I don't know what I've done wrong...so upset

Well, I've made so many improvements with my health by changing my diet, drinking more water and so on and I've even let my family and friends know about it by posting my progress on Facebook.

Most of them have gotten back to me saying how well I look and are congratulating me on doing so well, but my grandad for some reason doesn't like what I've been posting and I don't know why. In a way it's made me upset because I don't know what I've done wrong and I thought I was making progress. I just don't understand.

You see, the history behind my grandad and I is that I was brought up into the family with no dad. So he was my adoptive dad, in a way. I was his little shadow, following him about and going about with him whenever he went off in the car anywhere.

Since being sick, I wanted to let people who know and knew me know of the struggle I've had with Hashimoto's (doesn't that sound familiar) and I linked my Facebook profile to a page on my website detailing my personal story. I thought it'd let people get an insight into my experience and how much I've struggled with it. I also told them of the changes I made, like going to a support group with fellow thyroid patients, attending reflexology sessions and posting photos of how well I look. I don't understand why he has a problem with it.

I'm off to see my grandparents tomorrow but I'm worried about what's going to happen. Why did he react like that? I thought he'd be pleased that I'm making so much progress. It's really knocked my confidence right down again.

:( :( :( :(

17 Replies

It could be that is from a generation that isnt used to having social media, so finds it difficult to accept you putting things on the internet that he sees as private just a thought xx

Hi Helen, thanks for your reply.

Yes, my OH agrees with the generational thing. He said exactly the same when I met up with him. I was in such a horrible mess, tears and everything when I told him. I feel much better now though. :) xx

Hi. I've had similar upsetting experiences with family especially my parents who are in their eighties. I can only put it down to possibly two things (assuming we ignore the possibility that they don't care about my health!):

1. It's a generational thing and they come from a generation where personal things were not talked about and especially not paraded in public (that is not how I see what you've been doing! just how I am sure my parents would see it).

2. They don"t want to hear anything that might make it sound as if the person they lavished all their attention on is not 'perfect'. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, it can come from caring too I suppose. So it isn't the story of your success that is the problem - that is good - but that you were ever less than perfect as that maybe is how your grandad wants to think of you.

Not sure if I've been clear here but hope you get the drift of my thoughts. :)

Hi Sandi

Yes, I'm with you on the generational thing. I spoke to my OH about it and he agrees. My grandparents are both in their 70s and they're not really into Facebook or any technological stuff, so that could explain it.

Also they do tend to see me as their little girl as I'm an only child (there can be some misfortune to being without siblings!) :) I'm 28 but they do still treat me as though I'm 12 or 13.

Thanks for your reply.

Jo xx

Oh, yes, ditto the only child thing! I'm stuck at about six in their minds and it drives me to distraction that they treat my younger cousin as an adult!

The added thing with the only child issue is that, at least in my case, there is so much expectation - to be and do everything and do it perfectly. Sadly they see my ill health as a failure that should definitely not be mentioned to anyone. Grrrr ...

Sandi xx

Yes, being seen as a kid still is a pain. Going back a few years. there was one time where my nan commented on my hair and I was only aggressive about it because of all the pent-up tension at them treating me like a child for so long. I was living with them at the time!! I replied with "I'm 23, not 12," and both of them flew off the handle. My nan never apologised about it but I suppose she didn't see anything wrong with it.

But yes, my folks do expect a lot of me. I'm unemployed but I'm trying like heck to find a job that helps me to make my condition more liveable, but it's so hard. I even set up my own website and directed them to it as it went into great detail in layman's terms about Hashi's. Although they've said to me whenever I feel bad I can pop in and stay round there for a bit, they don't seem to understand the progress I have achieved so far. And I felt like I've achieved a lot.

I speak to them later so I'm absolutely dreading to see them. :(


Jo xx

Big hugs - hope it all goes well.

Totally understand the "aggressive" reaction. I tend to overreact too with parents and it is because of all the pent up tension as you say.

It feels to me that I was never/am never really heard. They had an idea of what they wanted and me having a personality of my own wasn't it. They looked after me well in practical ways but I think they would have been happier with a doll that never had a mind of its own or did anything that wasn't exactly what they would do! [They have had a few dogs and they treated them like puppies right until the end - and were far more interested in their health too!]

You seem to be dealing with your health issues so well, I really admire your approach. Be proud of it.

I think dealing with my health problems has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do but know it is something my parents will never be proud of me for. For them it isn't the same as passing exams, earning loads or having a respectable job.

Glad you have an OH to support you. Again hope all goes well and you don't get too stressed and upset your good work.

Sandi xx

Hi Sandi, thanks ever so much for your kind words.

I spoke to my grandparents and both of us had gotten it wrong, oddly enough. :) The only thing he had to say about the whole Facebook posts thing was about my support group co-ordinator not being happy with me not taking better of myself. You see, I haven't been drinking a lot of water which she mentions is essential to looking after the immune system, especially with Hashi's. I only had to put that I was given a bit of a telling-off about it and he took it to mean something else, as in me being in big, big trouble - but it was nothing like that at all. Strange!

Also my OH's sister called my OH's mum who in turn called my OH about the comments I put on Facebook about me being "fat" - which was only said in jest - and they all know that I'm not fat at all. My OH's mum always says I'm really petite and once she said, "if you turn Jo to the other side, there's nothing there!" That's how small I am. How anyone could say I'm big or obese I've no idea.

I've been given some really good news however - my previous employer has invited me to interview! It's for a part-time role but I'm happy to be given the chance to come back!


