As M.E. sufferers we get beyond frustrated by the remarks of those who don’t understand. We hear people say “well at least you don’t have x y or z”
But take a step back. If you didn’t have M.E. and had absolutely no experience of it, what would you say? Honestly!
The majority of people respond in a way that shows how we all tend to search for a positive in a terrible situation. There might not be an obvious one but we try to find something that might offer some comfort.
Granted not everyone we come across who comments on our situation means well. But I believe that the majority probably do.
It is not their fault that the stigma still exists. It is not the fault of medical professionals that they were taught either nothing about our condition, or to be incredibly wary of those hypochondriacs with their ‘psychosomatic illness’. Yes we’ve pretty much all come across at least one GP who ruined not only our day with their remarks but also our confidence in the system. And that is so wrong it can’t even find the words to describe it. But we must remember that they are General Practitioners. General. They must know a little about a lot. It’s just a shame that the little they know about M.E. is either non-existent or scarily inaccurate.
But…lets again focus on the majority. People get uncomfortable when the answer to their question of what do you do for a living is “Well actually I’ve been a little under the whether and unable to work for the past 5 years.” The response is nearly always something along the lines of “Oh I’m sorry. Still, nice to get to stay at home all day.”
If you weren’t a sufferer what would you honestly say?! I like to think I’d respond ‘better’ but it would be completely natural and not wrong at all to respond in the way that so many do.
Yes it is damaging and frustrating. But if the only experience the majority of people have of M.E. is what they read through the propaganda infused media then can you blame them? That right there is one of the reasons is started this blog. How could I ever expect anyone to understand or know the truth if I wasn’t telling them…