“I am tired, too” Revisited

It’s been a rough week:  I did a VO2 max test, a two-day neuro-cognitive test with a neuro-psychologist, a brain MRI and a neurological exam with a neurologist.  VO2 max is a short, but intense—at least for ME patients—exercise stress test that is repeated the next day.  ME is the only disease in which this test will show a drop in the anaerobic threshold on day 2.  My drop was a whopping 58%.  I am going to enjoy sending this to my disability insurance company.  The test result will be life-changing for me, in good and bad ways.  More about this in a separate post.

I have never had my IQ tested and I am very competitive.  So, as physically miserable as I was after the VO2 max, I enjoyed the mental challenge of the neuro-cognitive test.  It’s hard to gauge, but my feeling is that I did fairly well on that test, even though I couldn’t define the word “palliate.”  I did the testing for a number of reasons.  One was to convince my disability insurance company that I really am cognitively limited.  No worries, I do realize that it’s not like they really care how limited I am; they are just looking for an angle to cheat me out of my benefits no matter how sick I am.  Another reason was to find out myself how bad it is.  I can push extremely hard cognitively for a couple of hours, knowing that I’ll pay a big price for it, as is typical for ME patients.  I pushed so hard during the test that I was very nauseous at times.   After the test, I was completely empty each day, nothing left.  This is not something I could sustain for 8 hours a day and definitely not something I could sustain for a job that would pay 60% of my prior income.  But nobody will be able to claim that I didn’t try hard enough.  My integrity is very important to me.

The brain MRI challenged me in a different way.  I am very claustrophobic and had an almost complete meltdown right before they put me in the tube—despite having taken Ativan.  With the help of my husband, Ed, who was standing by my feet the entire time smiling at me, which I could see in a mirror right above my head, and an awesomely patient imaging crew, I got through it.

My appointment with the neurologist was, in a way, the biggest surprise.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t even really know why I was seeing him, except that it was recommended by my ME doctor.  People who know me well know that I don’t have much respect for most MDs.  In my experience, most suffer from big-ego-no-substance syndrome.  Imagine my surprise when this neurologist really wanted to know my story, believed it—I know!—and had all kinds of ideas of what special tests to run.  The appointment lasted for 1.5 hours.  And, get this: He was a really nice guy on top of it; normal, not arrogant.  He didn’t treat me like a high-school drop-out.

It’s been an exhausting week, but after all this, the low point in my week came when I got an email from somebody saying that there are times when she is “low on energy, too, typically on Fridays.”  This is somebody who says she read my blog entry, “Don’t Think! Just Do! (Glimpses Into My ME Story)” in which I tried to explain some aspects of what it’s like to live with ME. Did I not say in the piece that every-day fatigue from working too hard or from raising kids, even twins, is not the kind of fatigue ME patients experience?  Not even close!  Did I not make it very clear that fatigue, the kind ME patients experience, not normal fatigue, is just one of many symptoms, some of which are more disabling than the bone-crushing fatigue that is typical for ME?  I did.  So, how did this person not get it?  I was stumped.  I am used to not being able to get this across in conversation.  But I thought I kind of nailed it with my written explanation.  Apparently not.

I took my frustration to Facebook, which, for the most part, is my only outlet, and posted the following:

“I am not religious, but God, please give me the strength to continue to be patient when others tell me that they are “tired too.” PLEASE!!! Or at least let me come up with a good self-defense story.”

Fist of all, let me say that I am sorry that I brought God into this.  I usually speak of the universe when others refer to God because I am, indeed, not religious.  I certainly meant no disrespect to anybody.

But the point of my post is that I really, really don’t get it when people don’t get it.  Why is this so hard to understand?!   A Facebook friend of mine, who also said that she read my prior blog post, then asked, “Sorry to sound ignorant, but what should they say?”  This pushed me right over the edge.  Here is my off-the-cuff response:

“If they are telling me that they are tired without the suggestion that they feel anything similar to what I feel (i.e., “too”), then, by all means, tell me. Being tired is a bitch.  I know, I used to work 65 to 90 hours a week.  I am not trying to invalidate anybody’s exhaustion.   But to suggest what they feel (normal tiredness from living life) is like what I feel, is like saying to somebody who has pancreatic cancer that they have some growths too because they have skin tags.  It’s the suggestion that ME patients only have the symptom of fatigue and that the level of fatigue healthy people experience is anywhere near the level of fatigue ME patients (or other seriously ill people) experience that is crazy-making, at least with people whom I have tried to explain this to before.  On any given day, I have up to 20 symptoms and the level of fatigue and these other symptoms sometimes don’t allow me to take a shower or do other very basic things.   I have been unable to take Aimee to the park or on a walk for months now.  I’d like to argue that this is very different from the fatigue that I felt when I worked 2 days straight without going home or getting any sleep.

