General Question

indicatebound's avatar

Can you help with MS & relationship problems?

Asked by indicatebound (120points) June 28th, 2008

I was diagnosed with MS in April of 2006. The person I was dating at the time, and who I was deeply in love with, was very caring and supportive and her love (and the fact she remained attracted to me physically & emotionally) really allowed me to get through having to deal with the injections and the struggle of the disease. I started law school this year and she and I became distant, but I did not realize how distant until I went to visit and she told me she was dating someone new. She apparently had not told him about me. He was very upset that I was there—banging on the door, constant calling, yelling, threatening violence against me, &c. This was at the end of February. Since then, she has alternately she loves me, thinks of me as one of the most important people, will continue to support me with MS, and that he is monitoring all of her e-mail, txt messages, and phone calls. She had to set up another e-mail address to communicate. He calls me threateningly and it has become apparent she really likes this bizarre guy. My MS symptoms have become much worse, around 1L finals times, which was just great. An MRI about a month ago showed a lot of new lesions, and I just switched from Avonex to Rebif. She will not speak to me. I try to call, text, e-mail. No response or I get insults from the new boyfriend. I really just need anyone to talk to, but I get fed up with MS Lifelines. The pain up and down my back is so constant and so intense that I basically weight whether suicide is going to so affect my mother than ending this physical pain is worthwhile. I really love my mother and it would destroy her, so I basically hope I don’t wake up. I don’t know what to do.

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22 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I’m not really comfortable with offering any advice other than giving 1–800-273-TALK (8255) a call.

Lee_27's avatar

This girl that you were seeing obviously never loved you to begin with or she would still be standing at your side and helping you through all of his. I am so sorry about your MS diagnoses I am a nurse and know the effects that MS can have on your body. Just because you have this diagnoses doesnt mean that you cannot and will not find someone new. You sound like a great guy that has so much to offer to any lucky girl and you have the ambition of becoming a lawyer, how awsome is that! With this I am speaking from experence recently had some guy I am head over heels in love with break my heart and crush my world, I too had those thoughts of suicide cause the pain was so intense and i didnt think that it would ever end. While the pain is still there it will lesson with time and you will be better and a better person cause of what you are going through. And you know the medical community is awsome they are constantly discovering new ways to treat so please just stick in there, anytime you need to talk to me i am always here to listen.

babygalll's avatar

I agree with johnpowell. Call 1–800-273-TALK (8255). If you are feeling down like this call a friend and talk to them.

marinelife's avatar

There are two different things going on in your question. First let me say that I am sorry that your life has become so difficult.

MS is an enormous burden to cope with on its own. I am sure that you are much more conversant with the disease than I am. You do not, however, mention receiving any of the anti-convulsant medications that work for MS pain. Is it not possible to take those and handle law school study? They are prescribed off label, but seem to be effective for many patients. There are several and sometimes you have to try more than one to find one that is effective for you. Here is a link that talks about options for pain in case you have not yet reviewed these with your physician. I hope that something will provide some effective pain relief for you.

I can’t imagine the depth of your pain, but I can tell you that suicide is a terrible burden for family and friends. It’s impact echoes down generations. Please find someone to talk to about that.

On top of all that to have your relationship disintegrate seems most unfair. From your description, though, I think you need to step away. Your friend did not want to hurt you by cutting you off, thus the mixed messages. The clear message, however, is that she began dating someone else without telling you, and is now with another man. You need to face that and let it go.

People in the collective care. I wish you the best as you move forward during this difficult time. It seems to me that getting through first year law with MS is a major accomplishment, and you should be proud.

kevbo's avatar


You seem to be at a point where taking care of your health should be your top priority. To do that, you need to honestly assess what challenges you are facing and what the solution is to each problem. From what you wrote (and a couple of other factors), it seems you are dealing with:

a. heartache over a broken relationship
b. a chronic disease
c. chronic pain
d. law school stress
e. depression
f. suicidal ideation
g. an alienating school culture and some of the worst weather imaginable when it comes to the academic year

That brilliant (and I do mean brilliant) mind of yours needs to recognize and give you credit for the fact that you have a lot of challenges on your plate. Try breaking these things down and create a plan of attack.

