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How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Posted by marie e on 1/30/03 at 18:45 (107405)

I have had a real time of it over the last year and a half with the cruel comments made to me and behind my back about my feet. I have done pretty well most of the time but there are times the comments get to me. Some of my co workers are incredibly petty. I have no idea how they ever got into education. Many of them make snide comments about the few accomodations I have, like a closer parking spot, elevator key and duties closer to my room that don't involve going up and down the stairs. That's it. I had a staff member last spring tell me if 'you're so disabled why don't you go on disability.' That comment crushed me. Now I have found out more are making nasty comments. It takes everything I have to make it through each day. It just hurts.

marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 19:34 (107413)

I wish I had something wise and insightful to say, Marie. I would bet that Suzanne does; she always knows the right way to handle people like that.

It makes you wonder how they would treat an older teacher who isn't able to climb stairs any more.

Maybe you can kill them with kindness, or maybe you can just refer them to the principal for the explanations they seek. After all, your health is not their business, any more than your salary would be.

Carole C

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 19:43 (107415)

oh marie: those attitudes and comments sound very hurtful indeed. i can pretty much understand when people 'just don't seem to understand,' but when they become ignorant and mean due to their inability to understand, i think it's awful.

one of the first lessons i learned with pf -- i mean the kind of lesson that lasts you a lifetime -- is not to judge or make assumptions about conditions people have or things they go through that i have no way of knowing about firsthand.

i know teachers are a pretty burdened lot and carry a heavy load, and i think this must also be a part of any resentment you encounter.

i don't know what to tell you as to how to respond -- except that if anyone in the crowd seems up to a little education on this condition, i'd try to make that happen. otherwise, i'd work on not letting these things settle into your mind -- i'd try to relegate them to the category of ignorance on the part of these people and that it's not personal.

but i'm sorry for your hurt, and no, it's not fair. resolve that you will never choose that kind of ignorance for yourself and the meanness that comes from it. every time someone learns this firsthand, the world becomes a better place.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 1/30/03 at 20:18 (107417)

i have learned since i became seriously disabled that there are many people who love to kick those who are down. i've been kicked from here to next sunday. i was a very freindly people loving person when this started. i can't come up with any more ideas than this; get real strong cause if they treat you mean for hurt feet you can imagine how mean people are with others who are very sick, weak, powerless and vulnerable. i cried for two years straight at the lovely behavior of my 'friends' and relatives and medical professionals. now i cry no more. i am tough. i figure the more weak i am the harder i get kicked. and i , at least, have been right about that every single time. there is a place here iwhere i live where people with ms and other advanced neurogogical diseases go. i was there for a while. the worse off a person was the meaner everyone was to them. it was just lovely. there are exceptions. a lot of kind people come here to the social board. so you might want to come here for human warmth. and if you have even one human in real time that is kind to you, treasure them.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Marty on 1/30/03 at 20:28 (107418)

I really, really know just how hard it can be and how you must feel.

The only thing I can say is many throughout history have bore their cross in total agony. Ben Franklin was in pain from gout and bed ridden more then once. The supreme example to this was Christ himself. No one knows what he and others have had to bear, the remarks made, scoffs, scorns and laughter must of been unbearable.

Hang in there! There's always going to be those who need to grow up. Their day will come as did mine. My hart aces so much when I see someone have a seizer when I'm waiting at the neuro's office. But there was a day when as a school boy I use to laugh at the boy in my classroom. NOT ANY MORE. Thier day will come, then they will say boy I was a total jerk!

Marty

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 20:47 (107422)

you've clearly been through that wringer, paula, and i just want to tell you: i wish you hadn't run into so many unkind people. i'm positive you did not deserve it!

two things especially that you wrote to marie here strike me as particularly true. i think you're right that people with a medical condition or anything else that's considered 'different' from the norm have to 'get real strong.' you can try to educate non-understanding people to a certain extent, but the success of that is probably pretty limited with most of the people who start out unkind. it's worth a shot, but a person who is comfortable being intolerant won't be very interested in changing. so we do have to become strong within ourselves and not let their attitudes become our problems forever.

the other thing is, people in real life who do understand and stick by you -- yes, treasure them, like you say! show them you treasure them, and give back in every way you can think of. they are the people who will uplift you and make life worth it.

this winnowing out -- finding out who's true in your life and who isn't -- is really painful while it's going on. but something like pf, or much worse, can reveal that truth and there's something to be said for that revelation. i like to think that i'm better off in the end for knowing.

and i can't even begin to imagine where i'd be now if it hadn't been for the people here at hs.com.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

BrianG on 1/30/03 at 21:02 (107424)

I have a couple suggestions, from my working days. I was in a job that just didn't get a lot of respect from most of the work force. I worked in the secuity department of a Fortune 500 company. Fisrt, try to toughen up, and let those comments just roll off your shoulders, like water. Some people are nice, some aren't !!

Second, I have had to document some of the remarks people made, with my human relations department. If I thought it was someone that was just being stupid, I'd give them a warning that I didn't appreciate it and would document anything in the future. If the person was just plain mean, I would report them without even a warning. Make sure to keep copies of EVERYTHING you document about your fellow workers. Somethimes those complaints have a way of disappearing. Just last year, I had to turn in some copies of someone I had reported for a TOV (Threat of Violence). His manager had comveniently lost the original paperwork. I no longer worked for the company, but it was enough to get this person terminated!!! I still have the complaints, and will turn them into the police if I have to!

Good luck
BrianG

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 1/30/03 at 21:10 (107425)

thank you for your kind words nancy. and if anyone wants to do some real winnowing try lying in bed unable to move, get water, go to the bathroom for a year and see who your friends are. or fake it for one month. that's all it took for most of the people in my life to desert and most of the rest to start abusing. i i agree that you can't teach in many cases. mean is not an issue of ignorance, it's an issue of mean.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Pauline on 1/30/03 at 21:32 (107428)

Marie,
Always remember you have no control over how others act or speak. Maybe
this quote from St. Francis de Sales will help you.

' Remain at peace regarding whatever is said or done in conversations.
If it is good, you have something for which to praise God. If it is bad, you have something in which to serve God by turning your heart away from it'.

Accept what you cannot change, hold your head high, and change your way of thinking. If you allow what they say to eat at you, they win, but you have a choice. Changing how YOU think about the situation will empower you.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 22:01 (107432)

Pauline, what an inspiring quotation!

Even though I am not a religious person, I feel that I am a spiritual person and this quote reaches out to me.

Carole C

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Marty on 1/30/03 at 22:28 (107442)

This is great advice! I would of never thought of it!

Marty

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Julie on 1/31/03 at 03:23 (107452)

Marie

The responses you've had have been sensible and moving and I hope they've helped a bit. Yes, it's appalling how unkind people can be, and it must be particularly difficult to deal with when the people you have to work with and interact with every day behave so cruelly. I agree with everything that has been said so far - especially about treasuring the friends who DO understand and stick by you, and have only one observation to add.

People are generally afraid of things: disability, cancer, afraid of losing their jobs, you name it, there are situations in life that people are afraid of. And with some people - I'm not saying with everyone, but with some people - their fear is the cause of their cruelty. Their reaction to another's distress is 'This could happen to me', and respond to it by pushing it away.

I experienced something of the kind myself, when I had cancer, and people whom I thought were friends backed off. It was because they couldn't deal with their own fears, but it took me awhile to realise this, and it was painful while it was happening. I know it's not the same as what you are experiencing, for no-one was openly unkind, but the impulse underlying the behaviour was similar, I think.

As I said, this wouldn't necessarily be true of everyone (some people ARE just mean and nasty! - but they aren't worth a second thought) but I think it's true of many people, and I think it's helpful to understand this. If you could look at at least some of your tormenting colleagues and think 'They're like this because they're afraid of disability and pain' you might possibly find it easier to tolerate their behaviour.

Courage!

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Suzanne D on 1/31/03 at 12:07 (107482)

How nice of you to say that, Carole, but I feel inadequate; I often do not know what to say in response to rude or unkind comments. When I don't know what to say, I usually try to not say anything at the time. After thinking about it for awhile, sometimes I can think of a reply and don't have to regret saying something hastily which I later wish I hadn't said.

Marie, I am sorry you are being treated unjustly as well as unkindly at your school. I agree: educators should know better. Inherent in our jobs should be the firm belief in the dignity and worth of every person, regardless of handicapping conditions or any other 'differences'. That should be a given, and it particularly hurts when it is not.

I have been lucky to work in two schools in which almost everyone treats one another with respect and kindness. There have been a few exceptions, and most recently a 'higher up' has been really causing frustrations and stress. But my fellow teachers have nearly always been supportive even if they haven't always understood or remembered about my feet problems. I don't expect them to remember; it's not their feet. But at least they don't belittle me, as far as I know.

