Anyone Ever Doubted Your Illness?

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Anyone Ever Doubted Your Illness?

Post  Brenda L. on Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:56 pm

IMO, Nothing is more hurtful than when your own parent doesn't believe that your severe chronic pain illness is REAL. My father didn't believe me, even though I was living at home for first 5 years of my migraines. Dad kicked me out of the house anyway, making me try to 'fend for myself'. By early 20s, I already was in excruciating pain for 50% of the time. Didn't even have adequate meds for pain back then. Suffered for YEARS.

My mom has gotten occasional (much less severe) migraines, so at least she could relate to my pain. Mom had sympathy, but Dad had total control over everything and everyone.

Back when I was working so hard to get my B.A., my hairdresser asked me, "What's the sense of spending all that time and effort to get a Degree when you know you can't work?"

I agreed with her. Said it's an excellent question/observation. B.A.=VERY expensive piece of paper. I could have bought a house in CASH for what I paid for in tuition alone! Very expensive private University. $150k on tuition alone. NOT including books, rent, food, car, etc.

My answer: Dad requires all 3 children to be college grads. Dad says 4-year Degree is 'minimum' required education.

Dad was in total denial about my chronic illness. Sometimes he denied it even existed, despite medical documentation. Other times Dad claimed, "Find something that you enjoy doing. Then your migraines will go away". Right!

My 2 brothers are totally healthy. So were Dad and Mom. Nobody in my family ever had severe chronic pain illness. Mom had sympathy; she knew it was REAL. But Dad controlled everything.

Dad mistakenly thought and said various cruel accusations: Claimed I was 'faking illness to avoid working, lazy, crazy, on drugs', etc. None of that is true. Dad believed everything except the FACT that my illness is REAL.

Has anyone else been through anything to this degree? I was only in teens when migraines began.

Maybe Dad thought being cruel to me would make my migraines go away. More likely, Dad didn't believe my migraines even existed (or were not really a disability) so if he 'got tough' I'd magically snap out of my 'lazy slacker imaginary illness'! (I graduated college with 3.9 GPA---that is the opposite of 'lazy').

Three more of Dad's favorite themes: "Migraines that last this long have got to be caused by an underlying 'psychological disorder'---go to psychiatrist!" and "You're just faking the migraines to get prescription drugs. You're just a 'drug addict'; that's your only problem! You don't have a real 'illness'. OR "You're faking the migraines because you're lazy and trying to avoid working".

Dear God---the stress, the excruciating pain, my tears, Dad's yelling, the horrible string of false and libelous accusations! It never ended.

Has anyone else been through anything like this? When a close relative or spouse doesn't believe that you even have an illness? How can they think we're 'faking it' when we're living in the same house with them and they see us every day? Or do we migraineurs look too darn 'normal' and 'healthy' for our own good? (In neuro's office, receptionist often told me I looked 'great' and 'beautiful' even while in the midst of severest migraines).

Thanks for any replies!

Brenda L.

Posts : 63
Join date : 2012-12-14

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Re: Anyone Ever Doubted Your Illness?

Post  Jeff2014 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:36 pm

I´m very sorry your father didn´t believe your illness was real. That´s really terrible! I have had a couple friends that seemed like they did not believe the illness was real, but they never accused me of anything like that. They probably knew I would knock them out if they did. I hope you have other people in your life who are understanding and support you. Maybe your father could talk to your doctor or psychologist? Take Care.

Jeff2014

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Re: Anyone Ever Doubted Your Illness?

Post  ConcordGrape on Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:41 pm

Hey Brenda,

First I want to say I am so sorry you struggled so much with your father. Of all my family, my brothers don't understand the extent of my headache pain the most. Usually they are left speechless, but my younger one--argumentative and still holding grudges about childhood teasing--always said I was exaggerating, didn't really have a headache and would argue about it. Of course, while in the midst of an attack the last thing I wanted to do was argue, so I just brushed him off and walked away. Again, easier to do with younger brother than dad, and I am so sorry your dad did not support you.

My dad was like my brothers brother in the beginning--not really saying anything because he couldn't relate. But now I am unemployed and living with my parents, so my dad sees the daily of what I go through and I can tell he is beginning to grasp my struggle. He still bugs me about working and having gaps in my resume, and I tell him that I would work if I could! My mom is the most supportive, but often tells me that if I just do something to take my mind off of the headache it will go away. I wish it were that easy!

