I’ve written before about losing friends and not being believed about my invisible illnesses. Anyone that shares a fate similar to mine – be it a mental, physical or both – knows exactly what I mean: We’re used to the constant stares of disbelief and the snide remarks of, “It can’t be that bad.”
And, for a really, really long time, I was angry.
To be honest, angry doesn’t even begin to become close to how I felt.
I was angry at the girls in my old hometown who made my life a living hell because they chose to spread rumors about me suffering from Munchhausen’s (because, in their minds, it was far more plausible than me, you know, actually being sick).
I was furious that my so-called friends would actively try and convince others that I was ingesting poisons in order to make myself sick.
I was livid when I discovered that the more lies they told, the more of my friends believed them.
I was devastated when people refused to listen to me, or believe me, when I tried telling them what was happening.
I hated the fact that I’d have to explain to the same people, over and over and over and over and over again, that no, my condition means that I can’t, and won’t, ever get better.
I was pissed that despite repeating this information, I’d still hear about what I wasn’t doing or wasn’t doing right to ‘get better’.
I disliked that people with no medical expertise believed they knew better than countless doctors and specialists.
I can’t even begin to describe how angry I was – because I was angry at almost everyone.
I was angry at those that didn’t believe; I was angry at those that told people I had Munchhausen’s in an act of cruelty that I still can’t wrap my head around; I was angry when my friends – one even being my bridesmaid – believed these people over me and never thought to question it; I was angry when people did believe, but simply thought I wasn’t trying hard enough to ‘get better’; but mostly, I was angry at the world, because it wasn’t fair.
After all, I never wanted to be sick.
However, I began to realize something so important: This anger, this resentment, this fury that I was allowing to build up inside – it was only affecting me.
The people who told everyone I had Munchhausen’s? Yeah, they’re shitty people. But you know what?
Life is full of shitty people.
And then I started to let go. I started to let go of how many people betrayed me, so willingly, without any real cause, for me.
So, for all those out there that participated, I forgive you.
I forgive you for telling people that I had Munchhausen’s.
I forgive you for believing that I had Munchhausen’s.
I forgive you for not listening to me when I needed you to.
I forgive you for not believing me when I needed you.
I forgive you – for the stuff I know, and for the stuff you did that I’ll never know about because it’s not about you.
Forgiving you, letting go of all the anger I carried with me, was never about you. Forgiving you doesn’t make what you did any less shitty.
It just means that I can move on with my life, and find the peace and joy I truly deserve.