I guess all I can say is to ignore as much as possible. The 'getting tough' as others have mentioned is hard but can prove very valuable. When possible, make alliances with those who DO treat you kindly. And ~ hardest of all ~ try to treat everyone (even those who are mean to you) with kindness. Sometimes this can work real changes, given time. And at the very least, you are not pulled down to their level. There were two 'older' teachers down the hall from me when I first started teaching. They made little comments about my decorating and putting up things in the hall like, 'Honey, they don't pay us to have pretty rooms', etc. It hurt, but it helped me in the long run to decide how I wanted to be and to stick with it. I knew I didn't want to end up like them. I have gone out of my way since then to help new, younger teachers because I know how it felt to not be helped by them. And later, one of them had arthritis so badly she could hardly go up and down the steps. I tried to be kind when she was mean to me, and she ended up being my friend before she retired.

I liked what Nancy S. said, 'We do have to become strong within ourselves and not let their attitudes become our problems forever'. I have learned this at home. Sometimes my hardest challenges have been there, and I have tiny bit by tiny bit become stronger and not bothered so much by harshness or unjust criticism. So, as others have said, Hang in there!

And also, Brian G. always has good practical advice concerning the law. I don't know how your school handles grievances. Sometimes that area is lacking around here, but it is ALWAYS a good idea to write things down. He mentioned that, and it is a good idea.

My best wishes to you, Marie. We stick together here, so feel free to tell us anytime you are upset. It DOES help so much to have caring and understanding friends!

Suzanne :-)

P.S. What was that song that had the lyrics 'Walk a mile in my shoes. Walk a mile in my shoes. Before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes'? That has been running through my head after reading this thread.

Actually, no one would have to walk a whole mile in our shoes, would they, without realizing how much pain we are/have been in?!

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Richard, C.Ped on 1/31/03 at 12:32 (107484)

I deal with the public in what I do. What gets me the most upset is when somone accuses me of trying to put something over on them...as if I was shifty in business. I am far from that, but they do not know that.

I have learned that if someone has something aganist you, sometimes the best thing to do is go to them with kindness and meet the problem head on. The thing is, you can not please everyone, so some people may get defensive and angry.

I think what is going on is that they do not understand your situation. I would approach them just in basic conversation, and educate them on plantar fasciitis. I am sure you can work it into a conversation in a nice way.

Richard

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 15:00 (107497)

See? I just KNEW that you would know how to deal with something like this. The way you treated those sour old teachers and eventually made friends with the one with arthritis, is wonderful.

LOL, you are sure right about anyone walking a mile in our shoes. :)

Carole C

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 1/31/03 at 17:36 (107514)

paula, you were in that situation, and for a whole year? what a tough, tough experience -- to put it mildly. were you in an accident? (don't answer if you don't want to.)

(by the way, phil recommends reading peter mathiessen (sp?). he thinks he has the most integrity of any writer since wwII. that's a pretty dramatic statement from the usually let's-not-get-overexcited phil!)

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 1/31/03 at 20:34 (107541)

a muscle wasting disease that got partially corrected so far. the more helpless i was the more abused i was.

and why 'friends' who discussed intellectual ideas with me for thirty years screamed at the top of their lungs at me in a sing song voice used on very young children , i will never know, cause i could talk just as before

i can tell you this; if you want to know exactly how nasty any 'sweet', 'good' person you know now really is, stick them in a room with a person who is absolutely helpless and turn on a video camera.

did he write 'at play in the fields of the lord'? his name sounds familiar. i read that way back. it it's him he is good. what does phil like best of his.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

marie e on 1/31/03 at 21:23 (107550)

I am usually a pretty strong person. I guess I'm just having some weak moments. I feel encouraged with all the advice. I had a better day today and you're right I need to stay strong. Thanks

I am glad to hear that you've become such a fighter. You're an inspiration.

marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

marie e on 1/31/03 at 21:33 (107555)

St. Francis is my adopted guardian saint. Thanks for reminding me about him. I was born with a hole in my heart...the flap that is open between the two upper chambers of my heart didn't close at birth. My parents were told to find a priest for baptism and last rights. They were also told to begin planning a funeral. My father found a Franciscan Monk in the hall of the hospital. He baptized me and administered last rights. He and my father prayed all night. In the morning my heart began to improve and well I lived. My parents never got the name of the monk who prayed so hard with my father......but I have always had a fondness for St. Francis and his teachings. They are the closest to Christ's life.

Thanks
marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

marie e on 1/31/03 at 21:36 (107556)

You know I tell my students this all the time. I will try to follow my own advice. I am just having a weak day or two. Actually I made a big effort to do that today.
I was polite and kind. But strong.

marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 1/31/03 at 21:39 (107558)

marie, are you addressing me? if so then i am glad i said something that helped a sensitive person be better able to cope with all the meanness out there.

i think the people most hurt over and over by other's meanness are people who would never be mean like that themselves. they can't believe others behave that way and they never are prepared for it because they would never treat a person in pain or illness that way.

that was me before. but after the zillionth person treated me horribly after 53 years of being treated ok by people i put it together and realized that the kind sensitive people are rare.

i think as soon as the very kind, sensitive hurt person understands that most humans are not as kind as them, then the shock of other's meanness ior insensitivity s lessened. anyway that's how it works for me now.

i will never be the compassionate person i was before but i am also not a nasty, hating abusing hypocrite either. no matter how hard and tough i have had to make myself now, to rephrase a lily tomlin line 'no matter how mean i get i can never keep up'.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 05:16 (107584)

i'm glad you have at least 'partial' correction, paula. it sounds as though you have been through a nightmare that most of us even with pf have never known.

it is strange, isn't it, that people will assume if you have a physical malady, your mind isn't all there? an active mind like yours must have been deeply disappointed to be treated that way.

what did you think of julie's observations that many people turn away or turn unkind because of their own personal fears? the 'omigod, this could happen to me and it scares the hell out of me so i won't even acknowledge the reality that this can happen to people' syndrome. i think there's a lot of truth in it. still, in the end, it's awfully shortsighted and selfish, isn't it? because we can grow through the restrictions and pains of other people, not just through our own.

my grandmother had a major stroke at age 59 and, due to lack of advances at the time as to how to treat people with strokes, she spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair and unable to talk comprehensibly (except my mother could understand her). this is the way i knew my grandmother, because it happened when i was about 5 (i have only one picture in my head of her before that -- standing at their old iron cookstove making apple pie from the apple trees in the yard).

yet, as i've told my mother many times, i think that knowing my grandmother in that condition from the time i was a very young child made me much more open to people with difficult conditions through the rest of my life. i always still saw my grandmother as a very real person, with real feelings and thoughts and wishes, and so i assumed that other disabled people i've met throughout life are the same.

yes, he did write 'at play in the fields of the lord'! i've never read him, but i saw the movie made based on this book. -- it was disturbing but excellent. i'll ask phil what his favorites are; i know he's mentioned them, but i want to get the titles straight. one of his favorites he's reading right now, and it's mathiessen's latest, published in 2002.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 05:21 (107585)

marie, it's been clear from your posts that you're basically a strong person. even the strongest have 'weak' or vulnerable moments. i'm glad you posted about them here, because it might help you AND because i'm sure it touches a nerve (or 100) in all of us, and therefore the responses can help any number of people. this has been a great thread. thank you!

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 08:51 (107599)

first off nancy s thank you for taking an interesti n my experience. it is rare for me to be able to discuss this at all becuase no one is interested. well, let me rephrase that . i talk about it a lot, and people rarely respond with caring or interest.

i'm afraid i have a less generous view than 'i was afraid it could happen to me so i deserted or abused'.

when this despicable behavior is excused or when the lame excuses are accepted, then i think we are , as a society, condoning the millions of parkinsons folks, m.s. folks, od folks and all the others lying in a bed right now getting screamed at, shaken, feces smeared on their faces, kicked, food and water withheld for complaining about it, and all this abuse occurrs not once, but all day long , day after day, year after year.
so i say there is no excuse for those who desert or abuse. i don't buy it for one minute.

well i like peter methiesen. did he write the snow leapord too? i will have to get his new book if a fellow telvision hurling buddhist thinks well of him. maybe phil and i should start a new branch of buddhism. as a moving meditation we will throw electronic devices at the novices. . maybe we can find some disabled folks to throw them at. we can call it enlightening them.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Kathy G on 2/01/03 at 09:22 (107607)

Marie and Paula,

I can't even imagine how badly you must feel. It is bad enough to find yourself physically compromised but to experience the mean treatment of both strangers and friends is to just rub salt in the wound. I think you both have handled it in an admirable way but I'm sure it's soured your view of mankind in general.

I do believe an awful lot of people's attitudes come from ignorance and fear. When my sister was widowed at 33, I warned her that some friends would avoid her. Not because they didn't feel sorry for her but for two reasons: First they weren't sure what to say and secondly because they really couldn't stand to accept the fact that this, too, could happen to them. Sure enough, she found that happened and wasn't quite as hurt by it because she'd been warned. I had read a book by Lynn Cain several years before entitled 'Widow' and that was how I knew to warn her. I wasn't sure if it would really happen but it did. That book was of great benefit to me in trying to help her through a very hard time. I truly believe that may have something to do with the way you both were treated. It's funny that people don't seem to understand that saying, 'I'm sorry you're having these problems' doesn't suffice, isn't it?

