Constantly fight with my brother about not going to school among other things that fibromyalgia has provented me from doing. He genuinely believes that I'm lazy. Everyone with a chronic illness has been told that their lazy, but it really hurts when it's coming from a family member. How do I talk to him, or "convince" someone that I'm really in pain.
You're not lazy. Chances are your brother is jealous because he thinks you are having fun. It's far more stressful to try to convince someone who has already made up their mind then to just walk away because nothing is going to change how they think.
Fightingfibro, I'm sorry you're going through this. Please know, you are NOT lazy. Some people do not want to believe. Perhaps you should google what you have been diagnosed with and print out the info and leave it for your brother to read. If that doesn't work, invite him to join you at your next doctor appointment. Ask the doctor to explain to your brother what you're going through. Perhaps others here have other advise. I hope that this has been helpful. Good luck to you.
As far as possibly convincing someone I say don't hide the pain. don't answer ' how are you' with 'fine' or 'ok'. Tell them how you really feel (if you are up to it). My family never believed that i was actually always tired and needed to lay down when i got home and i was always being threatened with 'getting sent to the looney bin' because i was 'obviously crazy or depressed because normal people don't have to rest all the time'. So i kinda get where you are coming from.
Is your brother older or younger? And by how much? Also do your parents believe you at least? If they do maybe getting them involved might help. I hope you get it worked out. Hugs. And remember that you are not lazy, you have to take care of yourself first, no matter what anyone says.
I had a cousin tell me to go kill myself. Needless to say i don't talk to her or any of her immediate family anymore. It must be hard with having to live in the same home as someone who is mean to you. Hopefully when you guys don't live together anymore he will be nicer. When i moved out my relationship with my brother improved, he still calls it my 'made up ouchies' but i think he means it as a joke now.
Fightingfibro, Everyone above has given you the same advice I would. My husband began to understand when I asked him to go to my doc appt with me. Don't hide when you don't feel good. Be honest and say things like, "today's a really exhausting day for me so I can't go out with you. But maybe later this week I can, if you're offering a raincheck.". Educate others like AlwayZ suggested. You aren't any more lazy than your brother is superman. Tell him, if you could switch bodies for one day he might understand. Good luck learning to educate others and speaking up for your needs. God bless!
Gotobef, thanks for the advice. Your first comment was eye opening for me. If people choose not to accept my diagnosis, it just shows ignorance on their behalf. It also seems like a good place to start by letting him know when I'm not feeling well rather than hiding it. My parents are very supportive and I may ask them to speak to him. Your words were very helpful, thank you.
Alwayzinpain and Flappyslady81, taking him to a doctors appointment is a great idea, if only I could get him to go! Perhaps I'll start by showing him some online articles and voicing how I feel. Then maybe he would be open to hearing it from a doctor. Thanks so much.
Telling him he hurt you by saying those things could blow up in your face depending on his personality. I know if I told my brother that something he said/did hurt me he would make sure to say it any time he was bored, felt like being an ass for fun, or if he got mad at anything or anyone. You know your brother best. I hope you can work it out.
We have all had this type of response - it sucks. I got it for years and felt like I was going crazy, started wondering if it was true and even got to a point where I do believe that there might be a nugget of truth hidden in there (just a small one of course). But my body doesn't function the way it was meant to and things are far more difficult than for the average person. Do what you can when you can - it may mean having a messy house but getting up to do those dishes when you're tired and in pain when you can push through and have time to rest afterward. Do your part to the best of your ability and know your limits. When I truly started giving my all and doing everything I can to improve things - like even managing a sleep schedule , utilizing heating pads and ibuprofen/Tylenol and warm showers and baths for pain, cutting back to one caffeine beverage a day, quit smoking, cut out foods that increase symptoms, eat foods that have nutrients and are healthy, take vitamins etc it improved. Not only do those things help (even if slightly it's better than nothin!) but they also show friends and family that you're willing to do everything you can to be healthy. We have it rough but don't allow yourself to become a helpless victim (I did that for a long time too, I must have been miserable to be around!) - do what you can when you can and at the end of the day if you've given it your honest best than that's something you can take pride in even if others still don't get it. Just what works for me.
Oh ps, just in case it wasn't clear I do not believe you are lazy and there will be times when your best is still not being able to do anything. We all have those days too. I've had chronic health issues for 11 years. My sister is married to someone with chronic health issues but she doesn't. Talking with her I've seen the other side and perspective of the one who is healthy. It's hard and can be upsetting and confusing frustrating when you have never experienced it yourself. Even if they want to understand. Education is key, so is grace and forgiveness cause both sides healthy and chronically ill Are going to mess up at times and be offensive to one another, even if it's unintentionally.
Don't worry you are not lazy. I have people around me at work and in my family that think that about me too but they aren't around me enough to see the pain and exhaustion. And even though my boyfriend sees it he still has a hard time accepting it but he tries. Just do what you can and try to get others to see things from your eyes. It's hard for other to understand if they don't feel the same as you do. But there are those of us like on here who do 😊
FightingFibro I've been there. My own mother (who has fibromyalgia) keeps calling me lazy. And it hurt more than anything. More than that, I started to believe it. And it's become a terrible insecurity.
If you haven't read it, read the Spoon Theory. You can pull up the essay by Google searching it. Have your brother read it as well. It helped me share some perspective with friends.
@PeanutValerie - I am right there with you when it comes to the mother problems. Mine keeps telling me to go get a job because she worked through her neck problems, she doesn't seem to grasp the concept that I have a lot more issues than just my neck! She will say the most hurtful things! I am entering therapy in a few days because my mental state and self image is very bad right now.
Peanut has she gone with you to the Dr? Maybe if she does the Dr can talk to her and a sure her you are not faking it that you are not physically able to hold down a job. I know mothers can say hurtful things but in our hearts we want the best for you and worry about how you will be able to take care of youself. I'm not making excuses because there is no excuse for saying things that are hurtful. You may just have to come out and tell her how hurtful she is being. I think you will be surprised at what she says. I know myself I have said and done things to my daughter that I'm not proud of but I aploigized to her and asked if she could forgive me. As parents we get worried and at our wits ends and we let our mouths overload themselves. No matter how old your children get they are still our babies, and we worry about them.