I think many people get these words confused: sympathize and empathize. Or maybe I’m the one who does? What do you think of when you see the word sympathy? I feel sadness. Loneliness. It has such a bad connotation for me.
I would (safely) assume that many people felt sympathy for me when I got diagnosed with the brain tumors. And Cowden Syndrome. But now that things have “passed”, I feel forgotten. I crave empathy so much. I feel guilty when I “complain” about my lot in life now, but you know what? This is my blog. This is my safe space. I am not complaining. I am processing. I am explaining. I am working on not letting my feelings eat me up inside and making me sicker than I already am. I will write everything here that I need to. Period.
Not one single person (except maybe a certain one) gives a rip about what I am enduring now. OK, OK. I get it though. We are all struggling. Everyone has something. And, these brain tumors and Rare Disease are mine alone. But, when I get overwhelmed (as I did yesterday) – to whom do I turn? Strangers on the Internet who actually seem to care about me more than my “real life” friends? No one wants to hear it. No one now even empathizes with me and the financial and emotional duress I am under every single day. As I’ve mentioned before, some days I am able to work – on-call. My brain cannot endure working 2 days in a row. There is so much sensory stimulation and information that my brain is trying to process that after 4 hours, I am done. My brain is done. My entire body is done. I came home right after work and was on the verge of a panic attack. I took a Xanax and slept for 2 hours. I am overrun with stress and anxiety, and I am afraid that the more I must “push” myself (working) – I will make my brain worse. Or make the brain tumors grow. Do you know what I mean? I just felt like yesterday I was going to break. I wanted to break. I wanted all the pain to stop. I tweeted that if this was all my life has in store for me, even if I live the next 20 years, I think I will reconsider.
I fear I will be remembered as a statistic of brain tumors instead of as a human being. That’s one of my greatest fears. That, and dying alone.