What (constructive) can you do to minimize the pain now and as a matter of habit? Research your options. For a while now, pain management has been a field unto itself in medicine. If you have to, get an appointment with a pain specialist or take Marina’s suggestions.

How aggressive are you with treating and managing your MS? I honestly don’t mean to judge because I have no experience with the disease, but this is simply to ask whether you feel you are aggressive enough in taking care of yourself with respect to your condition. Are you doing the basic things every day to minimize or manage the effects? Do you know what kind of support you need, and are you seeking that support?

With respect to your relationship, I have no doubt you have felt great heartache. It is unfortunate that someone whom you loved and who was supportive of you is no longer truly available for either. From the outside, it sounds like it has turned into drama and dysfunction that you are better off without. Yes, you may still love her or have feelings for her, but do you love yourself as well? Do you love yourself enough to say that you deserve and need to create room for healthy relationships instead of fighting for scraps?

Is this the right time for law school? Is it creating positive or negative stress in your life? If it is positive, then you should probably hang on to it, and really be purposeful about the experience. I mean throw yourself into it. If it is negative, assess whether it is having a negative effect on your health and whether it fits on your plate. Your life has changed significantly since you started law school, so it’s not out of line to simply reassess. Not to mention assessing whether the school itself is the best place for you to be.

Lastly, your depression and ideation. I wrote a lot about dealing with these issues here. In my experience, depression happens when a) you are physically/medically out of whack and b) when you feel out of control and hopeless about a situation. For me, visits to a cognitive-behavioral therapist helped me rethink my problems and how to deal with them. Even though they weren’t fixed, I at least had tools to chip away at them, and the feeling of progress is mainly what I needed to feel happier. One such tool that has worked really well for me is to ask myself “what one thing can I do today to feel better?”

What role does your mother play in supporting you? If you haven’t and if you think it would be constructive, would you benefit from laying everything out on the table in an honest and matter of fact manner and asking for her help with specific needs? So this wouldn’t necessarily be a session to commiserate, but more about identifying and removing barriers that you are experiencing.

You may find some inspiration in The Last Lecture which is a Carnagie Mellon professor’s story of how to thrive despite huge obstacles, such as his own terminal cancer illness.

So, what’s one thing you can do tomorrow to feel better?

tinyfaery's avatar

There is some really great advice here. My mother has lived with MS for over 35 years now. She was diagnosed in the 70s when there were really no treatments available. Be agressive with your traditional treatment, but I urge you to consider alternative treatments as well. Acupuncture really helped my mom. Try visiting an OD. Another suggestion is smoking marijuana. Sometimes pot is the only thing that can help my mother deal with her symptoms.

Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Consider talking to a cognitive behavior therapist; DBT is a great system. Good luck. Namaste!

indicatebound's avatar

@John & Babygall, kevbo: We can add as (h) My cousin was murdered by a very controlling, not abusive until abusive, boyfriend years ago. This (1) makes me really concerned for my ex-girlfriend’s safety. He’s like some loser dealer, too. and (2) I appreciate the first suggestion but the website for 1–800-273-TALK, at least, is really annoying. I don’t need to be guilt-tripped into feeling bad about how much I’d hurt my family. I already have made their life pretty terrible with this disease. That said, I really don’t want to die, except as a way to end the pain. I dislike the fact that any mention of death sets off alarm bells. But I do appreciate the concern and would do the same, so don’t take the wrong way. It’s just I’m trying to describe how much I want the pain to stop. I definitely, because of my cousin’s murder (she was 19) know what a death in the family does to people and I really, really could not do that to my mother.

