Last reply 5 years ago
Hurt… trying to let it slide off my mind

(formally known as cwpeace4)

So, I posted a while back about not wanting to tell family.
I have only told husband and sister-in-law who i’ve been friends with for 23 years.
I really felt I trusted her. She is one of the only people I would tell personal things to.
Last night I got a pocket dial (butt dialed) from her and it went to voice mail.
The voicemail picked up her talking to someone… about me.
Not fun to listen to.
The jist of it was her belief that I’m not “sick” and basically making it up.
The hurtful part is not in the words, but in the trust factor.
I don’t defend my physical problem and have always been known for being tough. I don’t bellyache about anything and even give information regarding MS as more scientific and factful when I talk with her about it and my symptoms.
But because my diagnoses is just probable at this point by both MS doc and her nurse, I didn’t feel need to tell anyone else.
And this is why. I think because I seem ‘fine’ and the fact that I limp and can’t run (I used to run races and rarely got the sniffles). But this physically hit me the past 1 1/2 years and only recently this past relapse his hard and I could hardly walk until I had the infusion treatment.
(I apologize for the long writeup).
What I’m getting to.. is THIS is why I don’t tell anyone anything remotely personal. I’ve always been known as the tough girl, the one who doesn’t cry, the level headed one who stays rather calm and handles stress, death, life and dramatic events with ease.
I immediately tried to call her and let her know that she called and if she was aware that her phone stayed on. She seemed nervous and in a hurry and rushed off the phone saying she had to do something.
I haven’t heard from her since.
I hate family dramas and rarely find myself in one. I do confront people if I feel it is important to do so and I pick my battles carefully, letting a lot of stuff go.
But this makes me feel terrible.
I could hear the sound in her voice that i’ve heard before when she has been talking about someone she thinks is full of shit or she doesn’t like much. I guess I never thought I was that person.
It’s hard enough for me to let people into my world… but even harder for me to forgive or pretend things are fine after someone has hurt me.
Enough rambling… I just feel bad.
I pride myself with being a honest, non-playing games kind of person who is also more into being kind instead of ‘right’.
I rarely discuss others unless there is a dang good reason and I don’t play along in peoples attempt at spreading gossip.
So when I hear it about myself … it hurts.

okay… feel better now.

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5 years ago

I’m glad you’ve got that off your chest. It’s a lot to allow to fester.
Now, a lesson from an experienced old git – the best secret is the one that you keep to yourself. Let anyone in and it’s not a secret anymore. It’s out of your control.
Yes, it is a breach of trust between the two of you, but that’s something that you’ll need to discuss with her.
Now is obviously not the right time, so let the dust settle and see if you can move on.
Don’t let a good friendship deteriorate over what may have been a misunderstanding. Perhaps the secret was too much for your sister-in-law to bear on her own.
But, why keep it a secret? It’s not a slur on your character. It needn’t be considered a weakness.
People need educating, because ignorance causes unnecessary problems.
I’m waffling now, but I hope my message helps.

5 years ago

Hi @sunshine
I can almost ‘hear’ the pain coming through in your post. I hope letting it out has helped. People are people and none of us is perfect. Even though it might feel like a real kick in the guts right now. The best you can do is try to let it go and be the bigger person. This says more about her than you and I would bet if she does realise what she has done she is not feeling too proud of herself right now. A 23 year friendship is a long time. You have every right to expect some loyalty and express your disappointment but still leave room for forgiveness if you can. Saying that I don’t expect it would happen over night. Best of luck.

5 years ago

Hi, Sunshine. The really unfair thing is that she’s not (in her treachery) even acknowledging the strength you’ve shown. A lot of folk would have crumpled under the stress, but as you say, you’ve just got on with it. Well I ACKNOWLEDGE IT because it’s no mean feat. And that strength will – in the end – be greater than the hurt you’re feeling. It’s what’s going to keep you OK and in control of the MS. My physio sees a lot of patients with chronic conditions and she told me something which I thought vaguely alarming. She says that she can usually tell within thirty minutes of meeting a new patient how they’re going to cope. She says there are always lots of clues about how resilient they’ll be. On this analysis, I’d think you’d pass the test!

I’ve had two similar incidents, both of which completely threw me because they were from among my closest friends (one I had known for 32 years). They are no longer friends – I can’t cope with them and they obviously can’t cope with me. I hope in your case it will mend but even if it doesn’t, I expect you’ll be like me and find new relationships. As @stumbler says, you have nothing to be ashamed of. People need to accept you as you are with what you have. If they can’t, you’re much better off without them. Big hugs xx

5 years ago

As someone independent and outside of the picture… It’s easy for me to be devils advocate and i may be way off the mark…

But maybe your friend, who has been your confidant and sounding board… also needed a confidant and sounding board?

she may not feel negative about you and your scenario… she’s an old friend, part of your inner circle of support and a family member after all…. however sometimes when holding a secret or taking the weight of someone else’s emotional baggage (especially during a really tricky period like the one your going through) they will need to share the weight of this…

I can only compare it to work for me… I work in social care and support family carers… often people massively unload on me… I need to “download” some of this (confidentially of course) on work colleagues… occasionally I can be disparaging, blunt and caustic during these downloads….. however this doesn’t mean i don’t care about the people who I’ve been listening too… or their really important issues…. I just an outlet.

having this outlet means I can carry on listening, being supportive and enables to me to give quality information to people who need it….

maybe she was just sounding off elsewhere?

