Have you ever been hurt by someone? I have.
When it happens there are two things I want to do. I want to tell them they were in the wrong… and I want to tell someone else what occurred.
But what happens when it’s my chronically ill family member or friend who has hurt me?
Am I allowed to rebuke them?
And is it right to tell other people?
Q1. Are we allowed to yell at someone who is sick?
Anger brings a delicious freedom.
It allows us to feel that we are “within our rights” (whatever that means!) to say exactly what we think.
It seems to give us license to bring up past issues, to tell someone exactly what we think about them, what they ought to do (or not do), and precisely how much they have inconvenienced us.
My friends, if that is the sort of rebuking we want to do to our chronically ill family member, then the answer is no.
No, we should not rebuke them – because we shouldn’t rebuke anyone like that! It’s not loving.
On the other hand, if by rebuking we mean simply telling them that we are hurt because of them – then the answer is ‘perhaps’.
Continue reading “Why we need to tell our chronically ill friend the truth (even if it hurts)”
I hate my chronically ill family member
Have you ever thought the above sentence? Maybe not in those words. Substitute ‘hate’ for one of these:
Am annoyed at
Would like to strangle
Does the sentence ring true for you now? Has it ever? If so, this post is for you.
We all live in relationship with other people.
It’s different though, when one of the members of the relationship is always sick. Whether it’s our spouse who is constantly hurting, or our sibling who is often in pain, it makes the relationship difficult.
It can mean their ability to engage in social niceties is limited. Often it means we can’t simply leave them whenever we want – there is no ‘space’ or ‘time out’ in our relationship.
Often this is okay. Other times it’s just too much. And there are some days where we can’t stand the sight of our chronically ill loved ones.
We feel like we are about to explode in frustration or annoyance. Our reservoirs of sympathy have dropped to critical level and we just want to grab them and shake them – or yell, wave our arms and leave.
With no plans to return.
But then we feel guilty. We are absolutely awful people. How can we possible get angry at someone who is sick? How can we stand and yell at someone whom society tells us is more vulnerable than ourselves?
After these thoughts, it’s easy for our frustration to double.
It’s not fair.
Why are other people allowed to have fights with their partner but we can’t? This sickness, it gets in the way of everything. There’s no release for our emotions.
You can’t run away from chronic illness – Tweet!
Continue reading “I think I hate my chronically ill family member”
Perhaps your father has been diagnosed with cancer, or your mother with Alzheimer’s, and you’re angry. Angry at everyone: the doctors, yourself, the people around you, the sick person, and most of all, God.
So what do we do?
Smash a few windows? Yell? Break down into tears? What’s the appropriate response?
Is there one?
How do you cope with anger after a chronic illness diagnosis?
What happens when we’re angry at a situation but don’t want to be?
Anger is harmful
I have no “5 Step Plan” to cope with the anger associated with chronic illness. I’m going to admit that up front. But I think it’s helpful to start by admitting that anger is not the best response.
There are more helpful emotions to feel.
I think we all know that. But is anger always wrong? Surely it’s okay to be indignant at injustice, or annoyed at pain.
There’s no simple answer here, no black and white. But we need to remember that righteous or otherwise, anger can hurt people. Anger can cause us to lash out, it can ruin relationships, it can tear apart community. If not addressed will linger and fester, and it will ultimately destroy us.
We should not cultivate anger.
Continue reading “What to do when chronic illness makes you angry”
A chronic illness diagnosis is emotional. We may feel sad, guilty, overwhelmed… and we can feel angry. Sometimes this is short-lived, but mine wasn’t.
Why are we angry?
Coping with anger after a diagnosis is not simple
Chronic illness and suffering is a sensitive topic, so let me use another analogy.
Say I stub my toe. It hurts. It makes me angry.
Anger over chronic illness is a reaction to frustration
Continue reading “After a diagnosis: Why anger?”