@Lee: I don’t feel like a girl would feel too lucky about having me. Thing is I don’t really even want to be a lawyer, only really ended up in law school because I was diagnosed right when I was supposed to be decided on graduate school and I wasn’t able to. I’m sorry to hear about the guy who hurt you. I don’t understand how people can so mistreat others in relationships. I can’t honestly say how I would deal with a girlfriend who became ill, but I would never cheat on someone (okay I did once before a long time ago, but that girl had cheated on me previously and I didn’t hide it for months)

@John, again. Problem is, my girlfriend was really the only friend I had. Definitely the only person beside my mother with whom I was comfortable talking about this sort of thing. I’ve been trying to branch out, but now it’s just like I’m telling this everyone and I feel like this isn’t a great way to introduce myself to people. It’s a big step to be able to write about online like this even. But, yeah, thanks for the advice, I did call a friend (ex-girlfriend’s sister, actually; a good friend, to make matters worse or better I don’t know)

@Marina: I don’t receive anti-convulsant medications . . . at least not Neurontin or Tegretol. My neurologist recently prescribed Tramadol. I am definitely going to ask about Neurontin as it sounds geared to this kind of nerve pain. Tramadol is a synthetic opiate, and apparently less likely to be addictive, but still I don’t really like the general opiate haze it can put me in. Plus it doesn’t stop the painful spasticity and electricity or whatever is going on. Thanks.
As to the second point, does the fact she’s dating another man mean the messages are not truthful. It’s just I really do care about her. And I am concerned about her and what she is doing to herself with him. Of course, it’s clear that we’re not going to get back together. But I just cannot imagine dealing with this disease without her. By which I mean, All I want is to be able to talk to her. Last time we spoke, she said that this guy will threaten to leave her if she answers the phone when I call. I don’t how to react to that. We’re talking about a really, really intelligent 28-year old graduate student and some, much younger, drug dealer who goes to that other Chicago school with whom we didn’t associate, not to sound arrogant. This is all just so out of character. I have to wonder what is going on. But, yeah, I realize you are probably right.
Thank you for saying its an accomplishment. It wasn’t a lot of fun. Well, I like “school” type stuff, so it was OK. Law school is not really a great environment for MS though, especially the fatigue. Thanks for the best wishes.

@ Kevbo. Very non-aggressive. I don’t like to think about it. I basically didn’t think about it, at all. I mean I did, a lot, but I didn’t like to talk about it or research it. I just took the injections, felt awful, and repeated the next week. It’s all gotten a lot worse recently. As for every day things, I don’t know what to do. Probably no. I take tramadol, smoke cigarettes which surely can’t be good but if you look at (a)—(g) the stress of quitting is too damn much, though I really should. Don’t know what kind of support I need. Support from her, I suppose. Which has to be the wrong answer.
Do I love myself enough to say I deserve and need to create room? Hmm. This is an interesting question. Probably not, I probably don’t. I consider myself a failure in most every way, more or less. And I don’t consider her to be a scrap. Hmm But that’s a poignant question. And I’ll think about it.
Law school gives me something to do. There’s that at least. But I’m really not at the point of being able to throw myself into anything, I don’t really do that sort of thing. And yeah, it may very well be the wrong place. There’s the whole debt issue at the point. Basically have to take out more debt so as to get job to repay debt already accumulated. (It’s the “good” kind of debt, academic I meant)
What’s the difference between a “cognitive-behavioral therapist” and a psychologist? Let me take a look at that other post . . .
My mother knows everything. I hid a lot of stuff during high school, but came clean when very depressed (when first began on anti-depressants) during summer after first year of college. She’s always been there through my medical problems. And I had a lot of strange medical problems in college that were likely MS-related but just not diagnosed because no MRI (I actually skipped an MRI once).
I’ll take a look at the lecture.

