May 11, 2011
I know how hard it was to be sick my whole life, but I could not see the pain my family was going through. I was never on the other side. As I got older, I began to get some insight. I have this wonderful friend. She lived her whole life with a sick mother and a severely profoundly handicapped brother. This friend carried the weight of the world on her shoulders and yet was able to offer so much compassion toward me. Over the years, her wisdom and trials helped to open up my own eyes. It was hard for me to understand how my kids felt. It was even harder to know what my husband was going through. They all seemed to keep it locked up inside. I figured they were "used to" me being sick and they were somehow immuned to it. I misinterpreted it as if they just didn't care. At some point, I began to realize that each person deals differently with pain and suffering. Some tacle it head on, while others run in the opposite direction. It's a defense mechanism. It's just the way we are wired. For so many years I only saw my perspective. And that perspective brought me incredible heartache. But it was because my focus was on how their responses affected me. I justified my anger because I felt I didn't ask for this, or I didnt bring it on myself. I somehow expected my family to understand. I used to think...." boy, so in so's mother is a raging alcoholic, treats her family like crap, but yet her kids are so good to her". That would enrage me. I felt that I pushed and pushed and tried so hard to be a good mother and wife. I would force myself up from bed so that a dinner would be on the table when they all got home. I did the best I could to keep the house clean. Everything I did was so strenuous and exhausting. I felt so taken for granted and ignored. I believed everything I did was for NOTHING! But once again, I was not in their shoes. All they knew was what they lived with their entire lives. I am sure they were scared, frightened, and tired of me being sick and easily angered. I am sure it was easier to run away then to deal with me at times. They had NO idea what I was going through. How could they? It's strange that despite all the misunderstandings, tensions, and blow-ups, we managed to maintain an incredibly close family. It's no where near perfect, but we all love each other so much. I like to humorously call us a "functional dysfunctional" family! Every family has their problems, but in the end LOVE always conquers all and covers over a multitude of sin.