Shit My Ableist Family Members Say: Chronically Misunderstood

After spending Thanksgiving with my extended family, I realized about 95% of my conversations with them included a lot of ableism and me gritting my teeth. There’s some of things they’ve said to me recently:

  1. “I’m so glad you’re better!!!”

My Grandmother told me how happy she was that I was all better at Thanksgiving, when I literally had an endoscopy the day before. About 80% of the time I was at her house I felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach, but my face told another story. Just because I’m good at pretending to be “fine” for your sake, doesn’t mean I’m not screaming in pain.

2. “You’ve learned some great life lessons though”

Yes, I became sick as a child so I could learn a few lessons. One of them is how absolutely insensitive that comment is. Another, is how to restrain myself form decking you in the face.

3. “Do you have a real life now?” or “Are you truly living now?”

Apparently my life wasn’t worth living when I laid in bed sick for months, but dragging my aching body around to school is a meaningful and “real” life.

4. “Sometimes God just answers prayers slowly”

While I am a Christian and believe in God, the idea that one day God is going to magically cure me is ridiculous. Some problems don’t have resolutions, and that expectation leads to devastation.

5. “People who apply for disability are just lazy”

If I wasn’t a minor I definitely would have been on disability, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Also, wow just wow.

6. “I just don’t know how it’s possible that you’re STILL sick!”

Touche

…but it’s called “chronic” illness for a reason.

 

These are just a few of my favorite gems! There’s many, many more and a part two may have to happen soon.

What is the most ridiculous thing people say to you about your chronic illness(es) / disabilities? I’m sure you all have some great stories!

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11 thoughts on “Shit My Ableist Family Members Say: Chronically Misunderstood

  1. I completely relate! My parents try to be understanding saying “we’ll get you better!” …But like… It’s chronic… I’m always going to have this. Stop reminding me that I’ll always feel this way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The amount of people who don’t seem to understand the word chronic astounds me. Saying you’ll never get better isn’t negative, it’s factual. I’m sorry your parents say that. I’m sure they mean well, it’s just so frustrating.

      Like

        1. I’ve been told my multiple friends and family that if I stopped eating any sort of artificial sweeteners my headaches would go away. They were all dead serious and super concerned. At that point I go with it, since like you said they’re just trying to be nice. It is pretty though that they think one random suggestion will cure your chronic illnesses.

          Liked by 2 people

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