Plus, rest doesn’t do squat.  I am resting all day long, all week long, all month long, all year long.  I still don’t feel better.  But if I didn’t rest, I’d feel worse and worse. Imagine feeling like you have the flu all the time for years or decades on end and then having others who have busy and exhausting, but full, lives telling you that they feel the way you do.  It’s very, very hurtful because you feel unseen and invalidated and your serious health issues feel minimized.  It’s a major double whammy.  It worsens the social isolation because the reflex is to protect yourself from these experiences and cut down even more on interactions with others.  Anyway, not sure if it’s helpful or even makes any sense.  Often I wonder whether it’s possible to try and fit in.  Is it worth spending the little bit of resources that I have on trying to make myself understood knowing that I am doomed to fail? Not sure.”

How is any of this not obvious?   Is it really surprising that the equating of a normal physical state to the symptoms of a devastating, debilitating illness would be hurtful?  I mean, really?  Talk about feeling completely unseen.  I may not have perspective right now given the level of my physical and emotional depletion and pain.  As insensitive comments go, the ones I mentioned are not even high on the list.  It’s the ever-present and constant nature of the I-am-tired-too and what’s-wrong-with-saying-that comments that are wearing me down.  How often can one bear to hear this?  It’s emotionally damaging every single time.  I am devastated by the thought that others would believe that I am a whiner and attention seeker.  The thought that anybody would think that I would make a big deal out of being tired is deeply embarrassing.  How can I have meaningful connections with people who have such a distorted picture of me and my reality?  It’s a complete disconnect that may be impossible to bridge.  Understanding is a two-way street.  I can only provide the information.  It is up to others to want to get it.

I am not negating that others have hardships in their lives.  I know life is not a breeze for most people, if anybody.  This is not about wanting sympathy.  This is about not wanting to have my reality denied and invalidated on a daily basis. This is also about asking for what I need and not getting it.  I am not somebody who expects any help from others.  I hardly ever ask for it (except from Ed), unless I pay for it.  But I do request that people be respectful of my circumstances and not trivialize them by likening them to their own, very different situation.  Not asking for that much, is it?  Every time this request is not honored it reinforces my natural tendency of not asking anything of anybody.  Low to no expectations is a much safer approach than being hurt over and over.

What might be the saddest aspect of it all is that my Facebook friend, the one who asked what people should say, may really have wanted to know.  But after being inundated with inappropriate comments, many of them worse than the ones I quoted, for almost six years, my tolerance is not what it used to be.  I am worn out from being patient with insensitive comments.  I can’t afford to continue to spend the limited resources I do have on trying to explain to people who may or may not want to know.  It would be “fiscally” irresponsible.  Of course, this just worsens my loneliness, which already is unbearable at times.

Just in case anybody is indeed curious about what to say, it’s not rocket science.  If you really do want to know, why not just ask me what it’s like?  If you don’t want to know, and I can think of many valid reasons for that, that’s ok—really.  But please don’t make any assumptions because trust me, they will be wrong and they will be hurtful.

I am not done with my tests.  One of the scheduled tests for next week is a tilt table test, the purpose of which is to make me pass out.  I wonder what other knock-out punches are waiting for me.

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27 Responses to “I am tired, too” Revisited

  1. Feeling for you, dumb comments are the worse. What a barrage of tests, never heard of any of them being used for ME before! Rest up, stay strong for the next lot. :)

    • The comments just wear you down. I wish I were stronger and could just not let them affect me, but when they become the majority of what’s being said to me in my limited interactions with people, it just plain sucks.

      And thanks!

  2. Pamela Black says:

    I would like you say for one thing if you said God on your own page that is your own right.Just like Freedom of Speech! And i`m sorry if people does not like it on mine then so be it.We all have our own beliefs so why judge.

