Rejected by my family in the ER


A letter writer confides: My family didn’t care when I was rushed to hospital.
Our elder is stunned by their callousness and advises seeking independence as soon as possible.


Dear EWC

I was rushed to the ER and was diagnosed with diverticulitis. My pain was truly bad, and I had multiple tests done to see if I needed surgery. I was admitted and was in the hospital for five days on bed rest, antibiotics, and pain meds. Only my girlfriend came and took care of me daily. She was incredible and did so much.

My family came but were so careless. It seemed that they came because they felt obligated to be there. My brother was texting the entire time; my other brother was just quiet and looking around. My dad was asking how I was as he sees me laying in pain and started to eat randomly and stopped talking. My mom kept asking when I’d leave to go home and she didn’t seem to get that this was serious! Finally, I’m a full time college student and work part time (I pay my own tuition and I’ve never asked for their help). When I told them the hospital was asking for a deposit of $2000 because I don’t have health insurance, they all said, “That’s tough,” and they awkwardly changed the subject.

My mom and dad are ALWAYS giving money to uncles/aunts when they are sick or in hospitals but wouldn’t do that for their own son?! My girlfriend and her mom gave (not lent) $1000 and I put the rest. I am so disappointed in my family and I am seeing them in a completely different way now. Since coming home, they all act normal and never ask how I am even though I’m still on meds and discomfort. Am I wrong or any advice?


Good-Listener replies

I am so sorry for what you have been and are continuing to go through. As one who has rushed to the hospital with the same ailment… it’s not pretty. I haven’t had the surgery yet because, well, that’s another story.

But the question at hand is your family who has acted in the most callous way possible. If they truly are as uncaring as you describe, then they’ve given you information you need going forward. It’s HORRIBLE, and I feel terrible for you. But let’s deal with the facts. If you have been supporting yourself and, for some reason they have chosen to disregard you and not treat you as their son, then you need to find a way to detach from them. No, it won’t be easy. But it’s necessary. If you continue to believe they will “come around” then you’ll continue to be disappointed and hurt. Not that you wouldn’t anyway—who wants to be rejected by their family at such a crucial time?

But my only advice is to understand that this is your reality and the goal is to become as independent as you can, as rapidly as you can. Hoping and counting on them, as I said, will only lead to more rejection and pain on your part. Accept this as your reality and do whatever you have to do to become independent as soon as humanly possible. Don’t tell anyone off—that will only make you look bad. And success is the best revenge anyway. Your girlfriend and her family seem wonderful. Even ask them for advice if you need support (NOT financial support, emotional support). Again, I hope you feel better and get your condition under control. I know you’ll get through this and be the better man for it. GOOD LUCK.

Best Regards,

Elder Good-Listner


Reference 410419

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