Others’ Lack of Empathy Contributes to My Solitude
When someone is sick or injured, they typically have a support system to help them through it. The lack of empathy I’ve experienced from a few family and friends during this time is appalling. People who lack empathy cannot relate to others, and have no business giving advice. I cannot handle the stress they bring into my life, because every bit of it makes me physically sicker. At the same time, I am setting boundaries, cutting ties, and putting people in their places.
It’s unbelievable to me how many people are so out of touch and lack depth or care about the people they’re supposed to love. Someone that digs and digs at things they know are triggers is an asshole. And they do it while I’m fighting for everything I have. I need every ounce of energy I have to do normal daily things for myself, so when my energy is drained because someone is an asshole, it completely disrupts my healing process. I can’t have that.
I am learning I have a history with closeted mean-girl types and emotionally unavailable female friends, thanks to my maternal relationship. A few of us have recognized my mother as a mean girl, especially after she decided to send me something that was obviously intended to insult me. (I confirmed this with two other people, so I know I’m not crazy.)
Instead of taking the time to understand something very important to me that would help our relationship, she used the time to make fun of and hurt me. The way it was done was so degrading, that it makes me feel like I’m invalid and she hates my guts. This isn’t the first time she’s done something like this. It finally dawned on me that no matter how many times I made excuses for her, this has always been a toxic relationship. And it’s the only parental relationship I have. No wonder I’m depressed.
Most people that have known me for at least the past 15 years have never seen me with this significant weight loss. I haven’t been super skinny since during an incredibly stressful time in my life in my early 30s. I hear others making comments about my appearance and whispering as if I cannot hear them, including family. It makes me feel like I’m back in middle school, except with adults.
Depending on the context, I think comments are probably normal in my situation, but CONSTANTLY reminding me about my weight loss and saying things like, “Oh my god! Look at you! You’re so skinny!” is demeaning as hell and makes me want to throat punch you.
Yes, I am very well aware I’ve lost weight. If you’ve been listening to me for the past year, I’ve been telling you I’m sick and something is wrong!!! Now, are you going to sit there insulting me or at least offer to help? No? Then get the fuck out!
A friend I’m going to nickname Sourpuss made an insensitive joke: maybe I’ve found the new secret diet I could market.
Yeah, a malnutrition diet. Real fucking funny, Sourpuss.
Several months ago, Sourpuss was the same friend that did me “a favor” by going shopping and bringing something to me while she had full-blown Covid. When I’d heard her voice over the phone, I insisted she NOT come over. Instead of respecting my wishes, Sourpuss did anyway, insisting “it was just like having a cold.”
And did I mention she went to a store primarily frequented by senior citizens? I was
dismayed pissed at her reckless behavior and lack of concern for everyone’s health, including mine, after I’d just explained to her about my immune deficiency. But after listening to last week’s mouthful from her, it’s obvious she doesn’t believe in medicine and thinks everything is controlled with our minds.
The other day, Sourpuss called and started offering medical advice to stop seeing doctors – and just live!
Wow!! Why didn’t I think of that??!!! What genius advice! That’s a Nobel Prize winner, there, lady! That’s also equivalent to telling a depressed person “just be happy.”
The entire conversation lasted 14 minutes, most of which was her talking. After hearing Sourpuss ramble for ten minutes to tell two-minute story, I knew she was leading up to the part about “doctors don’t know anything and cause more problems and make up things for more money.”
How many fucking times do I have to remind people that I go to the VA, so this isn’t about money at all! It’s not private healthcare. They do not make money like private doctors! It’s a government entity, and it actually costs to treat veterans. No one is getting kickbacks for sending me to get X-rays or an MRI at the VA clinic.
Then Sourpuss proceeded to tell me all about how she hadn’t been to a doctor in eight years – and she’s perfectly healthy! How would you know you’re healthy if you haven’t been to the doctor in eight years???
As she continued to talk over me, I thought this was such a ridiculous conversation, a total waste of my time trying to explain something to someone who obviously had no desire to listen and educate herself. A total waste of the good energy I had that day!!!
Her lack of education really showed through when she questioned me about my own genetics, and how did I know about them? (I suppose if you haven’t been to a doctor in eight years, you wouldn’t understand the advances in science.)
“Because I had bloodwork to confirm it.”
“But how do you know they’re telling the truth?”
I couldn’t believe this asinine shit filling my ears. She wouldn’t shut up long enough for me to get another word in, even when I raised my voice to try to talk over her this time. The worst of it came when she said my condition(s) are all about my thinking, that I will have these conditions if I think I have them, that can walk normal and be all better if I “only try,” if I “just do it.”
Huh? I wasn’t sure I heard correctly.
“Just do it. You’re not trying.”
“Not trying what? What are you talking about?”
“You said you can’t walk. Just walk.”
I hung up.
I have no intention of speaking to her anytime soon. I am fucking done with these goddamn audacious assholes with their uneducated, unsolicited advice, and their lack of listening skills, with nothing but bullshit-conspiracy-whatever spewing from their pie holes!!
What a fucking nerve of her to suggest “just do it” after that’s all I’ve been trying to do for 14 months!!! She’s supposed to be my friend, but I feel like I don’t need friends if this is how they act. I don’t need anyone around me who acts this way.
My solitude is becoming more and more.