    We are all very ill and trying hard to find help because we are dying a slow miserable death.So I think we have the right to be angry,Losing your health is one thing but when know one believes us and promises to help us.Another door slammed in our face.It hurts badly.

    I wish I could get all these test done fast like you.I am proud of you for sharing the whole ordeal with us.I hope you get the right answers so we all can get our Life some what back.And I would not worry about what others thought so much (stress) and be proud you have the guts to tell all.Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

    Pam

    • Hi Pam,

      I myself am more with Bill Maher on this, but I know that many people feel very strongly about their religion and I really do want to respect that, as long as they can respect my views.

      Anger is such a draining and negative emotion and we would all be better off if we could manage not to feel it. But the reality is that the ME patient community has been treated abysmally for decades. If we weren’t angry, there would be something wrong with us, except, of course, for those few of us who have managed to work through their anger.

      I am extremely lucky to be able to get all these tests done. We have amazing health-care coverage (although maybe not much longer).

      Sending you happy-holiday thoughts,
      Jeannette

  3. Beth Kessel says:

    I am with you on the challenges we face — it is so frustrating! I want to reassure you about the tilt table testing — you may not pass out or have negative effects. I flunked the exercise test and was light headed during and following the tilt table test, but I didn’t get sick to my stomach (the worst!). Just make plans to take extra care of yourself for the rest of the week following the tests– (you probably are already in this habit!) — We had meals planned and stored for the week and I did NOTHING that I didn’t have to do — it may have eased the after-effects for me.
    I am also learning to cull my relationships. It is a sad and painful process, but on the other side of it, I have realized I cannot afford the angst, anger and energy required to hold onto to them. I have a dear friend with whom I raised my children. She was so much fun to hang out with and our families would take vacations together – even when we lived in separate states, we talked on the phone and managed to visit atleast twice a year. She made me laugh and I believed it was more of a sisterly relationship. When I got sick, she started with the negative comments, almost snide, suggesting that maybe I was “just stressed”, then, “just depressed”. The phone calls became infrequent and when we did talk, it seemed forced. I consciously avoided talking about my illness when we did talk, and she stopped asking about it. I finally realized that sometimes you have to let people go to move on. I miss her friendship but I have accepted that she doesn’t “get it” and I am too sick to continue to explain it , justify it, defend it, etc. (and really, should you have to do this with a ‘real’ friend?) In my better moments, I enjoy the memory of our friendship and wish her well (our children remain close and I am thankful for that) — in my darker moments, I still get angry that she didn’t love me enough to try to understand.
    So, I guess what I am saying is that I have let some go and rejoice in those that remain. I have also learned to surround myself with other sufferers — much like you have done with your blog. They truly understand where you are and can offer compassion and hope. At the end of the day, you must be able to be yourself with your friends – in sickness and in health.

    • Hi Beth,

      Thanks for the re-assurance re the tilt table test. Several people have told me that it’s not so bad. The irony is that a good outcome would be if I did pass out, so I am kind of hoping for that, as miserable as that sounds. I hear that many places don’t know how to administer the test correctly and that that is the reason many patients don’t pass out. Sad state of affairs that we have to educate our providers on how to do things correctly. I bet this test isn’t cheap, so I can only hope they know what they are doing.

      The way that your relationship with your formerly close friend has turned out sounds very painful. It breaks my heart to hear these stories.

      At the end of the day, this is more about them and their needs than it is about us and we don’t have to accept their judgment of us (and it sounds like you don’t–good for you!). But this is what gets me: They are making it about them when we really need them. They are putting their own need ahead of the needs of sick people and that’s pretty lame. The thought that we have not done anything to deserve this, that this is not our fault, that they or their family could be next–frightening stuff. Many people don’t want to go there, so they put it back on the patient, sacrificing the relationship in the process. If they can pretend for their own sake that this is something the patient brought on him/herself, they are safe.

      I am so grateful for the new friends I have made in the patient community. It’s very soul-soothing to get this much needed support.

