Monday, April 23, 2007

Thoughtless Attitudes Towards Relatives With Disabilities

I found this post via Arthritic Young Thing:

#uck "Suck it up"

Dammit! It's people like her sister-in-law that make it impossible for me to keep up with my "No Swearing in 2007" resolution. I just got so angry reading that post. I wish that all my health problems could just be solved through positive thinking.

I grew up with health problems. I got chicken pox twice; I was covered in head to toe sores both times. I was always fatigued. My hair would periodically just fall out like a cat shedding its fur. I was constantly anemic. I was allergic to almost every brand of soap known to mankind. I had chronic chest pain. And you know what? I got called lazy damned near every day of my life. I just wanted attention, they said. I was acting out, being a "drama queen", probably just imitating the characters I read about in books, looking for excuses not to have to go to church.

I spent my entire childhood being called a faker. And do you know what happened when I finally did get diagnosed with lupus and the rheumatologist looked back at my records and saw that I'd had obviously been suffering with it since I was a child? They acted like it was my fault they had treated me that way--my fault.

I thought maybe they just didn't understand that I really had no control over what had been wrong with me all that time so I printed out this big packet of information all about lupus and I gave it to my mother and asked her to read it. Do you know what she did with it? She used it as a blotter to put her coffee mug on top of without messing up the finish on her night stand next to her bed. It sat there for months until it was too gross looking for her to use any more, then she threw it away.

My family's attitude towards my disabilities has improved a lot since then but I still haven't forgotten how heartbroken I was with their earlier behavior. Being chronically ill is isolating enough without having to deal with family members who think that we're actually interested in hearing their idiotic theories about how we should be able to live our life.

1 comment:

belledame222 said...

That's horrible, Bint. and enraging. why are people so damn unempathetic?