Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Partners, Family, Friends & Caregivers » Can you beat my unsupportive family? I dare ya to try.

02-03-2016, 12:31 AM   #1
aurumjd's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Jersey
Can you beat my unsupportive family? I dare ya to try.

Hello all,

Like many of you I pop on here occasionally when it seems like I am the only one going through this torture.

After fighting GI issues since 2007 finally being diagnoised in 2012 and then three more years getting sicker and sicker before the doctors figured out that I kept getting C-diff on the biological. I finally had to stop working one year ago. Due to the severity of my symptoms with treatment. I do all the "right things" but the c-diff, motility issues and Crohn's dance has taken away my life.

I come from a small Northeastern family and my first cousin happened to make himself into a multimillionaire. I mean making over 10 million a year since the early 2000's. He has celeberty kind of money. Let's call him Dick. Dick has been a constant source of invalidation since I got sick. He watched me loose a job I had for 10 years (I have a professional degree), he watched me loose my short term disability, 70lbs and now I'm waiting for SSDI to come through. I had to go into my 401K to stay in my house. All the while my cousin the millionaire, Dick is saying to me and the rest of my family that my disease and infections are all in my mind. No matter what biopsies, CAT scans, endoscopy or colonoscopy results say. It should also be known, he is not anti-medicine at least for himself. He also has a reputation for not taking pain well (adds to the hypocracy).

I wrote an update to my family, the first time in nine years. I'm not a hermit, I guess I'd be called more of a stoic. I have shame associated with the disease and try to keep my business out of the spotlight. So I finally reach out to my family giving them a short summary of the last 9 years. My family knew I had stomach problems but it was never discussed outwardly. Nobody in my family ever asked me how I was doing so I never said. This leads me to the reply I received from Dick (who's never been sick in his life) of my tale of woe. I have not changed anything in the below email, this is exactly what he wrote.

""OK. I am going to continue to be the asshole here. You simply do not
seem to understand me, donít want to, or people are afraid to lay it out for you. I am NOT taking away that you are sick, have terrible symptoms or have a bad situation. I apparently, however, have more respect for you than you do. Just because all that stuff is true, it does not mean that you are unable to live a productive life. Lots of people have lots of ailments and still move forward. Stephen Hawking solves the problems of the universe from a wheelchair without the ability to speak. And you are proud that you wrote a novella? You need to get up off the floor my friend. You have entirely bought into, and are wallowing, in illness. If you find me to be an unsympathetic asshole, then so be it. Wake up and smell the coffee. I love you. You are family. You were a remarkably great worker and competent person. There is only one of us in our relationship that respects you, and thatís me. Once you start respecting yourself, you will change the paradigm, get some meaningful help, and start living a productive life. I have little patience for bullOOPS!. You can do better. I know that things are awful, I know that you are sick, I know that your symptoms are really bad, but can you really look yourself in the mirror and say you are doing everything in your power, no matter how hard, to move toward productivity. I think we both know the answer. Sorry man, truth hurts.""

Now isn't that a thoughtful empathetic response?

My response back would have made ya smile.

You might guess Dick is a lawyer by his rhetoric of a compliment and then an insult tactic.

Before I became ill, I took for granted how I was treated by society and my family. Once I became disabiled, my charachter became suspect in my family. Society began treating me like a second class citizen when I am trying to get SSDI when I paid for it.

Anyone else have a weathly member of your family who won't help but instead becomes a strong source of stress?

If it takes a villiage I need a new one.
Diagnosis: Crohn's Disease (moderately active regional ileitis) - 2012
Associated conditions: Intussusception, Infected cecum, multiple bouts of C-diff infection and last but not least GERD.
Past Medications: Humira (allergic), 6-MP (caused jaundice), Entocort (side effects too severe after years of use), Pentasa and various antibiotics with little effect. Remicade infusions (contracted C-diff and had to stop).
Surgery - Laparoscopic exploratory surgery
Procedure - Fecal Transplant.

Last edited by aurumjd; 02-03-2016 at 12:42 AM. Reason: Wrong icon

Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Partners, Family, Friends & Caregivers » Can you beat my unsupportive family? I dare ya to try.
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