      Take good care,
      Jeannette

  4. Sarah says:

    Empathy is a rare quality. In my experience, people have a hard time just staying with the reality of “I’m sorry for your pain” without wanting to add some kind of statement about their own experience- “I’ve felt that too.” I don’t believe most people intend to minimize, trivialize, or even, perhaps, equate their own pain with someone else’s pain- rather, I think that most people are trying, in their own inadequate way, to offer some kind of connection. So when someone says “yeah, I’m tired too”, I try to hear the connection in that statement, not the ignorance. Of course, as you pointed out, my tolerance for other peoples’ inadequacies and idiocies is directly proportional to just how depleted and frayed I am at the time.
    What you are going through- the tests, the hopes, the fears- must be tremendously draining in ways most people simple can’t grasp. I hope you will be extra gentle with yourself during this time. And if you need to block out the clueless (or even the well-intended) from your life for at time, I hope you will do so. Blogging, FBing, are great tools for connection, but I also think there are times when it’s good to step back, protect yourself. We will still be here when you return.

    • Hi Sarah,

      I think you are on to something. It seems right to me that at least some people are trying to connect this way. And it is certainly a much more pleasant interpretation than to think that people are purposefully hurtful. I think what I am reacting to mostly here is when people say these things after I have asked them not to and after I have told them what I need, one-on-one or, probably more effectively, through my writing. Being around sick people is not easy. It can definitely be hard to know what to do and say and, maybe more importantly, what not to do and say. I wouldn’t expect anybody who knows nothing about ME to get what it’s about. But I do feel pretty strongly that once it’s been explained in detail, there should be more sensitivity and if there isn’t, then it’s because there is no effort being made. I’ll have to live with that, but I don’t have to like it because it adds to the burden tremendously. Ask any ME patient and they will tell you that “I’ve been tired, too” or “You don’t look sick” are at the top of their list of things that mess with them on a daily basis. David Tuller’s recent piece sheds some light on the history and politics of ME, which may explain a bit why statements like that affect ME patients so much.

      I definitely think that I am particularly vulnerable right now being in the middle of all these intense tests. Being pulled between hoping for validation (abnormal tests) and hoping that things aren’t too bad (somewhat normal tests) is quite crazy-making.

      Thanks for reaching out and trying to help me have some perspective. It’s helpful!

      Jeannette

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jeanette,

    I would just like to say that I could totally relate to your experiences of some one living with ME and the isolation and frustration we have to endure on a daily basis along with living with such debilitating symptoms. I have also been considering seeing a Neuro Psychologist for the very same reason’s. I have been looking for a Neuro Psychologist but there are so many of them it’s difficult to know who the good ones are. I was also advised by another ME sufferer who said not to bother as it can work against you if it has to go to court. I really liked the sound of the Neuro Psychologist that you are seeing but I don’t know where you are located or even if you are in London England. If you are in London could you let me have the name of yours. I would really like to know as well the results at the end of your test’s so do keep us posted and keep blogging as it’s really important that we have a voice even it is amongst one another. Kind Regards.

    Yvonne

    • Hello Yvonne,

      The neuro-cognitive test is definitely a double-edged sword. I am pretty sure I did very well b/c I tried really, really hard (b/c I want to get true results) and b/c I am, well, probably on the smart side (I know this sounds really conceited)–otherwise I wouldn’t had the job in the first place that I had to give up when I got sick. I am not too worried that my beloved disability insurance company will be able to do anything with it though. Just b/c I can manage to push really hard for a couple of hours or so two days in a row doesn’t mean I can concentrate and process well and long enough to make 60% of my prior salary. Plus, some of the tasks made me very nauseous. I doubt that clients would appreciate if I threw up on them in the middle of a meeting. Plus, I plain can’t sit long enough to have a regular work day. And sometimes, I can’t speak, so that would make for interesting conference calls. Sometimes, I can’t spell my name. You get the pictures, typical ME stuff. So, if my disability insurance company wants to take me on over the neuro-cognitive testing, I say, “bring it on.” I think we need a really good precedent of an ME patient winning big in such a case. I would volunteer ;) HOWEVER, I wouldn’t recommend other people take that approach, so if anybody thinks that neuro-cognitive testing might hurt them, I would recommend to stay away from it.

      Ultimately, doing the test was an indulgence for me. It was very expensive and I am not sure my health insurance company will pick up the tab. I am located in the San Francisco Bay Area, so, unfortunately, I don’t know of anybody in London. Maybe you could check with Dr. Myhill to see if she knows of anybody.

      I will try to blog about my results if I think they might be interesting for others.

