Friday, May 15, 2009

Love Hurts

The people I care about most give me the worst headaches.

Dear Everyone in my Real Life,

I've been less than honest with you. Every time I see you, you ask me how I am with a look of pity on your face. I can't bear pity, so I lie. I make light. I pretend that my head is just an inconvenience. I smile and change the subject. But here's the truth: I am severely disabled. I have chronic pain that keeps me horizontal more than half of the time. I wear earplugs to watch tv. Sometimes I wear sunglasses, too. Sometimes it hurts too much to do anything but lay there with an ice pack on my face.

You, my dear loved one, are making it worse for me. I may love you, but I have a few problems with the effect you have on my head. Here are the top five reasons to justify my impending psychological break and subsequent murderous spree:

1. You stink. ANY smells can send me over the edge into the migrainous pits of hell, so your shampoo, conditioner, perfume, makeup, body lotion combo makes me want to push you away violently when you go to give me a long sympathetic hug. I don't, though. I don't want to hurt your feelings, so I hold my breath until you are done comforting me. I hope it makes you feel better.

2. You and/or your environment are noisy. I know you like to have music on in the background at all times. I used to like it too. Now, holding a conversation with any other sound competing is impossible. I get confused and angry, and start feeling nauseous. Your look of irritation as I turn it down (or off) shows me exactly how much you really sympathize with me. I'll joke to make you smile again, but I'll never forget your impatience. Also, I love/tolerate your child/dog/bird/girlfriend but I can't handle that horrible high pitched noise it/he/she makes. Hence, the earplugs. So, stop asking me like I'm not going to tell you that your favorite person/animal/thing is assaulting my head with its goddamn yapping. Cause, I will.

3. Every light in your house is on at all times and they are all piercing my retinas and stabbing my brain. Stop looking at me funny when I squint and look away from the lights or put my sunglasses on.

4. You are demanding. When we hang out, you ask a lot. I am supposed to be talkative and interesting and entertaining. I know this because if I am not, if I am quiet or more still than seems appropriate, I am subjected to a barrage of are-you-okay's and what's-wrong's that leave me even more exhausted. If I'm being quiet, it means I need some quiet time, not that I need to spend 30 minutes reassuring you.

5. You are impatient. I'll always remember when you, in frustration, told me to "get over it". And I'll never forget when you asked me, in a snide tone "Oh, we have to make accommodations for you now?" I'll remember your insensitivity and your cruelty forever and it will always taint who I think you are as a person.

I wish I could go back to being normal. I was the first to arrive at a party and the last to leave. I was loud and fun and wild. But, I'm not anymore and I may never be that person again.

Love, Me


Jasmine said...

You're so brave to write that letter and take a stand to inform those you love that this is who you are now - take it or leave it. Sending you scent-free hugs :)

Sue said...

Jasmine is right - this is such a brave letter. Thank you for your honesty.

deborah said...

very brave, true, and free. I know what you mean about the loudness - everywhere. I sat behind a woman in church Sunday that killed me for the day with her hideous perfume. It was like a knife in my lungs and eyes and my head. I was done for the day.

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

I can close my eyes or wear sunglasses, but I have never been able to do anything about the smells! Lovely letter - and yes, the remarks do stay much longer than the speaker remembers.

Andy said...

4 & 5 hit very close to home for me. I appreciate your candor.

Betsy B said...

Wow -- very powerful.

purityspring said...

Sadly, I can relate to your letter. Hugs & prayers going out to you & all fellow migraine prisoners.

Nikki Albert said...

I remember telling my spouse one day to stop putting the dishes away so Loudly... something about the way dishes Touch with some migraines really hurts. He totally got it and we laughed about it later... I told him how very long it takes me to put them away very quietly. Honestly though I have no idea how he puts up with me because our house is literally a cave... with very dark shades and indirect lighting with very soft light bulbs. He insists on the blinds being open in the kitchen, something about kitchens supposed to have light or some such thing and he has one 'light room' where the blinds are open half way and don't have black out blinds. Other than that... darkness is mine! For other people... they simply do not see me without sunglasses and/or a hat and really have gotten used to it. Also... no smelly nasty cologne for him. He knows it would repulse me. I did let him buy one that was pleasant to me but he can't use much and, you know, only for special occasions. But I can't control other people... and Damn they seem to be unable to resist dumping the stuff on. A perfume cloud follows them. At work in a small office it was a sure fire quick migraine trigger and nasty on the nausea as well... i'd have to vacate my office after the customer left to get away from the stench of it.

But you know people are... taxing. I can't give them what they want in a friendship because I don't have the energy. So I am a hermit. My spouse though at least gets that when I get very quiet, I am in a great deal of pain and most definitely need some quiet time.

And people most definitely are impatient... or is it insensitive? Expecting us to be cured when we get a new treatment, expecting us to simply endure and just 'deal with it'. Yeah, I don't easily forget those people.