Crying In The Middle Of JCPenney | Family and Chronic Illness

Crying emotion

“Crying Emotiguy” by farconville

You read that right. I don’t want to give you the impression that I was uncontrollably sobbing, but I did have to take my glasses off and wipe tears.

I was accompanied by my future mother-in-law and we were wandering between men’s big & tall and the guys department.

Combing over the sale rack I was overcome with a spirit of thankfulness. I glanced at my future mother-in-law and blurted out…

“Thank you for everything you have done for me.”

Next thing you know the tears were flowing. We quickly embraced and began to walk it out!

Let me tell you, I wasn’t expecting that!

I have had a few days to reflect on why those emotions surfaced. I have come to the following conclusions.

Unfortunelty, when you are living with an invisible chronic illness you often find yourself trying to convince others that you are suffering from a real condition that they can’t physically see.

I try to be as authentic with people as I can, but certain individuals don’t completely embrace my story as believable.

8 years into this condition I am learning to be OK with the idea that some people can’t be convinced.

I am less tolerant when it comes to members of the medical community. Certain doctors and “specialist” I have encountered have taken the position that credibility comes in the form of blood work, CT’s and MRI’s. If everything comes out “normal” your credibility is shot.

Then comes the patronizing phrasing…

“Are you more stressed than usual?”
“Is everything OK at home?”
“Have you considered seeing someone in mental health?”

You know something is TERRIBLY wrong, but the person you believed had the power to fix it has thrown in the towel. They have closed off the idea of possibility and you are disregarded.

Thank GOD not all medical professionals are cut from the same cloth.

Which takes me back to why I got emotional in the middle of JCPenney.

I really should have said to her …

“Thank you for believing me! Thank you for not dismissing me or second guessing me. Thank you for making adjustments to my situation.”

I can count on seeing three people on a daily basis. THREE! One of those individuals is my future mother-in-law.

She believes me! She doesn’t question me. She knows who I was before and who I am now. She didn’t discard me or question me, and that is why I cried in the middle of JCPenney.

If you are being dismissed or ignored, hang in. There will be a person that comes into your circle that doesn’t need to be convinced. They will embrace, believe, and accept. Just promise yourself that when that person presents himself or herself you won’t take them for granted!

Much love,
Marissa

“You look so good!” The Aftermath

If you are healthy and have a family member, friend, co-worker that has shared they are ill ( but deep down you question because they look 100% healthy in your eyes), please check out this video. I am happy to open up and share what I am calling “The Aftermath.”

Some alternatives to “You look so good!”

– I am so happy to see you today.

– I have really missed you.

-I love those earrings, necklace, shirt, etc.

-You look beautiful. (This feels vastly different than, “but you look so good!”)

-Thank you so much for being here.

Heads up! Try not to use the word, “but” in front of the words, “You look so good!” When I hear the word “but” my mind heads in all different directions. This is what I hear in my head.

-Are you really as sick as you say?

-You look “normal” to me.

-I don’t think this girl is as sick as she says she is.

You may be thinking to yourself. “That’s her issue. It’s something she needs to work out in her head.” I ask that you trust that when you are living with an invisible chronic illness you spend a great deal of time trying to convince people you are sick because you are constantly hearing phrases like, “but you look so good!”  My outward appearance doesn’t often reflect the internal turmoil.

The definition of the word “but”:

“Used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned.”

Sensitivity goes a long way. This is really a case where ” think before you speak” makes a world of difference to another person.

Hope this helps. :)

* Don’t hesitate to share alternatives to the words, “You look so good!”

Much love,
Marissa