It is not uncommon to experience resentment when facing a long term illness. Don’t beat yourself up if you encounter it. How you manage the resentment will make all the difference in your ability to work through it. Regardless of whether you resent yourself or think a loved one is feeling resentful towards you, you can conquer this!
When you feel as if you have lost your sense of self due to a chronic illness or injury, it is not at all unusual to feel some sort of resentment. Resentment towards life in general for the hand you were dealt. Resentment towards the person who just walked by you in the grocery store with apparent ease. Resentment towards medical professionals who you feel may be dismissing your symptoms. Or even resentment towards yourself for a perceived weakness in succumbing to whatever challenge you are facing.
Conversely, you could be the target of resentment. Friends may be resentful that you can no longer participate as actively in your friendships and activities. Possibly the family member or loved one that is your primary caregiver is resentful towards you for the additional burden on them. Maybe you feel that your children resent your illness and the fact that you may not be able to participate in activities with them as you once did.
Resentment can take many forms and go both ways. I think the most important tool towards dealing with any perception of resentment is open and honest communication skills. Second to that is the ability to step back and look at the issues surrounding the feelings of resentment as objectively as possible. Often these feelings may be perceived as opposed to real. If they are real, then it is up to you to initiate a discussion on how to change or resolve these potentially devastating feelings. There are no easy answers, but you can work through these feelings!
Do you have a story about feelings of resentment that you would like to share? How do you manage perceived feelings of resentment in your life? Share with us in the comments below!