Cutting out the people who don’t care

Her: I’d like to invite you to our house for Thanksgiving.

Me: You’ve probably heard that I might need surgery, so I can’t plan anything until that’s figured out.

Her: I’m sorry to hear about the surgery. I had no idea. Just let me know if you’ll be able to make it or not.

On its face, this seemed ok. She was sorry to hear about the surgery. So that was a good response, right? But I felt like something was missing. It nagged at me. I read the message again. Something still nagged at me, but I didn’t know what.

Hours later, it hit me: she didn’t ask why I needed surgery, if it was a big deal, or anything else!

I’ve been one of the lucky ones. Most of my family and friends have been incredibly supportive. A lot of people lose many of their loved ones when they have a chronic illness. It’s an unfortunate side effect that the doctors don’t tell us about. It’s hard and it hurts and it sucks. But it happens.

For me, it was my sister. I’m sure our problems aren’t all because of my health, but they’re a big part of it. Every now and then, I question if things area really that bad. Maybe I should try to make amends? Maybe she really does care? And then something like this happens.

Apparently our parents hadn’t mentioned my possible surgery to her. I guess there wasn’t anything to mention yet. I was pretty sure I’d need surgery, but I hadn’t gotten the MRI results yet (which is why I haven’t mentioned it to you yet – don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it when it’s official.) Now, if someone I cared about had said, “As you probably know, I might need surgery,” I’d be upset and worried! I’d ask why, when, if I could do anything to help, etc. Actually, that’s how the few friends I told have responded. They’ve been amazing. They’ve been calling and texting and emailing. They’ve asked questions and offered support. Not my sister. Nope. She didn’t even ask why I would need surgery.

It’s hard to accept that sometimes a relationship can’t be salvaged. It’s natural to want to keep people in our lives. It’s especially hard when that relationship isn’t a vague acquaintance or a coworker, but a close friend or a sibling. We don’t have any other siblings. We only have each other. But that doesn’t matter. That’s not enough of a reason to try to be close to someone who obviously doesn’t care about me, or who at the very least tries to distance herself from me.

I know from past experience that I am better off focusing on the positive relationships in my life. So I will go to Thanksgiving dinner to be with other relatives (depending on how I’m feeling,) but until that day, I will put my limited energy into relationships with the people who love me and care about me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to answer some more of my friends’ emails. They’re worried about me.

6 Responses to Cutting out the people who don’t care

  1. jacksdavie says:

    I have no idea if you have faced surgery before, as I’ve not been reading or blogging for a while. ..but having faced major surgery several times, if you need someone to talk to we can email or Skype or similar if you would like to. I sincerely hope it’s not major . Sending huge hugs and heaps of healing thoughts.

    • chronicrants says:

      Thanks Jacksdavie, I really appreciate that. I had surgery once before (aside from my wisdom teeth) but that was 17 years ago. It feels like a lifetime ago. I wrote about the whole thing today, so you can see what’s going on now.

  2. I’m sorry you need surgery. Hope you are okay!

  3. Lorna says:

    Sorry for the late reply I have posted to the surgery post for that. I am an only child, since my Mum died in April. There is just my son as my closest relative apart from Hubby. Through watching his relationships with his family (they are a huge family)I feel puzzled as to why the people closest by blood often hurt us the worst. I feel your sister is the one missing out whether she realises it or not. Please spend Thanksgiving and other holidays where ‘you’ will be happiest!
    Hugs xx

    • chronicrants says:

      Aw, thanks Lorna. That’s really sweet. And yes, I’ve decided to prioritize myself this Thanksgiving, especially in light of the surgery. I’ll do what makes me happiest. Thanks!

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