      Take care, Yvonne,
      Jeannette

  6. Kathy D. says:

    You are so courageous, Jeannette. I could never have done these tests. Just reading about them and what you went through is sending exhaustion neurons throughout my body. No wonder you are wiped out. Any one of those tests sounds exhausting.
    I agree with every word you wrote on your post. I’d like to see a law passed banning “fatigue” and “malaise” from the English language, especially when applied to ME/CFS particularly.
    Saying “fatigue” about what we have is like comparing a molehill to Mount Kilimanjaro. I say “bone-deep exhaustion” to people, but even that doesn’t cut it. When a person can’t take a shower, walk to the corner to mail a letter or get a carton of milk, or always has late books to the library (which is two blocks away), because of having no energy to get there, it’s not “fatigue.”
    I don’t think anyone understands it if they don’t have this disease. Friends have said the same things to me. A few months ago, I went somewhere and got worn out. A friend and I were starting to walk six blocks to our homes. I said I have to do this quickly as I’ve faded. She said “oh, it’s nice out. A little fresh air and you’ll perk up.” I had to control my reaction and just said, “it’s not like that. It gets worse the more I walk.” I went somewhere for a few hours last week. Just walking a few blocks wore me out. I drank 3 cups of iced coffee just to get through a few hours…my fall-back plan.
    I wrote something on Sunday and took hours, as I couldn’t retain information. It took so long to do such a short and obvious piece. And I’m wiped out today. No one gets that except CFS sufferers.
    Lately, I’ve been forgetting email addresses that I knew and basic things.
    Yes, you’re right. The push/pull of wanting friends and not to be isolated then comes up against the insensitivity they can show.
    I say protect yourself first and only communicate with those who understand, or else only talk on the phone when you have some energy and then keep it short. It sounds like your spouse gets it.
    I end up reading and watching tv a lot.
    You are smart and capable. Your blog is very well written and well organized. I’m in awe.
    Do nice things for yourself. Be with people who validate you. Ignore the rest, including emailers. Don’t even answer them. Protect yourself first.
    Lots of us get it.

  7. Kathy D. says:

    And eat chocolate! Whenever and wherever possible! It really kicks in the endorphins! It and mysteries, plus my huge tea and muffin when I get up keep me going. I know that sugar is a no-no for some, but if I didn’t have my treats my mood would be awful!
    Be kind to yourself! No matter what.

  8. Kathy D. says:

    Also, just to say that I’m not religious either, never have been (parents weren’t, except we celebrated all holidays, just without the religious aspects), but I have learned to be accepting of other people’s beliefs. It’s just not in my radar screen.
    However, as I said above, I have my own ways of coping — reading mysteries, and my tv and dvd’s from the library keep me going — as well as the aforementioned sweets. It works for me — sometimes or I just crawl into bed.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Hi,

    I have Chronic Lyme Disease, so I suffer from chronic fatigue. Reading your thoughts on the “I’m tired too” comment was like reading my own mind. Thanks for being my voice in the wilderness today. : )

    I thought I’d also share a response I came up with this week. A friend of mine said several times, “Yeah, but everybody feels like that.” Sound familiar? After some thought, I wrote her this in an email, “Yes, but I’m not talking about laziness or procrastination. Like you said about being antsy after two sick days, laziness and procrastination are luxuries unavailable to me now. I look through the other side of the window, seeing busy people buzzing around like little miracle workers, and wish with all my heart I could be them.” I wasn’t sure how it landed, because I haven’t heard back from my friend yet, but I used the same line again today face-to-face with another person, and watched it land beautifully. I was speaking to an OT, so maybe more understanding there, but I think the image really hit home too. I will definitely use that one again. A half laughing-at-you/half laughing-with-you burst of a laugh, tossing back just, “Yes, but I’m not talking about laziness or procrastination!” I think will work too, since it will spike the ball back into their court just sharply enough to be a wake-up call, but still leave room for us all to laugh at our unifyingly-flawed human condition. I guess I’ll see how it goes!

    In any case, just know, I get it!! And, you deserve compassion and unconditional love. We all do. Soak it up where you find it…and you will find it! : )

  10. Kathy D. says:

    I always think of the basic human drive to do, to achieve, to socialize, be with people. We’re all doers and people who want to be out in the world. There’s all of that, and then there’s having fun. Don’t we want to be out there having fun with other people? It’s not just the work issues, but the wish to be out with people having a good time. Don’t people think we want to do that?

