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Family - To tell or not to tell

Hey everyone;

Just wanted to bounce this off of you all and hear your thoughts...

I haven't spoken to my family (mom, dad, sister, brother) in over 3 years. We were never extremely close and had a 'falling out', lots of drama.

Since then, I was diagnosed with Crohn's... I would say it has been moderate to severe... (4 flares in 2 years, next stop Remicadeville)

Since there may be a 'genetic' factor... should I tell them about my illness? Send them a quick letter with the facts? Or, do you think I should go a step further and reach out for support? Much of me is afraid of their rejection and I don't know if I could handle the stress... but then the other part of me wants to tell them, just so they can keep an eye out for themselves in case they have similar health concerns. And I could use all the support I can get... I hate to ask for help and feel guilty that it might seem that I am only asking for their support when I am desperate...

Really, I think I am just tired of dealing with this alone...
(although i have nothing similar to your circumstance in my life, my opinion would be)

just try contact them, go all the way.

i think i'd rather get knocked back by the help i try to give and hopefully recieve from my family, rather than live my life having never tried.

do it.

and here's some {{HUGZ}} for your journey.'

I say reach out, if you are afraid of rejection, try to call and leave a message on an answering machine when you think that they won't be home, then it would be up to them to call you back. Maybe they feel the same way maybe they want to reconnect with you but haven't had a reason to take the first step. What ever you decide to do I'm sure you'll make the right decision. Good Luck.
I would probably try to reach out to the one that you were the closest to. I myself am not close to my dad at all and have yet to tell him about the disease. But, I am close to my mom. I am not sure what I would do if I wasn't close to either of them.

If it doesn't work out with them maybe you can open up to a friend or maybe even a counselor or something. I think we all need support with this disease. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.
I agree with everyone else. Reach out. It takes the bigger person to reach out to family when there has been a falling out. I had a falling out in my late teens with my father and only reconnected after a health scare with him and we've grown over the years. So I say when it comes to family, just do it and see what happens. Health concerns aside, it's always nice to have your family by your side, there is no reason to go through this alone.
maybe it's the right time now for the gap to be closed between you and your family. my gut feeling is the same as everyone else's, yes reach out.

at the end of the day, they probably miss you as much as i'm sure you miss them, and a happy reconciliation would help your stress levels enormously.

the only thing i'd add is, if you can settle in your mind the issues which caused the drama in the first place, file them away & forget them, before you make contact, then all the better. just getting back in contact with old grumbles still bothering you is only going to cause a future upset.

sadly, i am talking with something of experience here. family is important, and i believe it's worth making every effort you can to mend relationships while you still can. i wish i'd realised that myself, years ago.
Hey MsSickandTired, I'm sorry to hear about your falling out with your family. My opinion? If it was me, I think I would write them a letter. Much easier to get exactly what you want to tell them out without the risk of becoming overly emotional or the conversation veering off course. You could outline what has been happening with you, explain the possibility of a genetic link and leave the door open to them to contact you if they want more information, or want to speak to you after they read your letter. Good luck with whatever you decide!
hey ms s&t
yeah i pretty much agree with everyone else. i feel terrible though, that is such a rough situation :(

i think girlfridays letter idea is a good one. i know that when i am trying to have a conversation with emotions attatched, i always miss saying something important. the letter would allow you to make sure you say everything you need to.
and then i think you should tell them that you want to speak to them when they recieve the letter.
"would you please call me when you recieve this? i want to make sure that you have gotten it and answer any questions you will have"

I agree with everyone here, let them know, its been three years and you never know they might be able to be there for you and help you. You might also learn about someone else in the family having the same thing.
I "reached out" to family that I was moderately estranged from and it resulted in a massive amount of stress to me. They hadn't changed a bit, I don't know what I was thinking. As a result I had a gnarly flare that left me in bed for a few days and meanwhile I had to put up with them.

Never again.

Dealing with immature and selfish people is difficult enough without having to do it while I am sick and especially if it makes me sicker.
...yeah, this is what I am afraid of... that they haven't changed... and it is likely that they haven't changed. Of the four family members I am dealing with, one is narcissist and one is an alcoholic... The other two are pretty 'normal' but of course have their issues.

I am thinking that if I do make an attempt to reach out, I should wait until I feel a little stronger so that if it doesn't go well, I'm able to recover quickly... Anyways, I still haven't decided either way, but I'll keep everyone posted on how I proceed.

Great picture, by the way, CD68. Cleverrrrrr. :)
I was scanning the boards looking for support on dealing with family members. I was wondering if there may be a book that family can read on help to help a sick loved one. My family is not very supportive. hen i do ask for help they sound resentful and very judgemental. My sister is always being sarcastic about the car I drive. How can i ask for support for someone who criticizes such little things.
I told her one small piece of info about a health concern and now i am afraid she will become a "health police". I am jsut finding I can't share too much info with my famiyl. It always becomes about them. Ditto for my mom. She uses it to gain sympathy from her friends and family. It does make me very sad but there is so much history and hard feeligns involved.
I have had much better success getting help from strangers. There is little emotional attachment. A counsellor or support group tht deals with Crohn's would be good. If not just health isssues. This board has helped me more than any family member.
I would ask what your intentions are. If you want to help them ok.. but if you want and need support for yourself... be prepared to be rejected. If you are prepared for tht than anything else is a bonus.
I really need a book to give my family.