@tinyfaery: Yeah, I talked a lot with my psychologist about acupuncture. I lived with my parents in Green Bay and there’s football team there as you might have heard. He was actually the team psychologist and apparently some of the players were big advocates of acupuncture. Unfortunately the only acupuncturist had moved to Arizona or someplace. And this girlfriend saw an acupuncturist last year for some reason and had a really disappointing experience, so I never looked more into it.
What’s an O.D.? An ophthalmologist?
I’m just so fatigued and was so busy with law school. First year is really rough. I never had time to do anything but study or sleep. Now it’s just so painful to even exist.
Marijuana is helpful, but I can’t find it and I don’t like in California or a state with friendly laws. But it is helpful, though makes me kind of paranoid. I definitely would be smoking it if I could be. Though it’s probably not a great idea because I do want to be accepted to the Bar and they might not look too kindly on possession charges.
DBT sounds cool

tinyfaery's avatar

OD is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. I am surprised there is only one acupuncturist where you live; the practice is growing larger and more readily available each year. Look around, I’m sure you can find one. As far a acupuncture being effective, you’ll never know until you try. Give it some time, nothing works overnight.

I always thought Wisconsin was fairly progressive. But even if it isn’t legal per se, do what you have to and deal with it later. Maybe you can be a medical marijuana activist in your state. Here in CA its people like you who helped to legalize medical marijuana. Do you go to a university or just a law school? Either way I’m 100% positive you can find the pot somewhere. Just look for the stoners. :) trying to make you smile

indicatebound's avatar

Well I don’t live there anymore. Wisconsin is a strange place. Green Bay is definitely not Madison ;) I go to law school but yeah, I’m sure I could find it, not there right now either.

whatthefluther's avatar

Greetings. I am a PALs, a patient with ALS. I just wanted to share with you that at the time of my diagnosis, I was single, having been divorced from my first wife several years prior. And I’m pleased to say that despite the progressing paralysis, the muscle atrophy, and my growing inability to handle or even help with household chores, etc, I found the love of a very remarkable woman, known around these parts as sccrowell.

I think it important to point out that I had already come to terms with my condition and was at peace with my fate, having already worked through and resolved the issues kevbo clearly described and more. It required countless hours of research, a whole lot of soul searching, discussions with family, friends, doctors and therapists, and help from organizations. It was a huge effort and cost a lot of blood, sweat and tears but it had to be done…it was my life, and my existence depended on it.

And as physically attractive as I still may be (grin), there is no doubt in my mind that I would not have been attractive to anyone, let alone even acceptable to myself, had I not resolved those issues and firmly understood my existence and pending death. And thus, my fluther friend, that is my recommendation to you.

kevbo's avatar

@indicatebound- cognitive behavioral therapy is one method of therapy among many. My layman’s understanding is that it’s the most effective form for “normal” people (i.e. not genuine psychopaths). So the method may be used by a psychologist or a licensed therapist or whomever as opposed to others who might use Freudian techniques or whatever other methods are still out there.

Regarding your friend, I don’t mean to imply that she is a scrap. What I meant was that she’s not available like you need her to be, and right now her decision making isn’t very good. So instead of getting what you need from her, you seem to be getting a smaller bits of support accompanied by a bunch of static. So my question is whether it’s worth it to expend extra energy to get those bits or is your energy better spent clearing some space to make room for someone or ones who have the capacity to support you? If you were in her shoes and she in yours, what would your behavior (acting as if you were her, I mean) tell you about where her mind is and to what extent she is really capable of continuing to give you support? To me, it sounds as if it’s simply not a possibility until she frees herself from that relationship.

As you rightly said, that static is cause for concern, because it’s evidence that she’s in some form of abusive relationship. So, yes, h. concern about your friend’s safety and well being. I’m much less knowledgeable about dealing with that kind of situation, but I do know that people caught in circumstances like that can’t really be helped until they see the light themselves. So if you’re taking this one on, you need to learn how to help her and the limits of what help you can provide. There seem to be a lot of online resources, including this site.

nikipedia's avatar

Guy, I think Kevbo might be your guardian angel. As usual, everything he has said to you sounds spot on to me.

