Family, Friends, and Dumbasses…part one

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” “The Lord promises never to give you more than you can handle with His help.” “You do not look disabled.” “Why do I have to pay for lazy freeloaders in society?” “They just want pain medication, I do not think they are suffering as bad as they think they are.” “What do you mean you need my help with that…you have always taken care of this stuff!?” I work all day and you expect me to help with housework when I come home?”

            Above, a few shining examples of phrases offered or questions asked out of good intentions, frustration, ignorance, and/or just plain stupidity. When you are disabled it feels as if you are always required to defend your actions, choices, or inactions.  Most of the healthy in society will expend volumes of energy pretending you do not exist. This is very prominent if you have an obvious physical ailment. People will not meet your gaze as if they might somehow catch what you have just by treating you as if you were a fellow human being and not an obstacle in their day. Due to the complexity of all relationships, I will attempt to limit the subject to a disabled person’s reactions to family, friends, and dumbasses in society and their reaction to the disabled person.

            Okay, you have just begun to deal with all the medical, emotional, and psychological crap associated with living with a chronic disease and now you must learn how to keep your own relationships healthy despite all the changes. Moreover, you will now face a horde of people that range from well-intentioned folks to completely ignorant dehumanizing monsters. The transition time from “normal” to very “different”  is long and  highly stressful. People who love you will be lost and confused because they do not know how to fix the situation. They offer suggestion after suggestion to try this, that, or another thing that might offer a cure for what ails you. They strongly recommend that you get half a dozen second opinions until you decide that you have had enough. They too, must transition with you and when your world is falling in around you and you feel as if you are flailing in the dark trying to grasp something to halt your decent you are in no position to set the course. Some couples do not survive this time period. We, as human beings, are fixers and need to be able to face a problem and divine a solution. When a solution does not exist and we must then accept the inevitable truths we are shaken to the core. Everything we thought we knew as certain is no longer certain. Some of the plans we made together as a family may not be able to see fulfillment. Everybody who loves you will need to make a decision to support and love you or to flee the situation. Sadly, some spouses and/or friends tend to flee. The vow declares…”in sickness and in health…” but no one expects their ‘happily ever after’ to be disrupted by an illness. Family and friends will now have difficulty interacting with you especially as your lifestyle changes.

            In the beginning you will continue to do everything you did before determined that nothing is going to change. You consider the feelings of those in your life above your own and agree to tasks or outings that you know you will pay for later in the degree of pain you suffer. Nevertheless,  you will suffer in silence so as not to disrupt their good time. That may go on for years before you come to the realization that you cannot keep it up any longer. You are the one in pain, you are the one doing the suffering and you must start making changes. As it becomes obvious to both you and those around you that things need to change to accommodate  your illness, the relationships will strain. The level of strain depends heavily upon you and how you are handling your illness. Having the initial pity party and then reserving the right to have one every now and again is fine but if you choose to live in the land of pity, self-loathing, and depression then you will become a very lonely person. Is this situation depressing and pity worthy? Hell yes, BUT neither of those factors will help you survive and thrive. Yes, things are going to change but those changes may be great opportunities that you had never dreamt possible. You may lose a few friends who cannot handle watching you get worse throughout the years. Fine, if they cannot handle it you certainly do not need them around whispering their doubts and fears in your ear. You have plenty of your own with which you must control.  You will find inner strength that you never knew you had. Are you going to be strong 24/7? Ahhh, …no…who do you think you are superman? No one is strong all the time but you do need to be strict with yourself because once you barrel down that road of self-pity and self-loathing it is very, very difficult to get back. There are a billion valid reasons to stay in bed and bemoan your circumstances.  When it hurts to sit up and swing your legs over the side of the bed it is then that  you need to concentrate on a couple other reasons that are strong enough motivators to get your butt out of that bed. Every morning is a battle and whether it arrives in the am or pm is of little consequence but the status of victory or defeat is entirely up to you. Is that fair? No. However, it is reality and that is the land in which you must dwell because it is a waste of time and precious energy to indulge in  the stream of thought concerning the unfairness of it all. You cannot afford to take a dip in that stream because it has dangerous undercurrents that will pull you to the depths. In the iconic words of that absent-minded blue fish, “Just keep swimming…”


