Hey! ::: waving ::: Is anyone out there? Too quiet around here...
Earlier today, I read this on Donna's blog at This and that, and hockey!
<<<<<I don't mind showing strength and courage, but sometimes it's nice to just let it go and know the person you're talking to isn't going to run and hide because they don't want to hear it. I know and understand that sometimes folks just can't deal with it for personal reasons, but friends should be friends at all times. Not just in good ones. I often wonder if they even realize their absence is taken so personal after a length of time. How feelings change when that happens. How the foundation of the relationship begins to crumble. It's sad really. I don't think I whine about things too much.......... do you? Yet folks have made themselves so scarce like I might be catchy. ::wiping tear::>>>>>
Oh no, Donna, you don't whine too much at all.
And, you are not the actual 'sick' person, that is actually your sister (send prayers and check out Donna's blog if you haven't).
As I was reading this, I was nodding my head in agreement. I know many of my lupie/RA pals out there, will also.
There is a huge slice of America that has no idea how to relate to people with illness of any sort. Chronic, acute, life threatening, or not, it doesn't seem to matter. These people just leave you flat.
It doesn't happen overnight, but the signs are there from the start. The vague 'hmm's', the 'quick' subject change should your 'illness' issue come up. Then, the phone calls start to come less and less. Then, they just stop.
You can run into them somewhere, and they act like nothing is wrong! Like everything is just fine. It isn't. If you approach them about their 'distancing' from you, you will be told, that you are being silly, it's just that they are soooo 'busy'.
Do I sound like I know a thing or two about this?
Yeah, I do.
First, it was a friend, and it hurt, a lot. She fought her own battle with cancer, just before I met her. I expected that because of that she would be able to 'handle' my illness issues better. It didn't work out that way. Since our kids are good friends, the friendship has limped along, although we only see each other with the kids or spouses now. Our separate friendship, just two women, two moms, dried up completely.
However, she didn't inflict the wound that hurts the most. A cousin of mine (not Karol, and no one who read this blog), who lives only 2 towns away from me, with whom I was very close to during the the 5 years before being diagnosed, holds that distinction. Although the relationship continued for a while after I was diagnosed, I did notice an immediate difference.
I didn't want to believe it though, so, I kept making excuses in my head. Telling myself that I was imagining the 'tone of voice', and the 'sudden subject changes'.
The final break happened when she had a good excuses to use. She went back to work part/time and suddenly, there was no time, not even on the days off, or the weekends, or anything. However, she was continually busy with her 'friends' each weekend. I thought Hubby and I were 'friends' with her and her hubby, too, but it became clear that I was mistaken. Then, her hubby had a medical emergency, and my offers of assistance were rebuffed, after all, he wasn't 'really sick like a person like me.' And, the phone calls completely ended, and then the emails, too.
But the worst insult happened this year. Even though the relationship was 'none' at this point, we are related, and we received an invitation to my cousin's daughter's college graduation party. It happened to be the same weekend as the Boy Scout Beach Jamboree, so we could not attend, and when I RSVP'd, I also told my cousin about the brain tumor. At this time, everything was still up in the air, and very scary and uncertain for me.
Would you believe that I never heard from her since then?
Oh, I got a note from her daughter, thanking me the check for graduation, how she wished we all were there, and wishing me well. Not a word from my cousin. Not an email asking how is that brain tumor thing, or what did the neurologist say - nothing.
I won't lie, it hurts.
It is also especially difficult because the kids don't understand it either, and are hurt and confused.
She makes my friend look like Dr. Phil. And, to be fair, the friend I spoke about above, did call me, just to see how I was after the neurologist, and did offer to help out in any way she could. Of course, since then our relationship is back in limbo, but at least she did that! And, I am thankful.
Bottom line, any kind of chronic or life threatening illness will truly weed the posers out of your life. There is definitely a clarity that you find, on the other side of this kind of hurt. I don't need fair weather friends or relatives not willing or able to give me, what I give them.
It is their loss. I will survive. I continue to go on, and I do so with a smile!
I do not have to waste my energy on them. I don't have extra Spoons to waste on anyone, anyway. Maybe they did me a favor in the long run.
Bottom line, 'what it is, it is'.
After this brain tumor curve hit, I find myself saying that a lot. LOL
Donna, I am sorry that you are going through this also, but at least you have us J-lander's. I know J-land has helped me. And, you know that friends like Jim, will be there in your life, willing to give you their all.
Thanks for listening to my rambling tonight. I sure hope someone is out there to comment! It has been waaayyy too quiet!!!