I’m sure you already know this, but MS can both cause depression and make existing depression much worse. It’s really difficult to deal with problems as complicated as the ones you’re talking about here if your brain and body are that taxed. If I were you, I would start by focusing on you and what you can do to help yourself. Like on the airplane when they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first. Take care of yourself, and then you can do what you can for the other people in your life. (And at the risk of contradicting myself—can you turn the controlling boyfriend problem over to the girl’s sister? You are in a particularly bad position to attempt to help her, what with the jealous boyfriend and you being her ex….)

It sounds like you’re already seeing a doctor for the MS and a psychologist. Use your resources. Tell them how overwhelmed you are, and let them help you. That’s what they’re there for.

And keep in touch with us. We’ll do what we can to help, even if it’s just listening (....reading).

nikipedia's avatar

@tinyfaery: I think you might be referring to a DO, or osteopathic doctor.

tinyfaery's avatar

Oops. Its OMD-doctor of oriental medicine.

indicatebound's avatar

Thanks for the advice everyone. It’s gone from bad to worse, though thank god my mother has finally returned from France and I have someone to talk to. I spoke to the girl on Wednesday. She again did not say that she wanted me to stop calling. I asked specificalyl and explicitly. I tried to explain what this is doing to me. Apparently she called my mother that day and my mother then reached her after I had talked to her. So my mother called me and began to attempt to persuade me to not talk to her anymore after I had just had a decent conversation wherein we agreed on “less frequent”, i.e., not every day, communication. I got the distinctive feeling that she was not only worried about my safety (self-harm I suppose) but that she was trying to use my, at this point, only trusted person to convince me that she both cared about me and would not care about me enough to talk to me as my neck feels like it is being hooked with wires and clamps and I merely want to scream. In fact I do often scream while in the car (I’m pretty sure no one can hear you in the car)
I don’t even know what focusing on me means. I just wanted this girl to talk to me. In any case today she seems to have cut her phone line or switched the number or something. She also said that she did sleep with 3+ other guys before sleeping with him and apparently settling on him as the one with whom to destroy me. Would it have been so hard to just leave me before all that? But it seems just as likely that she’s ssaying this because she told me that this was an untrue statement he made to me on the day I was driving 12+ hours to my current location (the same day I received very bad MRI results and had talked to her, apparently he was set out to drive me to death that day). Three weeks later she told me it wasn’t true. It’s not so important anyway. She was with him for two months without bothering to tell me. So today he was messaging me saying I must stop talking to her and I said well look Jon because really I don’t give a fuck about this guy’s privacy and I don’t actually know his last name. So I said look Jon I’m clearly not going to trust you, I’m going to trust what she says, remember what you said about the 3+ guys. So she calls (& I’m in a museum so I do not answer) and says in a peculiar, high, coerced, I don’t know, voice that Jon is right and she did cheat on me and doesn’t want to talk to me doesn’t care and so forth. I try to call back but she won’t answer. Then the phone service has been cut apparently.
This girl has really ruined me. Systematically. Whether it is her doing or she is under the influence of this Jon, I don’t know, but I was taken in, badly.
This is all too much. I just don’t know what to. I don’t know what focusing on me means. I said that earlier. I want someone in my life. I mean, I need someone. I can’t stand not having even a friend and living with this pain and now I’m just acting crazily and really making everyone uncomfortable.

indicatebound's avatar

@whatthefluther: how’d you find her? ;)

marinelife's avatar

indicatebound I am so very sorry that life is really piling on right now. My situation is not at all the same as yours, but I know the feeling of enough already, having been dealing with my Mom’s near-fatal illness and now waiting for three more weeks to see if there will be a layoff.

It seems from your posts that the two things, your illness and the betrayal by the girl, are all inextricably bound up for you. What some wise folks on Fluther have been saying to you is, even though that is how you feel, you need to separate them.

