Did I Ask For Your Advice?

Have you ever noticed that everyone has an opinion? They really do. Positive. Negative. Everyone has one. Some people keep them to themselves. But a lot of people do not. That’s fine, I tell myself. I understand. They are only worried. They are concerned. 

But then I stopped to think about it. Really stopped to think about it and it’s not fine. I don’t understand. I never just offer my opinions about how people are running their lives the way people do to my family. And I don’t understand. Do we have a sign that says we don’t have control of the situation? The situation being Mom’s MS. 

Well, you are right. We don’t have control. We get close to having control. Then we have a million curve balls thrown at us at once. We are currently trying desperately to regain control. Dad, Sister K, Mom and I. Each in our own way but as a family. We are doing the best we can with what we have been given. The tough part is that I don’t think people realize this nor care. They just want to issue judgment. Tell us what we should be doing. What we should be making Mom do. How Mom should think. This has gone on long before the past few weeks. This has gone on since Mom was diagnosed with MS.

Your Mom should walk with a cane.” “Your Mom needs to work out more.” “Your Mom needs to lose weight.” “Your Mom is running your Dad down.” “Your Mom isn’t telling you everything going on.” “Your Mom is depressed.” And it goes on, and on, and on…

And all of a sudden it has occurred to me…This is just rude.   

Aside from your care and concern, I would never and I mean never make comments to your children about you like this. Dad would never make comments to other men about their wives like this. But people do it to us all the time. Constantly. We have started dreading get togethers. We cannot escape it. I can’t even come up with an appropriate response it’s so ridiculous. Do I say thank you and chime in with my thoughts as I have been doing? {I think that may be wrong} Do I say something like we are doing the best we can? {That may be better} Do I say what I really want to and reply could you please keep your opinions to yourself because they are rude?

I was brought up with good manners. Sometimes I feel like it is one of my downfalls. Sister K and I say what we are supposed to say, we do what we are supposed to do, even when others don’t return the courtesy. But Mom’s MS is conflicting with these good manners. I am sure people mean well, they don’t know what else to say, they are only trying to be there for us. But I am tired. Exhausted by the comments. I am 28. Sister K is 25. You are much older than us. Maybe that is why you feel you have a license to comment. Maybe you secretly enjoy watching my family deal with a hurdle. Maybe you just want the juicy gossip. Maybe you legitimately care. I do not know but I also no longer care. If you really had any clue how hard this is on us you would put yourself in my shoes for a minute before speaking. How does it feel to be watching your Mom’s ability to walk deteriorate while your other friends are at the mall with their Moms? How does it feel to have your entire family’s world turned upside down? How does it feel to have no control over your Mom’s health, no straight path to getting better, nothing except trial and error- but don’t trial and error too long or you lose your window to improve? Do you think your comments help my stress about this? Do you think you make me feel any better with your comments? Oh yes, you dealt with something similar with your Mom when she was in her 80s. My mom is 59. Yet again, not the same.

Please stop giving Dad, Sister K and I advice. Let us deal with this ourselves. You have no idea how hard this is on us. You don’t understand. We didn’t ask for your advice so please don’t give it.

Do you ever have issues with the way people try to offer advice? Why do people feel entitled to offer advice when it wasn’t asked for? Am I being too hard on the world? Any advice on how you would respond to these comments?

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