same activities, but we never talked much and now we live in different cities. However, she wrote to my privately saying that she had family that was sick, and she wouldn’t mind if I wrote to her just to vent sometimes. This is a perfect fit. I can write out what my feelings are, so I don’t have to feel awkward talking about it out loud, and she herself isn’t sick, so I don’t need to have that guilty feeling of “well she’s sick too, I’m sure she has enough problems without dealing with mine, too.” but she DOES understand invisible illness. She’s not a close friend, so I’m not turning her against my husband or anything by talking bad about him. Plus it’s all online – so she can answer me at her leisure, and vice versa.

      The other friend that came forward is one that I wanted to call in the first place. She was my very best friend for…oh, more than ten years. I knew her long before I met my husband, and I know she has dealt with illness and knows me and hubby really well. She’s a perfect person to talk to – but we hadn’t talked in a long time. When we both went our separate ways for college, communication between us became scarce. She’s moved back near me now, but I hadn’t been over to say hi yet or anything. I just felt weird about calling her up with a problem when I hadn’t been good about talking to her otherwise. But of course, like any true friend, she was there for me all along. She didn’t care that we hadn’t talked in a while, and she didn’t think it was selfish of me to come back first thing with a problem. I feel silly now, but I know how hard it is to make that call. I was lucky that she called me first, haha. But check into those old friends – you might be surprised.

      Anyway, at this point I’ve written a novel. Thank you for your kind words and support – everyone’s comments have really helped me through a really difficult time. I hope you can build a strong support group, and I hope I can too. 🙂 Thanks again.

  2. I certainly hope he apologized for what he wrote. I know the husbands and wives fight sometimes but that did not give him the right to use unkind words toward you for something you can’t help. I can also understand that it is really hard on him dealing with something he may not fully understand but it is certainly no excuse to say what he said espically to his family. I hope that it gets better for you and that you find your support group who understands and that you can talk to. We all need one so we don’t but all of our weight on just one person it can really hurt them and make them feel helpless, I learned that the hard way.

    1. Thanks very much. He has apologized and we’ve been doing a lot of talking lately. It’s something we’ll both have to work through. I’m learning not to put all my weight on one person, too. It’s a hard lesson, but all part of living with illness. Learning things the hard way sucks, but I hope someone can learn from my mistake.

  3. I’m pretty sure I never felt as bad as you (so I’m not trying to compare or anything), but for a couple of years, my head was feeling pretty bad. My husband used to be so confused. Take it so personally. Wonder what in the world could be so wrong that I didn’t feel normal. I’m not going anywhere with this. Just remembering. Thanks.

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