With the girl: You are still getting all twisted up in the minutuae of who said what when. (Aside: You will probably be a great lawyer!) Stop already. The facts are these:

1. The girl has ended her relationship with you.

2. She is with another guy.

3. She feels bad that you are ill and only because of that hates to cut you off. If you were not ill, she would have said, “Get out of my life.” She hates to be the bad guy here and thus sends messages through others. When you confront her, she won’t be direct, because she feels your desperation, she feels guilty dumping someone who is ill, and she is somewhat personally cowardly.

4. In your desperation, you keep looking for any little way in. Stop. You are hurting yourself and her over and over again.

5. Move on.

6. Of course you want romance and someone to be in your life. You can’t force that or make that happen so follow kevbo’s and others’ advice and work on getting the rest of your life in order.

Your Illness:

1.Take charge of your care. You are a bright guy. Do research. Talk to others. Use the Web. Focus your energies on improving your pain situation, on getting the best care out there, on mapping a strategy to keep the disease form taking over.

2. Stop pooh poohing support groups. These are the people who know what you are going through. Do you think you are the first MS patient who got dumped by someone they loved? You are not. Get out there and find one that fits your style. They are not all the same.

3. Are you exercising? Have you looked into that? Google exercise and MS. The reason I say that is that you seem to be depressed. Depression makes it hard to move forward in life.

4. You may remember David Lander (he was Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley). I have heard him speak on MS. He has this very good book that you might enjoy.

Here are a few links to groups you can check out to start. If they don’t feel like a fit look for others that do.

Once you have gotten that situation (your illness), which you admit is not under control, under control, then see where you are. Meanwhile, life will happen. Who knows who you will meet. The best way to have a friend is to be a friend. Try it. It will take your mind off your troubles.

Again, please work on taking care of you. You have a lot going for you even though while you are hurting in so many ways it probably does not feel like it.

whatthefluther's avatar

@indicatebound…To answer your question, she is the sister of acquaintance of mine whom I barely knew through a mutual friend. We hit it off because we had much in common and related to similar things. But again as I tried to express and Kevbo more clearly described and marina superbly summarized, I had already resolved issues (the “why me” questions, etc) and researched my illness and knew exactly where I was and where I was headed. This process may have been easier for me because I had watched my grandmother go through the very same thing and she was a remarkable and beautiful woman whom I loved and respected immensely. She was 63 when she passed away (her ALS manifested later in life than mine) and I was barely nine, but I remember her, her condition and its progression, her spirit and the way she held her head up, better than my father or his brother (her own sons) or my older sibling or cousins. Everyone always said I looked and was most like her and it is obvious now we shared a very common bond.

Back to your situation. If I had been in a relationship when my symptoms surfaced, considering the ugly tests and personal hell I had to go through, I am certain it would have failed and that a similar result would befall most relationships with only time proven, absolute true love romances having a chance of surviving such trauma. Look at things from her point of view rather than expecting her to look at things through your point of view because you feel sorry for yourself and are expecting her to stay in a relationship because she feels sorry for you. That’s no basis for a relationship. She has broken things off with you as gently as she could because she didn’t want to hurt you more and it has obviuosly backfired. Ask her point blank and put it behind you.

If I recall, you are in law school because you failed to make a timely decision on what to do about graduate school. You have piled additional pressures upon yourself without having dealt with the primary issue. No one is going to fault you for taking some time off from your studies to work things out. It appears you have the support of your family and are financially in pretty good shape. Can you imagine if you weren’t and had those two issues also weighing on you? Consider yourself fortunate because you are. Look to the positive and stop dwelling on the negative and trying to hold on to things that aren’t even there. Take some time off. Do some traveling of your own. And go ahead and smoke some weed if it helps you. Focus on you…no one else is going to. Best regards…wtf
PS: I hope my note makes sense and was not too hurried. I am not having a good day health wise but nothing would have stopped me from responding to your question. There is a lot of satisfaction in being able to perhaps help someone by sharing my experiences and feelings. And although I may log off for a bit and attend to myself, I’m here regularly, so feel free to PM me and I promise I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Take care of yourself.

