Because it took everything I had not to scream at the top of my lungs, "That is what I have felt like for eight years, but worse, far worse! Could you imagine eight years? Eight years? Do you think you would survive it? Do you?" Then I had to get a grip. This is a supportive and dear person in my life who doesn't challenge my illness, it's validity, any of it. She takes me at my word and loves me anyway, and had clearly done nothing wrong to deserve this outburst. As I settled down a blanket of maturity came over me. I felt satisfaction in knowing my friend doesn't know the hell of my illnesses first hand. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. But I also felt proud, because I've survived something insurmountable and damn it, I'm just strong at this point. There is no reason to "prove" my misery to anybody because I ain't seeking approval. C'est la vie, it is what it is, my life I own it. Ramming my truth down her throat wouldn't do anybody any good. So I kept my mouth shut.
My dear husband, however, wasn't quite so lucky. He hurt his knee carrying some stuff down the stairs. It got him bad and for six to eight days he bitched and moaned about it continuously and was a total grouch. After a few days I asked him if I could be honest. "Sure," he gulped, and gave me a suspicious look. "I am so sorry you got hurt. I am. But I have to tell you, your constant complaining made me realize it was really bothering you, you were really in pain. And you know what I thought?" I could all but see the look of reluctant engagement on his face. "I feel bad, I do," I said. "Get on with it," he said back. "Well it sucks you are in pain, but is a good reminder to you when I am doing nothing but kvetching and moaning this is the kind of misery I am in. And it is hard to be nice or do anything but focus on it." And I do have to say he took it quite well, he really did.
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