MY LIFE: 5 things to never say to any chronically ill parent

Image courtesy of Creative Commons, used with permission from Ian

People are sometimes thoughtless. They can also be cruel. I think to think many of the ignorant comments directed toward chronically ill parents are borne from ignorance, not malice, so allow me to talk about some of the things a person should not say to a chronically ill parent.

  1. You don’t seem sick!/You look fine!/What do you mean you’re tired?/What do you mean you can’t?/Any variation on this theme.
  2. It could be worse./At least it’s not cancer./Any variation on this theme.
  3. Do you wish you had never had children?/Do you regret having to take care of someone else with the way you feel?/Any variation on this theme.
  4. Have you tried massage?/Pills?/Acupuncture?/Unicorn tears?/Any variation on this theme.
  5. Why don’t you just exercise more?/Become a vegetarian?/Hire a nanny?/Any variation on this theme.

The first invalidates our illness. The second trivializes it. The third is just plain insulting and cruel. The fourth is annoying at best because of course you’ve tried everything you can. The fifth is presumptive and dismissive.

This post is short and sweet for a reason. Normally I explain more, but these five things are some of the worst things we hear over and over. Just don’t, and educate others not to either. We can educate (like I am here), but we get tired of explaining/justifying our lives and choices to others.

Do you have any question/statement that grinds your teeth? Tell me below!

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