Have you judged your friend today?

My biggest fear is that someone…you, anyone, will think that I am using my brain issues as an excuse for things.

Not the Cowden Syndrome, but my brain (gangliocytoma and now problems) since surgery.  Tonight, I had a big, fat, “IN YOUR FACE” experience of this.  I had dinner tonight with a friend, a girl who I’ve known for over 4 years.  I don’t know what she was thinking, or why she thought it was OK to come off the wall with me about my life and choices since surgery, but she did.  Did she not think there would be serious repercussions?  She kept saying, “As your friend”…..It was awful.

Initially dinner seemed nice, I listened to her go on and on about her work things.  No problem.  I try not to share my medical things unless someone asks.  I don’t know who reads, or who has, this blog so I figure if someone wants to know the updates they will ask.  If they don’t ask, then I don’t bring it up.  I learned the hard way these last few years that it’s a small group of people in my life that I can trust and really vent to when I need to about stuff in my  life.  No one wants to hear really scary medical stuff.  No one really cares, plain and simple.  Everyone is worried about the next movie or the next whatever, and while I was hurt at first, it’s just acceptance (like I’ve written about before).  Accepting people where they are at. It was a painful process for me, but this blog, therapy, and many other things has really gotten me to a better place of dealing with My Life with Rare Diseases.  Anyway, she and I don’t really talk much about my medical stuff; she doesn’t ask, I don’t offer.  A happy medium, right?

But when she begins to tell me that I’m using my brain and other issues as an excuse to “not live life” or whatever, then I really take issue.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Her judgement.  Her condescension.  Her combativeness towards me.  This was off the wall like nothing I’ve experienced in a long time.  I felt so much irritation and disdain from her when 10 minutes earlier I was just listening to her vent about her work stuff!  I was, and am still, so very confused!  She doesn’t know about how I am busting my tail working out, I only began to mention a temporary job I am at for this month, she doesn’t know (didn’t ask) about the abnormal EEG, and began quoting me on things I said MANY MONTHS AGO about certain people and “expectations” I had for them and how they didn’t measure up and I just “cut them” and then blah blah blah……

My head is still spinning.  I wish I would have said, “Your perspective.  Not my business.”  I have no memory of what, or when I said these things. But, first off, don’t friends irritate each other?  Don’t friends say things about one another at certain points in relationships?  But that doesn’t mean they sever their friendship?  I never said that about these friends.  I feel 100% confident that I didn’t say that.  Her comment was, sarcastically, “You don’t remember saying that?” And I responded that I did not. I told her, had she asked, I had an abnormal EEG and have memory problems now with certain things.  She said, “That was before then.”  And I said, “I KNOW.  THAT’S WHY I CANNOT REMEMBER.”


Then, in the midst of all this she said that she was fine with this being our last dinner and us not talking for 6 months or something.  I was shocked.  I am shocked.  I am still shocked. Does she know how I am working out?  No.  Does she know how I am coordinating a Rare Disease Day Event?  No.  Has she asked about anything going on in MY life?  No.  This outburst from her floored me.  Really hurt me, very deeply.  Every single fear and insecurity about myself she called me out on.  After I tried to stick up for myself as best I could, I too said I was fine with this being our last conversation too, grabbed a paper I brought to share with her, and left the restaurant.  Deleted her number and texts from my phone.  I’m done.

Before I got home I went by the exercise studio I am working out at and told the owner I needed a pep talk.  She said no one has any right to judge me with my life choices and decisions and that I should not give this person the power to affect my energy.  I am not making it all about me and have tried and am struggling so hard to NOT make it about me.  (That’s part of the reason why I still have this freaking blog!)

To all of you who have friends who have chronic medical issues:  Please do not stand in judgement of them.  Support them and ask them what they need.  If you’re not able to do that, just send them a text, “Thinking of you”, or invite them for frozen yogurt or something like that.  I guarantee that gesture will mean the world.  What I have to do now is work now on “not taking it personal” but that’s really hard.  Tonight, I’m just mad.  The rest will come later.


15 thoughts on “Have you judged your friend today?

  1. I totally agree. I do not share any of my medical issues with friends unless the ask, and when they do, I just say “I am doing well” even if at that moment I am not. People don’t really want to hear details. Even the closest to you don’t want to hear about your crap. So I keep it to myself, and discuss only with my doctors. From the way it sounds, your friend can’t handle your being ill, and it looks like she was looking for a way out. Some people just can’t handle reality and the best thing for you is to let her go. As hard as it may feel, it’s the best thing for you. Maybe write her a kind letter letting her know that you understand that it is difficult for her to handle and maybe she is right, that you should part ways as it would be best for YOU – not her – for YOU.

    • I’ve been thinking all night about your comment, and even shared part of it with my mom. That’s what I’m just going to start doing now…when people ask me how I’m doing I am not going to be honest. Just say, “I’m good”. Granted, that’s not how this incident last night began….but, in retrospect, there might be a portion of truth in it. She was one of the people who can’t handle medical things. And, you know what I find so odd? Yes, it goes back to the “acceptance” of people of where they are at….I get that….but, this is a time where I really NEED my friends the MOST! Do you know what I mean? Thank you for your kind comment.

      • I know exactly what you mean, but there comes a point in all relationships where it must come to an end. No matter what. Some end sooner and more unexpectedly than others. It’s time to make new friends that are willing to accept the new you. Some of the old friends still want the old you and that ain’t happening. If it is any consolation, my eldest brother stopped talking to me when he found out about my conditions. We haven’t really spoken in years. Sad, but I let it go. That’s his issue. Not mine. You have to realize when people have an issue with your illness, it’s not about you. It’s about them. Don’t worry. This too shall pass. Happy Valentine’s day!

  2. I am so angry for you.
    Let’s make one thing clear – it’s ok to make this all about you because you are going through hell. If she was a friend she would get that not expect you to listen to stuff only mattering to her.
    For goodness sake how rude.
    And, you don’t have to prove anything to her. You don’t have to show her how you’re not making it about you. You can do what you damn well please. Until she’s in your boat she can shut the hell up. Good riddance xxx

    • You are amazing. I am so blessed that I have “strangers” (which you KIND OF ARE….but not really) who fully understand what I am going through better than people who know me in real life. I love the fact that the Internet can bring together people who are really supportive of one another and who want to be there for one another through their life journey. I am humbled to know that I’m sitting at this computer and you’re reading this comment! (I mean, I know others are too…but that it’s for you and I am grateful to have connected with you!) I hope your daughter is healing well….. ❤

  3. A ‘friend’ that you can do without, Heather. Cowden’s is a hard road for us to travel, and friends and, sometimes, family find it very difficult to know what to say. Consequently, I think through experience we tend to end up in a situation where we keep it to ourselves. However, that does not excuse your friend’s attitude, and I hope at some time she will realise and reflect on how insensitive and unkind she was. For me, this is why the FB Cowden’s groups are so helpful as you get the chance to communicate with others who ‘get it’. Considering what Cowden’s ‘costs’ many people, including loss of employment and financial hardship for some, it is amazing that ‘we’ as a community are as resilient and resourceful as we are in the face of major life stresses. Best wishes and keep up the good blog.

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  5. People can be so mean at such the wrong time. I only tell my medical issues to people that I know won’t judge me, because I have been judged very harshly, and by those who are suppose to be closest to me. You have every right to talk about you… You are important and just because your life is not a bouquet of roses right now that is what it is and if this person were your real friend she would have wanted to hear about you… good or bad.

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