An interesting aside: I went foodshopping on Thursday and encountered an elderly man on an electric cart. He had a kind of stand-offish air about him that you frequently find in old-time Yankees. He was viewing some soups on an upper shelf. I really couldn't decide if I would offend him if I offered to get something down for him because I have done so to others in the past and been rebuffed with an 'I can do it myself.' I instead decided to pretend I was looking at things in the aisle and watched to see if he continued to look in that direction. After a couple of minutes, he went off, at a pretty high speed, I might add, without taking any soup. I can't get him out of my mind because maybe he wanted a soup off the upper shelf and I should have offered. On the other hand, when I smiled and said hi to him, he didn't acknowledge it, so maybe I was right to leave him alone. So, he may be thinking I was a mean person when I was just trying not to insult him.

Marie, as hard as it is, you are a strong person and you must continue to ignore these people who make cruel remarks. Why should you go on disability if you are able to work and you want to work? Again it gets back to the American mindset of 'Take a pill' or 'Get a second opinion'. There's this assumption that everything can be fixed if the patient just wants it to be. I don't know where it came from but it's there.

Hopefully, you'll both still encounter kind people who are sympathetic and caring because we have to believe that those people exist.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Julie on 2/01/03 at 09:41 (107609)

Paula, as your post is in reply to Nancy's question about what I said, I have to make it clear that I wasn't 'excusing' bad behaviour. I was explaining what I consider to be the reason for some - not all - bad behaviour. It's different.

Of course there is no justification for helpless people being kicked, shaken and smeared with excrement. That's not what I was talking about.

To understand why people behave as they do can help us to respond to their behaviour, rather than react to it, and we can to a certain degree use our understanding to protect ourselves.

But I am very sorry that you have had such bad experiences, and can certainly appreciate why you feel as you do.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 10:19 (107616)

first, julie, thank you for your willingness to dialogue about this issue at all. and your compassion for my situation i didn;t think you particularly were xscusing bad behavior. we all use this pat cultural excuse. the deserters, the abusers and in some cases even the deserted and the abused, if their desertion and abuse did not last for years.

i am not in a unique position. i know how the story ends for everyone who is not fortunate enuf to die before extreme disability. we will not face this on a cultural level. and so we will each face it individually if we don't happen to die quickly enuf.

i know you were speaking of a different set of situations. i was talking about folks who cannot defend themselves in any way. with or without trying to understand the motivations of the persons abusing or deserting them. so trying to understand their motivations becomes a moot point. where does the next drink of water come from and how much hearing will be lost lose from the last round as a punching bag is much more absorbing than the inner processes of the abuser.

there is a thin line i guess between trying to understand and excusing and each of us must draw this line when and where we will. from the trenches it seems simple to me.

my thanks to you and nancy for engaging me in this discussion. it helps to be able to express this stuff.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Julie on 2/01/03 at 11:32 (107621)

Paula, it's hard to imagine the sort of challenge life must be in your particular trenches. I salute you for battling through as you're doing. How are you now? I mean as regards the muscle-wasting illness. (What was/is it?)

I don't want to belabour the point about understanding motivation. I agree with you that doing whatever it takes to get through the kind of experience you have had is far more pressing and more absorbing. Let's just remember my little bit of insight was offered in the context of Marie's question: 'How does one cope with mean remarks?' I can only say that in my own experience with a life-changing illness, gaining some sort of comprehension of other people's fears was helpful, and I thought that slant on it might be helpful to her.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 12:07 (107625)

thanks for asking julie. i am not helpless enuf to be so blatantly abused at this point. so altho i am not strong enuf to get out of house alone and am virtually a prisoner here my life is improved somewhat.sort of along the lines that if you stop hitting your head against a wall you feel much better. they think it was a rare form of thyroid muscle wasting syndrome but are unsure to this day. in other words thirty doctors thirty opinions. i also have pf by the way. but that is the least of my problems at this time. it is not clear if i will regain more strength or stay here or get weaker. but i exercise daily and try my feeble best to make a little progress.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Julie on 2/01/03 at 15:27 (107635)

Paula, I wish all good things for you - including a full recovery. I'm glad you have support from your Larry, and from folks here.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

marie e on 2/01/03 at 15:45 (107636)

Paula, you're an inspiration. I can work and do many things. It has been a tough adjustment for me to suddenly be so dependent on others. I am not bitter at all but sometimes I wonder how I got in this body. Thanks for motivating me to find courage to face today.

I do tell my students to take the high road and kill your enemies with kindness.....but I always end it with this: there are some people you will never be able to reach and you will have to find the strength to accept this with a firm resolve. Time to practice what I preach.

I think the behind my back comments upset me because I am still accepting the fact that I am not perfect. I can't do and be everything that everyone wants me to be. I am a people pleaser....I know that I am the only one that is responsible for these feelings. Mabie I need to do some meditation.

Everyone on this site seems to have great compassion and understanding. Only my oldest freinds have been there for support. My husband and sons have been so patient. I haven't heard a word from anyone at the church I attend....isn't that odd? My husband's parents are pretending nothing is different...which is ok but I am different physically and there are going to be changes in what I feel comfortable doing.

thanks to everyone for your inspiring words.....you're really just a bunch of softies. marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 16:06 (107637)

thanks julie and marie. the church thing is not odd. i've heard it over and over from the other disbaled folks i've met along the way.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Suzanne D on 2/01/03 at 16:51 (107639)

Dear Paula,

Your posts in this thread have moved me to tears, and I want to say that I, too, salute you for your toughness in what sounds to be a really tough situation. And I am so sorry you have faced such abuse and misunderstanding. I truly am. I know that doesn't change anything for you, but I would like to say it.

What Julie wrote to you brought me back to something a friend told me years ago. She had MS, and in time, she said almost everyone disappeared. I would call her on the phone, and by that time, all she could do was dial the phone or turn the channels on the t.v. or radio. She said her dr. told her it was because people were scared of facing the fact that it could happen to them, it made them uncomfortable, and they reacted by vanishing so as not to deal with it. Poor excuse and didn't help my friend, but it probably was true. We had some good talks on the phone. At first I worried about 'saying the right thing'; then I got past that and just wanted to talk to her and let her talk.

I am also sorry about people in church letting you and others down. My personal belief is that this disappoints God very much. I think some people very wrongly think that if a person is down and out for whatever reason, they just don't have enough faith, etc. Then they do the worst possible thing they could do by making the person feel it is their fault and that somehow they don't deserve attention and help. Not everyone in church is this way, of course, but enough of that happens to be very sad. That's not how God wants us to be or how the church should react. That's my humble opinion. We all have a lot to learn about humility and love.

Well, I didn't mean to preach a sermon. I must get supper going, but I wanted to write to you, Paula. I'm glad you found this site, and I'm glad you can discuss how you feel. I think that always helps, don't you?

Take care.

Suzanne :-)

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 17:15 (107640)

oh my, i had a brief break from the shop earlier, but am just now catching up on this thread. i'm glad it helps to talk about this stuff, paula. i DO care and i AM interested, as others here obviously do too.

i understand the distinction julie made between 'excuses' and 'reasons.' for most rotten behavior, there is a reason but rarely an excuse. sometimes understanding the reason has helped me come to terms with mistreatment; sometimes not. but forgiveness is hard, and 'excusing' is probably and understandably most often out of the question, when a person has been through what you have. not only has dealing with your condition itself been far more than most of us have to bear this early in life, but it sounds to me like you've endured much more than just people just turning away or making an insensitive comment or two. you've used the word 'abuse' several times, and if you've had to endure that -- and maybe from people close to you, as i suspect -- that has got to be a terribly embittering experience. my heart goes out to you for this!

although you don't feel you'll ever be the same kind of compassionate person you were before, you might be surprised at how much compassion you express here along with your funny cynicism and sarcasm. i mean, you've been here a long time and seen several big dust-ups on the board, and every time, while stating your honest opinion, you've never attacked someone or said something mean. (once in the middle of one of those you wrote something like 'let's remember it's not like an ax murder was committed here.' i liked that.) and you're very quick to acknowledge and appreciate the kindness of others here, which is a kindness in itself. we don't all remember to express that appreciation like you do.

you say you can't leave the house on your own. do you get out sometimes, with the help of larry or anyone else? of course, i do remember that he went to mcdonald's By Himself during the rat battle! but i hope you're able to get outside sometimes, even just a little, and i hope the mysterious syndrome that hit you goes into permanent remission and doesn't have you in limbo too long.

now, phil is sick in bed with a really bad flu. i gave him the assignment this morning of coming up with his favorite matthiessen books. however, he's finally asleep now. i did glimpse the one he's reading now, and i think the title is 'birds in heaven.' i'll correct later if i'm wrong. yes, matthiesen did write 'the snow leopard.' phil is not much into novels; he likes nonfiction, mostly having to do with other cultures, the travels of lone folks deeply into those cultures, ecological and geographical and anthropological leanings. and, of course, anything and everything having to do with tibetan buddhism. matthiessen has written many novels and many works of nonfiction. i'll post more from phil about matthiessen (i can't remember his spelling to save my life) when he's awake AND coherent.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Tammie on 2/01/03 at 17:44 (107641)

You cope with the mean things by realizing that words are just that . people who can not converse without hurting need to be pietied as they there selve must be feeling badly about themselves. It is very sad to hear anyone who is hurt especialy when you are down and out trying to deal with the many issues of pain due to feet. Which some consider oh a foot what can that be, we all here understand just how much pain a foot can be!

