two halves of a broken heart, one is angry and the other is sad

When Family Doesn’t Support Your Crohn's

Living with Crohn’s disease can quickly become an endless nightmare. It is filled with so many ups and downs that emotionally and mentally, it is hard to keep up. There are times where the lows are so low you think it might not be possible to continue hoping for improvement and that you will be stuck incapacitated forever. And the highs can be so high, that you believe you may actually be able to kick the disease in the butt indefinitely.

Support from family and friends is so helpful

Overall though, throughout the hard journey of dealing with a chronic illness like Crohn’s, family and close friends become the most cherished things around you during those ups and downs. Family provides support, a shoulder to cry on, a hug to release into. Family can truly make or break how you experience the trials of Crohn’s disease.

But family and friends aren't always supportive

What happens when those closest to you can actually be the most judgmental and harshest voices around you? How do you cope with the feeling of betrayal from a loved one? I mean, aren’t they the ones that are supposed to love you the most?

I’m sure at one point in your healing journey you may have heard the following from a loved one or friend:

  • “You’re just asking for attention.”
  • “why do you have to be sick all the time?”
  • “Can you not be so dramatic?”
  • “I can’t count on you.”
  • “You’re faking it.”
  • “Why don’t you just get surgery?”
  • “I don’t think you’ll be able to do that, you’re too sick.”
  • “You know, everyone suffers at one point in life.”
  • “You’re too complicated.”
  • “You can be doing more.”

It is heartbreaking to hear these things, but I am here to tell you that you aren’t alone.  All of us have heard something of this nature at one point in time, and yes all of us have been hurt and even have cried in the process.

Why do our loved ones act this way?

The thing is, we have to change our perspective and give our loved ones some grace in this matter. I for one, choose to believe, that it is fear that instigates their behavior. They love us. They hate seeing us hurting and in pain. They are just as frustrated as we are with the situation, and like us, they just want to see us better.

Most importantly, because they do not have the diagnosis themselves, they don’t understand the complexities and the sheer exhaustion that comes with the illness.

Hurtful comments from loved ones

Hurtful comments from loved ones just come from fear and ignorance. Truly, if they knew the truth, they would never say it, so we must take deep breathes and forgive. Please don’t misunderstand me though.

I am not trying to downplay hurtful behavior or by any means suggest it should be overlooked. I’m just trying to suggest to be the bigger person in the matter. If the behavior comes from a loved one, I know it is coming from a place of fear ultimately, and with that knowledge, I am able to extend grace and forgiveness more easily.

I hope this helps some. I know so many of us can deal with a lot of negativity from those closest to us and perhaps this perspective may help with being able to forgive.

Do you agree, or not so much? Share below, let’s start a conversation.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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