***Please note this is written about fellow chronic illness warriors and their experiences not mine. I am simply writing this to bring a little awareness to the not talked about bullying that happens in groups, and family situations. Please be respectful of what others have endured as I try to reiterate their journeys in this blog post.***
One thing I have noticed lately in “support groups,” is the lack of belief that others are fighting a similar battle. It isn’t just something I have noticed in one of the support groups, but in a several. This trend needs to come to an end.
For example while in a “support group” thread I came across a statement where a member photographed a letter from their doctor and posted it to the group. The letter explained that they had a disease, one that is severe and they are needing more tests and hospitalizations. The member posted this because sadly someone rudely told them they were lying about their disease.
I know it’s not uncommon to be attacked in support groups verbally. Which is a sad fact. When we join a support group we are looking for someone to lean on to talk to or to share our journey with. In my opinion a support group should be just that, “support.” It should not be a place of doubting each other’s illness, being passive aggressive, picking on someone, or being condescending.
Sometimes others with similar diseases have different symptoms and that it why symptoms vary. Attacking someone doesn’t help that person and it doesn’t help you either. Fighting the chronic disease battle is hard enough and when we come to what is supposed to be a safe place and are attacked it makes us feel like we have no support.
It is not just the lack of belief in fellow members, some groups have some members that know more than most about the diseases they have. Sometimes when someone posts a seemingly benign comment they jump on them telling them there facts are not right. Belittling someone isn’t helping them, it is truly hurting someone else.
The fact that some people do this to each other is disheartening. The point is that we as sick people should not have to prove to anyone how sick we are. We are in fact chronically ill, our doctors know this. Having to prove to our family, and friends and fight for the care we need is hard enough. Having s family member say, “you are faking,” is shattering. Having a spouse accuse you of lying about illness cuts deep, than turning to a group for support and being shunned away isn’t helpful.
Everyone deals with illnesses differently jut because someone is more expressive online doesn’t mean they are attention seeking. Most of the time the thing they are seeking is love, understand and most of all support. Some people are more private about their journey with illness doesn’t mean they are lying about it.
I know for me living with rare disease that some people find it hard to believe I am sick. It is easy to pretend to be healthy and normal for a few hours. I then come home exhausted and rest for a day or two to recoup. It is also extremely infuriating to have to explain to doctors in the ER all the diseases that ale me. Them not believing me sometimes, thus my folder I carry with me. Which you can read about in this blog post. https://annawerrunblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/why-its-important-to-carry-your-diagnosis-with-you-when-you-live-with-multiple-diseases/
Thank you for reading this. I am hopeful that support group bullying will come to an end!
Have a wonderful day.
I remain hopeful always.