To bad the feet dont heal as quickly as the words people say to hurt. I try really hard to take the things that people say to hurt us and make it something good out of. So I dont grow hateful or piety. After all People who have never expieranced Foot pain will never ever know how much it can hurt and not only pain from feet, but issues that go with it. I am very sorry that anyone should have to be hurt by words as life hurts enough .People have so many things to overcome through life it is very sad that they open mouths and let out those spiteful or hurtfull words.

Please let this make you stronger and take what hurt you and clean your life with it, turn it around and use kindness to those who may be feeling pain in another way and make some one smile and that will bring a smile to you and it continues on and on and on! A smile can warm a whole room up and it is a needed thing sometimes! So my friend I offer you a great big smile and hope that you feel the warmth I send it in and you can pass it on and on and have much better days. Most people as you have noticed do not understand about feet, it is unseen and that makes it hard for them to validate it. If you were to wear a huge bandage and a crutch it would be seen as oh how did you break your foot or whatever, so remember people need validation ,which we who are in pain need sometimes also! Hang in there I hope it gets better!

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 18:15 (107645)

thanks suzanne. your friend was lucky to have your companionship. it certainly helps to hear from people as kind and sensitive as you, and to know that the entire human race is not mean. i appreciate your response.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 18:40 (107648)

nancy, you really have such a knack for remembering the individual things about people here. it is obvious that you do care and you are interested. and one of the few people outside new york city who actually seem to like my sarcastic, cysnical sense of humor thank you for signifying some of my redeeming qualities . it makes me feel human. and it is true that i just can't bring myself to be mean. ( larry just read that and said 'hah')/.

i do get out from time to time. not enuf of course. it all depends on how much larry has to do. no one else takes me out for an airing. and i do miss seeing sky, trees, feeling the sun. it is expecially hard on sunny nice days. maybe i should move to the south pole. of course larry would have to bring me there.

abuse dished out by pretty much everyone who came in contact with me during my most helpless year. friends, strangers, medical professionals, hired caretakers, i define abuse as not only physical but psychological as well. i was the recipient of both. the most monstrous, in a real monster competition, were doctors, psychologis, , social workers or ministers. in my experience if they were professional helpers they really had their abuse down pat. professionally you might say, wheras friends were mere dabblers, taking an unrehearsed kick at someone down cause it was possible.i have actually become quite a connoisur of abusers and feel i can spot just how, just what type real quick.

since larry and i both feel so abandoned by our friends, larry now calls them our asocia-shits, it is just larry me and the cats, with all burden of care on larry cause i would rather be dead than hire another 'helper'

again , it is good to discuss this with online companions. and i really do appreciate your interest, your caring and your laughing at my outrageous jokes as well.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Suzanne D on 2/01/03 at 19:32 (107656)

Thank you, Paula. My friend taught me a lot about life and courage, and I was lucky to have known her.

As Nancy wisely said, you are kind and encourage others with your wit. To be able to help others smile and laugh is a gift!

Suzanne :-)

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 20:47 (107663)

that's really nice, paula, your saying i have a 'knack' for remembering things about people, thank you. i don't know why i remember stuff like that and had never thought of it as a knack. i do remember all kinds of things about people who've been in my shop, and it shocks them. it makes me think there must be more people who feel ignored in life than we generally realize.

before phil started his painting & carpentry business, he worked in home care and nursing homes. he was doing that when i met him. in the nursing home there were both middle-aged and elderly people, some with alzheimer's, some with ms, some with lou gehrig's disease, you name it. so he saw a lot of hardship, and i heard many stories about wonderful friends and family of patients and about friends and family who couldn't care less.

the family of one elderly man lived the next town over, like 10 minutes away, and they visited him ONCE a year! and when they did come, they'd fuss at the help and complain about every little thing. one time, phil -- who is one of the gentlest people you'd ever hope to meet -- couldn't take it anymore. he was furious that these people hardly ever visited the man, and now they were complaining to phil about how they didn't think he'd dressed him right or something like that, untrue. phil whirled around and glared at them and shouted 'WHO . . . are . . . YOU???!!!' he got written up for it but didn't care. he didn't see much outright abuse in that particular place. i've seen it, though, when i lived in boston and had an elderly friend i would visit in a really awful nursing home. it was a horror show and broke my heart. and like for you, it was the professionals dishing it out. i couldn't believe it.

i wish you could see more sun, sky, trees, too. larry sounds like one to be treasured, even if he did say 'hah,' eh?

yours probably is quite a nyc sense of humor. a lot of people at my school way back when were from the city too, so i encountered it early on. my dad's family all grew up in brooklyn. my dad, though now a very nice man, never did develop much of a sense of humor. his brother and sister did, though; they were a riot. my dad says one night at dinner when they were in high school my uncle jack suddenly said, 'guess what, my geography teacher's head is shaped like africa.' (and it was true, according to my dad.) say, maybe dad does have a sense of humor, because he told me this a few years ago while we were having breakfast in a diner and we both laughed till we cried! we couldn't finish our food.

yes, it's great to laugh, and like suzanne says, humor is a great gift to be able to give to others.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/02/03 at 19:27 (107762)

i am glad you and phil found each other. you seem well matched. and you can both discuss books. larry and i met over our love of books. i had just moved to georgia and had met no one to discuss books or ideas with. unless satan being put in a wooden box for a thousand years is an idea and if it is i had a neighbor very eager to discuss it at length. all the live long day.

i walked into a health food store and the guy behind the counter, looking much like a hasidic scholar (without the pais curls) was reading, beilieve it or not, 'the evolution of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind' by julian janes. i was reading that at the time. we were so excited to find sentience in georgia.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 04:14 (107789)

well lol, paula, at 5 a.m. Now i'll never get back to sleep after reading your neighbor's 'idea.'

you and larry were *both* reading 'the evolution of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind'?? how likely is that? 1 in 589 billion? meant to be. is that the guy who wrote 'through the alimentary canal with gun and camera'? no no, i don't think so. (there is such a book, though, i saw it with my own eyes.)

phil and i met over our love of artwork (both painting in watercolor at the time), when i was almost 40 and he was 44, and neither of us had ever been married, so it was quite a shock. but yes, we have books in common, as well as art, same political views and social values -- similar a lot of things, except for neatness. he is neat, and i am not. i've brought him around some, though; he'll probably never forgive me for it.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/03/03 at 15:58 (107840)

i feel that you can never fully trust the neat. larry is neat. what was their toilet training like? these and other disturbing questions arise as larry places each item in it's exact spot, showers for the third time that day and starts sighing and mewling if anything is not where he thinks it should be. yes it was quite synchronistic that we were reading that book and lol on the alimentary canal book. i think the auhor was a mentor to some of out foot doctotrs.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 19:18 (107854)

phil grew up in the neatest house in the neatest town in the usa. not a thing is out of place in that town, inside or out. it's frightening. actually, he freed himself fairly early -- it wasn't easy -- and i think the rest of his family considers him a bit of a slob. i'm not quite sure where that puts me, since he's so much neater than i am!

we're driving out there (it's in michigan) for his sister's wedding next week. they're all very nice to me and i have no complaint, but i feel so 100% wrinkled and split-ended whenever i go there. any normal person would. i guess that would include you, eh paula?

my advice, even though you didn't ask for it, is not to wait for larry to start sighing when something is out of place and he can't find it. start sighing yourself when you can't find something because he put it where HE thinks it belongs. using this method, in 13 years i have gained about three inches on the 100-mile path to complete neatnik/nonneatnik harmony. hey, at least i'm moving!

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/03/03 at 22:03 (107876)

good idea. tommorrow i will begin the day sighing a lot. we will see how it goes. i never cared about clothes or hair. i always wore dungarees and t shirts and the like. i had the world's most superficial parents who made me give up my best freind at age eight because she was overweight, poor so she dressed poorly, . from then on i deeply suspectted those who put any store at all in looks. fortunately the hippy thing evolved and i was one of the first to join. i am more forgiving of the neat because i see this as a psychological disorder and having something to do with brain chemistry. i'm sure some prozac would help them live in the gloriious disarray that is the natural state of all healthy people.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

JudyS on 2/04/03 at 20:52 (108014)

NancyS - how long will you be in Michigan?

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/04/03 at 21:00 (108017)

we will be in michigan a total of about 48 hours -- actually, about 30 non-sleeping hours -- with more hours than that spent on the road driving out and driving back! does it make sense? no, but the wedding will be a happy occasion that we cannot miss. besides, they might need a souvenir from maine -- an ice boulder, perhaps!

