Usually when I’m at my worst no one sees what I am going through, so when I do feel well enough to go out or go to class I don’t “look sick.” But, that doesn’t mean I’m not tired or achy. I feel like it’s hard for others to understand what I am going through. I’ve pushed a lot of people away because I feel like they don’t understand. At first it was very depressing to feel like none of the people you thought mattered are there for you, and at times it still hurts. But, I’ve learned to let go of people that can’t understand because it just puts more of a toxic strain on my health and it’s not worth it!
However, I can’t avoid interacting with everyone. I try to communicate the best I am able but communication takes practice and effort on both ends which is frustrating. For instance since I’m in school I need accommodations so I registered with Disability Support Services. Each semester I have that dreaded talk with my teachers. Usually the teachers are very accommodating and understanding, but sometimes I run into “conflicts.”
When I told one teacher she responded, “the class was going to be too much for me, and I should try to find something else.” Obviously, I felt very defensive and frankly offended because she didn’t even discuss accommodations. The class was a requirement so I really didn’t have a choice but to take it. My alternative would have been to contact the college and request an exemption from the requirement—which is not as easy as it sounds. I talked to my advisor before registering for the course. I thought I jumped through all the hoops and communicated my needs so I wouldn’t have any “conflicts.”
I guess what really makes me angry is the way you’re treated like you’re not capable. I’m capable, but I also need a little help from time to time and mostly I just need a little empathy. Even more irritating was the fact that at the time I talked to my teacher I told her I was sick. I didn’t go into details but I had a kidney infection, the flu, and an allergic reaction to the antibiotics so I was REALLY sick. I didn’t respond to her email right away (2 days tops) and she told me that, “I was being disrespectful to the other students who were on a waiting list. She needed confirmation that I was dropping the class. The other student communicated immediately with his advisor and with her.” Basically I felt like she was reprimanding me. First of all I’m 27 years old. I’ve been going part-time to school for ten years. I’m not some teenager who needs to a lesson from her on how to be an adult or whatever. Second, should I have to apologize for the inconvience to her and the other student for being sick? That was the ultimate slap in the face.
I don’t know…it’s really frustrating. Even with my boyfriend who I have been with for 4 years, he still says things that make my blood boil. For instance when I have really bad pain and I tell him my legs hurt so bad, and he says, “From what?” I say, “From nothing. I don’t have to do anything to be in pain…that is just the illness.” Then I feel like he doesn’t understand me at all even though I talk about it all the time. I feel guilty too because he works outside in construction and I know he has had a long, hard, tiring day. But, once he’s rested for a bit or has the weekend off he can still wake up at 6 A.M. and jump out of bed to go fishing…I can’t do that! The laundry needs to be done, the dishes need to be washed, and the trash needs to be taken out. Since I’m home all day I try to do those things. I feel like it’s my responsibility but if I also felt better I wouldn’t be home all the time…I would be working. So, again there is this lack of understanding that I still need his help to do those things.
Sorry for the long post but this is a topic that is such a major issue. I was wondering if others have experienced similar communication problems and if they feel the same way or am I just being too sensitive?