Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Holding high standards

DH and I had a pretty good conversation last night. While I think some could have taken it personally, it remained productive and was a good starter point for other topics to come up.

Part of the reason I completely left a group I used to be a part of is because of feeling let down. As I discussed here awhile back, the majority of people do not realize that while they go about their daily lives of working, PTA meetings, school activities and kiddie soccer games, their is an entire population of those of us who are quite literally stuck at home, concentrating on breathing through pain and unable to get even 10 minutes of relief so we can do as much as check our mailbox.

Eight months should not go by without hearing from any of them. Ok, I'll be more realistic. I have not heard from 99% of them.

Over the last 3 1/2 years of disease, we have learned to let go of people. Sometimes it's family. Other times it's people we wrongly thought were true friends. We learned though they could not handle illness and were a constant source of stress and strain. We learned to let go and our lives became much more peaceful without them. That isn't to say it did not hurt, because it did. It still does, but we know it's for the best and we're ok with that.

DH says it is not really fair to them to feel let down because of their lack of action. It is true I hold high standards, and deep down I know it's not fair. It's hard though to accept that people are not all of the activist nature. I always have been.

See an issue that ticks me off? Off goes an email to my local representative and both Senators.

New graffiti show up on a utility box or a block wall? Fill out the city department's instant notification system on the Internet.

Someone have surgery or really sick? Make something, even as small as a snack if that's all I can do at the moment, call them and ask if they will be there for 5 minutes for you to drop it off.

I have never been one to sit and see an issue that ticks me off, see something that needed fixed, or sit back and know someone is hurt, and just have a discussion about it.

Karen was the same way. I still cry at a moment's notice over her death. Karen and I knew better than to ask if we needed anything because we knew the answer would be "I'm fine." When we both felt better, we made something for the other once a week. We had a great baking challenge, always trying to outdo one another. When things got worse, it slowed down but we still did it. We didn't ask, we acted on it.

That doesn't mean anyone is better or worse. We are all just different.

And so, I think I am going to go back. I need it. The kids need it. I expect there will be the usual niceties, the obligatory "How are you?" questions but if comes from any of the 99%, I can't see that I will give any other answer than the expected "Fine" and let us both move on. I know that may not be the best, they may need to hear the truth, but I don't know that I can handle letting any of them in closer than that, only to be hurt again by their apathy and lack of compassion. I can't take that right now.

There is a gap though, this hole, that I need to fill and I know what it is. I'll learn to deal with the others as they come.


  1. I know where you are coming from..but from the other side. My best friend is homebound. Has been for about 11 years. We met at work and became good friends. When she became sick, it seems like everyone was "concerned" but that was as far as it went. No one called her or went to visit her. Now she sits at home all day by herself. I call her often, and try to visit as much as I can (once a week if possible) Doctor visits?? I get to be her taxi cab. We always have so much fun together. Now we are the best of friends - knowing all of each other's secrets and dreams. I am so glad I did not become one of those "concerned" friends. I would have missed out on so much!

  2. Oh, and if you ever need a friend...I am here

  3. Keesha,
    I think that sometimes, people just don't know what "is appropriate" to say, and rather than risk looking foolish, they take the coward's way and avoid the situation altogether. Sometimes that means avoiding a situation, but more often, a person. If that person is already feeling isolated mand/ or alone, it hurts immeasurably more. I don't think people mean to act that way...they are just considering only their own comfort levels. Wouldn't this be a wonderful world if everyone put all others ahead of themselves the way we do for our own families?? Not realistic to hope for, but isn;t that what we try to teach our children by example? Here for you if you ever need to chat. MAureen

  4. I know exactly how you feel. its hard to realize how shallow people can be. Its maybe because they just dont understand or they dont know how to handle their own uncomfortableness, but during the rough times true friends prove their trustworthiness and dedication. Its sad that its only like 2 out of 50 people that stick it out. Even after I'm starting to let people back in my life I notice that I dont really consider them true friends, friends that are really there.

  5. This has been my experience too. If a friend of mine is in hospital, I am the one who shows up with deodorant, decent soap, magazines, chocolate and their kid to visit, whereas the best I might get from all but one friend is a phone call and maybe some flowers.

    It kind of stinks when your own standards are not applied back to you. "What goes around, comes around" is so untrue in this instance.

    I think it is partly true that people are embarrassed and don't' know what is "appropriate". However, most normal people should have the skills and common sense to be able to navigate this obstacle.

    A phone call to ask how you are and what you need literally costs nothing these days, and goes a long way to help.

    OSM (who is now picking up the phone!)

  6. I was just checking in and felt like I needed to respond to this post. I literally teared up reading it as I have experienced so many of these same things myself. Thanks so much for putting it into words much better than I could ever express. You and your family stay in my prayers.

  7. i have found the same exact thing, i don;t have anything as serious as all of you but i do have alot of spine issues i was injured by a 17 year old kid who decided he wanted to play chicken with a dump truck but unfortenetly for me i was in front of him. not asking for pity just telling the fact. what i found as i tried to weather my way thru the pain and the suffering the surgeries that did nothing but make things worse, the people who i use to call friend , who i would call and chat with for hours all of a sudden didn;t have time , will get back to ya but never did, because i can't do the things we all did as a group, hiking mountain trails, skiing in winter, basketball games all the stuff we did as a group of friends, well as the days got more and more involved with trying to not want to kill myself from the pain, my support group went from the 15 odd people we use to do things with down to 1 person, and she i have to give credit listened to me and let me vent and was there when i did need her, until i had to do it all again, then she was busy we would make plans for lunch she would cancel i truly miss her. i understand though she has alot to deal with herself, her husband is legally blind a diabetic and not in the greatest health. and now she is working full time so don;t have the time but i felt the same betrayal as you when all of a sudden oh we are to busy. how hard is it to pick up the phone and say im thinking of you , how hard is it to suprise someone witn a visit and a bouquet of flowers. how hard is it to just be there when your needed. guess pretty hard for most. then there is the family, like my cousin, who we use to be such good friends like sisters we always said , then she needed money so who did she come to i had a little from my settlement, could i just let her borrow blablabla, then all of a sudden she don;t return the calls o course the money is long gone, my fault for trusting someone i thought i could. it sucks but ya know something keesha, when i met you (well online you know what i mean) i felt we could be good friends you understand and never ever belittle someone . speaking of the other issues we dealt with recently they are such tardos, let them stuff it sideways down their throat migt look good bewahahahahahaha hangin there girl hugs