Pride and Prejudice Part 1

No, I am not on a trip to the library, but as usual trying to juggle everyday life and illness.

The book title kept popping into my head, I think because of the daily internal arguments over what I should be doing, could be doing, can do, can’t do and what is best for me and other people all of which conflict making choices impossible.  There is no concrete right and wrong but for each choice there is a consequence for my health or my conscience.

I have just been looking at definitions of pride. How can one word mean so many things, many of which conflict?!  How can the same word mean “Consciousness of one’s own dignity.” For example; he swallowed his pride and asked for help” or  “but, have you ever had anyone try to make a mockery of you, try to take away your dignity, your pride, your own self-worth?”  Whilst at the same time it can mean “The quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance: for example “The ancient Greeks had a word for it – hubris which means excessive pride, arrogance.” or “I had committed the cardinal sin of pride and this was my punishment.”  Quotes from Oxford dictionaries.

Often we say we have our pride meaning our dignity as we are ashamed of our needs and feel that people will be prejudiced against us.  Prejudice being; “Preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience”: for example “Some prejudices (preconceived opinions of an individual based on opinions about the many) have names such as racism, sexism, or ageism.” (Oxford Dictionaries)

Why for example am I sitting here typing a blog when I feel really ill and know it is not good for me? Partly because I hate not doing something and I am very limited at the moment to what I can do, but mainly because I don’t want to be thought lazy!  Who is going to think I am lazy?  There is only my daughter here and she is happily playing on the computer and for once not making any demands on me.  There is the guilt that I have been at home all day when my daughter and husband have been at school, and work and working hard and my husband is not yet home from his 12 hour day and his train is running late, but he is probably sat doing nothing on the train or even asleep, except when he gets texts from me!  And I feel like I have to go and tidy up the kitchen following mine and Emily’s tea which was of the throw in the oven variety because Rob wasn’t here to cook and I can’t expect him to clear up a mess he didn’t make even though it has cost me dear to make the simple meal.

It’s not the sort of puffed up pride that I think I am too good and can’t let other people do things, it’s the shame of what I can’t do and the shame of asking for help the need to keep my dignity intact sort of pride.

There is a lot of prejudice against people with ME, they are considered lazy or making up the illness and afraid to try things.  So how are we lazy when the simplest of tasks can make us ill, but we are too ashamed to be seen as lazy or making it up so we try so hard only to be knocked back and made more ill.  We are trying to save our pride.  On the other hand if we accept our limitations and ask for help or claim to be disabled then we get the prejudiced view that we are not disabled or that somehow disabled people are lesser beings, so either way we can’t win.

I am so ashamed when I take my daughter to and from school that I have to be allowed to park in the school car park instead of being proud of the fact that I do take her to school myself, but that’s mainly because I am too proud to ask for help, confused? Yes me too!  Today took another blow to my pride and had to use my walking stick even for the short distance from car to classroom because I could hardly walk and was feeling really dizzy, but I only gave in after quite a long argument with myself thinking that people would think badly of me or think I was looking for attention or sympathy.  In reality people probably didn’t even notice, but I felt ashamed and useless whilst I should have been proud of myself for my achievement or was I just too proud to ask for help when I needed it?

My other issue is my hearing loss and the fact that I have hearing aids.  I won’t admit that I can’t hear or explain to people that I need them to speak clearer or speak up, I just let myself look stupid or ignorant which is not very dignified and does little to save my pride and I end up avoiding situations or conversations which also makes me look ignorant.  I am sure that it would be much more dignified to admit the problem, but then people won’t talk to me because I can’t hear or they will treat me like I am stupid, again it’s a no win situation for me.

Having a blue badge allows me a little bit of pride and dignity in that I can collect my own prescription or park near the entrance to a small shop or the library.  Then my pride is shattered by those who don’t think I should have one as I can walk a little and I become ashamed of my need and my pride in doing something for myself is taken away and replaced by guilt.  Take my blue badge away and have lost my small amount of dignity and pride in the small tasks because I wouldn’t be able to do then any more.  Being unable to do these things would make me ashamed and guilty as I would have to swallow my pride and ask for help and would get the prejudice label of being lazy.

Well I do need to swallow my pride now and admit that I feel really tired, sick, dizzy and in pain and accept that I need to sit and do nothing or go to bed.

Watch out for Pride and Prejudice Pt 2 and also Sense and Sensibility which are currently spinning around in my head waiting until I can get them down on my blog!

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0 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice Part 1

  1. Glowstars Reply

    I've struggling with the same thing at the moment. And I too can't do 'nothing'. I think that's part of why I'm trying to write a daily blog, so that I can remember that I am achieving a lot each day (as long as it's not compared to a healthy person's version of a lot).

  2. Jane Shaw Reply

    It's a tough one glowstars. I also write my blog to show that I did do something. I was in bed at 8.30 last night and feel dreadful today, but can't stay in bed any longer. I know my pain, dizziness, fatigue and sore throat are from overdoing it, that's doing to much ME style not normal, but I still push myself, it's crazy and at the end of the day I will be upset because I didn't achieve enough even though getting out of bed was a struggle!

    Watch out for Pride and Prejudice Pt 2 and also Sense and Sensibility which are currently spinning around in my head waiting until I can get them down on my blog!

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