It just hurts and stings your soul knowing that you’ve been talked about in any kind of a negative way.

I’m sorry you had to hear it and I really hope you can work it out with her… as I think that you’ll need a safe place to “download” now and in the future.

Don’t forget that the internet generally and specifically can create a supportive environment… and although not part of your inner circle you’ll always find someone willing to be a good listening ear.

As you said in your post…. saying it out loud/typing it… helped… I think we all find that on here too… I also found that for some of my more intimate and personal rants… a totally anonymous blog helps!

5 years ago

Thank you @stumbler, @karynb, @cameron and @JustJones for your insight, kindness and advice.

At this point I am just going to move on. I will have a conversation with her eventually. She hasn’t returned my calls, but that is okay.
As for the rest of my family / friends… still not ready to tell anyone anything. Perhaps one day.
I certainly don’t consider MS or any chronic disease a weakness or character flaw. If anything, going through something as all encompassing as the past 1 1/2 years has taught me to appreciate the good things and what I can do in the moment. It has taught me to be more confident and try and not waste time on negative emotions or people.

I am mainly saddened since my friend / sister-in-law seemed so supportive. I rarely shared something with her unless she asked how things were, what did the neuro say, what did the mri say type questions and answered best I was able to. I’ve talked to her about what it means, sent her online info and she also has a co-worker who she has talked to who has MS and has educated her. So I think she is pretty informed – well… as much as she can be without having it. So hearing words to whomever she was talking to …just threw me for a loop emotionally. I wish I hadn’t listened to the voicemail.
I don’t have the energy to tell others as it requires so much time, conversation, so many questions, suggestions, well meaning this and that. Also the comment I hate the most “So sorry you are sick…” coming from those who have seen my symptoms or have heard somehow that I was having lots of tests done and wasn’t able to race, join in certain activities or home resting since I was so tired etc… People are starting to notice and ask questions…
Gah…… I just can’t do it yet. One day.
Probably not the healthiest thing to do…..

I am however very appreciative of and a facebook ms closed board. It’s so nice to read, get info, advice, vent or just look for support from others going through similar things in life.

5 years ago

Hi Sunshine, I was dxd nearly ten years ago and have never disclosed the MS to any but close family, friends and the people at work who had to know. I’m not entirely sure why I’ve gone down this route – I’ve probably projected my own prejudices! I’m a very private person, don’t like nosey parkers and not disclosing it encourages me to ‘keep it in a box’. I may have to talk more if I deteriorate but for now I’m happy with how I deal with it. Don’t beat yourself up about telling/not telling. As with everything in MS, there’s no one right way and we all react differently.

5 years ago

hiya sunshine… i have had a similar experience. my best friend and i have not spoken for about 4 months… the distance appeared after diagnosis which is coming up for about a year. last year my family life was extremely hectic and i have discovered my friend has been most disloyal to me. it has hurt like buggery but i cannot and will not feather her cap with my life stories anymore just for her to regale to her friends over a bottle of wine. it is her that lacks back bone and sitting on the fence has lost her me as a friend. am i sad about it? yep indeedy… but its another closure for me. i too am a private person and acknowledge that its disappointment i feel that i thought i knew my friend better :(. today is another day xxx

5 years ago

Hi Sunshine… That really must have been tough for you to hear and I do totally understand how you feel as I too have had a similar experience… You’ve had some amazing advice here from everyone and I really hope that in time it will be healed in whatever way that is to make you feel better about it all!

Really is times like this that you realise who your real friends are hey …

Best wishes xxx

5 years ago

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. It’s sad when you think you know someone and trust…. to find out you were wrong. I agree it does tell you who your friends really are. I’m quite a forgiving person as we all have our faults and human weaknesses. But this one stings.
Sometimes I wish they could feel what it feels like to physically struggle. The mental and emotional it brings to worry or doubt oneselves ability and future. Not to mention worrying how people will take the information, hoping they don’t treat you different.

Oh well… life goes on 🙂
Thanks again. You guys are wonderful!

5 years ago

Fact: MS means some ‘loss’ – different for everyone but a loss somewhere in one’s life. When I was dxd no-one I knew had been through anything quite as life-changing. Ten years on, the picture is different. Quite a few people I know are now going through life traumas of various types, including some folk I thought of as invincible. Probably illogically, knowing this has strengthened me. I guess I now see that there’s no such thing as a human life without trauma of some kind …. sooner or later. Some day, it will be your sister-in-law who will have to face something: I wonder how she’ll cope. Anyway, you’ve faced your big challenge and are getting on with life. That’s all that matters. xx

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