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

JudyS on 2/04/03 at 21:09 (108019)

Wow Nancy - it's been a very long time since we were on the boards at the same time! Oh I remember those long evenings just a couple of years ago!

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 19:34 (107413)

I wish I had something wise and insightful to say, Marie. I would bet that Suzanne does; she always knows the right way to handle people like that.

It makes you wonder how they would treat an older teacher who isn't able to climb stairs any more.

Maybe you can kill them with kindness, or maybe you can just refer them to the principal for the explanations they seek. After all, your health is not their business, any more than your salary would be.

Carole C

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 19:43 (107415)

oh marie: those attitudes and comments sound very hurtful indeed. i can pretty much understand when people 'just don't seem to understand,' but when they become ignorant and mean due to their inability to understand, i think it's awful.

one of the first lessons i learned with pf -- i mean the kind of lesson that lasts you a lifetime -- is not to judge or make assumptions about conditions people have or things they go through that i have no way of knowing about firsthand.

i know teachers are a pretty burdened lot and carry a heavy load, and i think this must also be a part of any resentment you encounter.

i don't know what to tell you as to how to respond -- except that if anyone in the crowd seems up to a little education on this condition, i'd try to make that happen. otherwise, i'd work on not letting these things settle into your mind -- i'd try to relegate them to the category of ignorance on the part of these people and that it's not personal.

but i'm sorry for your hurt, and no, it's not fair. resolve that you will never choose that kind of ignorance for yourself and the meanness that comes from it. every time someone learns this firsthand, the world becomes a better place.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 1/30/03 at 20:18 (107417)

i have learned since i became seriously disabled that there are many people who love to kick those who are down. i've been kicked from here to next sunday. i was a very freindly people loving person when this started. i can't come up with any more ideas than this; get real strong cause if they treat you mean for hurt feet you can imagine how mean people are with others who are very sick, weak, powerless and vulnerable. i cried for two years straight at the lovely behavior of my 'friends' and relatives and medical professionals. now i cry no more. i am tough. i figure the more weak i am the harder i get kicked. and i , at least, have been right about that every single time. there is a place here iwhere i live where people with ms and other advanced neurogogical diseases go. i was there for a while. the worse off a person was the meaner everyone was to them. it was just lovely. there are exceptions. a lot of kind people come here to the social board. so you might want to come here for human warmth. and if you have even one human in real time that is kind to you, treasure them.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Marty on 1/30/03 at 20:28 (107418)

I really, really know just how hard it can be and how you must feel.

The only thing I can say is many throughout history have bore their cross in total agony. Ben Franklin was in pain from gout and bed ridden more then once. The supreme example to this was Christ himself. No one knows what he and others have had to bear, the remarks made, scoffs, scorns and laughter must of been unbearable.

Hang in there! There's always going to be those who need to grow up. Their day will come as did mine. My hart aces so much when I see someone have a seizer when I'm waiting at the neuro's office. But there was a day when as a school boy I use to laugh at the boy in my classroom. NOT ANY MORE. Thier day will come, then they will say boy I was a total jerk!

Marty

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 20:47 (107422)

you've clearly been through that wringer, paula, and i just want to tell you: i wish you hadn't run into so many unkind people. i'm positive you did not deserve it!

two things especially that you wrote to marie here strike me as particularly true. i think you're right that people with a medical condition or anything else that's considered 'different' from the norm have to 'get real strong.' you can try to educate non-understanding people to a certain extent, but the success of that is probably pretty limited with most of the people who start out unkind. it's worth a shot, but a person who is comfortable being intolerant won't be very interested in changing. so we do have to become strong within ourselves and not let their attitudes become our problems forever.

the other thing is, people in real life who do understand and stick by you -- yes, treasure them, like you say! show them you treasure them, and give back in every way you can think of. they are the people who will uplift you and make life worth it.

this winnowing out -- finding out who's true in your life and who isn't -- is really painful while it's going on. but something like pf, or much worse, can reveal that truth and there's something to be said for that revelation. i like to think that i'm better off in the end for knowing.

and i can't even begin to imagine where i'd be now if it hadn't been for the people here at hs.com.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

BrianG on 1/30/03 at 21:02 (107424)

I have a couple suggestions, from my working days. I was in a job that just didn't get a lot of respect from most of the work force. I worked in the secuity department of a Fortune 500 company. Fisrt, try to toughen up, and let those comments just roll off your shoulders, like water. Some people are nice, some aren't !!

Second, I have had to document some of the remarks people made, with my human relations department. If I thought it was someone that was just being stupid, I'd give them a warning that I didn't appreciate it and would document anything in the future. If the person was just plain mean, I would report them without even a warning. Make sure to keep copies of EVERYTHING you document about your fellow workers. Somethimes those complaints have a way of disappearing. Just last year, I had to turn in some copies of someone I had reported for a TOV (Threat of Violence). His manager had comveniently lost the original paperwork. I no longer worked for the company, but it was enough to get this person terminated!!! I still have the complaints, and will turn them into the police if I have to!

Good luck
BrianG

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 1/30/03 at 21:10 (107425)

thank you for your kind words nancy. and if anyone wants to do some real winnowing try lying in bed unable to move, get water, go to the bathroom for a year and see who your friends are. or fake it for one month. that's all it took for most of the people in my life to desert and most of the rest to start abusing. i i agree that you can't teach in many cases. mean is not an issue of ignorance, it's an issue of mean.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Pauline on 1/30/03 at 21:32 (107428)

Marie,
Always remember you have no control over how others act or speak. Maybe
this quote from St. Francis de Sales will help you.

' Remain at peace regarding whatever is said or done in conversations.
If it is good, you have something for which to praise God. If it is bad, you have something in which to serve God by turning your heart away from it'.

Accept what you cannot change, hold your head high, and change your way of thinking. If you allow what they say to eat at you, they win, but you have a choice. Changing how YOU think about the situation will empower you.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 22:01 (107432)

Pauline, what an inspiring quotation!

Even though I am not a religious person, I feel that I am a spiritual person and this quote reaches out to me.

Carole C

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Marty on 1/30/03 at 22:28 (107442)

This is great advice! I would of never thought of it!

Marty

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Julie on 1/31/03 at 03:23 (107452)

Marie

The responses you've had have been sensible and moving and I hope they've helped a bit. Yes, it's appalling how unkind people can be, and it must be particularly difficult to deal with when the people you have to work with and interact with every day behave so cruelly. I agree with everything that has been said so far - especially about treasuring the friends who DO understand and stick by you, and have only one observation to add.

People are generally afraid of things: disability, cancer, afraid of losing their jobs, you name it, there are situations in life that people are afraid of. And with some people - I'm not saying with everyone, but with some people - their fear is the cause of their cruelty. Their reaction to another's distress is 'This could happen to me', and respond to it by pushing it away.

I experienced something of the kind myself, when I had cancer, and people whom I thought were friends backed off. It was because they couldn't deal with their own fears, but it took me awhile to realise this, and it was painful while it was happening. I know it's not the same as what you are experiencing, for no-one was openly unkind, but the impulse underlying the behaviour was similar, I think.

As I said, this wouldn't necessarily be true of everyone (some people ARE just mean and nasty! - but they aren't worth a second thought) but I think it's true of many people, and I think it's helpful to understand this. If you could look at at least some of your tormenting colleagues and think 'They're like this because they're afraid of disability and pain' you might possibly find it easier to tolerate their behaviour.

Courage!

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Suzanne D on 1/31/03 at 12:07 (107482)

How nice of you to say that, Carole, but I feel inadequate; I often do not know what to say in response to rude or unkind comments. When I don't know what to say, I usually try to not say anything at the time. After thinking about it for awhile, sometimes I can think of a reply and don't have to regret saying something hastily which I later wish I hadn't said.

Marie, I am sorry you are being treated unjustly as well as unkindly at your school. I agree: educators should know better. Inherent in our jobs should be the firm belief in the dignity and worth of every person, regardless of handicapping conditions or any other 'differences'. That should be a given, and it particularly hurts when it is not.

I have been lucky to work in two schools in which almost everyone treats one another with respect and kindness. There have been a few exceptions, and most recently a 'higher up' has been really causing frustrations and stress. But my fellow teachers have nearly always been supportive even if they haven't always understood or remembered about my feet problems. I don't expect them to remember; it's not their feet. But at least they don't belittle me, as far as I know.

I guess all I can say is to ignore as much as possible. The 'getting tough' as others have mentioned is hard but can prove very valuable. When possible, make alliances with those who DO treat you kindly. And ~ hardest of all ~ try to treat everyone (even those who are mean to you) with kindness. Sometimes this can work real changes, given time. And at the very least, you are not pulled down to their level. There were two 'older' teachers down the hall from me when I first started teaching. They made little comments about my decorating and putting up things in the hall like, 'Honey, they don't pay us to have pretty rooms', etc. It hurt, but it helped me in the long run to decide how I wanted to be and to stick with it. I knew I didn't want to end up like them. I have gone out of my way since then to help new, younger teachers because I know how it felt to not be helped by them. And later, one of them had arthritis so badly she could hardly go up and down the steps. I tried to be kind when she was mean to me, and she ended up being my friend before she retired.