Jo xxx

Hi Jo

That all sounds really good news. So pleased you were able to talk to your grandparents and clear it up. We need as many people as possible on our side.

Lots of luck at possibly returning to work. They obviously value you to suggest a return. Do take it gently particularly at first. It's great that you have been so positive at dealing with this nasty thyroid :) and I'm so pleased for you.

Sandi xx

PS And thanks for taking the time to let me know how it went - I had been thinking of you :)

Hi Sandi, thanks for your reply. :)

Yes, what I've gone for is the same job title as I previously had when I worked for them so I'll have the same objectives to attain. The only differences are that I'll be working in a different department with a different boss and it's a part-time role. On the days I'm off duty I'd like to use them for rest days. I think if I go straight back into a full-time role it'll be too much of a shock.

I think that was what happened when I worked for a short time in a care home. No wonder my TSH was at 22 after I left that job! :o

Thanks for thinking about me -- I've been thinking a lot about all of you guys also as you've all been so supportive.

Take care and best wishes

Jo xxx

Jo, I think it is such a shame there is this generational thing whereby the "stiff British upper lip" seems to be admired (not by me) so saying nothing about how one is, the difficulties overcome, is held to be the way to live. You have worked so hard at improving your health, and generously shared what you have done. Does it truly not occur to them that your sharing is a good thing, as many other people will be interested in keeping up with what you are doing and will improve their own health as a consequence? Please do not be upset, stay the way you are, generous and open, and be proud of what you have done by means of this wonderful technology.

I agree, talking about being 'ill' was just that, no detail allowed - someone in the family was 'poorly' and that was that. Taboo. (nothing wrong with the 'family' - well there's loads in mine actually!) Call me over curious if you like, (maybe I have a health anxiety or googleitis!) - nope just trying to research how to get better, but I think it's more healthy to talk about it and find similar sufferers who can help and support. Knowledge is power, we can filter out the flack. I've recently found out my Mum died of the same thing her brother did - well, the fact that I would have liked to know beforehand is an understatement! Maybe I could have insisted on appropriate tests. It's a different world now, and one person's advice/opinion isn't the be-all end-all, we have access to medical journals etc. we can question. Even kids aren't just 'told' stuff at school anymore - but encouraged to find out for themselves. J :D

Hi spareribs, thanks for your reply.

Well, I'm with a few thyroid support groups and my way of talking about it was sharing with all my friends the progress I've made.

Sorry to hear about your mum and how you would've liked to know about it. I'd gotten so fed up of my grandparents saying, "what is it you say you've got?" and "I don't even know what a thyroid does" that I set up my own website that went into a lot of detail (although still simple enough in layman's terms) about what the thyroid does and so on and I researched through Wikipedia. I didn't exactly copy the article word for word but I just simplified it enough for people to understand. I doubt they've even visited it again, but it was my way of putting across to them that:

- What I have is real

- I would like to get some sort of understanding on their part

- I have struggled to know what it was for some time and I'm making positive steps to make it more liveable.

So yes, knowledge is power.


Jo xx

Hi nostoneunturned, thanks for your reply.

Since having heard from my nan about what my grandad thinks about what I've been writing, I put a very long post up on Facebook explaining why I shared with everyone what I had. Me posting the photos of how much better I look was my way of saying I didn't care what other people said about me and that I was very pleased with how I now look. I did write my status at one time saying I was "fat" but that was meant in jest and it was just to say how stupid some people could be in thinking that someone of my size could be seen as obese. I would never write anything if I didn't see the funny side of it or if I wasn't happy about something. I know that there are some things on Facebook you just don't share and I for one have never gone as far as share things such as my phone number, address and so on. I was still keeping it within the rules so to be told that I did something that was clearly wrong in someone's eyes shocked me.

I rarely used to go on Facebook but I go on there now to tell my friends how I've been getting on, the ups and downs of having Hashi's, and sharing information with them about the support I've been getting. I mean, Hashi's is not well understood and when my grandparents said to me to pop in whenever I feel bad I was led to believe that they pretty much understood the struggle I have. It's now become apparent to me that they don't at all.

And to be fair, my mum and stepdad weren't calling me up the minute they saw my posts and telling me they weren't happy about them, so I figured everything was fine and people were ok about them. When I posted the long explanation last night, I immediately had one of my friends message me and say who was worried about what I wrote. I had to privately message her to say but she couldn't understand it either.

Thanks about me being generous -- I do try to be. :) My friends have shared photos of their kids and places they've been to and this that and the other, so I thought I would do the same. My grandad even uploaded a photo of my uncle and nan together, so why is that so different?


Jo xx

I rarely talk about being hypo but when I do its seen as a flaky illness maybe because its invisible, in spite of a blood test to prove it. Personally I've told a few people but now don't discuss my ailments at all, it only comes up when weight is mentioned. I mix being honest re potion size and hypo there.I'm fitter than some non hypos for short periods of time. Just started some voluntary work and OK for 4 hours, then a complete slump.Was a toe in the water really, I think I'd find a full day difficult.

I think you need to try to explain but accept it if they don't understand.No other option really.

Hi Lilliput, thanks for your advice.

My granddad was actually concerned about me putting that my support group co-ordinator wasn't entirely pleased with me not drinking enough water. Of course, my folks don't go on Facebook a lot of the time, only to put photos up and connect with distant relatives. Whereas I do what most of my friends do which is anything.

I've been invited for an interview at my old employer's for a part-time job and all I need is confirmation of a date and time. Wish me luck!


Jo xx

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