What a load of verbal shit if ever I heard some!!!
I had a brief whatsapp conversations with a friend this morning. Well, perhaps not friend as such, but it is a chap I bump into from time to time. I had a real emotional low yesterday. I was confronted with the operation directly as there is a girl my age going through it right now. She posted a picture on facebook and it brought it home more than I would like it at the moment.
Anyhow, I was kindly asked by this guy how I was doing. So I was fairly honest about my emotional state but saying I felt much better today than yesterday. He enquired in more detail what was wrong, so I touched on the subject a bit more. Then I hear the following words:
‘So it’s ok. You just gotta man up‘
Erm, pardon my rather direct language here, but WHAT IN THE BLOODY FUCK???!!!!! That response shows about as much empathy and emotional maturity as a piece of fly shit on the wall. I am pretty certain I can say that we are much more ‘manned up‘ than non-illness-sufferers considering we have had to deal with medical issues for a good chunk of our lives (and many people continuously and indefinitely facing them), I think this is the first time in all of this that I have felt the desperate need to not punch something, but the person directly. How dare anyone say anything like that to anyone dealing with an illness of whatever nature??
In fairness, yes I know, ISS isn’t an obvious or visible disease. You are still able to lead a normal life in the eyes of others around you. The subtle issues are played down because people cannot comprehend what you have to deal with.
This is the point where I have to honestly say, with the risk of being verbally lynched: I don’t wish this disease on anyone (I don’t wish any disease on anyone for that matter) but in this case I wish this person would just for a few weeks know what it is like having this shitty, debilitating, crippling, emotionally and physically draining, dreadful condition.
Which brings me to something else. Another thing which really pisses me off whenever I hear it:
‘I know what you are going through‘
Really? I mean seriously, do you? Do you honestly think you can even comprehend what it is like going through what we go through? No, you damn well can’t! Just like I cannot comprehend what someone with breast cancer goes through. Or has 3rd degree burns in the face. Or even chicken pox for that matter (hurray for vaccinations). Only someone with ISS knows what you go through when you deal with ISS.
It angers me when people so adamantly claim they know what it’s like and how we feel and what we go through. It makes me want to say ‘Oh just FUCK OFF!!!‘ Of course you can’t really say that. But by God I sometimes wish I hadn’t been brought up with good manners.
Let me get this straight: We are not looking for pity. For crying out loud, we don’t even pity ourselves, so why would we want it from an external source? We (I guess like anyone with any form of chronic illness) just want support. There are no words of comfort or reassurance necessary. Very often when it comes down to emotional support all we want and need just a pair of arms ready to give a tight hug. That give us the feeling of ‘yeah it’s shit. It’s ok to feel like this and it will be ok in the end.‘
I know that a lot of comments are made out of a sense of helplessness. But please, don’t feel you need to come up with some great ‘Oh I am going to show you just how understanding and wonderfully empathetic I am just by saying something to you.’ And I think most of all we would like people to think before they talk, rather than allowing verbal diarrhea to come flooding out of their mouths. Because it angers and pisses off so damn much!
Right, this rant was necessary. And apologies for my verbal diarrhea…..