I liked what Nancy S. said, 'We do have to become strong within ourselves and not let their attitudes become our problems forever'. I have learned this at home. Sometimes my hardest challenges have been there, and I have tiny bit by tiny bit become stronger and not bothered so much by harshness or unjust criticism. So, as others have said, Hang in there!

And also, Brian G. always has good practical advice concerning the law. I don't know how your school handles grievances. Sometimes that area is lacking around here, but it is ALWAYS a good idea to write things down. He mentioned that, and it is a good idea.

My best wishes to you, Marie. We stick together here, so feel free to tell us anytime you are upset. It DOES help so much to have caring and understanding friends!

Suzanne :-)

P.S. What was that song that had the lyrics 'Walk a mile in my shoes. Walk a mile in my shoes. Before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes'? That has been running through my head after reading this thread.

Actually, no one would have to walk a whole mile in our shoes, would they, without realizing how much pain we are/have been in?!

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Richard, C.Ped on 1/31/03 at 12:32 (107484)

I deal with the public in what I do. What gets me the most upset is when somone accuses me of trying to put something over on them...as if I was shifty in business. I am far from that, but they do not know that.

I have learned that if someone has something aganist you, sometimes the best thing to do is go to them with kindness and meet the problem head on. The thing is, you can not please everyone, so some people may get defensive and angry.

I think what is going on is that they do not understand your situation. I would approach them just in basic conversation, and educate them on plantar fasciitis. I am sure you can work it into a conversation in a nice way.

Richard

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 15:00 (107497)

See? I just KNEW that you would know how to deal with something like this. The way you treated those sour old teachers and eventually made friends with the one with arthritis, is wonderful.

LOL, you are sure right about anyone walking a mile in our shoes. :)

Carole C

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 1/31/03 at 17:36 (107514)

paula, you were in that situation, and for a whole year? what a tough, tough experience -- to put it mildly. were you in an accident? (don't answer if you don't want to.)

(by the way, phil recommends reading peter mathiessen (sp?). he thinks he has the most integrity of any writer since wwII. that's a pretty dramatic statement from the usually let's-not-get-overexcited phil!)

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 1/31/03 at 20:34 (107541)

a muscle wasting disease that got partially corrected so far. the more helpless i was the more abused i was.

and why 'friends' who discussed intellectual ideas with me for thirty years screamed at the top of their lungs at me in a sing song voice used on very young children , i will never know, cause i could talk just as before

i can tell you this; if you want to know exactly how nasty any 'sweet', 'good' person you know now really is, stick them in a room with a person who is absolutely helpless and turn on a video camera.

did he write 'at play in the fields of the lord'? his name sounds familiar. i read that way back. it it's him he is good. what does phil like best of his.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

marie e on 1/31/03 at 21:23 (107550)

I am usually a pretty strong person. I guess I'm just having some weak moments. I feel encouraged with all the advice. I had a better day today and you're right I need to stay strong. Thanks

I am glad to hear that you've become such a fighter. You're an inspiration.

marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

marie e on 1/31/03 at 21:33 (107555)

St. Francis is my adopted guardian saint. Thanks for reminding me about him. I was born with a hole in my heart...the flap that is open between the two upper chambers of my heart didn't close at birth. My parents were told to find a priest for baptism and last rights. They were also told to begin planning a funeral. My father found a Franciscan Monk in the hall of the hospital. He baptized me and administered last rights. He and my father prayed all night. In the morning my heart began to improve and well I lived. My parents never got the name of the monk who prayed so hard with my father......but I have always had a fondness for St. Francis and his teachings. They are the closest to Christ's life.

Thanks
marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

marie e on 1/31/03 at 21:36 (107556)

You know I tell my students this all the time. I will try to follow my own advice. I am just having a weak day or two. Actually I made a big effort to do that today.
I was polite and kind. But strong.

marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 1/31/03 at 21:39 (107558)

marie, are you addressing me? if so then i am glad i said something that helped a sensitive person be better able to cope with all the meanness out there.

i think the people most hurt over and over by other's meanness are people who would never be mean like that themselves. they can't believe others behave that way and they never are prepared for it because they would never treat a person in pain or illness that way.

that was me before. but after the zillionth person treated me horribly after 53 years of being treated ok by people i put it together and realized that the kind sensitive people are rare.

i think as soon as the very kind, sensitive hurt person understands that most humans are not as kind as them, then the shock of other's meanness ior insensitivity s lessened. anyway that's how it works for me now.

i will never be the compassionate person i was before but i am also not a nasty, hating abusing hypocrite either. no matter how hard and tough i have had to make myself now, to rephrase a lily tomlin line 'no matter how mean i get i can never keep up'.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 05:16 (107584)

i'm glad you have at least 'partial' correction, paula. it sounds as though you have been through a nightmare that most of us even with pf have never known.

it is strange, isn't it, that people will assume if you have a physical malady, your mind isn't all there? an active mind like yours must have been deeply disappointed to be treated that way.

what did you think of julie's observations that many people turn away or turn unkind because of their own personal fears? the 'omigod, this could happen to me and it scares the hell out of me so i won't even acknowledge the reality that this can happen to people' syndrome. i think there's a lot of truth in it. still, in the end, it's awfully shortsighted and selfish, isn't it? because we can grow through the restrictions and pains of other people, not just through our own.

my grandmother had a major stroke at age 59 and, due to lack of advances at the time as to how to treat people with strokes, she spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair and unable to talk comprehensibly (except my mother could understand her). this is the way i knew my grandmother, because it happened when i was about 5 (i have only one picture in my head of her before that -- standing at their old iron cookstove making apple pie from the apple trees in the yard).

yet, as i've told my mother many times, i think that knowing my grandmother in that condition from the time i was a very young child made me much more open to people with difficult conditions through the rest of my life. i always still saw my grandmother as a very real person, with real feelings and thoughts and wishes, and so i assumed that other disabled people i've met throughout life are the same.

yes, he did write 'at play in the fields of the lord'! i've never read him, but i saw the movie made based on this book. -- it was disturbing but excellent. i'll ask phil what his favorites are; i know he's mentioned them, but i want to get the titles straight. one of his favorites he's reading right now, and it's mathiessen's latest, published in 2002.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 05:21 (107585)

marie, it's been clear from your posts that you're basically a strong person. even the strongest have 'weak' or vulnerable moments. i'm glad you posted about them here, because it might help you AND because i'm sure it touches a nerve (or 100) in all of us, and therefore the responses can help any number of people. this has been a great thread. thank you!

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 08:51 (107599)

first off nancy s thank you for taking an interesti n my experience. it is rare for me to be able to discuss this at all becuase no one is interested. well, let me rephrase that . i talk about it a lot, and people rarely respond with caring or interest.

i'm afraid i have a less generous view than 'i was afraid it could happen to me so i deserted or abused'.

when this despicable behavior is excused or when the lame excuses are accepted, then i think we are , as a society, condoning the millions of parkinsons folks, m.s. folks, od folks and all the others lying in a bed right now getting screamed at, shaken, feces smeared on their faces, kicked, food and water withheld for complaining about it, and all this abuse occurrs not once, but all day long , day after day, year after year.
so i say there is no excuse for those who desert or abuse. i don't buy it for one minute.

well i like peter methiesen. did he write the snow leapord too? i will have to get his new book if a fellow telvision hurling buddhist thinks well of him. maybe phil and i should start a new branch of buddhism. as a moving meditation we will throw electronic devices at the novices. . maybe we can find some disabled folks to throw them at. we can call it enlightening them.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Kathy G on 2/01/03 at 09:22 (107607)

Marie and Paula,

I can't even imagine how badly you must feel. It is bad enough to find yourself physically compromised but to experience the mean treatment of both strangers and friends is to just rub salt in the wound. I think you both have handled it in an admirable way but I'm sure it's soured your view of mankind in general.

I do believe an awful lot of people's attitudes come from ignorance and fear. When my sister was widowed at 33, I warned her that some friends would avoid her. Not because they didn't feel sorry for her but for two reasons: First they weren't sure what to say and secondly because they really couldn't stand to accept the fact that this, too, could happen to them. Sure enough, she found that happened and wasn't quite as hurt by it because she'd been warned. I had read a book by Lynn Cain several years before entitled 'Widow' and that was how I knew to warn her. I wasn't sure if it would really happen but it did. That book was of great benefit to me in trying to help her through a very hard time. I truly believe that may have something to do with the way you both were treated. It's funny that people don't seem to understand that saying, 'I'm sorry you're having these problems' doesn't suffice, isn't it?

