Blame it on the illness…

An illness can become a scapegoat for all kinds of other troubles.

           ………… ‘I’ve done something bad’ – it must have been because of my illness

– even if it was actually not to do with the illness at all.

………….Someone’s been unkind to me – it must be the illness

………….. My children are playing up – it must be my illness, my fault.

…………… I was late for work – it must be my illness

…………………… My boss was rude to me …

…………………. I forgot to ring my mother…

                                No, that was because of her illness!

An illness is there, waiting to be blamed; adding force to pre-existing anxieties and increasing everyday guilt.

Some people are so afraid of blaming the illness (instead of themselves) that they won’t accept the illness has a role to play even when it clearly does.

The opposite can also happen; some people never want to blame an illness for anything.

………………I was late – it was the buses (not that I couldn’t run to catch one..)

………………………I didn’t take the rubbish out – it wasn’t my turn (not that I couldn’t do that as well as get up, get dressed and get out of the house on time..)

……..I couldn’t drink and work late at night like the other students – I’m just rubbish (not: I had a chronic illness)

She doesn’t listen (not: she can’t hear so she talks over people so they don’t notice..)

She likes to be difficult

He does it on purpose

Sometimes people feel:

–           their illness ‘means’ they are rubbish, and they don’t want to think this, so they can’t admit it has any effect at all.

–          the illness represents weakness; allowing it to be blamed for anything would mean the illness had ‘won’.

–          The illness causes so much trouble it must cause all the trouble.

This can mean there is no incentive to think further about what has caused this particular trouble.  After all, if you are ill, you may also be overstretched, tired, and find it difficult to think.  So why think any further?

Except that there might be other things which need changing;

Or you might not be as guilty as you think you are.

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About thetroublewithillness

I've been a counsellor for people with physical illnesses for a long time now, and learnt a lot about what it's like living with your own or someone else's illness. I want to pass some of this on.
This entry was posted in children with ill parents, illness, talking about feelings. Bookmark the permalink.

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