Last night I dreamed that I was at a large party. The party was a surprise party for me thrown by my boyfriend so he could propose. I was very unhappy, I did not want it, or him. The party was not really about me. During the party he was giving a speech and during the speech he somehow fell and smacked his head against a shelf. Everyone stood by and watched and he yelled out, “no, it really hurts”.
He ended up with brain damage and the rest of the dream was me spending the rest of my life taking care of him as I would a small child. 🙁
I have been reading this book:
Love, Medicine & Miracles. – Lessons learned about self-healing from a surgeons experience with exceptional patients.
Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
I am an exceptional patient. His term, not mine. I thought is was very interesting. His book becomes heavily slanted on the religious connection for the second half, so meh. I am also not sure I agree with some of his conclusions. Luckily since I am exceptional I am very good at picking out the parts I agree with and discarding the rest. 🙂
Here are some parts I highlighted for different reasons.
“lack of emotional outlet is a common theme in the histories of cancer patients” – For instance this one. I think you could poll any group and say this.
“You can’t survive caner if you get up every morning thinking how you hate what you’ll be doing all day” – I only argue the definitiveness of this statement. Some people do. However, I was the other end of the spectrum and fit his example. I appreciated every thing that was done to me as a way to make myself live longer. It was one of my coping strategies and fulfilled the need in my personality to overcome and persevere in a challenge.
“Since physical illness usually brings sympathy from friends and relative, it can be a way of gaining love or nurturing” – This is true. I am not a nurtured or nurturing person and this was one of the benefits I gained from being sick. The longer I am dealing with this, the longer I go through chemo the less of this there is. It becomes commonplace for me to “get chemo”. I may have to break a bone next year. I think this is probably an accurate part of the Munchhausen by Proxy personality too.
Survival Characteristics “They are receptive and creative, but sometimes hostile, having strong egos and a sense of their own adequacy. They have a high degree of self-esteem and self-love. Thy are rarely docile. They retain control of their lives. They are intelligent with a strong sense of reality. They are self-reliant, they don’t need to be included among others although they value interactions with others. Although concerned with their own welfare they are also tolerant and concerned with others. They tend to be nonconformists with a permissive morality – they are unprejudiced and they appreciate diversity among other people.” – this was not Dr. Siegels description but one he quoted. I think this applies to be very well. Or at least to my perception of myself.
“Many people, especially cancer patients, grow up believing there is some terrible flaws at the center of their being, a defect they must hide if they are to have and any chance for love. Feeling unlovable and condemned to loneliness if their true selves become known, such individuals set up defenses against sharing their innermost feelings with anyone. They feel their ability to love shriveling up, which leads to further despair” – I am not sure that the word despair is a word that I would use for almost anything but unfortunately this description is spot on. Again though, I find it hard to believe that it is any more typical in a group of cancer patients than any other group.
“you can look at a murderer with love based on the fact that you know what got him where he is.”
“this is not an acceptance of evil, but rather a refusal to sink to it’s level” – I use to think there was something just broken inside of me because of this. So many people do not fit this description, but I do. I don’t know why my mind works this way and I use to worry that since I can understand the why of someone’s horrible actions perhaps that meant my mind was wired the way as well and I could have done these dastardly deeds.
So, very interesting book discussing the connection between your attitude and your outcome. I think it’s a good explanation of this especially for people who are not wired this way.