indicatebound's avatar

[1] Okay, to be clear. She did not break things off as gently as she could. I’m not about to accept that cheating on me for months, not telling me until a traumatizing evening when she had invited me to stay over, knowing that I was expecting a calm place to stay where I could take Avonex, and was instead given a night of intimidation and assault. She continued to lie, deceive, or give half-truths—despite the fact that I relied on her as a confidante—for months. There was nothing stopping her from acting civilly. It is the least she could do after what we’d been through. Basically I spend a huge amount of time trying to look at things from her point of view and I just have no idea what she’s doing. Seems like she could resolve or could have resolved things in like 10 minutes so many times.

[2] I am in law school because of the grad school issue. But it hardly seems the Chicago program would be the place for me, given this girl’s inevitable presence—she studies under a professor I would want to work with. I have the support of my family. Financially, I’m in good shape, as in I have good debt, academic debt, 0 to low interest while in school. Lots of it. Like $75,000 or something. I do have to pay it back sometime, and I need a job to do that. The big problem is that I won’t be eligible for coverage under my mother’s health insurance at the end of this year (2008) as it covers me until the end of the calender year in which I turn 25, which happened this year. I’m sure you’ve got the same sort of financial issues. But I’ve never had to worry about the financial side of the disease. My mom is a public school teacher and isn’t paid very much but does get very good coverage for the whole family.

[3] I really don’t know what I’d do without my family. I probably can imagine, but don’t want to what I’d do without them :)

[1] I don’t think points 1–3 are necessarily correct. I think she’s not that heartless. Probably she just was buying drugs from this lowlife, he was really controlling, I wasn’t around, she was lonely, he made her good via drugs and then sex (while I being sick wasn’t so interested in this), feel wanted, and so on. I reappeared, she was confused, he went insane. I really, really doubt she would ever have said “get out of my life” to me, illness or not. I just cannot believe that. Why would that happen? I didn’t do anything, I didn’t cheat on her, there was no argument (we hardly ever argued), we’re interested in similar things, know similar academics. It would just be odd. Perhaps she so changed in a few months because of this guy, but that’s really weird.

[2] She is hurting me by telling me that she will be there and by then not providing any support. To say that I am hurting myself and hurting her by turning to her for help with my disease—help which she has continued to offer, continued to tell me how she “loves me” (though contrasting this with “being in love with”)—is blame me for seeking compassion from someone who has been compassionate. I refuse to be blamed for someone else’s actions & obviously become quite indignant. If anything, I have brought the disease into this as a reason as to why she should stop this treatment and be honest and upfront as I truly cannot take this, rather than using it as “any little way in.”

[3] She has a new boyfriend. Yeah. I don’t see why this matters. I don’t understand what kind of domesticated 1950s girl stops talking to all other men just because she is dating a guy. I sure as hell have never expected a girl I was dating to not talk to guys, not go out with guys. I’ve been jealous about ex-boyfriends, of course, but not to the point where I ever stopped them from talking to the boy. Or where I literally stole the phone away and deleted the messages. Or broke into the apartment, accessed the girl’s email, read the messages, etc. Or took the phone and called the guy threatening him, knowing that he had MS, had just gotten terrible MRI results, was driving for 8 hours probably tired and not exactly in the mood for being intimidated. I’ve done everything I can to be civil with this guy. I tried to talk to him that night in February. He refused and stormed off. I’ve tried to talk to him when he calls or answers. Or when he sends txts to me. No luck. I’ve never tried to question his boyfriend status, though apparently he had no such qualms about mine. At this point, I’m entirely fed up with him and am looking into bringing litigation against him for assault (an act that causes an apprehension of imminent offensive touching or physical harm) based on the February incidents.

[4] Exercise? hmm. Yeah, I have an issue with that. It’s so boring. Plus I’m like 6’3”, 160lbs, so it’s not really a weight problem. I just can’t stand doing repetitive exercises. I like taking long walks and stuff like that though.

