When Those Closest To Us Just Don't Get It.

When Those Closest To Us Just Don't Get It

It is common for individuals who suffer from a complex, chronic illness like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (IBD) to feel like most people don’t understand what they have to deal with.

Not only on a day to day basis, but also the enormous “side effects” (as I call it) that come with life as a chronic illness patient. For example, the guilt so many of us carry, or the fear of the unknown that often comes with living with such an unpredictable disease.

There are so many things we have to deal with as inflammatory bowel disease patients that are truly impossible for someone to grasp if they don’t live with it themselves. Then, there are aspects about our life that only those who live with us or who are very close to us can really understand. The latter is what I want to talk about in this article.

When those closest to us don't understand the condition

Does it ever make you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut when someone who you feel should get it makes some sort of comment or action that flat out reveals that they really don’t have a clue? While I don’t expect anyone to understand my thoughts, feelings, and actions 100%, there are certain people in my life who I do expect to understand and/or accept certain things because of how close they are to me.

I expect these things from some people because they have a front-row view of my life... not parts of it, not what I choose to share on social media, but a true understanding of everything I go through and have experienced in my life and the toll it has taken on me. Not to mention, the cumulative effect of living with a chronic illness can have on a person.

The impact of UC on my life

I will be the first to admit it: Being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 13 screwed me up in many, many ways.

I also know I am a very sensitive person and take things people say to heart. However, I know deep down in my heart and soul that I have done and continue to do everything I possibly can to help myself. By that I mean in every way - physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, financially, etc.

I am not saying I have handled every situation perfectly. I haven’t. I am also not claiming that I have all the answers to everything that has been thrown at me. I don’t. I am lost most of the time. BUT, I do know that I know myself better than anyone. I know how my heart feels, I know what my soul desires, and I know what my body and brain can tolerate.

I also know that so many of you reading this also understand yourself inside and out. It is a by-product of having a chronic illness, in my opinion. We do come to a deeper understanding of who we are and how our bodies work better than we would have had we not been stricken with IBD. Sidenote: I would rather have never heard of inflammatory bowel disease and just know myself like your everyday average person. ; )

Judgements and comments from others

If you are someone who has a hard time hearing certain things from loved ones who you feel should have a better understanding, or from someone who claims to really get it, you are very far from alone. Words always hurt, but they hurt a hell of a lot more coming from someone close to you.

When someone who knows what it is you have to deal with and all of the challenges you have had to overcome and continue to face makes a comment, it can be taken as judgmental. Sometimes it might be coming from a place of judgment, while other times, we may just take it that way. Either way, it hurts!

We all do what we have to to survive. Never, ever, ever feel bad about living your life the way you feel it needs to be lived.

Can you relate to this at all? Do you ever feel like a lack of understanding or empathy from a close loved one triggers something in you? Does it make you doubt yourself? Any tips for others struggling with this? Has this been something that has impeded on many relationships? Have you never experienced this? Let’s talk more about it!

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