*Author's Note: Your comments on this post were GREAT! I got up at 5am the other day, checked my comments and yukked it up, loudly, much to my roomies irritation. I tried to share the comments with them, but for some reason they were not interested in listening to them at that early hour. What a bunch of babies!
There is a method to my madness here. Despite my reading choices, which would make me seem more mature and serious than I am, I am not always as grown up as I could be (should be?). People want to treat me like a delicate invalid whose disease should entitle her to special treatment. No one wants to be mean to a gimp, like it is bad karma or something. They want to treat me like I'm sick and a delicate flower -- something that irritates me to the roots of my soul. I am NOT sick in the sense that we tend to think of "sick" (mental problems aside). My body is healthy, I just have an immune system that hates me. And the quickest way to get my hackles up is to treat me differently because of it, or give me special treatment, or even to be too nice to me when it is not warranted. I don't want a free pass to be an ass hat because of my disease. I want people to see all of me and treat me the same as anybody else regardless of my disease and physical problems. Even my mental problems do not give anyone a reason to treat me differently. I do not feel that depression, especially under the circumstances, is a reason to treat me with kid gloves. When my disease came out of the gate with a gusto that was scary, everyone started acting differently to me: they no longer wanted to make fun of me, be mean to me. In my family we all tease and harass each other endlessly; it is our way of showing love. And to suddenly be exempt from that harassment made me feel worse than if they had just kept up with the insults. Insults I can handle, being treated gently I can't.
After the initial shock and bouts of incessant crying started to subside, I got tired of all the sympathy and felt it was time to move out of the "shock" stage (is that the first stage in loss? I can't remember and don't want to get a book out to find out for sure). I moved into the "anger" stage while everyone else continued grieving -- and I'm still stuck at "anger," but I think you figured that one out. I found early on that if I heckle and annoy my family they lose their patience with me and treat me like my old self, of which there are still a few remnants left. As long as I am an obnoxious ass to them, they treat me the same way they always did. They take back the "Get Out Of Punishment Free" card and let loose on me in a way that I find refreshing. I want to remind people that just because I have this disease I did not become a saint with patience that would rival Job's. I get woolly and cross and obnoxious. I like to annoy them and remind them that I am still a pain in their aft ends regardless of my disease. Maybe my method doesn't work for everybody, but for me it get results. I may not think deep thoughts, pen moving poetical lines about MS, be serious too often, or come across as a person with even 2 brain cells rubbing together, but all that stuff is just not me. If I am too serious people start to worry about my mental state and whether they should haul me off to the loony bin again. And that is a road I really do not want to go down again, thank you very little. So whenever I feel like someone is being too kind to me when I don't have any claim to being treated that way (besides having the MS, which I don't find to be an acceptable excuse) I have to be an obnoxious ass pipe to make them realize there is much more to me than just MS. There is no sound sweeter to me than someone treating me that same way as everyone else and saying the same negative things they would say to anyone acting/saying the things I do. It is a lullaby that soothes my soul and brings a smile to my face.
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