3 thoughts on “Family, Friends, and Dumbasses…part one

  1. I thought I’d go back in time and read one of your first posts. There is one more question some people ask: why does your God make you suffer like that?
    I admire your strength and feel a deep respect for your path here on Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Inese,

      Yes, I have been asked this question as well and it is always borne out of the person’s painful experiences. Suffering, either on a personal or global scale seems so senseless and cruel. Hence, it does not match the tales of a loving God. I struggled with this concept greatly throughout my life and have come to understand that I was asking the wrong question.
      Satan has control (partial) of Earth and he uses it as his playground and there is nothing more enjoyable to him than to bring down a person who loves Christ. Hence, when we see or read of a person who has met multiple struggles that seem devastating it is usually a sign that the person is doing important work and Satan is trying to destroy them.
      Personally, instead of being destroyed, I have used all my struggles to help others cope with their heartache. If I had not survived these things first then the broken people struggling to hang on would not listen or be able to identify with me. The only reason I was able to help anyone else in pain was because I endured it first and survived. I do not have this strength on my own. God knit the strength I needed into my being long ago but I am never left along to use it, for He is always with me. I am certain that if I were born healthy without facing so much hardship then I would not have been equipped with strength, compassion, empathy, and wisdom.
      Surely, He could stop all suffering in the blink of an eye but he constricts himself to prophecies given to man so that man can trust in the promises of the Lord. More importantly, he has not eliminated all suffering because he is being merciful. That sounds ridiculous but if he comes back now then millions of people will be lost to Satan for all time. He loves each and everyone of his children so he waits to give the hard-hearted time to come to his loving embrace. He does not want to lose one soul to darkness so he waits. His heart is broken repeatedly by his children and he weeps with us as we struggle to survive.
      It is the self-serving nature of humanity that has set into motion a ripple effect of sin. Sin has a cost and it affects everyone as is evidenced by our broken planet, diseases running rampant, and unbound suffering. We look to God to solve all the problems we ourselves have created. For example, no one on this planet should ever go hungry, for we have the capability of producing enough food for everyone but politics trump compassion, morality, and need. We cry out to God to fix these problems but we are the ones who created them and we do have the power to fix these problems but we choose not too. There are hundreds of examples where mankind has created the problem and possesses the solution but has chosen not to act. Hunger, drought, floods, hurricanes, wildlife extinction, earthquakes, warfare, etc . , too often, can be traced back to the selfish decision of a human being. As a pebble is dropped into an ocean, the ripple effect spreads everywhere while other self-serving choices are made along the path of that ripple expounding the decay of humanity and this planet. It is both sickening and shocking to understand that we hold both the problem and solution in our hand but choose not to do anything about it. There are natural consequences to every choice we make, which puts significant weight upon the decisions we make. When I first began this journey to understand I kept asking the same question, “Why aren’t you doing anything? Why aren’t you stopping this madness? Why aren’t you acting?” These questions played like a broken record in my spirit until one day I felt his response, “I am acting, I sent you.” Now, I am not superwoman who can change everything but I can work to better my little corner of the world. He is sending his warriors into the world to help but all suffering will not be erased until he returns and rights all the wrongs we have created as a species. Until then, we must continue to work to reduce the suffering around us, for we are all called to help others. I apologize for such a lengthy response, I have been accused of being ‘wordy’. I pray God’s bountiful blessings upon you Inese. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your reply Tina! This is something many people cannot comprehend. God knows the big picture, and He knows what is better for us in eternal perspective. He knows why we are sent here, knows our capacities and potential. For some their mortal life is a path of afflictions, and I pray for all of them to endure to the end. As rebellious person as I am, naturally has to learn to be humble and obedient. Most of us know what we have to learn, even if we don’t want to admit it publicly. And as you say, helping others is the most important work that brings the most beautiful spiritual fruits. Thank you again, Tina, have a peaceful and happy weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

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