An interesting aside: I went foodshopping on Thursday and encountered an elderly man on an electric cart. He had a kind of stand-offish air about him that you frequently find in old-time Yankees. He was viewing some soups on an upper shelf. I really couldn't decide if I would offend him if I offered to get something down for him because I have done so to others in the past and been rebuffed with an 'I can do it myself.' I instead decided to pretend I was looking at things in the aisle and watched to see if he continued to look in that direction. After a couple of minutes, he went off, at a pretty high speed, I might add, without taking any soup. I can't get him out of my mind because maybe he wanted a soup off the upper shelf and I should have offered. On the other hand, when I smiled and said hi to him, he didn't acknowledge it, so maybe I was right to leave him alone. So, he may be thinking I was a mean person when I was just trying not to insult him.

Marie, as hard as it is, you are a strong person and you must continue to ignore these people who make cruel remarks. Why should you go on disability if you are able to work and you want to work? Again it gets back to the American mindset of 'Take a pill' or 'Get a second opinion'. There's this assumption that everything can be fixed if the patient just wants it to be. I don't know where it came from but it's there.

Hopefully, you'll both still encounter kind people who are sympathetic and caring because we have to believe that those people exist.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Julie on 2/01/03 at 09:41 (107609)

Paula, as your post is in reply to Nancy's question about what I said, I have to make it clear that I wasn't 'excusing' bad behaviour. I was explaining what I consider to be the reason for some - not all - bad behaviour. It's different.

Of course there is no justification for helpless people being kicked, shaken and smeared with excrement. That's not what I was talking about.

To understand why people behave as they do can help us to respond to their behaviour, rather than react to it, and we can to a certain degree use our understanding to protect ourselves.

But I am very sorry that you have had such bad experiences, and can certainly appreciate why you feel as you do.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 10:19 (107616)

first, julie, thank you for your willingness to dialogue about this issue at all. and your compassion for my situation i didn;t think you particularly were xscusing bad behavior. we all use this pat cultural excuse. the deserters, the abusers and in some cases even the deserted and the abused, if their desertion and abuse did not last for years.

i am not in a unique position. i know how the story ends for everyone who is not fortunate enuf to die before extreme disability. we will not face this on a cultural level. and so we will each face it individually if we don't happen to die quickly enuf.

i know you were speaking of a different set of situations. i was talking about folks who cannot defend themselves in any way. with or without trying to understand the motivations of the persons abusing or deserting them. so trying to understand their motivations becomes a moot point. where does the next drink of water come from and how much hearing will be lost lose from the last round as a punching bag is much more absorbing than the inner processes of the abuser.

there is a thin line i guess between trying to understand and excusing and each of us must draw this line when and where we will. from the trenches it seems simple to me.

my thanks to you and nancy for engaging me in this discussion. it helps to be able to express this stuff.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Julie on 2/01/03 at 11:32 (107621)

Paula, it's hard to imagine the sort of challenge life must be in your particular trenches. I salute you for battling through as you're doing. How are you now? I mean as regards the muscle-wasting illness. (What was/is it?)

I don't want to belabour the point about understanding motivation. I agree with you that doing whatever it takes to get through the kind of experience you have had is far more pressing and more absorbing. Let's just remember my little bit of insight was offered in the context of Marie's question: 'How does one cope with mean remarks?' I can only say that in my own experience with a life-changing illness, gaining some sort of comprehension of other people's fears was helpful, and I thought that slant on it might be helpful to her.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 12:07 (107625)

thanks for asking julie. i am not helpless enuf to be so blatantly abused at this point. so altho i am not strong enuf to get out of house alone and am virtually a prisoner here my life is improved somewhat.sort of along the lines that if you stop hitting your head against a wall you feel much better. they think it was a rare form of thyroid muscle wasting syndrome but are unsure to this day. in other words thirty doctors thirty opinions. i also have pf by the way. but that is the least of my problems at this time. it is not clear if i will regain more strength or stay here or get weaker. but i exercise daily and try my feeble best to make a little progress.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Julie on 2/01/03 at 15:27 (107635)

Paula, I wish all good things for you - including a full recovery. I'm glad you have support from your Larry, and from folks here.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

marie e on 2/01/03 at 15:45 (107636)

Paula, you're an inspiration. I can work and do many things. It has been a tough adjustment for me to suddenly be so dependent on others. I am not bitter at all but sometimes I wonder how I got in this body. Thanks for motivating me to find courage to face today.

I do tell my students to take the high road and kill your enemies with kindness.....but I always end it with this: there are some people you will never be able to reach and you will have to find the strength to accept this with a firm resolve. Time to practice what I preach.

I think the behind my back comments upset me because I am still accepting the fact that I am not perfect. I can't do and be everything that everyone wants me to be. I am a people pleaser....I know that I am the only one that is responsible for these feelings. Mabie I need to do some meditation.

Everyone on this site seems to have great compassion and understanding. Only my oldest freinds have been there for support. My husband and sons have been so patient. I haven't heard a word from anyone at the church I attend....isn't that odd? My husband's parents are pretending nothing is different...which is ok but I am different physically and there are going to be changes in what I feel comfortable doing.

thanks to everyone for your inspiring words.....you're really just a bunch of softies. marie

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 16:06 (107637)

thanks julie and marie. the church thing is not odd. i've heard it over and over from the other disbaled folks i've met along the way.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Suzanne D on 2/01/03 at 16:51 (107639)

Dear Paula,

Your posts in this thread have moved me to tears, and I want to say that I, too, salute you for your toughness in what sounds to be a really tough situation. And I am so sorry you have faced such abuse and misunderstanding. I truly am. I know that doesn't change anything for you, but I would like to say it.

What Julie wrote to you brought me back to something a friend told me years ago. She had MS, and in time, she said almost everyone disappeared. I would call her on the phone, and by that time, all she could do was dial the phone or turn the channels on the t.v. or radio. She said her dr. told her it was because people were scared of facing the fact that it could happen to them, it made them uncomfortable, and they reacted by vanishing so as not to deal with it. Poor excuse and didn't help my friend, but it probably was true. We had some good talks on the phone. At first I worried about 'saying the right thing'; then I got past that and just wanted to talk to her and let her talk.

I am also sorry about people in church letting you and others down. My personal belief is that this disappoints God very much. I think some people very wrongly think that if a person is down and out for whatever reason, they just don't have enough faith, etc. Then they do the worst possible thing they could do by making the person feel it is their fault and that somehow they don't deserve attention and help. Not everyone in church is this way, of course, but enough of that happens to be very sad. That's not how God wants us to be or how the church should react. That's my humble opinion. We all have a lot to learn about humility and love.

Well, I didn't mean to preach a sermon. I must get supper going, but I wanted to write to you, Paula. I'm glad you found this site, and I'm glad you can discuss how you feel. I think that always helps, don't you?

Take care.

Suzanne :-)

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 17:15 (107640)

oh my, i had a brief break from the shop earlier, but am just now catching up on this thread. i'm glad it helps to talk about this stuff, paula. i DO care and i AM interested, as others here obviously do too.

i understand the distinction julie made between 'excuses' and 'reasons.' for most rotten behavior, there is a reason but rarely an excuse. sometimes understanding the reason has helped me come to terms with mistreatment; sometimes not. but forgiveness is hard, and 'excusing' is probably and understandably most often out of the question, when a person has been through what you have. not only has dealing with your condition itself been far more than most of us have to bear this early in life, but it sounds to me like you've endured much more than just people just turning away or making an insensitive comment or two. you've used the word 'abuse' several times, and if you've had to endure that -- and maybe from people close to you, as i suspect -- that has got to be a terribly embittering experience. my heart goes out to you for this!

although you don't feel you'll ever be the same kind of compassionate person you were before, you might be surprised at how much compassion you express here along with your funny cynicism and sarcasm. i mean, you've been here a long time and seen several big dust-ups on the board, and every time, while stating your honest opinion, you've never attacked someone or said something mean. (once in the middle of one of those you wrote something like 'let's remember it's not like an ax murder was committed here.' i liked that.) and you're very quick to acknowledge and appreciate the kindness of others here, which is a kindness in itself. we don't all remember to express that appreciation like you do.

you say you can't leave the house on your own. do you get out sometimes, with the help of larry or anyone else? of course, i do remember that he went to mcdonald's By Himself during the rat battle! but i hope you're able to get outside sometimes, even just a little, and i hope the mysterious syndrome that hit you goes into permanent remission and doesn't have you in limbo too long.

now, phil is sick in bed with a really bad flu. i gave him the assignment this morning of coming up with his favorite matthiessen books. however, he's finally asleep now. i did glimpse the one he's reading now, and i think the title is 'birds in heaven.' i'll correct later if i'm wrong. yes, matthiesen did write 'the snow leopard.' phil is not much into novels; he likes nonfiction, mostly having to do with other cultures, the travels of lone folks deeply into those cultures, ecological and geographical and anthropological leanings. and, of course, anything and everything having to do with tibetan buddhism. matthiessen has written many novels and many works of nonfiction. i'll post more from phil about matthiessen (i can't remember his spelling to save my life) when he's awake AND coherent.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Tammie on 2/01/03 at 17:44 (107641)

You cope with the mean things by realizing that words are just that . people who can not converse without hurting need to be pietied as they there selve must be feeling badly about themselves. It is very sad to hear anyone who is hurt especialy when you are down and out trying to deal with the many issues of pain due to feet. Which some consider oh a foot what can that be, we all here understand just how much pain a foot can be!

