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07-28-2016, 10:14 PM   #1
Tommy21bn
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Siblings

Hi all

I was just wondering whether a dx of UC or Crohns has had an effect on your relationship with your brothers or sisters?

I think mine didn't know how to cope when I was dx'd with UC now Crohns. They struggled with my needs of attending hospital appointments and in patient stays. However, the main thing that strikes me looking back is the jealousy that they both developed as my parents were forced to spend more time with me. This is something that has lingered on into my mid thirties. In some ways our relationship has never really recovered from it.

Thanks for listening.
07-28-2016, 10:20 PM   #2
IWishICouldHide
 
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Before I was diagnosed my sister always told me and everyone who asked her that I was faking or exaggerating my symptoms because I was taking a lot of sick days. That always made me very angry. I don't know how she could have thought that as the pain was sometimes so bad I couldn't stay on my feet. We were never terribly close to begin with as she was often mean to me. Now both my siblings act like I'm flaring up whenever I behave even slightly differently than how they expect. It annoys me, but our overall relationship is healthy.
07-28-2016, 10:22 PM   #3
ronroush7
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I wasn't diagnosed until 34 do it had no effect on my relationship with my siblings.
07-28-2016, 10:30 PM   #4
Tommy21bn
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Hmmm, it's very easy to convince yourself that someone is lying/exaggerating something when you can't physically see the symptoms especially if you are a child.

I'm glad you've managed to repair your relationship with your siblings. I'm not sure that it's something I am willing to do. I still feel betrayed by them at the time I most needed their support even if they were children. They've never expressed sympathy for the pain and they routinely still assume i'm being lazy and tell extended family members this. I don't know what to think.
07-28-2016, 10:32 PM   #5
ronroush7
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Hmmm, it's very easy to convince yourself that someone is lying/exaggerating something when you can't physically see the symptoms especially if you are a child.

I'm glad you've managed to repair your relationship with your siblings. I'm not sure that it's something I am willing to do. I still feel betrayed by them at the time I most needed their support even if they were children. They've never expressed sympathy for the pain and they routinely still assume i'm being lazy and tell extended family members this. I don't know what to think.
I am sorry. I hope you work things out.

07-28-2016, 11:12 PM   #6
IWishICouldHide
 
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I was always tried very hard to be mature as a child. She was around 18, I got mad about what she said, but I didn't challenge her or hold it against her. She was just wrong, simple as that and I had no way to prove it to her. She even felt quite bad once the doctors finally accepted I had a problem worse than acid reflux. If anything they are over-sympathetic and that gets on my nerves because it feels fake.

The jealousy thing reminds me of some aspects of our relationship when I was much younger (well before Crohn's). She always wanted attention and I was always very shy. She wanted everything to be about her, and I wanted nothing to be about me. This created a differential pressure on our parent's. She wore them out and argued a lot, while I would play quietly and try to be really nice and go so far as to bury my feelings instead of arguing (this was a part of my ego, interestingly). This made them almost have to be nicer to me than her which always made her more jealous.

These things changed with age as she developed her empathy further. I want to believe that one day your sibling's will try harder to understand, but I know that this can't always happen for everyone. The best advice I think I can give is to ignore the dumb stuff they say because your disease is real and any member of your family worth dealing with on a regular basis will understand and accept if you explain your problem to them. The damage your siblings can really do is limited. Just be ready to start repairing the relationship if they ever do change.

I don't know if that's quite right, but I'm here to talk (type) if you want to.
07-28-2016, 11:23 PM   #7
Tommy21bn
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Ahh that's very kind. I'm lucky to have loving and empathetic parents (although that too took time to develop) who are very supportive of my additional needs.

I just started the thread for people to reflect upon their family experiences and to see if there is a common pattern of siblings struggling to adjust after a member of the family is diagnosed.

You can't help but look back and wonder if the emotional side of the dx would have been less devastating had it been a more supportive environment. Never mind, c'est la vie!
07-29-2016, 03:14 AM   #8
lenny
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Our oldest and youngest children were both diagnosed with Crohn's. Oldest in 04' and youngest in 13'. When our oldest was diagnosed, she was sick less than a year and went into full remission with the help of the specific carbohydrate diet. When our youngest was diagnosed, his siblings didn't take it seriously, as their oldest sister had been diagnosed with the same thing and "got over it" and lives a normal life. Now, because he has stayed sick (the diet didn't work for him) they're convinced it's because he doesn't eat right and blame him for being sick and have emotionally pulled away from both of us, as they think I'm babying him and favoring him. They act like he has IBS and honestly don't seem concerned. They rarely ask how he's doing and get annoyed when I have any bad news. They were all adults when their baby brother was diagnosed at 16, but they have not been there for him! It's really destroyed the family.
07-29-2016, 03:27 AM   #9
Tommy21bn
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Our oldest and youngest children were both diagnosed with Crohn's. Oldest in 04' and youngest in 13'. When our oldest was diagnosed, she was sick less than a year and went into full remission with the help of the specific carbohydrate diet. When our youngest was diagnosed, his siblings didn't take it seriously, as their oldest sister had been diagnosed with the same thing and "got over it" and lives a normal life. Now, because he has stayed sick (the diet didn't work for him) they're convinced it's because he doesn't eat right and blame him for being sick and have emotionally pulled away from both of us, as they think I'm babying him and favoring him. They act like he has IBS and honestly don't seem concerned. They rarely ask how he's doing and get annoyed when I have any bad news. They were all adults when their baby brother was diagnosed at 16, but they have not been there for him! It's really destroyed the family.
This is the sort of thing that Drs or even IBD nurses never talk about. It really can make the difference between coping and falling apart. It's a shame family psychologists aren't more routinely available.
10-18-2016, 08:56 PM   #10
MizzSarah
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This will sound very strange but I use the word immune to describe my sisters reaction to the news of my Crohn's. It's not that they didn't care but our entire lives we have watched my father struggle with his own battle with Crohn's. He's going on 30 years now and we have witnessed the up's and downs of the disease. He's had about 3 surgeries now and has been hospitalized on and off.

I give my mother praise for having to be breadwinner and sometimes both mom and dad. Now it's even sadder that she's watching another person she cares about be impacted by this disease.

Even with someone who understands this disease in my family it is still very hard to relate sometimes. I often say that I feel his Crohn's has mutitated into my own. Our battles are so very different. We still hurt the same.
10-25-2016, 12:40 AM   #11
Cross-stitch gal
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I was diagnosed when I was 18, but had actually had symptoms since I was a kid. My sister has always been in her own little world and has never really paid much attention with my IBD.

In fact, I had an ex-boyfriend who used to call my parents' house to talk to me before I got married (couldn't totally let me go and it drove me nuts). Wouldn't have been so funny, but once he got my sister and she told him I had IBD for some reason. He was all concerned and asked her what that was. She told him that she didn't know, she thought that was something that made me gain weight.

I thought it was pretty funny because with mine, I loose weight not gain it! Needless to say, it freaked him out!!! And I had to straighten her out to explain truly what I have.
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