I really did relate to your history of migraine. I am now 24 and and have migraine every day, at least 50% of the time. They started when I was a kid, I was able to finish college, but then I tried grad school and they became daily. Now I am unable to work any job. I'd like to know: what did you do in those years when you couldn't work? Were you able to work afterwards? I haven't applied for disability, though I don't even know if I've worked enough to qualify, ironically enough.
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ConcordGrape

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Re: Anyone Ever Doubted Your Illness?

Post  lorente on Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:18 am

I'm sorry you're not getting the support you need from your family.

I find that I get the least amount of support from people who claim to get migraines. I'm not kidding. I'm told to "just take an Excedrin" or "drink a cup of coffee" and it will all go away. When the migraines are really bad, they've told me, take an Excedrin with a cup of coffee! I don't think they're having migraines if that helps them, but I hate to even say that, because someone will chime in to say "it really does work," and "what's the matter with you?"

I was ridiculed on the first online migraine forum I joined, where I was called a wimp because a migraine always put me to bed. I can't even sit up or speak when I get a bad one. They told me to buck up. I believe the quote was, "Some of us don't have the luxury of lying down in a cool, dark room. Some of us have to go to work." Well, I had my own business--in later years, I would never have been able to hold down a job working for someone else--so I had to go to work, too, but fortunately I could work on days--and nights--when I felt ok. I immediately left that so-called supportive forum.

lorente

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Hi

Post  Jeff2014 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:00 pm

Hi Lorente,

I´m sorry people in other forums were not more supportive. Hopefully, you will get more support and help from this web group. I´m sorry your migraines have been so debilitating. Goodluck and take care,

Jeff

Jeff2014

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Re: Anyone Ever Doubted Your Illness?

Post  lorente on Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:29 pm

Thanks, Jeff. So far everyone here has been very polite and supportive.

lorente

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Join date : 2014-02-22

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Re: Anyone Ever Doubted Your Illness?

Post  Cathy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:07 pm

That's terrible that people on a migraine discussion group would say such unfeeling things. We, of all people, should understand. If I could stay in bed all day, I would, and somedays I do. But I can't take off work all the time and have to push myself to come in. I consider myself lucky that I have a job I can still do with a pretty bad one. I just work at a computer and go in the conference room with my ice pack during lunch.

My dad was the same way. My worst memory is of throwing up as a young child and him yelling, "What are you throwing up for, you just have a headache." If I didn't make it to someplace fast enough, I was expected to clean up the mess. I have had headaches all my life and threw up a lot and realize now what I was going through. My mom thought it was amusing to always have a bucket in the car for the next episode and still refers to "the pink bucket."

I can tell you that my father passed away 7 years ago and I feel a lot of freedom with that. How sad. He was not a loving man but now there is no one tormenting me and making me feel like a freak even though I severly limited my time with him. I'm 57 and still dealing with the fallout of feeling inadequate because I get migraines and throw up.

I am adopted and no one in my family of four (one brother) understood the pain. My daughter, son and grandson all get them so I have others around who know how bad it is.

Keep encouraging yourself because you know it's real and you know you wouldn't choose to be like this. Hang in there. One day at a time.

-Cathy

Cathy

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Re: Anyone Ever Doubted Your Illness?

Post  North62 on Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:19 pm

It breaks my heart to hear about what some of you have gone thru with others judging if you are in pain and able to function or not (like they have a pain monitor in them that tells them what everyone feels....really?)
But I have to be honest when I was working in a high pressure job field and I was in my 20's and never had suffered a headache in my life, one of my fellow workers suffered from constant migraines and I would look at him and think wow take a Tylenol and get on with it quit whining about it let's move it.I just couldn't comprehend what he was talking about because I had been blessed to never honestly have been sick up to then other a couple flus and colds as a kid nothing else.
Well karma is real I'm hear to tell you because about 3 years after thinking that I suffered some pretty good head injuries in a car accident that has taught me what migraines and epilepsy are and I now know when people say they have a issue or illness to keep my mouth shut and my mind open because Karma is a bitch!!!

North62

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