To bad the feet dont heal as quickly as the words people say to hurt. I try really hard to take the things that people say to hurt us and make it something good out of. So I dont grow hateful or piety. After all People who have never expieranced Foot pain will never ever know how much it can hurt and not only pain from feet, but issues that go with it. I am very sorry that anyone should have to be hurt by words as life hurts enough .People have so many things to overcome through life it is very sad that they open mouths and let out those spiteful or hurtfull words.

Please let this make you stronger and take what hurt you and clean your life with it, turn it around and use kindness to those who may be feeling pain in another way and make some one smile and that will bring a smile to you and it continues on and on and on! A smile can warm a whole room up and it is a needed thing sometimes! So my friend I offer you a great big smile and hope that you feel the warmth I send it in and you can pass it on and on and have much better days. Most people as you have noticed do not understand about feet, it is unseen and that makes it hard for them to validate it. If you were to wear a huge bandage and a crutch it would be seen as oh how did you break your foot or whatever, so remember people need validation ,which we who are in pain need sometimes also! Hang in there I hope it gets better!

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 18:15 (107645)

thanks suzanne. your friend was lucky to have your companionship. it certainly helps to hear from people as kind and sensitive as you, and to know that the entire human race is not mean. i appreciate your response.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/01/03 at 18:40 (107648)

nancy, you really have such a knack for remembering the individual things about people here. it is obvious that you do care and you are interested. and one of the few people outside new york city who actually seem to like my sarcastic, cysnical sense of humor thank you for signifying some of my redeeming qualities . it makes me feel human. and it is true that i just can't bring myself to be mean. ( larry just read that and said 'hah')/.

i do get out from time to time. not enuf of course. it all depends on how much larry has to do. no one else takes me out for an airing. and i do miss seeing sky, trees, feeling the sun. it is expecially hard on sunny nice days. maybe i should move to the south pole. of course larry would have to bring me there.

abuse dished out by pretty much everyone who came in contact with me during my most helpless year. friends, strangers, medical professionals, hired caretakers, i define abuse as not only physical but psychological as well. i was the recipient of both. the most monstrous, in a real monster competition, were doctors, psychologis, , social workers or ministers. in my experience if they were professional helpers they really had their abuse down pat. professionally you might say, wheras friends were mere dabblers, taking an unrehearsed kick at someone down cause it was possible.i have actually become quite a connoisur of abusers and feel i can spot just how, just what type real quick.

since larry and i both feel so abandoned by our friends, larry now calls them our asocia-shits, it is just larry me and the cats, with all burden of care on larry cause i would rather be dead than hire another 'helper'

again , it is good to discuss this with online companions. and i really do appreciate your interest, your caring and your laughing at my outrageous jokes as well.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

Suzanne D on 2/01/03 at 19:32 (107656)

Thank you, Paula. My friend taught me a lot about life and courage, and I was lucky to have known her.

As Nancy wisely said, you are kind and encourage others with your wit. To be able to help others smile and laugh is a gift!

Suzanne :-)

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/01/03 at 20:47 (107663)

that's really nice, paula, your saying i have a 'knack' for remembering things about people, thank you. i don't know why i remember stuff like that and had never thought of it as a knack. i do remember all kinds of things about people who've been in my shop, and it shocks them. it makes me think there must be more people who feel ignored in life than we generally realize.

before phil started his painting & carpentry business, he worked in home care and nursing homes. he was doing that when i met him. in the nursing home there were both middle-aged and elderly people, some with alzheimer's, some with ms, some with lou gehrig's disease, you name it. so he saw a lot of hardship, and i heard many stories about wonderful friends and family of patients and about friends and family who couldn't care less.

the family of one elderly man lived the next town over, like 10 minutes away, and they visited him ONCE a year! and when they did come, they'd fuss at the help and complain about every little thing. one time, phil -- who is one of the gentlest people you'd ever hope to meet -- couldn't take it anymore. he was furious that these people hardly ever visited the man, and now they were complaining to phil about how they didn't think he'd dressed him right or something like that, untrue. phil whirled around and glared at them and shouted 'WHO . . . are . . . YOU???!!!' he got written up for it but didn't care. he didn't see much outright abuse in that particular place. i've seen it, though, when i lived in boston and had an elderly friend i would visit in a really awful nursing home. it was a horror show and broke my heart. and like for you, it was the professionals dishing it out. i couldn't believe it.

i wish you could see more sun, sky, trees, too. larry sounds like one to be treasured, even if he did say 'hah,' eh?

yours probably is quite a nyc sense of humor. a lot of people at my school way back when were from the city too, so i encountered it early on. my dad's family all grew up in brooklyn. my dad, though now a very nice man, never did develop much of a sense of humor. his brother and sister did, though; they were a riot. my dad says one night at dinner when they were in high school my uncle jack suddenly said, 'guess what, my geography teacher's head is shaped like africa.' (and it was true, according to my dad.) say, maybe dad does have a sense of humor, because he told me this a few years ago while we were having breakfast in a diner and we both laughed till we cried! we couldn't finish our food.

yes, it's great to laugh, and like suzanne says, humor is a great gift to be able to give to others.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/02/03 at 19:27 (107762)

i am glad you and phil found each other. you seem well matched. and you can both discuss books. larry and i met over our love of books. i had just moved to georgia and had met no one to discuss books or ideas with. unless satan being put in a wooden box for a thousand years is an idea and if it is i had a neighbor very eager to discuss it at length. all the live long day.

i walked into a health food store and the guy behind the counter, looking much like a hasidic scholar (without the pais curls) was reading, beilieve it or not, 'the evolution of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind' by julian janes. i was reading that at the time. we were so excited to find sentience in georgia.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 04:14 (107789)

well lol, paula, at 5 a.m. Now i'll never get back to sleep after reading your neighbor's 'idea.'

you and larry were *both* reading 'the evolution of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind'?? how likely is that? 1 in 589 billion? meant to be. is that the guy who wrote 'through the alimentary canal with gun and camera'? no no, i don't think so. (there is such a book, though, i saw it with my own eyes.)

phil and i met over our love of artwork (both painting in watercolor at the time), when i was almost 40 and he was 44, and neither of us had ever been married, so it was quite a shock. but yes, we have books in common, as well as art, same political views and social values -- similar a lot of things, except for neatness. he is neat, and i am not. i've brought him around some, though; he'll probably never forgive me for it.

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/03/03 at 15:58 (107840)

i feel that you can never fully trust the neat. larry is neat. what was their toilet training like? these and other disturbing questions arise as larry places each item in it's exact spot, showers for the third time that day and starts sighing and mewling if anything is not where he thinks it should be. yes it was quite synchronistic that we were reading that book and lol on the alimentary canal book. i think the auhor was a mentor to some of out foot doctotrs.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 19:18 (107854)

phil grew up in the neatest house in the neatest town in the usa. not a thing is out of place in that town, inside or out. it's frightening. actually, he freed himself fairly early -- it wasn't easy -- and i think the rest of his family considers him a bit of a slob. i'm not quite sure where that puts me, since he's so much neater than i am!

we're driving out there (it's in michigan) for his sister's wedding next week. they're all very nice to me and i have no complaint, but i feel so 100% wrinkled and split-ended whenever i go there. any normal person would. i guess that would include you, eh paula?

my advice, even though you didn't ask for it, is not to wait for larry to start sighing when something is out of place and he can't find it. start sighing yourself when you can't find something because he put it where HE thinks it belongs. using this method, in 13 years i have gained about three inches on the 100-mile path to complete neatnik/nonneatnik harmony. hey, at least i'm moving!

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

pala on 2/03/03 at 22:03 (107876)

good idea. tommorrow i will begin the day sighing a lot. we will see how it goes. i never cared about clothes or hair. i always wore dungarees and t shirts and the like. i had the world's most superficial parents who made me give up my best freind at age eight because she was overweight, poor so she dressed poorly, . from then on i deeply suspectted those who put any store at all in looks. fortunately the hippy thing evolved and i was one of the first to join. i am more forgiving of the neat because i see this as a psychological disorder and having something to do with brain chemistry. i'm sure some prozac would help them live in the gloriious disarray that is the natural state of all healthy people.

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

JudyS on 2/04/03 at 20:52 (108014)

NancyS - how long will you be in Michigan?

Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

nancy s. on 2/04/03 at 21:00 (108017)

we will be in michigan a total of about 48 hours -- actually, about 30 non-sleeping hours -- with more hours than that spent on the road driving out and driving back! does it make sense? no, but the wedding will be a happy occasion that we cannot miss. besides, they might need a souvenir from maine -- an ice boulder, perhaps!

nancy
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Re: How do you cope with the mean things people say.......

JudyS on 2/04/03 at 21:09 (108019)

Wow Nancy - it's been a very long time since we were on the boards at the same time! Oh I remember those long evenings just a couple of years ago!