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Yes, we want everything that we wanted before, we’ve just learned to live with economy. That may be some of what others are jealous of. I used to think it was quite pathetic for a healthy person to be jealous of a sick person, but now I see it as a poorly expressed compliment. Yes, it is still pathetic; it’s sad that people do not appreciate what they have, but, our suffering has taught us maybe more about truly living in the moment and, “sucking out all the marrow out of life” (thanks Thoreau, and Dead Poet Society”!:). So, we are more emotionally developped.

      The other thing I’ve seen through this kind of disappointment in others is my own judgements. I battle with what others think because I care too much about it, but most of all, because their words echo what I think of myself. I’m faking. I should force myself more. I feel good for 5 minutes, maybe I can go back to work! Being a driven, ambitious, funloving person who wants it all also mingles with being very hard on myself, unrealistically demanding of myself and terrified of failure. Turns out what I need most is to nurture myself, speak kindly to and about myself, love myself. So, new focus: I prioritize being kind to me. I talk back to those accusatory thoughts. I remember how awesome and brave I am for managing all I’ve been through day by day for the last three years.

      It’s a true pleasure to read from you and to write about the truth we all know first hand.

      Enjoy today. <3

  11. Sarah says:

    What excellent advice Jennifer! I am constantly amazed, and grateful, to read about other people’s experiences with ME/CFS and how similar our stories are. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to articulate your experiences and insights. Each and every one of you are lights in the dark, keeping me company.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Sarah,
      It’s wonderful that comfort and you beautiful people are just a google search away. : )

      I’ve been plugging through three days of a Functional Capacity test for my insurance company (a.k.a. Evil incarnate), and fighting off the psychological torture that comes with it. So, I really needed to touch base with reality and truth. There’s so much manipulation of the truth in those tests and offices, I feel I’m being hypnotized or something, and I end up questioning my own sanity and perception of reality. Damn them.

      Anyway, the point is, I am very grateful for your post. You are my light too. Keep up the bravery and expression. The truth sets us free. : )

      Jennifer

  12. Kathy D. says:

    The most important thing is to protect yourself and be good to yourself. You are the only one who really knows what you go through, and you know you’re sick. So you have to take care of yourself, do what you can that makes you content or smile, deal with people who you enjoy being with or talking to, ignore people who don’t get it.
    I read a lot as I can, which brings me enjoyment, and I do watch tv that I enjoy. I read my newspaper, do the puzzle, most days, not all the time, and watch library dvd’s. I do eat chocolate and have my tea and muffin, which puts me in a good mood. (It doesn’t take a lot.)
    Appreciate yourself, people who treat you well, what you can do.

  13. Hi Guys,

    I know I am behind responding and I miss interacting with all of you. I will catch up soon, hopefully. Just really not doing well right now. So, I am just approving your comments without actually reading them right now. Hope everybody is getting along ;)

    Hugs,
    Jeannette

  14. Kathy D. says:

    Hope that you feel better soon. But meanwhile, indulge yourself in whatever you need.
    What you went through with those physical tests was a Herculean feat.

  15. Kathy D. says:

    What’s getting me through tough days right now is strong doses of caffeine in any form plus chocolate. Not the best method, but as a temporary one it works until I crash.
    Hope you’re getting your strength back.

  16. Kathy D. says:

    HI Jeanette, Been concerned about you. Hope you’re recovering from those awful tests.
    Best wishes for a happy holiday for you and your family, and hopes that the new year will bring some answers and treatments for us.
    Best wishes,
    Kathy D.

  17. Kathy D. says:

    Hope you are o.k. and recovered from those grueling tests.
    It seems as if they wiped you out completely.
    Hope that you were able to celebrate holidays and the new year. May it
    bring some answers and help for us and the CFS community.

  18. Me says:

    I’ve just stopped talking to people about it. If someone says something ridiculous, I just try to give like a one sentence correction or just say I disagree and leave it at that. No more lengthy explanations or looking to be understood. It only worsens the frustration and sense of alienation. In my experience, people who show that they don’t get it aren’t going to get it just because we offer more explanation. Once I stopped looking to healthy people in my life for understanding, support, and empathy I felt much better emotionally. The problem for me was that I wanted something from them they couldn’t or wouldn’t give. The only solution was to stop fighting to get from them something I would never be able to get. I understand about the loneliness but for me it was much more lonely the other way. I feel the same way about Facebook, much more lonely and frustrated with it, than without.

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