[5] Thank you for the lawyer comment. With the 1L year fading into memory, I’m feeling more confident. I really want to destroy this girl and her boyfriend in court. This is probably just anger manifesting itself. But it is amusing.

marinelife's avatar

@ib re exercise I hate the gym and repetitive stuff too. Anything works as exercise: swimming, dancing, pick-up basketball, bike rides, long walks. I am thinking as a 1L you had no time for that. It is proven to be a mood lifter for everybody and studies seem to show some positive benefits for MS patients.

scamp's avatar

@indicatebound I think you should follow Kevbo’s advice and get some therapy, and quick. Excuse me for speaking bluntly about this but your situation sucks, and so does your attitude about it. You have every right to feel bad, even be pissed off, but in order for anything to get any better, you will need to learn how to channel all the pent up anger you have into fight mode.

The girl is running scared. She doesn’t know how to handle your illness, and she didn’t want to tell you, because she probably thinks that by doing what she did, you would stop calling on your own. It’s a coward’s way out, sure, but it’s a very common reaction. People tend to run away from what they don’t understand, and you may have seemed too “needy” to her which scared her even more.

Right now, the way you are acting will only serve to drive her further from your life. In fact, just reading your posts scares me a little. So my advice to you is to talk with someone who knows how to help with anger management due to chronic illness/pain. You have a long miserable road ahead of you, and right now you need to learn what tools are available to you to help you fight. But getting your anger in check is the first step as far as I can see. People will not be drawn to you or sympathetic to your cause if they see an angry, bitter person. My Grandmother gave me some great advice that I will now pass on to you. She said: “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Sage words of wisdom from a wonderful woman.

I can imagine that right now you are angry with me, but I spoke bluntly and honestly out of concern for you. My brother was paralyzed from the chin down for over 20 years before he died, and through him I learned that no matter how bad things seem, there is always someone doing worse than you. It may not seem like it, but it’s true. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your situation improves.

indicatebound's avatar

@scamp. I’m not angry, I’ve just heard the same advice before. Not to in any way denigrate what your brother went through. It was worse than this, I am sure. I work at the ACLU right now and spent most of my time reading complaints from prisoners. I know that a lot of people have it a lot, a lot, worse than I do. I wish to help other people and generally I believe I am a kind person, though, I generally come off as an angry/bitter person. Long before the disease, I approached the world as a misanthrope. While this can be frustrating, I suppose I’m arrogant enough to believe that only those things that truly matter, well, truly matter. And I can become very self-righteous. I don’t deny an anger problem either. As an example that combines the two: years ago, I was in the car with my aunt and cousins from the south; hearing them make statements I perceived as racist, I erupted with curses and exited the car walking through the snow to make what I considered a point.
And the thing is, I tend to find angry bitter people to have legitimate causes. If they aren’t upset, it can’t be so bad, right? I’m being sarcastic, but a part of me believes I need to fulfill this in some sense. It’s especially bad because this girl really liked me, I guess, knowing all this and knowing of the disease. I’m sure I’ve only driven her further away, and I’m well aware of the whole needy paradigm. Unfortunately I had done the exact opposite before, trying to be as little needy as possible and that led to her using lots of drugs, sleeping with other men and finally meeting this lowlife.

I just have this real hangup with honesty. Telling myself that I’ve moved on or that I’m “over” her or that I know what “fight mode” is—I mean the disease is already myself fighting me, and the medicine is me fighting the disease that is fighting me, and both wars have me as a casualty ;)—is dishonest to both myself and all of you. I really don’t like lying. The great thing about being a lawyer is learn how to never lie.

On a sidenote to everyone. I hadn’t actually seen what this guy looked liked. Something that was tormenting me. You’d think that searching MySpace for someone named Jon in Chicago wouldn’t actually lead to the person, but it did in like 2 minutes. Ugh. Really wish I had not done that.

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