If you have an illness or injury or are in chronic pain, I am pretty sure you have had someone if not many people tell you that they “know what you are going through”. They understand you. They get you. And then my favorite part comes and they compare a pain of theirs to yours. OMG! Really??? I have had this happen to me for years. I have had many different people tell me that they know what it is like to be “tired”. Now I laugh, because I am like really? I would love to be tired, I am fucking exhausted beyond your imagination and you are telling me you are tired. If I was “tired” I wouldn’t even think of complaining. That isn’t even worth mentioning. Or how about when people tell you that they have a “headache” so they totally understand when you say you have a migraine, oh but wait a minute I have had my migraine for years. I mean it is practically a freaking part of me. You are going to tell me that they sympathize with what I am going through? NO. NO they don’t. No they can’t. No they have no frickin’ clue as to what I have and am experiencing. And by all means please don’t tell me you do.
However, my most recent “comparison” was by far the most upsetting, and most unbelievable. The other day I was talking with someone who happens to be a nurse and a friend of ours. We were talking about having to keep the faith and how difficult that can be when you are not feeling well and it seems as if the cards are stacked against you. She then proceeded to tell me how she totally understands what I am going through because she has the same thing every day! Every morning when she gets up she has to run her hands under warm water so that she can even move them and while she is doing that she prays to the Lord asking him to help her hands work that day. I know I had to have the most shocked look on my face. I kept thinking I couldn’t have heard her right. I mean right? I just couldn’t have. I just sat there for a moment quietly thinking OH MY GOD in my head. I am not saying that no one else experiences pain but how could you even think of comparing that to me? Here she is comparing her hands hurting to where she has to run them under warm water so that she can move them to my excruciating pain, exhaustion, memory, focus problems, constant migraines and concentration issues. That is like comparing apples and oranges. She is in her 50’s and is able to work. Here I am in my late 30’s and am applying for permanent disability. I can’t work. I can barely move and walk at times. Don’t you think that if I could run my body under warm water and it would relieve my pain so that I could move, don’t you think I would frickin do that? Geesh! I would live in a flippin shower or bath if that is what I had to do so that I could be without pain, or lessen it or make it so that I could still live a “normal” life. I tried explaining to her this. And she said I know I know, I get it. I think the only thing that stopped me from going psycho is that we were in a public place! I told her No you don’t get it. Mom kept saying that you did, but I knew you didn’t. I had hoped you did, but I knew you didn’t. I guess in a sense I can understand why she doesn’t because she has never had to experience anything like this. She kept trying to justify and compare the hand thing. I had to tell her to stop.
If you have gone through something like this then you can imagine and sympathize. If you have not, then don’t even try to say that you get it; because you just don’t. You aren’t even close. You can try to imagine, but that is it, you are doing just that TRYING.
I couldn’t believe that she was actually comparing hands hurting to excruciating body pain that doesn’t allow someone to work or live their life anymore. That is just two totally different things as far as I am concerned.