Sympathy isn't what we need

I was talking with someone the other night on Facebook. He was someone that I kinda knew back in school but I knew his brother better. Anyways, we discovered a connection to each other that I am sure both of us would rather not have : chronic pain.

Although it isn't great that we both have pain conditions, it was nice to talk to someone who understands what you're going through. That isn't to say that it isn't nice to talk to others. Don't get me wrong please. What I'm saying is that people in the same boat tend to fully comprehend what you're going though more than others. This is something that someone and I discussed.

I think the worst thing I hear so often is "you're too young to be in that much pain!". Yes I am. However, things happen to those much younger than myself. The reason I hate that so much is that it just reminds me how stunted my life has become. Don't you think I am reminded daily that my life isn't what I wanted to make of it? I know the people don't realize they are actually causing me more stress by saying that, but I can't help but stress a little more each time I hear it.

I truly think that people really have the best intentions when they talk to someone like me about our condition. What I think people don't realize is that it isn't sympathy we need. We don't need to be comforted. To a degree we don't even need empathy (which most people confuse with sympathy). What we need is not even think about it for a change. Think about it - if you're having the worst day ever, do you want to be reminded of it or asked about it by every person you know? Of course not. That's not to say we don't always not want to talk it about - at times we do. One thing I have noticed by people who take notice of my cane or the way I walk is that they always ask me about my condition. And that's all they ask about.

I know they mean well. I used to do the same thing myself. Being in the position I am now has showed me things I used to do without thinking about it. We're taught to be sympathetic at an early age. The problem is that we are not taught to be empathetic. Those who are truly empathetic know when to talk about it and when not to. Perhaps we should begin teaching our children the difference between empathy and sympathy sooner so that the pattern is broken.

Just remember this - we are much more than just our conditions or disabilities.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 and is filed under . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


Hey there...I made my appointment with the doctor...tomorrow morning at 8:30. :-)


Hey u its me yes me jabberz i give u no sympathy at all u know that just the day to day things we alldeal with eh lmfao love u lots u know it darling omg i called u darling omg help me plzzzzz xoxoxo n btw our son knows the difference also teehee xoxoxoxo love u me Jabberzzzzzz