Hurt and depressed by friends email.

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I recently bumped into an old friend i hadnt seen in years. She gave me her email address so i sent her an email and told her that my life wasnt so good explained how dad died before xmas and mum has dementia.

She said she was sorry to here my life wasnt great and said to "get out there and live your life". I am so hurt as i thought this was insensitive her life is great travelling around with her new man she told me to stop wasting my life?

I am very down now and just cant believe she said this do you think she was insensitive knowing that i have no life with mum being so ill?

Why do some people think you can just walk away and get on with your life? Her dad died last year from cancer she spent a month with him? im just so fed up of peoples comments on how i should just walk away how the hell can i?

41 Comments

Hey Kazaa, I know what you mean. My mom is pretty bad and I think coming to the end of the line at 94. I emailed a friend a detailed description of everything going wrong and said it was just really hard waiting for something bad to happen. My friend wrote me back and said, "Why is it bad? Your mom has lived a long life." So she totally discounted the fact that I'm essentially waiting for my mom to die and how stressful that is for me to go through. Every phone call could be something bad. I spent 3 hours in the ER with her on Tuesday and that's just one day. I keep waking up at 2 AM or 5 AM thinking about the "what ifs".

Some people just have no experience with this. Your friend sounds like she has a very short-term caregiving experience with a predictable timeline, where your situation with your mom is much longer-term and a less predictable timeline. My friend hasn't had a parent that she was responsible for at the end of life.

So I think a lot of the "insensitivity" is just a lack of understanding. But it hurts deeply nonetheless. I didn't respond to my friend right away because I would have written something awful. The next day I could put it in context. She supports me in other ways, so she just has the blind spot. That's why I spend so much time here, as other caregivers get it.
Yeh Blannie im done trying to explain this to people. Im so sorry about your mum and i know my mum is only 77 but i cant help this sick feeling in my gut that shes not going to be here for much longer i have no reason to feel like this but something is wrong this sick feeling shouldnt be ignored.

Yeh some people have no idea my dad died of a massive heart attack suddenly and a friend said well he was 80? asshole.

I havnt responded to her yet as like you afraid ill lose it! ive decided to just stay away from people until im in a better place myself i am not jealous but angry that everyone seems to be having a life and i feel like im dying slowly everyday.

I just wish i had something to look forward to sorry but am very down today seems i never get a break!

Hugs Blannie and try and enjoy the time you have left with her i know this is hard i wonder how long more i can last doing this?
She was making a feeble attempt at encouraging you. Some people are not so good at this. She does not have your sense of self-sacrifice for others. Her father may have actually pushed her away and told her to get on with her plans. Every child-parent relationship is unique. Some teach self-reliance, and others don't. Some expect lifetime subservience from their kids; others support their children and grandchildren until they drop dead.
They dont understand or they have a different way of thinking. I feel regardless of how young or old the person is, we lose a part of us when we lose them. All we can do is our best. Spend time with our loved ones and with those who "think" like us.. or at least understand and have compassion. Hang in there, your in my thoughts.
Some people are just not good at responding to conversations. First of all they aren't listening very well and they are only half into being your friend. Its the "what about me" mentality. Like a lot of things, just write it off as ignorant.
Kazzaa, it's nearly impossible for someone not in a caregiving situation to be completely understanding and sympathetic to our situation. They simply don't understand. Your friend was trying, in her own way, to be encouraging to you, but ended up hurting you instead.

My advice to you is to let it wash over you and off you like water off a duck's back. Shake it off and go back to your normal routine. You know that you are doing what is right for you and right for your mother - that's all that matters. Your friend was not intentionally trying to hurt you with her words - so don't let it bother you. Blow it off and move on.
Kazzaa, I think if someone hasn't walked in another persons shoes, then we need to cut them a break. Sometimes they just want to be encouraging etc. but don't know exactly what to say. It would be like running into a friend that has just had a miscarriage. With no reference to draw from, you tell her you're sorry. How can you encourage her? You can't say 'well at least you still have your other children' right? My mom died a couple years ago leaving my dad behind. They were married for 63 years. There is NO WAY I know what it's like to lose a spouse, let alone a spouse for so many years. But dad has a couple friends whose wives have died after so many decades, and they know what to say. All we can do is love him and surround him with family, but NOT know how he feels. I guess my point is, unless someone has gone thru what we've gone through, we need to let it go. That's what makes it so wonderful really, we've all gone through different things at different times in our lives, and can help each other. My 2 cents. ♥
The problem with emails....no emotion and you can't hear the tone of what they are trying to say. I too, think she was just trying to be encouraging.

Some folks just don't understand or know how to stop once they say, "I'm sorry"; that is when they get into trouble and cause ill feelings. Some times those two little words are all that is needed!
There's something called negative bias that applies to written communications like emails and text messages. Basically. It means that our brains tend to put a negative spin on well-meaning or ambiguous messages.

For instance, if your boss sent you an email that read, 'The meeting's at 10. Be sure to be on time.'" Your brain would likely interpret it as a stern warning or a rebuke about having been late in the past, when really the message is neutral.

Your friend probably meant to be encouraging, but she didn"t express herself well.
I agree with what the others have posted. My experience has been that people don't know what Alz/dementia is..some think it is normal for all old people like arthritis. Others think it is something you catch like a cold and it can be controlled with medication.

I would thank her for the encouraging words and in the future don't give lots of details...just say she is fine. Come here to talk the real issues.

I work with a woman whose mother has lived with her and her husband for 20 years. She has CHF but is stable and independent. Her mother contracted H1N1 last Dec. was hospitalized for several days w/pneumonia. During this time her mother became confused and did not recognize her daughter. Another co-worker told her she was sorry her mother was so sick...imagine how Sharyn feels...her mother does not know her every day. She meant well but I know it had to be hurtful to the other woman.

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